Across Nordenskiöld Land, Svalbard

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Hiking Level 4 5 days 6-12 participants

Overview

Highlights

  • View Arctic wildlife
  • Glacier hiking, landscapes and exploration
  • Polar Bear Watch training
  • Camping in the Arctic Nature
  • Traditional meals 
  • Historical context

This trip begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Svalbard has a unique landscape and ecosystem unlike anywhere else in the world. Home to polar bears, beluga whales, walrus, arctic fox, and puffins, the environment is a must see in your lifetime. 

The itinerary for this trip involves moderate trekking days with a heavy backpack, carrying your tent, camping gear, group food and personal items. Camping on Svalbard is a rare experience, and the expertise and professionalism of your guides will keep you safe and comfortable. Every night, to be aware of polar bears, you will participate in a group watch, trading shifts to watch the landscape for incoming bears. The guide will always have a gun on them as well as occasionally a dog (guide choice). 

The history is Svalbard holds intersting stories and learning of which your guide and our hosts at the hotels will be able to share with you. Russian history holds strongly here, and you will not only hike and experience the scenery, but also learn and gain knowledge along the way.

This is a truely adventurous trip, and is an experience in your lifetime you won't forget. 

What's included

  • All accommodations
  • All meals
  • Professional nature guide
  • Transport within itinerary

See more of what's included and not here.

Contact

Questions about the trip? Don't hesitate to contact our project leader below, or contact our office here.

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Details

Difficulty

Level 4 out of 5. Please read more about our level of difficulty here. 

What to bring?

Have a look at the full equipment list by clicking "Equipment list" in the menu above. You can leave your luggage in the car or at the accommodation each day, so when hiking, you only have to carry what you need for the day. 

How to get there?

Daily flights to Longyearbyen.

Wondering how to get from the airport to Oslo city? Read more here.

Accommodation

We stay in unique and welcoming accommodations within the area. If you are traveling alone, you will share a same-sex twin room. If you would like a single room, please request this directly for a single, additional payment of 2500 NOK. Tent space will be dictated by group needs and weight of your pack. Two nights are spent in a tent, two in a hotel. If you want a single room we can't guarantee en-suite room each day. 

Baggage

Due to limited space, we ask that you bring one piece of luggage (we recommend a duffel bag, which is easier than a rolling bag to transport on this tour) with your clothes, toiletries and items necessary for when we are not hiking. We require you bring a day pack of at least 50 liters suitable for backpacking, larger packs will be able to pack more comfortably.

Insurance

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

Languages

The guide will speak English.

Changes may occur

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: 6 people; Maximum: 12 people.

Not included in the price:

  • Transportation to the meeting point in Longyearbyen.
  • Drinks and snacks.

Day by Day

day

0

Day before trip begins

Accommodation Basecamp Hotel

Meet your guide at Basecamp Hotel the day before at 4:00 pm to go through the program and tips about packing. If you need to do some last minute shopping, the sports shops are open until 6 pm.

day

1

Our first hike

Accommodation Tent
Meals B, L, D

At 8 am you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to Bjørndalen, Bear Valley, right outside Longyearbyen. This is where our adventure starts! We follow the footsteps of the reindeers into Bjørndahlen and climb up our first mountain, Fuglefjellet, for some 500 meters. From the top of the mountain you can enjoy beautiful view over Isfjorden. We stop for expedition lunch on a perfect spot with a five start view. After the lunch, we continue our hike westward. After a long first day it’s nice to reach the first camp site. Everyone will help setting up the tents and preparing dinner together. Later in the evening, if we still have some energy left, we go down to the old Russian settlement Grumant. Grumant used to be a Russian mining settlements, but after closing the mine the town has turned into a ghost town habited only by birds. There is plenty of time to explore the surroundings since the sun does not set at all during the summer months! Once back at camp it’s time to crawl into our sleeping bags for well-deserved sleep. During the night, we rotate as polar bear guards. One person at a time is awake as a safety precaution to keep eye on any polar bears in the area.

day

2

Coastal trek

Accommodation Tent
Meals B, L, D

There is nothing better than starting the day with breakfast and coffee with a perfect view over arctic fjord. After breakfast, we pack our bags and lace our hiking boots for another adventurous day on foot. We descent to the coastline and reach Coles Bay, another interesting part of the Russian mining history. We stop for lunch in Coles Bay. Enjoy warm lunch and coffee with storytelling from the past mining times. We cross the river in Coles Valley and walk bit further before making camp for the night. After a long day, it is nice to relax by the camp, enjoy dinner and arctic silence in good company. Maybe we can even spot some whales in the fjord. Before heading to the tents, we agree on turns for the polar bear watch.

day

4

Isfjorn Radio

Accommodation Hotel
Meals B, L, D

We enjoy Russian breakfast at the hotel, before we are ready to welcome yet another new adventurous day. Today we start the day with a short boat transport across the fjord to the Russian water station. Here we lace up our hiking boots once more and set on foot to the last kilometres towards Isfjord Radio. Depending on the weather we can pick either the inland route or the coastal route. Upon arrival Isfjord Radio we are welcomed by our hosts with warm drinks. For the toughest explorers, we recommend a swim in the arctic ocean followed by warm sauna! Then it’s time for a Isfjord Radio dinner – a voyage of tastes you will not easily forget. Following few drinks, you might be ready to crawl to the warm and soft beds.

 

day

3

Trek to hotel stay

Accommodation Hotel
Meals B, L, D

After breakfast and packing up our camp, we continue westwards towards the Russian mining town Barentsburg. The distance for today’s hike is bit longer than what we have done on the past days, but the terrain is more flat and easier to hike on. We hike past mountains and valleys and stop for a warm expedition lunch on the way. Rest your feet and take in the nature around you, before it’s time to continue again. During the afternoon, we arrive to Barentsburg, an active Russian mining town. We have walked past several old Russian settlements during the last days, but this is the only still active town with about 300 locals. Then newly renovated hotel is ready to welcome us in. We check into rooms and head for traditional Russian dinner.

day

5

Say goodbye

Meals B
Transportation 3hrs

Enjoy a relaxed morning with late breakfast at Isfjord Radio. Sip coffee with croissant and look out into the vast landscape of Spitsbergen. It’s so easy just sink into the arctic atmosphere. Then it’s time to pack you gear for the last final time and head back to Longyearbyen. We travel with open boat over Isfjord. You can see a different angle to the landscape we have walked for the past few days. We are back in Longyearbyen before lunch time.

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Equipment List

Recommended clothing in the Arctic: Woolen underwear as the base layer, warm wool or flees trousers & sweater on the top, two layers of socks (thin & thick woolen socks), windproof layer on the top (spacious clothing is recommended since air is the best insulation),  gloves, warm hat (wind proof), scarf or flees- tube.

Good to have with you: Indoor shoes or extra woolen socks, indoor leisure wear/ casual clothing for dinner, toilet articles, sunglasses, sunscreen, binoculars, camera, small bag/ backpack for personal equipment during the  trip, rest of your belongings you can leave to Basecamp Hotel.

 

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. Not likely to need them.

T-shirt

 1 or 2 if the weather shows warm temperatures or you prefer to hike in short sleeves.

Swimwear

You might want to go for a swim in the Fjord! Optional to use undergarmets.

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

Backpack for trekking, 50 liter minimum.

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 to go in your duffle for hotel stays.

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 we are in a hotel, camping gear is also provided.  

This trip is not suitable for persons suffering from back pains. Pregnant women cannot participate on any snowmobile, dog sledding or boat safaris arranged by Basecamp Spitsbergen. Basecamp takes no responsibility to any health issues, due to neglecting this advice.

As part of Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen’s efforts to be climate neutral, there will be an additional climate investment charge of NOK 250 per guest.  This is donated in its entirety to Basecamp Foundation’s forestry project in Masai Mara, Kenya. The trees bind CO2 and contribute to reducing the effects of emissions associated with our activities – and your travel. For more information, please visit: www.basecampfoundation.org

Combine your stay with accommodation at the most unique hotel at Longyearbyen – Basecamp Hotel

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