SUMMER TOURS INFORMATION SHEET
TOUR OPERATOR CONTACT INFORMATION
Arctic Travel Company GRUMANT
9178 Barentsburg, Svalbard, Norway
+47 976 361 04 (Operations Manager)
+47 941 301 28 (24 hours)
BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS
There are two Norwegian operators - Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian airlines – that arrange flights to Longyearbyen (Svalbard, Norway) from Tromsø and Oslo offering relatively affordable prices. For more information please visit
www.sas.com and www.norwegian.com
Regardless of the “bundle” of flights, the luggage cannot be sent directly to Svalbard and it is necessary to get it in Oslo!
PASSPORT & VISA
Though Svalbard is the VISA-Free territory, please remember that everyone who gets to the archipelago needs to go through passport control. The identity of all travelers between Svalbard and the Norwegian mainland will be checked both upon arrival and departure. If you need a visa to enter Norway, please note that you will have to cross Norwegian borders twice before and after your trip to Svalbard therefore you need a multi-visa.
WEATHER ON SVALBARD
Although Svalbard is located in the high North, it has a relatively soft climate without extremely low temperatures because of the Gulf Stream, warm and swift Atlantic ocean current. Locals call Svalbard "The Arctic Tropics" for its mild weather conditions (compared to other Arctic Regions of course).
For the summer season, in July it is approximately +4.4°C, in August it is +2.8°C. Besides, within the last few years, temperature readings are higher. The temperature during the day is + 5°C, + 10°C, at night it is from +5°C to -2°C. Precipitation is possible, often there is wind. It is unusual if it is snowing in July-August. Sub-zero temperature happens rarely during these two months, and even if it happens, then at night. In the afternoon, with no wind, the temperature +5°C, + 10°C feels very comfortable.
WHAT TO PACK FOR A SUMMER TOUR
In summer, the average temperature is rarely higher than +11°C and it is not unusual when it's windy or rainy. While packing to Svalbard in summer, pay attention to the wind- and waterproof equipment.
woolen thermal underwear for medium activity
thermal socks (2 pairs)
woolen socks (2 pairs)
fleece jumper or woolen sweater
comfy pants for outdoor activities
trekking waterproof boots
wind- and waterproof jacket
hat, headband and/or cap
knitted or fleece buff or scarf
The following items could also be useful:
binoculars for bird and animal watching
dry bag for luggage transportation
dry bag for devices, phones and/or cameras for that you could take photos during sea passages
For your comfort we highly recommend you to pack your luggage into the waterproof bags with no hard carcass, as the transportation of the bags is executed by the open boats. It is not mandatory, as your luggage will be packed into additional coverage if needed, but that additional layer of protection would be useful.
TRANSFER AND TRANSPORT
Arctic Travel company Grumant possesses 3 open boats PolarCirkel and 1 cabin cruiser.
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.
Guides and captains working on the route have a fairly high level of knowledge and experience on the routes in the north and in the Polar regions. Some of them spend 3-4 seasons on Svalbard and some live on the archipelago permanently. Most of them have completed various courses, including the International Red Cross First Aid Courses. In addition, before the start of the season, all guides take an internal course in our company. All this will allow you to overcome the route with maximum comfort and safety. All instructors are ready for any unexpected situation that may happen during the trip. Guides have a first-aid kit with all necessary medications, however, we recommend that you take a personalized first-aid kit. We kindly ask you to notify the travel company in advance about any chronic or acute diseases.
In order to ensure safety and prevent emergencies, as well as observing the Svalbard Law, the Arctic Travel Company Grumant:
has a mandatory financial guarantee in case of search and rescue by the Svalbard Rescue Service (the maximum estimated time of arrival of rescuers to any point of Svalbard is no more than 2 hours);
has emergency satellite beacons registered with the Norwegian National Communications Authority.
Guides have radio communications, satellite phones, GPS trackers and an “emergency kit” in case of unforeseen rescue.
The tourist is obliged to follow all the instructions of the guide during the entire tour;
In case of intentional harm to the Company or violation of safety regulations, the client is held responsible.
The tourist is obliged to be respectful to the locals and environment.
The guide has a right to refuse clients participation in the tour at any moment in case of multiple or gross rules violation.
On Svalbard, weather conditions change quickly so that is why for the safety and comfort of our guests, the tour program might be changed regarding the itineraries and destinations.
The difficulty depends on the type of activity. The hikes might be demanding but built for average physical fitness, distance per day is from 5 to 17 km and might be adjusted to the fitness of the group. Most of the routes are built on pretty flat terrain without steep ascents. The hikes to the mountain Pyramiden or Yggdrassilcampen require good physical shape due to the steep ascents, but the temp of movement is always adjusted to the group, so you don’t need to rush towards the top and we highly recommend you to move at your own pace.
As for the boat trips, physically they are not demanding, but during harsh weather it might be psychologically challenging due to the water splashes and boat movement on the waves. Boat transportation might be complicated for those who suffer from sea sickness, but it’s very unlikely to happen as the PolarCirkel boats are open and you will be breathing fresh air.
Please be advised that during the boat rides might involve vibration and pressure on the back when the sea is wavy.
Arctic Travel Company Grumant provides insurance that covers all the expenses related to search, rescue, and transfer of affected people in case of emergencies during the tourism services provision.
For participation in our longer trips, the individual participant is required to have individual travel insurance. Such insurance may be purchased from a travel agent or insurance company. We recommend choosing individual travel insurance that covers you worldwide and includes cancellation insurance.
AGE AND HEALTH LIMITATIONS AND RESTRICTIONS
Depending on the tour, unless other is specified in the tour program:
We highly do not recommend participation of children under 10 y/o. Participation of children in the tour under 14 y/o should be discussed with the tour operator in each individual case.
There is no upper age threshold for participation, but the tour can be demanding in regards to the physical conditions.
We strongly do not recommend going on a tour to:
People with spinal injuries in the year prior to the tour.
People who have diseases of the central nervous system.
People who require regular doctors observation
If you have any long-term illnesses, and you are not sure whether you can participate in the tour, contact the manager for advice. The tourist is obliged to inform Arctic Travel Company Grumant beforehand about illnesses or possible contraindications to participation in a tour.
The accommodation depends on the selected tour.
Modern and full service hotel with newly-refurbished 46 rooms, 41 rooms of which are standard double / twin and 5 are suite / family rooms. There are bathrooms and TV-sets in every room. Finnish sauna on the ground floor. Dry rooms are available on each floor.
Hotel Pyramiden has been seasonally opened since 2013 with the well preserved interiors of the Soviet Era. There are 43 modern newly-refurbished rooms, including 38 standard double / twin and 5 suite / family rooms .
Restaurant and souvenir shop are on the ground ﬂoor.
NO Wi-Fi OR MOBILE CONNECTION AVAILABLE.
LONGYEARBYEN – RUSSKIY DOM GUESTHOUSE
GUESTHOUSE RUSSKIY DOM in Longyearbyen is a new and modern 2-storey wooden house located in front of Adventfjorden. It can accommodate up to 16 people.
4 rooms with 4 bunk-beds.
Shared showers and toilets.
The hosting company has the right to replace the proposed accommodation options for accommodation of a similar quality or higher.
Double / single accommodation is available in other hotels of Longyearbyen for additional charge. If such decision is made, please let your manager know about it.
EAT & DRINK
Breakfasts are set: continental breakfast or buffet;
Lunches and Dinners are set or a-la carte (Russian and European cuisine with elements of Pomor and Scandinavian Cuisine);
Lunch boxes on the route in the field (natural chicken or meat broth, meat and
fish slices, chicken fillet or meat, potato and cottage cheese rolls, cheese,
bread, tea, snacks and sweets).
All set meals include non-alcoholic beverages.
If there are any dietary restrictions (vegetarianism, allergies, gluten, lactose free etc.), please notify the manager in advance for your own convenience.
Please be advised that Svalbard is a TAX FREE zone. There is a lot of high-quality tourist equipment of leading world and Norwegian brands possible to buy in Longyearbyen shops.
Tons of souvenirs fit any taste. In addition to their wide variety with attributes of the Arctic and Svalbard, there are “handicraft items” - both Norwegian and Russian.
The average bill (without alcohol) in Longyearbyen cafes and restaurants is 350-450 NOK, in Barentsburg and Pyramiden - 250-350 NOK, but meals in Barentsburg and in Pyramiden are mostly included in the tour price.
Souvenirs are priced mainly from 20 to 350 NOK. Souvenirs are sold almost everywhere: in souvenir shops, ordinary stores, on counters in hotels and museums.
There are Norwegian post offices in Barentsburg, Pyramiden and Longyearbyen where in addition to postcards you can choose various Arctic stamps.
Svalbard is a zone of very strict alcohol limits.
You can buy no more than 2 liters of strong alcohol only in stores of Longyearbyen, and only with a boarding pass or a plane ticket presented. Otherwise, alcohol in the stores will not be sold.
You can buy drinks at the bars and restaurants without restriction.
Nevertheless, strong alcohol is served in bars and restaurants only until midnight, other alcoholic drinks – until 1:00 and it is strictly forbidden to take the purchased alcoholic beverages outside, as well as bringing in your own. Violators will have to pay a fine.
Based on the Svalbard tourism guidance, during the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020, Arctic Travel Company Grumant developed individual measures of preventative actions and infection control for its organization.
Measures of infection control are maintained within all the hotels, hostels and guesthouses, restaurants and bars, public places and tourism services and activities of the Arctic Travel Company Grumant in Barentsburg, Pyramiden and Longyearbyen. As long as the safety of our guests is our highest priority, the following regulations have been implemented:
1 meter distance should be kept between all the guests (except family members, or friends who came together)
transport, infrastructure and all the equipment is properly cleaned and sanitised;
all the equipment is provided individually and is properly cleaned and sanitised before, during and after a tour, activity or any other tourism service rendered;
guides are instructed about infection control and preventive measures of infection spread;
safety briefing for guests before the tour or activity is provided;
the size of a tour group on all active tours is limited to 10 guests for the duration of the COVID-19 restrictions. The group is divided into two or more subgroups, if there are more guests;
We also ask our guests to respect and follow regulations to avoid any risks of getting infected:
to maintain proper and accurate hand hygiene;
to keep 1 meter distance;
if a guest feels sick, we earnestly ask you to postpone or cancel the trip;
if a guest has visible symptoms of fever or respiratory infection, we may deny participation in our tours.
DRONE FLYING POLICY
After 1. January 2021, all pilots flying a drone that has a camera or is heavier than 250 g, needs to register at Flydrone.no.
It is forbidden to fly drones in a zone with a radius of five kilometres from the airports in Longyearbyen and Svea. Ny-Ålesund also has a zone of 20 km around the city with radio silence and drone ban. This means that in practice there is a ban on flying drones in Ny-Ålesund and throughout Kongsfjorden.
If you are going to fly drones outside the prohibition zone, you must familiarize yourself with the rules of drone flying. Here are the most important:
it is forbidden to disturb the wildlife on Svalbard
do not fly higher than 120 meters above the ground
keep a distance of 150 meters from people, buildings, boats etc
you must always be able to see your drone
familiarize yourself with the rules of filming and photographing other people
it is not allowed to fly drone in the dark