Ski and Sail Tour on Svalbard, Spitsbergen

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Winter, Sailing Level 3 5 days 6-12 participants

Overview

Highlights

  • The tour starts in the town of Longyearbyen (Longyear City). This town is the largest settlement on Svalbard, with approximately 2,500 inhabitants.
  • The wooden sailor SV Linden will bring us to mountains that are unreachable without the use of boats. SV Linden is the largest operative wooden schooner in the whole of Europe! 
  • Midnight sun! The sun is shining at all hours, and the long  days open endless opportunities for beautiful spring ski touring.
  • Traditional, warm, three course dinner served on the boat after a long ski day. 
  • A proper sauna session to relax your muscles on board the SV Linden.

Ski and sail on the Arctic Outpost of Spitsbergen is one of the most exotic adventures a ski touring enthusiast can experience. Spitsbergen is the biggest island on the archipelago of Svalbard, and the islands consist of more than 60% glacial landscape. The weather is harsh during the winter, but when the spring arrives, the isolated Arctic nature becomes an eldorado for ski touring expeditions. Situated in the high north, Svalbard is inbetween mainland Europe and the North Pole. Due to its top northern position, the island has midnight sun between the 20th of April and the 23rd of August. Similar to the well-known areas as Lyngen and Lofoten, the mountains on Svalbard shoot up straight from sea level, creating a dramatic ski touring dream. Most of the mountains have an altitude around 1,000 meters above sea level (MASL), and the ascents are usually between 600 to 800 meters.

On this ski and sail tour, you will be served meals with high-quality ingredients. In the start of the season, SV Linden sails from Denmark, along the Norwegian coast, and visit various places en route. Here, they pick out high-quality commodities from local farmers, producers and others. The chef on board takes great pride in creating both good tasting and surprising meals, and perhaps you will get to experience a meal inspired by the polar explorers' own menu!

See you on Svalbard and Spitsbergen! 

What's included

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

See more of what's included under the "details" tab

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 3 out of 5. Please read more about our level of difficulty here. This trip is for people of minimum 16 years of age,  who love a real adventure. You must have previous experience with ski-touring, ski gear and rescue gear, and some avalanche knowledge. You must know how to use a beacon, shovel and probe. 

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. 

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

Accommodation

We stay in the most unique boat you will find on Svalbard, Spitsbergen, and perhaps Europe. The bunks are spacious, you share them with four others, they have private bathrooms, and a reasonable amount of storage room for equipment etc. 

Accommodation in Longyearbyen is not included, but we are happy to assist you with this. 

Baggage

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 skiing. We require you bring a day pack (hip belt strongly recommended) to use when hiking for food, water, beacon, shovel, probe, cameras and layers.

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. We are happy to assist you in booking a hotel and give you advice on what to do.
  • Drinks and snacks.

Day by Day

day

1

Welcome to Svalbard

Accommodation SV Linden
Meals D
Transportation 15min

You will meet your expedition leader at the Basecamp Hotel in Longyearbyen at 15:00. The hotel is in the middle of Longyearbyen (Longyear City), and you reach it quickly by bus from the airport. You can leave additional luggage at the hotel, and together we go down to SV Linden. In the saloon, we gather for some refreshments and have a safety briefing. It is now time to set sail, and the crew is eager to show you how elegant the SV Linden can move in the wild nature on Svalbard. 

In the evening, the captain will welcome you with dinner, and if the weather allows we will go out for a ski tour underneath the midnight sun. 

day

2-4

Ski and Sail

Accommodation SV Linden
Meals B, L, D
Transportation 4hrs
Duration 8hrs
Climb 500-1000m
Descent 300-500m
Distance 5-10km

The mountains are lined up throughout the Isfjorden (literally, the ice fjord) outside of Longyearbyen. We plan to move towards Kapp Linne in the north, and in this landscape, we have numerous opportunities for beautiful ski touring.

All of the mountains you find in Isfjorden are between 600 and 1,000 meters above sea level. We reach land by the use of dingy boats, and you usually can ski straight from the ocean to the mountains. The guide will adjust the tours to the groups' skill level, and you will generally have many options for skiing. Svalbard has a rich wildlife, and more than 3,000 polar bears live on the different islands around. Because of the presence of the polar bear we must move with caution, and with respect for the wildlife. Glaciers cover more than 60% per cent of Svalbard. Look forward to a mighty sight of the blue and purple glacier fronts!

Which one of the big five (polar bear, walrus, actic fox, polar reindeer and the ivory gull) will we see this time? 

day

3

Adventfjord and departure

Meals B
Transportation 4hrs

On our last day, we will sail home through the Adventfjord. At deck, you can enjoy a healthy and tasty breakfast, before arriving in civilization around 09.00 in the morning. Most probably, there will be some sea ice around us, so be sure to look out for seals, walrus or even polar bears while we sail. 

Most airplane flights scheduled will be reachable leaving Longyearbyen on the last day. Though, if you have never been in Longyearbyen, we highly recommend spending a day or two in this very interesting and unique settlement. Please ask us if you need accommodation or tips on what to do in Longyearbyen.

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Equipment List

Take a good look at this list, and make sure you bring everything you need. We encourage you to use what you have for this trip, and purchase items if you're missing something important on the list below. We have divided the gear list into three categories:

  1. Required: If you do not own this gear, you must acquire it for your trip.
  2. Recommended: Gear we suggest to be comfortable, but it is not imperative.
  3. Optional: Fun, additional luxuries.  

This is a technical ski touring trip, you need to have or borrow a beacon, shovel and probe, and know how to use them. You must have some degree of avalanche experience. 

Layering is extremely important in a variable climate like Norway. This list will guide you through the essentials. Remember the Norwegian saying "There is no bad weather, only bad gear", and prepare appropriately for any weather. You can read about the weather where you're traveling here.

The video below is for SUMMER gear, despite the snow in the background. Welcome to Norway!

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

We always recommend wool in the Norwegian Mountains, but if you already have synthetic layers and don't want to buy new ones, synthetic is okay. 

REQUIRED:

SKIS, BOOTS, POLES

Touring skis, boots and backcountry ski poles. 

HELMET

Safety first! Make sure it fits over your thin, windproof hat and does not move when you shake your head.

SKI CRAMPONS

To assist in steep ascents. Consider bringing an ice ax or whippet as well.

BEACON, SHOVEL, PROBE

Bring extra batteries for your beacon and make sure your beacon currently has above 90% battery.

BASE LAYER - 2 SETS

2 sets of wool long-sleeved top and bottom. Warm, Extra Warm or Expedition thickness is recommended. 

MID-LAYER

A medium thickness wool or fleece top to go over your base layer. 

INSULATED JACKET

A thick, warm, insulated jacket to put on during breaks. We recommend a puffy jacket with down or synthetic. 

SHELL / RAIN JACKET

Gore-Tex or similar is mandatory. Extrememly important in Norwegian climate. The jacket must be waterproof, have a hood, and make sure you don’t get wet even if it rains all day. We recommend jackets with pit zips for ventilation. 

MEDIUM INSULATED JACKET

Use a synthetic or down jacket that fits over your base layer and mid layer, yet underneathe your rain shell. Should be comfortable with full range of movement when all layers are on.

EXTRA TOP LAYER

Bring an extra medium thick layer to add underneathe your medium insulated jacket in case you get cold easily. 

GLOVES & MITTENS

1 thin pair of wool gloves to protect your hands. 1 pair of over mittens for additional warmth with windproofing. 1 extra pair of thick mittens in case yours get wet. 3 in total. 

HATS

2 warm hats. 1 thick, 1 thin. Make sure at least one has a windproof lining. 1 sun hat to protect your face.

HIKING SOCKS

4 pairs, we recommend wool, above the ankle or higher. 2 thin. 2 thick. We recommend a 5th pair that are extra thick for evenings. 

BOOTS

Bring lightweight boots.

SKI BACKPACK

Ski pack for emergency gear and daily needs: food, water, beacon, shovel, probe, layers, first aid kit, etc... 40-50 liters recommended. 

SUNGLASSES 

UV rated, we recommend a strap to keep them in place and so they don't get lost. Bring dark lenses with plastic frames, not metal. 

SUNSCREEN / CHAPSTICK

Make sure the Chapstick has UV rated sunscreen in it. We also suggest cold cream such as Dermatone to help protect your skin. 

WATER BOTTLES

Insulated water bottle, 2 liter capacity. Do not bring a camelback bladder, this will freeze in cold temperatures. 

TOILETRIES

Personal basics: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, etc...

PERSONAL MEDICATIONS

Make sure you bring any personal meds you need on your trip, and ensure the Hvitserk office is updated on your allergies or needs. 

SHELL PANTS

Waterproof shell pants. Gortex is best. We recommend heavier duty pants to keep you warm with zips for ventilation. 

HEADLAMP

Make sure you bring extra batteries as they die faster in the cold. 

INDOOR SHOES

It is customary to leave wet shoes at the door and change into indoor slippers.

 

RECOMMENDED:

WOOL UNDERWEAR

We highly recommend bringing wool underwear and bra. No cotton.

COMPRESSION SACKS FOR GEAR

Recommended for storing your gear, keeping it dry, and compressing your down jackets to create more space. 

BALACLAVA AND BUFF

A wool layer to protect your neck and face. 

THERMOS

We recommend a thermos for hot drinks to have with you all day. We suggest a large, 1 liter thermos.

FIRST AID KIT

If you have certain hiking aids specific to you: i.e. blister care or ibuprofen, etc...

CAMERA

Be prepared for the cold. Insulating your camera will keep it working for the entire trip. We suggest bringing an extra battery pack. 

CASUAL CLOTHES

Cozy clothes to wear when we are not participating in activities and eating dinner.

SITTING MAT

Strongly recommended to insulate you from the ground.

SWIMMING SUIT OR SHORTS AND BRA

For sitting ine saunas. 

 

OPTIONAL:

ANTIBAC

If you need it for the bathroom or lunch. 

WET WIPE OR TOILET PAPER

If you have a bathroom emergency while hiking. We use "pack it in pack it out" ethics, so you will need to carry out your used items and throw them away later.

EAR PLUGS

If youre a light sleeper.

JOURNAL AND PEN

 In order to take notes and write about the trip.

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.

HEADSET

If you would like to listen to music or an audio book while skiing.

Bed linens and towels are included all nights. 

Dates & booking

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We have no planned departures at the moment, but we can tailor make it for you Send a request

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