Crossing the Barents Sea with Alma from Svalbard to Tromsø!

29,500 NOK

juni 11 - 18. juni 2022

8 days

Welcome on board for a totally unique experience! We invite you to an authentic expedition, as was done in the good old polar-exploration days. With our traditional expedition ship Alma, we will cross the Barents Sea, from Svalbard to mainland Norway! Alma is a slightly smaller replica of the expedition ship, Gjøa, which belonged to the famous Norwegian polar-explorer Amundsen. And now you have the opportunity to join this vessel on a true expedition sail and ocean crossing, from Longyearbyen to Tromsø via Bjørnøya!

On this trip you will have the opportunity to visit Svalbard in a way that few do in today’s modern times, but which used to be the only way to visit the archipelago back in the day. With the sailboat as our means of transport, we’ll get to feel the forces of nature, both on the southwest coast of Spitsbergen, and as we cross the Barents Sea. We will also  get close to nature and wildlife during the whole crossing. We will get wind in our sails, saltwater in our hair and lots of experiences  along the way!

We cover a distance of about 600 nautical miles in total during this adventure. The crossing of the Barents Sea is a fantastic experience, and we sail through the bright arctic night on our way to the destination. First we will get to experience the nature of Svalbard with its iconic mountains, deep fjords and glaciers. We spend a few days down the coast from Isfjorden, and plan to sail past at least one of the fjords southwest of Spitsbergen; Hornsund or Bellsund. Here we may come right up to some of the mighty glaciers that calve in the fjord here. A spectacular sight. As we leave Svalbard for good, we only have the sea ahead of us until we reach Bjørnøya, which is a little less than halfway between Svalbard and our destination on coast of North Troms.

The best part of this trip however is what boat we are sailing! The latest addition to our fleet; Alma, is an almost-new replica of a traditional sailing vessel called a Hardangerjakt. She’s built by the boat builders at Karmøy in Western Norway and was completed in 2012. Alma is sturdy and weighs 45 tons, and is equipped for expeditions to the world’s most remote waters. This is a real outdoors adventure vessel, and a ship where we can really experience some of the feelings that Amundsen and his crew onboard Gjøa had when they were on their 3-year expedition through the Northwest Passage more than a 100 years ago. Alma is a replica of Amundsen’s ship Gjøa, just 20 feet shorter. 

Alma is a very safe and sturdy boat with enough comfort for us modern people. With a lot of space below deck, a cosy galley midship, central water-based heating and comfortable beds with warm down duvets and pillows. Pictures and more information about Alma can be found on her webpage here.

Our skipper and co-skipper onboard will include everyone in the sailing along the way. This is one of the best parts of this type of adventure, and is also totally necessary on a traditional vessel like Alma. At the start of the trip we will divide into watch teams, and if we are enough people onboard, you as a participant will have 4 hours on duty and 8 hours off. We rotate the watch shifts among the watch teams, so that the distribution of shifts is even and everyone gets a chance to get some sleep at night. Nevertheless, it is often the night shifts in the bright arctic summer night with only wind and waves to hear, which create the most beautiful memories!

Whether you are a traditional-boat enthusiast, want new sailing experiences, or want to learn more about sailing and ocean crossings in a big boat, this is an ideal arena for learning and new insight. The sailing comes in addition to the experiences along the way, which makes this a great nature experience!

The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and climate change. In SeilNorge we are committed to taking care of the environment as much as possible and we believe that small boats with few people and little pollution and waste are much less harmful to the environment, climate and local wildlife, than larger boats and cruise ships. We also try to gather garbage at the places we visit, instead of leaving something behind. On Svalbard we follow AECO's guidelines for encounters with wildlife, beach cleaning, cultural heritage sites and for arctic operators. More about AECO's guidelines can be read here.

To be a part of, and experience multiple nights out on open sea was the biggest experience for me. Combining that with ascending mountainpeaks, and the trip to Bear-island was very unique, and something i never would’ve experienced without SailNorway. There were plenty of smaller, beautiful moments underway - especially when we sat down to cook, tell a good story or crack open a bottle of Akevitt!

Pernille Arnet

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