Our adventures

Spitsbergen, Svalbard Arctic Outpost Adventure Week Tour

Hiking on glaciers, kayaking beside glacier walls, no cell phone coverage, all in the land of the polar bears and midnight sun

You can reach the Arctic outpost of Spitsbergen from both Oslo or Tromsø. Situated between the Norwegian mainland and the north pole, this Arctic archipelago is one of the most spectacular places in the world. Nature up here speaks for itself, unless you have been here before, you have not seen anything like it. Spitsbergen is the largest island in the archipelago of Svalbard. Rocky mountain peaks surround the entire coastline, and close to 70% of the landscape is covered by glaciers. It is home to nearly 3,000 polar bears, and here in the middle of the Arctic, you will find some of the most beautiful and spectacular accommodations you have ever visited or stayed in.

During the adventure week in Spitsbergen, you will stay in the worlds northernmost commercial cabin, the Nordenskiöld Mountain Lodge. This unique lodge is situated in one of the side fjords of Isfjorden, in Billefjorden. The lodge is next to the shoreline in Adolfbukta, one of the inner bays in Billefjorden, right next to the mighty glacier of Nordenskiöld. The Nordenskiöld glacier is part of the larger glacial system stretching all the way to the north coast of Spitsbergen, making the northern parts of the high Arctic Archipelago accessible from the Nordenskiöld Lodge. This is as far as you can go on motorized vehicles – from here on it’s either skis or dog sledge if you want to explore further.  With no running water or electricity, Nordenskiöld Mountain Lodge is a true expedition lodge in the middle of the Arctic. We use wood to heat the cabin, and get our drinking water from the melting glacier outside. There are 5 bedrooms with fantastic Arctic views, 10 comfortable beds, an indoor toilet, and a traditional wood sauna.

During the days on Nordenskiöld, you will hike some of the most spectacular glaciated landscape there is. With our kayaks, we will explore the land around us, safely guarded by our highly qualified guides. This is, after all, the land of the polar bear, maybe we will get to spot a glimpse of the Arctic king? 

You may join this trip between the 1st of July and 30th of September. Please let us know if you have any questions. You can contact us at [email protected] 

DIFFICULTY           

Level 2 out of 5. Please read more about our level of difficulty here. This trip is for people of minimum 15 years of age,  who love a real adventure. No previous skills from the activities needed.

WHAT TO BRING?

Have a look at the full equipment list by clicking "Equipment list" in the menu above. 

HOW TO GET THERE

Daily flights (3-4 hours) from Oslo to Longyear City. Please send us an email at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

ACCOMMODATION

We stay at what we think are the most unique and welcoming accommodation in the whole of Arctic. Nordenskiöld lodge has 5 big bedrooms with a fantastic Arctic view. In these rooms, you will find 11 comfortable beds. Additional to this you will also find an indoor toilet. In a separate house, you will also find a traditional Finnish sauna heated every day for your comfort.

Accommodation in Longyearbyen is not included on day 1 and 6 in the program.

INSURANCE 

You need a travel and health insurance, that also includes transportation back to your country. Remember to bring your insurance card/information. 

LANGUAGES         

The guide speaks English.

CHANGES MAY OCCUR

The weather on Spitsbergen might necessitate that our boat departure from Longyearbyen is postponed or cancelled. Guides and the staff present are the ones responsible for taking this decision, and we reserve the right to make changes to the program, and the price. The day to day program is indicative, and changes may occur. Please have a look at our terms and conditions

NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS              

Minimum: 4 people; Maximum: 12 people.

Included

The price includes activities, equipment, accommodation outside of Longyearbyen, and meals according to the program. 

not INCLUDED

Flights, airport shuttle, drinks with meals and accommodation in Longyearbyen.

other information

This is a trip that we organize in collaboration with our partner Basecamp Spitsbergen. 

 

Day 1: to the lodge of nordenskiöld by boat

The day starts early at 08 am when the guide picks you up at your hotel in the Arctic Outpost Longyearbyen in Svalbard. You will shortly go through the week’s plan and route, before heading to the harbor and the boat to take you to Billefjorden and Nordenskiold Lodge. There is plenty of wildlife around the fjords at this time of the year, so we have good chances to see Arctic birds, walruses, belugas or even the polar bear. Once at Nordenskiöld Lodge we will enjoy outdoor lunch and get familiar with the cabin and the surroundings. After lunch, it is time to head out to the arctic nature and explore the beauty around us. Before the evening we will return to the cabin, prepare a delicious dinner and warm up a sauna.

Accommodation Mountain lodge Ascent 300m Distance 1 - 5km Meals BLD Descent 300meters Time 1-2 hours trekking  Transport 2 hours

DAY 2: kayaking among glaciers

We start the day with a good breakfast, and if the weather is good, we can spend the morning to learn how to paddle a kayak. We have steady and reliable double kayaks at Basecamp Nordenskiöld so we all can paddle in pairs. Kayaking is a perfect way to get around in the Arctic and the very traditional way to explore the Arctic shorelines.  After the learning period, we will set out for a day trip to Brucebyen. We will paddle across the great glacier front with icebergs and Arctic wildlife. On the other side of the fjord lies Brucebyen. The small settlement consists of huts that were built 100 years ago by Scottish geologists. The guide will tell you fascinating stories from history. After a long day on the cold arctic sea, it is wonderful to relax in the sauna and afterward enjoy a delicious dinner. Maybe you have brought some ice from the glacier for tonight's drink?

Accommodation Mountain lodge Ascent 0 m Distance 15km Meals BLD Descent 0 m Time 4-5 hrs kayaking

DAY 3: Exploring the Arctic

Today we will head out to the majestic Nordenskiöld Glacier. After breakfast, we go through the basic guidelines for glacier walking, climbing, and safety issues. Then we will explore the glacier crevasses just 300 meters away from the cabin. We will spend the day on the glacier walking up and down in the glacier cracks and enjoying the shining glacier around us. We will eat expedition lunch on the way. In the evening we make a bonfire and enjoy the view over the fjord.

Ascent 400m Distance 10km Meals BLD Descent 400m Time 4-5 hrs hiking

DAY 4: comfort for the soul

If you look closely, it is things growing here in the Arctic! We will explore the beautiful Arctic land, glacier moraines and small flowers surviving in the harsh environment. We will reach close to one of the mountain peaks nearby, and enjoy expedition lunch on the way. The quietness, peace, magnificent landscape, and the beauty of it all will give you a feeling of peace you have never experienced before. When we get back to the lodge, we will have a nice dinner, and maybe we should try to jump into the water? Probably you will not have the chance to take a bath this close to the north pole ever again!

Ascent 400m Distance 10km Meals BLD Descent 400m Time 4-5 hrs hiking Transport 2,5 hrs

Day 5: back to civilization 

After breakfast, we have a chance for our last hike. We can have one last photo walk to the glacier front or hike to the moraine to take the last pictures of the wildlife and the shiny glacier. We will enjoy lunch at the cabin before returning to civilization. We make a stop in Pyramiden on the way back to Longyearbyen and get to see the Russian settlement up close. The settlement was closed down in 1998, but have opened again for visitors. It is a fascinating place to visit. We return to Longyearbyen by boat and arrive during the afternoon or early evening.

Accommodation Not Included Meals BL Transport 15 min Transport 2-3 hrs

The weather in Spitsbergen in this period are most often dry, but seldom warmer than 10 Celsius plus. You can read about weather where youre traveling here.

Take a good look at this list, and make sure you bring with you everything you need. Norway is expensive, so its best to buy before you travel. Layering is extremely important in a variable climate like Norway. This list will guide you through the essentials, note what is marked Mandatory and Optional. Remember the Norwegian saying "There is no bad weather, only bad gear", and prepare appropriately for any weather. Make sure you check the weather report before you travel to see which optional gear is necessary for your trip.

Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any questions.

Underwear

Wool socks, underwear and bra. Synthetic option as well. No cotton.

Base Layer

Wool long underwear top and bottom. Synthetic option as well. 

Fleecejacket

Bring a good Mid Layer. Fleece or wool. 

Shell \ Rain jacket- Mandatory.

Gore-Tex or similar is mandatory. The jackets must be waterproof, have a hood, and make sure you don’t get wet even if it rains all day. Try to have good ventilation under the arms. 

Shell pants

Gore-Tex or similar. Optional. You can hike with wet legs and be okay, but if the forecast is cold and rainy, they are recommended. 

Hiking pants

  Pants you can hike in all day that fit over your long underwear and under rain pants. Zip off into shorts are recommended.

Insulated jacket- Mandatory.

Down or synthetic. To put on at the mountain tops, and in the evening. Make sure it fits under your rain jacket. 

Gloves/mittens 

 A thin pair of gloves to block the wind and a thicker pair of mittens to go over is best. 

Socks

Wool is the best, bring 2-4 pairs, fresh socks help reduce foot problems. 

Cap/hat

1 warm hat, 1 sun hat.

Head over/skarf

  Something to keep your neck warm, i.e. a buff.

Shorts

  Optional, if the weather report shows high temperatures.

T-shirt

 1 or 2 if the weather shows warm temperatures. 

Swimwear

If we are lucky with the weather you might want to go for a swim in the Fjord.

Small towel 

If you want to go for a swim.

Hiking shoes-Mandatory

Bring good hiking shoes or boots you have used before that are made for hiking. Waterproof boots if weather looks rainy, or trail runner with a gortex sock.

Rucksack-Mandatory

Daypack for a warm layers, food, water, and snacks. 20-35 Liters.

Sunglasses-Mandatory

 1 pair, UV rated.

Water bottle/camelbak

  2 liter capacity. 

Thermos

Optional. A small one for hot drinks if the weather is cold. 

Sunscreen and Lip Chap

Sunscreen and lip chap with sunscreen in it. 

Insect repellent

  Optional depending on season. Ask your guide.

Toiletries

  Basics: shampoo, conditioner, body soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, personal medications and individual needs.

First aid kit

What you usually bring hiking: personal meds, blister kit, ibuprofen.

Camera

Remember a lot of free space on your memory card. 

Toilet paper

Optional for hikes. Keep in mind "pack it in pack it out mentality". You cannot leave used toilet paper on our hikes. 

Antibac

 Optional.  If you need it for the bathroom or lunch. 

Headlamp

Optional. Remember new batteries. 

Ear plugs

  Optional for sleeping.

Hiking poles

 Optional but strongly recommended for steep up and down.

Snacks

Chocolate, nuts or energy bars if there is something particular you enjoy eating. You will have the opportunity to buy snacks on your trip.

Bed linens and towels are included all nights. All the equipment you need for the glacier hike on day three is also included, also hiking boots that are compatible with crampons. 

Underwear

Preferably synthetic or wool.

Base Layer

Wool or synthetic, we recommend wool.

Fleece jacket

Bring a good Mid Layer.

Shell pants

Gore-Tex or similar. Pants with ventilation.

Hiking pants

 

Insulated jacket

Down or synthetic. To put on at the mountain tops, and in the evening.

Gloves/mittens

 

Socks

Wool is the best, bring several pairs, new or clean socks help reduce gall.

Cap/hat

Bring a warm cap, and something to protect you from the sun is also smart.

Head over/scarf

 

Shorts

 Some days might be hot, and let's go for a swim in case of warm weather!

T-shirt

 Bring two or three

Hiking shoes

Bring good hiking shoes that you have used before.

Backpack / Rucksack

40-50L (it should be a good one, we carry our backpack each day)

Sunglasses

 

Sunscreen

And sunblock for your lips.

Toiletries

 

Camera

 Remember a lot of free space on your memory card.

A smile

Lightweight, and good for the group dynamics

Earplugs

We stay in double rooms at some of the cabins

Backpack or small bag

 30L is more than enough. Preferably water resistant.

Indoor clothing

casual clothing for dinner and even wear

Swimsuit / Shorts

For sauna and Arctic bathing!

Indoor shoes

It is customary to take off your shoes indoors and wear slippers instead