Arctic Discovery, 5 days
The Arctic Archipelago Spitsbergen. Norwegian Svalbard. Russian Grumant. The heart of the Arctic. Only a step to the North Pole. You will see giant glaciers, majestic multi-colored mountains, wild arctic animals: reindeers, ringed seals, polar foxes. And if you are lucky enough you can see the Arctic King – polar bear!
Without long snowmobile trips with opportunity to take kids 8 years old +. Short cruise boat tour from Longyearbyen across the Greenland Sea with a stopover nearby the age-old Esmark glacier to the Russian settlement Barentsburg.
Excursions around the Arctic settlement that was founded by Dutchmen who named the town in honour of the archipelago pioneer Willem Barents. The only one operating coal mine in the world where you can get into with a tour. Unique kennel with all the sledge dog breeds of the Arctic. The first brewery on Svalbard and a restaurant with Russian cuisine. Warm, cozy hotels at the European level 3+. It also includes an one-day trip to the former radio station Isfjord-radio which was reconstructed later into a hotel complex.
During the trip you will hear stories about polar explorers and scientists – Willem Barents, Ivan Starostin, Vladimir Rusanov, Umberto Nobile, Fridtjof Nansen and Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld – whose names are bound with the history of Spitsbergen forever.
Program duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Day 1. Wednesday. Arrival. Longyearbyen
Arrival to Longyearbyen – a capital of Spitsbergen - preferably by one of the day flights of SAS or Norwegian Airlines.
Longyearbyen is the administrative centre of Svalbard, the northernmost settlement with more than 1 000 inhabitants (about 2 000 people) and the northernmost airport in the world.
• Transfer from the airport to Russkiy dom [rus. «Russian house»] – the office of our travel company Grumant in Longyearbyen. Check-in at the guesthouse Russkiy Dom (3-4 persons in a room). Lunch.
• Sightseeing excursion around Longyearbyen including a visit of the Svalbard museum.
Day 2. Thursday. Longyearbyen – Russian settlement Barentsburg
After breakfast at around 8:30, a bus will pick you from your Russkiy dom to get to the harbor. Then you will go to Barentsburg by a cruise boat. During the cruise you will see the picturesque Esmark glacier. Nearby the glacier, there will be a warm barbecue lunch served.
Barentsburg is the Russian “capital” of Svalbard, a coal-mining settlement founded in 1921 by the Dutch company. Since 1931 it has been belonging to Trust “Arcticugol”. Nowadays Barentsburg is the Arctic coal-mining settlement with the northernmost Russian mine in the world, being at the same time an attractive tourist place, where history and traditions meet the modern Arctic development. Population of the settlement is almost 500 people including 70 children.
Once you arrive to Barentsburg you proceed with check in at the comfy hotel “Barentsburg”. Then you will have a 30-40 min guided tour around the settlement.
After that you will visit the museum exposition centre ArtArcticGallery, dedicated to the exploration of Svalbard and the Arctic in general. There is an archeological exposition covering the period of pomors and Russian researchers of XVI-XIX centuries. Besides, you will see a unique collection of Willem Barents’ private items from his overwintering on Novaya Zemlya [rus. «The New Land»] (1596) and also several temporary artistic expositions unified by the Arctic.
• Afterwards you will have a dinner with Russian cuisine meals and taste the local beer made by the best Belgian tradition and on the ice water from a glacier in the brewery “Red Bear”.
Overnight accommodation in Barentsburg.
Day 3. Friday. Activities in Barentsburg
• Breakfast at the hotel.
After breakfast you will be offered a guided visit to the husky farm where we have almost all the Arctic sledge dog breeds. At the professional level, at the moment, nobody does anything of the sort. Yet today you can meet a giant malamute, a fluffy samoyed, a different-colour-eyed Siberian husky, an athletic Alaska husky, aboriginal Chukotka sled dogs, a plush snout of the Greenlandic dog and our legendary Aluk, a Taimyr sledge dog the story of which will be definitely told. The kennel tour includes an excursion where you will get acquainted with the history of each breed as well as an opportunity to try yourself as a real musher and to make a dog sled trip along the magnificent canyon or down in the valley in the environs of Barentsburg.
After that you will join us in the hiking tour up to the satellite station located on the mountain Olaf (525 m height) where you will see a picturesque view on Grønfjord and Barentsburg itself. With torches in your hands that help you to light up the way it gets even more romantic. The view from above is incredible: while the sun is being hidden under the horizon, Barentsburg becomes a magical place enlightened only by the streetlamps. The itinerary is about 20 km. We can use ski crampons and snowshoes when needed.
• Dinner in the restaurant “Barentsburg”. Overnight accommodation in Barentsburg.
Day 4. Saturday. Snowmobile trip. Barentsburg - Isfjord Radio - Starostin Cape - Barentsburg
After breakfast you will keep exploring the Arctic.
You will make the way from Barentsburg along the Grønfjord shore and up to the Grønfjord glacier. Then you will drive along Nordenskjold shore to the Greenland sea with opportunity to admire breathtaking views that were also experienced by Willem Barents 500 years ago. At Isfjord Radio, a mythic coast radio and weather station founded in the beginning of the 20th century on the Cape Linné, there will be a nice lunch served for you.
Isfjord Radio is a shore radio and meteorological station on the Cape Linné. A century ago it turned to a connection chain between the archipelago and the mainland, serving as a navigation system and collecting meteorological data. Nowadays, the station is completely automatically-controlled and includes cozy accommodation and restaurant facilities.
Starositn Cape got its name after a legendary pomor trapper, Ivan Starostin, who spent 39 winters on Svalbard never leaving the island during the last 15 years. He lived at the Russekeila river mouth located not so far from Grønfjord. There you will see the reconstruction of Starostin overwintering camp and pomor funeral cross, and will have a tour around a functioning cabin. One more exciting thing about this place is that Starostin Cape and environs around became the shooting point for the Norwegian movie «Operasjon “Arktis”».
The total distance is about 95-110 km (depending on the weather conditions, snow and ice coverage and the group’s skills). Total time frames are 7-8 hours with a stop in a cozy Isfjord radio cafe.
• Dinner at the Barentsburg restaurant
Day 5. Sunday. Barentsburg-Longyearbyen. Departure
• Tour into the operating mine of Barentsburg (at extra cost). It is the one and only mine in the world where you can get into with a tour! First of all, you will get informed of safety and security instructions, then you will get changed putting on special miners’ equipment. The tour guided by a professional miner starts at the wooden gallery with a brief insight into the mining history, then you will go underground through the main entrance and visit two mine galleries.
• Free time. You can visit our souvenir shop and one of the northernmost Norwegian post office, from where you can send postcards from 78 North latitude anywhere to the world
• Transfer to Longyearbyen by a cruise boat.
• Dinner at the KROA restaurant «At the edge of the world»
• Transfer to the Longyearbyen airport for the evening or night flight
Travel Dates in 2020
04.03 - 08.03
18.03 - 22.03
25.03 - 29.03
01.04 - 05.04
08.04 - 12.04
22.04 - 26.04
06.05 - 10.05
17 990 NOK
Extra charge for accommodation in SINGLE rooms in Barentsburg:
1800 NOK/per person
The Price Includes:
Accommodation and meals
Boat cruise Longyearbyen-Barentsburg with a warm barbecue lunch on board and Barentsburg - Longyearbyen
Snowmobile rental (Ski-doo Expedition 600/ Yamaha Ventura/ Yamaha Viking), fuel
Rental of winter overalls, boots, gloves and a helmet
Dog sled trips
Tour into the operating mine
Activities according to the itinerary
Insurance covering research and rescue, evacuation costs in case of emergency
The Price Does Not Include:
Flight to/from Longyearbyen
Optional tours and activities
Alcohol drinks and dishes/drinks beyond the menu
Tips to the guide