Little Russia in Barentsburg, 3 days
Welcome to Russia! Yes, that is a surprise.
Could you ever expect? When you are on Svalbard, Russia is just next door! And you don’t even need to get a visa.
An extraordinary journey to Barentsburg, the second-biggest settlement on the archipelago, that is a true enthusiast’s paradise.
You will follow the steps of the Russian hunters from the North whose golden age on Svalbard was in the XVIII century. You will not only see but even touch good and old traditions on the unique handi workshops inspired by 800-year-old customs. You will taste Northern cuisine specialties in the interiors in the style of legendary icebreakers. You will have a chance to visit the northernmost operating Russian coal mine in the world. You will get to a former radio and weather station built with an open view of the Greenland sea.
You will feel the hospitality of the warm Russian hearts!
On Svalbard, weather conditions are changing quickly so that is why for the safety and comfort of our guests, the tour program might be changed regarding the itineraries and destinations.
Requirements: fairly good physical form. The trip is not recommended for persons suffering from back pains.
Program duration: 3 days / 2 night
Norwegian- and English-speaking guides will accompany you the whole tour from start to finish.
Groups with no more than 10 persons each.
Day 1. Friday. Longyearbyen-Barentsburg
- 08:30 Pick up at your hotel in Longyearbyen to our expedition center "Russkiy Dom".
Briefing about the tour program, safety rules and trying on the equipment.
- 10:00 Transfer to the harbour. Boat trip by open RIB boats PolarCirkel from Longyearbyen to Barentsburg.
PolarCirkel is an 8-meter-long boat of high endurance and created by Norwegian shipbuilders specifically for marine passages in the Arctic. The boats are equipped with a large power engine Yamaha (200 HP), echo sounders, emergency beacons and marine radio communication. Therefore, we provide special Arctic rescue suits by Norwegian brand Hansen. It will keep you warm, protect from the wind and give a boost of confidence during the boat trips.
- Arrival in Barentsburg and check-in in the hotel Barentsburg.
- Guided tour around the settlement with a visit to the husky kennel.
Barentsburg is the Russian «capital» of Svalbard. It is a town of Arctic stories written by Dutch explorers, pomors, Norwegian trappers, American and German merchants, adventurers, Soviet builders of communism and Russian miners. Barentsburg was founded in 1921 by the Dutch as a coal-mining settlement. Since 1931 it has been under the State Trust «Arcticugol» administration. The population is approximately 500 people.
Our kennel in Barentsburg is unique because we have all the Arctic sled dog breeds. 80 dog booths on the Grønfjorden shore against the background of the magnificent Esmark glacier (Esmarkbreen). You will see sled dogs' rigid faces that right after the first sniffing turn to cheerful ones with bright little stars in their tender eyes. The kennel is a place where images of the pole exploring by Amundsen and Peary take on life right in front of your eyes. Both poles were explored by people with the help of sled dogs. Looking at these animals you can feel a sort of primaeval strength, goal-oriented power and natural authenticity.
-After the kennel tour, you can try yourself as a real musher and go for the dog sledding on wheels along the shore of Grønfjorden to see ones of the most breathtaking views around. (5-7 km, at extra cost).
- 18:00-19:00 Dinner in the bar, restaurant and brewery Red Bear with the tasting of a locally made beer brewed on the glacier lake water and the English malt. The northern cuisine specialities are served.
- It's never dark on Svalbard in summer, so optionally, after the dinner, it's possible to take a short walking tour around Barentsburg to get some fresh air and feel of the midnight sun before going asleep.
- Overnight in the hotel Barentsburg.
Day 2. Saturday.
Trip by open RIB boats along picturesque shores of Isfjorden (cape Festningen, cape Starostin, Isfjord Radio station)
- Breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
- Transfer to the harbour. Boat trip by open RIB boats PolarCirkel.
Depending on weather conditions, the first stop-over is possible at the cape Festningen where you will see a lighthouse navigating close-going ships and to have a walking tour passing by the cape Starostin to reach the coast of Russekeila bay (approximately 6 km).
Cape Starostin 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 Grønfjorden. There you will see the reconstruction of Starostin overwintering camp and pomor funeral cross and will get inside a functioning cabin. One more interesting thing about this place is that Starostin Cape and environs around became the shooting point for the Norwegian movie «Operasjon "Arktis"».
- Walking tour in the surroundings and the Isfjord Radio station visit.
Isfjord Radio is a former shore radio and weather station on the cape Linné. A century ago it turned into a connection chain between the archipelago and the mainland, serving as a navigation system and collecting weather data. Nowadays, the station is completely automatically controlled and includes nice accommodation and restaurant facilities.
- Arrival in Barentsburg.
- 18:00-19:00 A-la-carte dinner in one of the restaurants in Barentsburg (of your choice and at extra cost).
- After the dinner, you will go for a unique workshop in our Handicraft center dedicated to the 800-year-old tradition of pomors where you'll feel the historic touch of Russian hunters from the North.
- Overnight in the hotel "Barentsburg".
Day 3. Sunday
Barentsburg - Longyearbyen
- Breakfast at the restaurant.
- This day there is an option to visit the mine of Barentsburg (at extra cost).
It is the only operating coal mine in the world where you can get into with a tour. You can see a war between man and nature, mechanisms of getting into the ground depth and of mine reinforcement and collapse protection. You can learn how the coal is being produced and transported onto the surface. You can hear sounds of the underground mine core and feel a breath of the wind going up to the surface from the half-kilometre depth.
- Join us on a real adventure! – go for the kayaking trip inGrønfjorden. This will give you a chance to dip into the incredible ecosystem and to see it from an absolutely different angle. During the stop-over, you will meet places full of history going back to hundreds of years ago. Experienced guides will get you ready with the safety and technic rules. For the safety and comfort in the water, we use special dry suits for the sea kayaking of the Canadian brand Level Six as well as all the necessary equipment.
- Before the departure, you can visit a souvenir shop and post office of Barentsburg.
- Lunch at the restaurant.
- Boat trip by RIB boats PolarCirkel to Longyearbyen
Travel Dates in 2020
12.06 - 14.06
19.06 - 21.06
26.06 - 28.06
03.07 - 05.07
10.07 - 12.07
17.07 - 19.07
24.07 - 26.07
31.07 - 02.08
07.08 - 09.08
14.08 - 16.08
21.08 - 23.08
28.08 - 30.08
04.09 - 06.09
11.09 - 13.09
... NOK/ pers
Extra charge for SINGLE accommodation
The Price Includes:
Norwegian and English-speaking guides
- bus transfers from/to the place of your accommodation in Longyearbyen on Day 1 and Day 3
- boat trips from Longyearbyen to/from Barentsburg
- 2 nights in the hotel Barentsburg
- lunches (2 complex lunches at the restaurants and 1 field lunch)
- dinner on Day 1
- beer tasting on Day 1
- Guided tour around Barentsburg
- Visit to the husky kennel in Barentsburg
- Kayaking trip in Grønfjorden
- Daily boat trip to Isfjord Radio Station
- Traditional Russian workshop in the handicraft center
Boat rent (RIB Polarcirkel), fuel
Rent of survival suite Helly Hansen and safety equipment incl. portable radio set, satellite phone, GPS-navigator, warning beacon, etc.
Insurance covering search and rescue, evacuation costs in case of emergency
The Price Does Not Include:
Flight to/from Longyearbyen
Optional short trips and offers:
- dog sledding on wheels
... NOK/per person
- tour to the mine
... NOK/per person
- other additional activities
- dinner a-la-carte on Day 2
- Alcohol drinks and dishes/drinks beyond the menu
Individual travel insurance policy
Tips to the guide