Svalbard in a nutshell
Remote, mysterious, grandiose, wild and extreme, Spitsbergen is a land forged by ice, wind and sea. Gigantic glaciers descend from the summits of majestic multi-colored mountains in the cold waters of austere Greenland sea, abundant with ice. Animals who do not know humans, inhabit this land and its numerous fjords: wild reindeer grazing in endless tundra, seals and walruses basking on the rocky shores and ice ﬂoes, curious polar fox keeping close to bird colonies, and the whole world is reigned by the polar bear, the king of the Arctic.
This trip gives an insight to Svalbard in winter: in only 5 days, you travel across the island and visit all stunning highlights of Spitzbergen nature, you learn about the famous explorers of the Arctic whose names are linked to Svalbard forever, and meet the locals, people of diﬀerent nationalities who chose to live here because they love the Arctic. Brief and intense trip, rich in impressions, accessible to any person in good physical shape.
Program duration: 5 days / 4 nights
Total snowmobiling distance: 500 km
Day 1. Longyearbyen – Todalen – Colesdalen – Grøndalen - Barentsburg
Arrive in Longyearbyen. Transfer from the airport to Longyearbyen for brieﬁng on the itinerary in the Arctic Travel Centre. After lunch, get the winter overalls and start the Arctic adventure by snowmobiling from Longyearbyen to Colesdalen in the midst of magniﬁcent mountain landscapes, passing huntings cabins to Grøndalen and further on to Barentsburg. Time to discover Barentburg, a small Russian mining community (appr. 400 inhabitants) having a scientiﬁc research center, a meteorological observatory, the northernmost cosmic rays station and a school for only a dozen children. Learn about the history of the place with your local enthusiastic guide during the visit to the local Lore museum, with its exhibitions on the Pomor culture, the Arctic ﬂora and fauna. Dinner and night at the hotel in Barentburg.
Snowmobiling 2 pers/machine, 70 km, 3 hrs
Day 2. Unique mine tour and the Pomor hunter’s hut:
Barentsburg – Grønfjord – Isfjord Radio – Starostin hut – Barentsburg
Early in the morning we offer you a tour 'Meet a Miner' on a unique journey to the mine which is still fully operational nowadays. This is one and the only tour to the operational mine in the world! Guided by a professional miner the tour starts on the surface at the mining office, with short insight of industry development and mining methods in Barentsburg area. Then we get familiar to safety instructions, change their cloth and take miner’s torches. We start our tour underground ….
Breakfast at the hotel and we leave Barentsburg to follow the coast of Grønfjord. The snowmobile allows us to run great distances in the immensity of the Arctic, staying all the day out in the wilderness and reaching otherwise inaccessible places.
We drive up to the Grønfjord glacier and across wide canyons further to Orustdalen valley. Around us are high cliﬀs, quite popular among the local birds in summer time. With the same landscape behind as Willem Barents evidenced approx. 100 years ago we ride along Nordenskjøld coast to the Greenland sea. Lunch in the mythical Isfjord radio, a coast radio and weather station founded in the beginning of the 20th century at Kapp Linné. Afterwards we make a short stop at Starostin Cape and have a look around a cosy Starostin cabin. That was a place of staying of Ivan Starostin, a Pomor trapper who managed to spend on Spitzbergen 39 winters in total.
Across the picturesque valley there is absolutely splendid view on Barentsburg. Return to Barentburg in the evening. Local beer tasting and dinner of Russian cuisine in the brewery Red Bear. Night in Barentsburg.
Snowmobiling 2 pers/machine, 95 -120 km, 7-8 hrs
Day 3. Glaciers and the ghost settlement: Barentsburg – Colesdalen – Longyearbyen – Sassendalen - Nordenskiøld Glacier – Petuniabukta - Pyramiden
Early check-out and depart for a long itinerary, striking in its beauty and diversity of the landscapes. We pass Cape Heer and Colesdalen on the way to Longyearbyen and make a short break with lunch in the Expedition Centre Russki Dom. Half a route is staying behind ….Then continue over shiny glaciers and sharp mountains in the valley of Sassendalen . We may encounter walruses along the way. About 100 miles northeast of Longyearbyen lays the mighty glacier Nordenskiöld. Just in several hundred meters from the glacier, you can find the ghost town Pyramiden, a destination point for today.
Upon arrival in Pyramiden, check-in at a small hotel, dinner and night in Pyramiden.
Snowmobiling 2 pers/machine, 200 - 220 km, approx.10 hrs
Day 4. Pyramiden – Nordenskiøld Glacier – Lomonosov plain - Longyearbyen
After breakfast, walk around Pyramiden. The ambiance of this ghost settlement makes an unusual and strong impression on any experienced traveller. 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 seems inhabited, but the silence reigns over Pyramiden, there is no living soul around… Lunch in Pyramiden.
We leave this ghost place and driving through valleys to the great Nordenskjøld glacier and endless Lomonosov plain. Just take a look around and find yourself in the ice kingdom…… It will take your breath away! Now the time to go back to civilization. In the evening arrival in Longyearbyen, check-in at the guesthouse Russki Dom (3-4 persons in a room). Farewell dinner in the stylish restaurant “KROA - Ón the edge of the world’’.
Snowmobiling 2 pers/machine, 120 – 160 km, 4-6 hrs
Day 5. Longyearbyen
After breakfast, a guided walk around the city of Longyearbyen, You can visit Svalbard Museum covering the cultural history of the area, as well as the wildlife and plants of the area, with exhibits showing the 400 year long history of Svalbard. Galleri Svalbard is also a good option. Among the other works it includes more than 40 original pieces by the artist Kåre Tveter, known as the painter of the light. Around midday, transfer to the airport of Longyearbyen and your ﬂight back home.
Departure is guaranteed at group size min 2 pers.
Travel Dates in 2020
24.02 - 28.02 30.03 - 03.04
02.03 - 06.03 06.04 - 10.04
09.03 - 13.03 13.04 - 17.04
16.03 - 20.03 20.04 - 24.04
23.03 - 27.03 27.04 - 01.05
Driver on the snowscooter
17 690 NOK
Passenger on the snowscooter
13 090 NOK
Extra charge for accommodation in SINGLE rooms in Barentsburg and Pyramiden:
The Price Includes:
Accommodation and meals
Activities according to the itinerary
Snowmobile rental (Ski-doo Expedition 600/ Lynx Commander 600), fuel
Rental of winter overalls, boots, gloves and a helmet
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