Arctic Spirit, 8 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!
Short cruise boat tour from Longyearbyen across the Greenland Sea with a stopover nearby the age-old Esmark glacier to the Russian settlement Barentsburg.
Program duration: 8 days / 7 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. Lunch, brief information about the tour program, short safety training, snowmobile driving instructions and getting the special outfit.
• 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 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.
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
Early morning, before the breakfast, as one of the optional activities, you can go for a 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.
Breakfast at the hotel.
11:00 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.
• Snowmobile trip along the surroundings of Barentsburg (around 60-70 km).
• Visit to 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.
Dinner in the restaurant “Barentsburg”. Overnight accommodation in Barentsburg.
Day 4. Saturday. Snowmobile trip. Barentsburg - Isfjord Radio - Starostin Cape - Grøndalen - Todalen - Colesdalen - Longyearbyen
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 160 km (depending on the weather conditions, snow and ice coverage and the group’s skills). Total time frames are from 8 to 10 hours with a stop in a cozy Isfjord radio cafe.
• Trip back to Longyearbyen. Accommodation in the guesthouse Russkiy Dom.
• Dinner at the KROA restaurant «At the edge of the world»
Day 5. Longyearbyen - Sassendalen - Lomonosovfonna - Nordenskiøld Glacier – Petuniabukta - Pyramiden
• Snowmobile trip to Pyramiden. The distance is about 160 km, time frames are 5-6 hours.
Pyramiden. The ambiance of this town frozen in time creates an extraordinary effect on any experienced explorer. It was founded by Swedish miners in the early 20th century and then sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. There are numerous speculations around its value during the Cold War. But one thing is certain: it was not only the Arctic out-post, but also the Arctic Paradise for those who lived and worked here in the Communist spirit. The town was a showcase for the West exhibiting to the world the excellence of communism. The atmosphere is still here! In the late 1990s, Pyramiden was closed and since then, has been considered abandoned. All the buildings are in a good state and the settlement seems inhabited, but the silence reigns over Pyramiden, there is no living soul around…
• Arrival to Pyramiden, accommodation in the hotel Pyramida.
• Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Day 6. Pyramiden
• Breakfast. Sightseeing excursion around the settlement and its environs.
In the surroundings lying nearby, there are big chances to see almost all inhabitants of the Svalbard fauna: polar foxes, reindeers, ringed and bearded seals and the king of the Arctic snow wides - the polar bear. Pyramiden landscapes are so diversified and breathtaking - pyramidal peaky mountains, glaciers and canyons. Depending on the weather conditions, we will choose a proper itinerary: Skansbukta or ice waterfall of Ebbadalen.
• Lunch box during the tour or lunch at the hotel restaurant depending on the chosen itinerary.
Distance of the day tour is about 120 km.
• Dinner at the hotel restaurant. Visiting Pyramiden post office which is located almost on 79 N.
Day 7. Pyramiden - Nordenskiøld Glacier - Lomonosovfonna - East Coast - Sassendalen - Longyearbyen.
• Breakfast. Trip to Longyearbyen. Distance is about 190 km, time frames are 8 hours.
• Lunch box on the itinerary.
• Arrival in Longyearbyen, accommodation in the guesthouse Russkiy Dom (3- or 4-person rooms).
• Dinner at the restaurant STATIONEN.
Day 8. Sunday. Longyearbyen
• Transfer to the Longyearbyen airport for the scheduled flight
Travel Dates in 2019
06.03 - 13.03
13.03 - 20.03
20.03 - 27.03
27.03 - 03.04
10.04 - 17.04
17.04 - 24.04
24.04 - 01.05
01.05 - 08.05
Driver on the snowscooter
28 490 NOK
Passenger on the snowscooter
20 790 NOK
Extra charge for accommodation in SINGLE rooms in Barentsburg and Pyramiden:
The Price Includes:
Accommodation and meals
Boat cruise Longyearbyen-Barentsburg
Snowmobile rental (Ski-doo Expedition 600/ Yamaha Ventura/ Yamaha Viking), fuel
Rental of winter overalls, boots, gloves and a helmet
Dog sled trips
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