Hunt For Arctic Adventure
High Arctic, Svalbard, Spitsbergen island... Located midway between continental Norway and North Pole, Svalbard is a dream of explorers. The nature is wild and grandiose; everything is in its superlative!
You will live once-in-a-lifetime adventure with a fjord boat safari along the gigantic glaciers that descend from the dramatic summits into the Greenland sea, trekking across valleys and canyons and looking for a passage between majestic multi-colored mountains. Animals, not humans, inhabit this land: wild reindeer grazing in spectacular valleys, seals and walruses basking on the ice ﬂoes, and this whole world of wilderness is reigned by the Polar Bear, the king of the Arctic.
This trip is an intense experience for true adventurers: in 8 days, you travel along the island and visit all stunning bays and fjords of Spitsbergen, inaccessible otherwise than by open boat Polarcirkel. You follow the traces of the famous Arctic explorers and hunters, stay in the ghost settlement, and ﬁnally relax in comfort.
Program duration: 8 days / 7 nights
Requirements: fairly good physical form. The trip is not recommended for persons suffering from back pains.
Day 1. Arrival. Sea trip Longyearbyen – Barentsburg
Arrive to Longyearbyen – capital of Spitsbergen, preferably by one of the day or evening flights of SAS or Norwegian Airlines. Transfer from the airport to Longyearbyen for brieﬁng on the itinerary, equipment and outfit details in the Arctic Travel Centre. We dress up to waterproof suits from Helly Hansen, pack up the rest of the things and ….. start our Arctic journey leaving for the harbor. There we depart aboard open boat Polarcirkel. This rugged “go anywhere” kind of boat will become a good and safe friend in most of our fjord safari trips.
Depending on the guests' time of arrival, a departure from Longyearbyen to Barentsburg is effected by two groups. In the first group, there are those who arrive by the daytime flight SAS, evening flight Norwegian Airlines or on the day before and they depart from Longyearbyen at 10 pm. We set out for a boat safari tour towards Barentsburg, a little piece of Russia on Svalbard, located on the east side of Grønfjord. The route will go along picturesque Isfjord famous for plenty of wildlife at this time of the year. We have good chances to watch impressive arctic birds colonies, walruses, belugas or even the polar bear.
The same way, at 1:30 am, the night from Monday to Tuesday, the second group of guests who arrive at 0:45 am by the SAS flight goes to Barentsburg.
Time underway is around 2 hours. Once in Barentsburg we check-in at comfortable hotel/ double rooms, and enjoy light delicious dinner served to the room.
Day 2. A piece of Russia – Barentsburg. Boat & Trekking tour to Bride’s Waterfalls.
10 am – late breakfast. Then we have a sightseeing tour round Russian mining settlement Barentsburg and a visit to Art Arctic Gallery to watch historical exhibits on discovery of the Arctic and Spitsbergen dated to 15th -19th centuries.
02 pm - delicious lunch at Barentsburg restaurant.
03 pm - the time is to head out to the Arctic nature and explore its wilderness around us! Our itinerary lies to the spectacular Bride’s stream waterfalls on the opposite side of Grønfjord. The round trip aboard Polarcirkel will take up to 5 hours incl. a trekking part for 6-8 km for up to 4 hrs.
Return to Barentsburg in the evening.
08 pm – tasting of local beer made in almost northernmost brewery in the world Red Bear. Dinner of Russian cuisine with local specialties and fish which had been caught during last autumn fishing season in Grønfjord. Night in Barentsburg.
Day 3. Lakes and Trappers’ History: Barentsburg- Linné Lake- Starostin Hut- Festningen Cape-Barentsburg.
We start the day early with a unique tour to the mine (optional tour) which is still in operation, and experience everyday life of a miner. You will change into miners’ clothes, put on a helmet and sign yourself in, just like miners do every day when starting their shift. As you approach the entrance of the mine (ending point of the tour) and light from the outside fades away, you can vividly imagine what it is like to spend the whole day in the pitch-black mine.
09 am - breakfast at the hotel which is followed by a new day of adventure.
Today’s itinerary aboard open boat Polarcirkel runs to the east side of Grønfjord to Starostin Cape. We go ashore and continue our route walking for 2 km to a picturesque Linné lake. Here we are having a briefing and training for driving 2-person kayaks. Optionally afterwards you can have a short kayak trip up to 1.5-2.0 hrs along Linné lake. Otherwise you can choose a guided walking trip in fascinating surroundings.
03 pm – an expedition lunch at the authentic Starostin cabin listening to the guide’s story about Pomors - Russian hunters who came from the White Sea and trapped on Svalbard from 1700 to 1850. The most famous Russian trapper Ivan Starostin spent 39 winters on Svalbard. Fifteen of these - in a row. After lunch optionally a walk alongside Russekaila Bay to Festningen Cape. It is famous for the lighthouse showing off the entrance to Grønfjord. Trekking tour is around 6 km. Alternative option is to get to Festningen Cape by Polarcirkel boat.
Return to Barentsburg aboard Polarcirkel. Dinner and overnight in Barentsburg.
Day 4. Boat safari Barentsburg-Ymerbukta- Esmark Glacier- Trygghamna- Alkehornet- Isfjord Radio-Barentsburg and husky farm
08:00 - breakfast. Today we head out for an exciting safari to the west side of the fjord. The route will go first to Ymerbukta with a fantastic Esmark Glacier with a front 15 km long. We continue to Trygghamna where we go ashore and make a short research of Pomor hunters’ settlements remains dated to 18th century. Then we go straight to the mighty bird cliffs of Alkehornet with thousands of nesting birds. If we are lucky, we might watch whales, seals or even get a glimpse of “king of the Arctic”, the polar bear. Expedition lunch is served underway. On the route back we make a stop at the cozy restaurant Isfjord Radio located on Linné Cape and drink a cup of fragrant coffee.
18:00 – dinner in Barentsburg restaurant.
In the evening we offer optionally a guided tour to the husky farm with all breeds of Russian sledge dogs used in the Russian Arctic. You can also have dog-trekking to Cape Heer taking on a special belt and fixing a couple of dogs. Otherwise you can take a fat-bike along the same route.
Overnighting at the hotel.
Day 5. Ghost Towns of Svalbard: Barentsburg-Coles Bay-Grumant –Longyearbyen-Pyramiden
Breakfast. Today we are leaving Barentsburg. Сheck-out and continue exploration of Svalbard’s spectacular wild nature. First, we start off our boat safari towards Grumant and Coles Bay.
Grumant is like a small ghost town tucked between the mountains to Coles Bay. This was the largest settlement on Svalbard after the Second World War with up to 1200 people. Russian company Artikugol was running the mines in Grumant valley, and had the port of shipment in Coles Bay. Between these two small towns is a narrow gauge railway the remains of which we can see today. The production was stopped and the settlement was abandoned in the beginning of the 1960's. We start walking up the mountain to 500 m height. When reaching the top we get a splendid view over Isfjorden and all surroundings. After a visit to Grumant and Coles Bay we go down to Rusanov cabin. Trekking route is around 5 km.
We continue aboard along the Adventdalen valley and in just half an hour arrive to Longyearbyen. A short stop and a light lunch at the Guesthouse Russkiy Dom.
And on ahead! We are on the way to one more ghost town Pyramiden located on Billefjord north of Isfjord.
Dinner and overnight at the comfortable Pyramiden Hotel peculiar for its Soviet times atmosphere.
Day 6. Ghost settlement Pyramiden and Nordenskjold glacier
Breakfast and then a wildlife photo-safari “Hunt for Nordenskiøld glacier ” along valleys and canyons. Steadily we are coming closer to the glacier, considered as a jewel of Svalbard, the most stunning and largest glacier. We will be passing slowly along its magnificent front while making unique pictures of tiny icebergs broke away and the wildlife around. Back in Pyramiden.
Nice dinner and a guided introduction tour around Pyramiden.
The ambiance of this ghost settlement makes an unusual and strong impression on any experienced traveler. This community was founded by Sweden in the beginning of the 20th century and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. The speculations around its importance during the Cold War are many. One thing is certain; this was an Arctic out-post, but also an Arctic Paradise for those who lived and worked there in the Communist spirit. The town was a showcase to the West exhibiting to the world the excellence of communism. The atmosphere is still there! In the end of the nineties, Pyramiden was closed and has since then remained abandoned with all its infrastructure in place, ‘’conserved’’. All the buildings are in a good state and the settlement would seem inhabited, but the silence reigns over Pyramiden, no living soul is around…
Dinner in the restaurant. Overnight in Pyramiden.
Day 7. Trekking tour to the top of Pyramiden Mountain (optionally)
Today we catch a challenging opportunity to walk up 937 m to the top of Pyramiden Mountain. First part of the itinerary is passing along the roads left from the mining development. Then the route continues on the hiking path. The terrain is getting steadily both rugged and steep, and relatively challenging. Last part of the climb which is a few meters right to the top requires special equipment provided by the guides. Whether you choose to climb to the top or not, the tour is truly an awesome endeavor with incomparable views over majestic Arctic harsh landscape all around… ghost mining settlement Pyramiden, magnificent Billefjord and glaciers running to Lomonosov plain. Beside the top we will find a sheltered place to enjoy a well-deserved lunch.
Dinner and overnight in Pyramiden.
Day 8. Boat safari Pyramiden-Skanska bay-Longyearbyen. Departure
Breakfast and we can offer you one more walking tour in Pyramiden spectacular surroundings. Otherwise you can rent a bicycle at the hotel.
After lunch we leave Pyramiden and drive back aboard Polarcirkel to Longyearbyen. We can encounter whales which are often visitors in the Isfjord during the last couple of years.
Late afternoon - arrive to Longyearbyen and a farewell dinner at the authentic restaurant Kroa. Late transfer to the airport and departure.
Travel Dates in 2019
10/06 - 17/06
17/06 - 24/06
24/06 - 01/07
01/07 - 08/07
08/07 - 15/07
15/07 - 22/07
22/07 - 29/07
29/07 - 05/08
05/08 - 12/08
12/08 - 19/08
19/08 - 26/08
26/08 - 02/09
02/09 - 09/09
09/09 - 16/09
18 900 NOK/ pers
Extra charge for accommodation in SINGLE rooms in Barentsburg and Pyramiden:
2 400 NOK/ pers
The Price Includes:
Accommodation and meals
Activities according to the itinerary
Boat rent (RIB Polarcirkel, Zodiac, cabin cruiser Barentsburg), fuel
Rent of survival suite Helly Hansen and safety equipment incl. portable radio set, satellite phone, GPS-navigator, warning bacon, etc.
Insurance covering research and rescue, evacuation costs in case of emergency
The Price Does Not Include:
Flight to/from Longyearbyen
Optional short trips and offers (tour to the mine, tour to the husky farm and dog-trekking)
Accomodation in the single room
Alcohol drinks and dishes/drinks beyond the menu
Tips to the guide
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Tour is guaranteed at min. group of 2 pers.