Sail to Svalbard
This is the really big one, a true bucket list experience for any adventurer who has dreamt of crossing the ocean to the frozen kingdom of the ice bear. Departing from Tromso in northern Norway, we will first make our way through the stunning fjords before picking a weather window to set out across the Barent's sea ocean to Longyearbyen in Svalbard. From there we will spend the rest of the expedition exploring the elemental arctic landscape of ice and rock, keeping our eyes peeled for whales, walruses and polar bears.
This expedition involves an exciting offshore passage deep into arctic waters. The journey to 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, but arriving in the spectacular Svalbard you will know that you have made a sailing passage to be proud of and have some great stories to tell. Although you don't need any sailing experience to participate in this expedition you do need a sense of adventure and the desire to experience this remote location. Once we arrive in the archipelago of Svalbard, we will check in in the main town of Longyearbyen before using Narwhal as our mobile base to explore the wonders of the islands an their wildlife.
Dates: 4th June - 20th June
Departure port: Tromso, Norway
Destination: Lonyearbyen, Svalbard
Total distance: 700nm
Tromso, Norway to Longyearbyen, Svalbard
4th - 20th June 2019
4th June: Joining the expedition
You will join the expedition in the lively Norwegian city of Tromso. Located well above the arctic circle, Tromso is easily accessed by air with transfers through major Norwegian cities. 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 take some time to explore Tromso. Dinner will be provided onboard on the first evening, a great opportunity to get to know your fellow crew mates.
5th June: Setting sail
Following initial safety briefings we will be heading out of port and setting sail for the first time. The sheltered fjords in this area provided the perfect opportunity to get used to the boat. The skipper will take you through everything that you need to know about how sailing and life work onboard an expedition yacht. There will also be plenty of time relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery of northern Norway.
6th June - 12th June: 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 4-5 days. 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. On this expedition it will be even more special as we will be sailing under the magical midnight sun. During our journey we can expect to be accompanied by sea birds as they wander the ocean. If we are lucky we may even find ourselves encountering whales. If the conditions are right then we will stop at the truly remote island of Bjornoya (Bear Island), approximately 250 nautical miles into the journey. If conditions are right we may even get a chance to go ashore and explore. Then it will be onwards to complete our crossing and see Svalbard come into sight.
13th-14th June: Exploring southern Svalbard
This will be our first real taste of the unique environment of Svalbard and a chance to slow down the pace and explore our surroundings. 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 set our first footsteps on Svalbard as well as to get a good nights sleep. We can expect to be surrounded by wildlife both in the air and in the ocean and we will be keeping a careful eye out for polar bears.
15th - 19th June: Exploring Svalbard further
We will spend the rest of the expedition using the the weather conditions to best advantage to seek out the highlights that Svalbard has to offer. Constantly on the look our for whales and walrus, we will also have the opportunity to visit important landmarks to Svalbard’s unique history.
19th June: Arrival in Longyearbyen
This will be you final opportunity to fill your memory cards with the spectacular Svalbard scenery as we travel up Isfjorden to the main town of Longyearbyen. We will moor up for the night in Longyearbyen and enjoy our final evening onboard with a nice dinner and time to swop stories, highlights and pictures from the expedition.
20th June: Leaving the boat.
Breakfast will be provided on board with the final chance to swop stories, photos and contact details before either heading home or arranging your own extra days experiencing high arctic life in Longyearbyen.
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.