Spitsbergen northwest - with a focus on the fjords and the glaciers

39,500 NOK

juni 23 - 30. juni 2023

8 days

Welcome on board our 8-day voyage up the northwest coast of Spitsbergen; an area very rich in majestic fjords and mountains, glaciers, wildlife, and places that have a lot of history and culture to offer. The main focus of this trip, however, will be the fjords and glaciers, and by bringing with us a knowledgeable glaciologist onboard we can offer exciting and up-to-date knowledge of the glaciers in the past, present and future, and the effect of climate change on the ice.

Along the northwestern coast we will be far outside the areas normally available from Longyearbyen, and you will get to experience something new, so it doesn’t really matter if you have been to Svalbard many times before, or if this is your first time to the “land north of the northern wind”. Of the many fjords we sail through the most known are the Kongsfjord, Krossfjorden, Lilliehöökfjorden, Magdalenafjorden and Smeerenburgfjorden. Maybe we also get to the Liefdefjord on the north side. Of the countless glaciers, the Kongsbreen, Lillehöökbreen and Monacobreen are the largest.

For this particular trip, our ambition is to really dive into the theme of fjords and glaciers. We will do this on several levels. Naturally, we will sail around and go for hikes in the fjords, and walk on several different glaciers with crampons, ice axes and rope. But we will also learn about the formation of the fjords, the movements of the glaciers, the inner life of the ice, and not least the glaciers’s' challenges and future in a time of warming and changing climate. New knowledge about climate change becomes part of this. Few other places on earth is climate change as evident as in Svalbard. A warmer climate affects both the permafrost, glaciers and sea ice, and the whole ecosystem is under pressure.

In order to achieve the most exciting, up-to-date and professionally solid program we have on this expedition with us Ms. Miriam Jackson, who is a passionate communicator of knowledge and one of the few in Norway with a doctorate in glaciology. Miriam was one of the contributors to the latest IPCC report on “the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” and she is also the Operational- and Research Leader for the Svartisen Glacier Laboratory. So, this is a lady with a lot of up-to-date knowledge we get to have with us, and we are looking forward to having her onboard on this trip again.

On this trip there are great opportunities to see whales, seals, a bustling birdlife and maybe even polar bears. On Svalbard there's midnight sun until mid August, so it will be bright 24 hours a day. You will have a great encounter with the beautiful and uninhabited arctic landscape. Along the north west coast there is also good fishing that hopefully will make up some good meals along the way. With the sailboat as our mobile base, we get close to nature and wildlife in a careful way, and we are flexible in terms of weather conditions and where we anchor and go ashore.

It's not just any sailboat we use on this trip, but our 70-feet expedition boat Valiente. She is a very steady and comfortable boat built in steel, made for sailing in arctic waters. The boat is well equipped and has a large outdoor area, a wheelhouse and a 360-degree-view lounge. For pictures and more info about Valiente see link here.

SailNorway will be providing skipper and first mate (co-skipper), and a dedicated Svalbard guide with extensive experience from Svalbard and who will also guide the glacier excursions. Us in the crew will work as guides and polar bear guards when we are ashore in the terrain. Along the way, sailing or on motor, we will include all participants in the sailing. We will generally sail at all times of the day, and everyone onboard will be running watches of 4 hours on and 8 hours off. When we are at anchor we always rotate the shifts with an awake anchor guard and the rest can sleep.

An expedition with us to Svalbard is primarily a major exploration, but also a great opportunity to learn about sailing and navigation, and not least the use of a boat as a starting point for explorations and experiences on ashore.

Are you ready for a summer polar adventure with participants from all over the world in Valiente?

See our short film about SeilNorge recorded on this specific tour here!

The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and climate change. In SailNorway 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 considerably 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 any traces behind. 

Having the lowest possible carbon footprint as possible is important to us. We sail as long as there’s wind, and we target to have a sustainable menu, procurement, and waste management. Although we have to use engine for moving forward when it is completely windless, our trips are among the most sustainable ways to experience Svalbard.

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.

Truly fantastic! I sailed a week on Svalbard, and it was one of the best adventures I've ever partaken in. A real wilderness full of animal life, history and dramatic nature. SailNorway have incredibly great people who are skilled and professional, I both learned and experienced a whole lot. Thank you so much for this adventure!

August Sandberg (31)

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