When finally the airplane lands to Longyearbyen, we feel to be arrived to a destination unique, crucial, filled with contrasts. To one the world’s most spectacular wilderness and wildlife areas of the world : the Svalbard archipelago. It is the second most northern and inhabited land of the world (the first is the Canadian island of Ellesmere) and it set up right in the middle of the Arctic Sea, from 74° and 81° latitude north, some 1500 km inside the Arctic Circle and very closed to the northern pole of the planet.
Nature determines everything here in the north, and one is only found to align itself with it. We’ve chosen to document this life style and to live this extreme adventure by navigating with an intimate and small sailboat, built specifically for Arctic waters. A small boat offers an entirely different, intimate and tailor made experience than the one getting on a larger, more conventional cruise ship and obviously demands more efforts and cooperative life-style.
The most precious commodity on any wildlife expedition is time. Time when it matters, and in this land of twenty four hour daylight there is time in abundance : in high summer, the sun shines as brightly at midnight as it does at midday. When the sea is calm and we are on a right boat, the peace is around us.
Climate warming has recently caused the ice to shrink dramatically and in the main Arctic habitats the icepacks are absent for a longer time than before. We will look for the more iconic creatures of the Arctic : polar bears, Arctic foxes, seals, colonies of walruses, and we’ll sail along with a wide range of marine birds. Ice and weather conditions allowing, we will arrive until the remotest islands of northern territory, the Nord-Austlandet. Our exact itinerary will depend on these factors and on the wildlife we will encounter.
ins and outs
Svalbard is north of the Arctic Circe, the sun shines for 24 hours a day from about April 20 to August 23, every year. You will really have plenty of time to photograph wildlife. Expect to be in a small sailing boat, in company of only 4 people plus the skipper and to live an adventure unique in life. We have planned a detailed route, considering every possi-ble shelter along the coast in the case of bad sea-conditions, but the exact route and activities will be indeed determined by weather, ice conditions and wildlife sightings.
Classic trip. 16 days, 17 nights :
13 days’ cruise, boat services, including meals and non-alcoholic beverage;
private use of the boat with skilled skipper;
four night’s accommodation in hotel : bed & breakfast (sharing double room);
shared transfers return-trip airport of Longyearbyen;
shared transfers return-trip hotel / sailor boat;
local rescue insurance and harbour fees;
photographic assistance of Franco Banfi.
The group size is limited to max 5 people plus the skipper.
Is this trip right for you ?
Sailing in the Svalbard region requires that the crew, skipper and boat are well prepared. It is required good health, patience, calm, strong determi-nation, discipline, as weather can change very fast in high-Arctic without warning. This trip does not suit for people used to follow strict schedule and addicted to comfort, as flexibility is the key to a successful expe-dition in extreme regions. Our aim is to visit prime locations, and we strive to offer up-close encounters with wildlife, but nothing can be taken as guarantee.