This expedition involves an exciting offshore passage deep inside the arctic circle. The journey to mainland Norway from Svalbard will take approx 6 days, sailing through the day and night in a watch system. We may encounter some challenging conditions on the crossing as well as some wonderful wildlife. But this expedition won’t just be about the sailing. As one of our ‘Clean Up The Arctic’ expeditions you will not only be taking on the challenge of a life time but playing a vital part in arctic ocean research. Conducting surveys of marine life, ocean debris and microplastics in a part of the ocean so remote that it is rarely visited never mind surveyed. Arriving in Norway you will have the satisfaction of both having completed a sailing passage that few people have achieved as well as the knowledge that you have help increase our understanding of this critical part of the ocean system. Although you don't need any sailing experience to participate in this expedition you do need a sense of adventure and the desire to spend time in the remote wilderness.


Expedition details:

Dates: 24th July - 8th August

Departure port: Longyearbyen, Svalbard   |   Destination: Tromso, Norway

Crew contribution: £3795

Total distance: 700nm



Longyearbyen, Svalbard to Tromso, Norway

24th July - 8th August 2019

24th July: Joining the expedition

You will join our expedition yacht in Longyearbyen. Despite being the most northerly city in the world, Longyearbyen is easily access by air with several flights a day from mainland Norway. You will be met at the yacht by your skipper who will give you a warm welcome, and most likely a cup of tea. You will then have the opportunity to settle in and be shown around the boat as well as to explore the town and get your first taste of life at nearly 80 degrees north. We will introduce you to everything that you need to know about Narwhal, life onboard and the research projects that we will be undertaking. Dinner will be provided onboard on the first evening, a great opportunity to get to know your fellow crew mates.

25th July: Setting sail

Following initial safety briefings we will be heading out of port and setting sail for the first time. The sheltered and spectacular Isfjorden provides the perfect opportunity to get used to the boat and trial some of the research equipment. There will be plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the polar landscape.

26th - 28th July: Exploring Svalbard

Weather permitting, we will explore the specular southern peninsular, with it’s glaciers reaching down to the sea, navigating carefully when we encounter ice and seeking out a good anchorages which will allow us to explore ashore as well as to get a good nights sleep. We will look for beaches to conduct the first of our marine litter surveys and beach cleans. The wildlife that we are working to protect will be all around us and will be keeping a careful eye out for polar bears. We will use this time period to get to grips with our microplastic sampling techniques and undertake some coastal marine mammal surveys.

29th July - 4th August: Crossing the Barents Sea

We will be looking carefully at the sea and weather conditions to choose a good time to make our crossing of the Barent’s Sea. The total crossing is a distance of nearly 400 nautical miles which we will expect to take 4-5days. During the crossing the crew will be divided in to groups of 2 or 3 called ‘watches’, each supervised by a member of our crew, the watches will take it in turns sailing the yacht across the ocean throughout the day and night. Sailing through the night out of sight of land is one of the most magical and unique experiences of ocean sailing. During our journey we will be taking measurements of ocean debris, microplastics and recording marine mammal sightings data. If the conditions are right then we will stop at the truly remote island of Bjørnøya (Bear Island), approximately 200 nautical miles into the journey. We may even get a chance to go ashore and explore. Then it will be onwards to complete our crossing and see Norway come into sight.

5th - 6th August: Fjord Norway

Following our open ocean crossing we will be greeted by the dramatic fjord land of Northern Norway. Navigating the narrow and sheltered fjords will give us a change of pace as well as a change of scenery on the final leg of our voyage.

7th August: Arrival in Tromsø

We will spend our final day enjoying the scenery of Northern Norway and conducting our final surveys before heading into port in Tromsø. We will moor up for the night in Tromsø and enjoy our final evening onboard with a nice dinner and time to swop stories, highlights and pictures from the expedition.

8th August: Leaving the boat

Breakfast will be provided on board with the final chance to write up field notes, swop stories, photos and contact details before either heading home or arranging your own extra days experiencing the vibrant city of Tromsø.

Please note that the itinerary provided above is provide to illustrate the general areas the we will visit on the expedition. The exact itinerary that we follow will be chosen each day by your skipper in order to make the best use of the weather conditions. Since we operate with just a small number of guests onboard, we can tailor the areas that we explore based on your interests.