Svalbard: trekking and kayakking

The Svalbard archipelago is located in the Arctic Ocean. It consists of several islands, which the largest one is Spitsbergen. The name of the Island means “sharp mountains” in honour of his distinctive and stunning views.

In this trip we’ll know every aspect of this legendary land: the polar cap, the large glaciers, the wildlife including reindeers, numerous seabirds and polar bears. It is a seemingly inhospitable region, shaped by huge glaciers that end at infinite fjords. This region is icy covered by the immensity of the polar cap. Both, magical and amazing landscape, where wildlife keeps intense struggle to survive in winter and exploits strongly in summer.

This trip will be an opportunity to learn about the way of living in this remote corner of the Arctic, as well as to follow the footsteps of the pioneers and adventurers who went there to explore even thought their return was not saved, like: whalers, hunters, cartographers and explorers searching for the North Pole conquest’s honour and recognition.

 

TRAVEL PLAN:

Day 1: Plane arrival at Longyearbyen

Arrival at Longyearbyen, capital of the archipelago of Spitsbergen.

Pickup at the airport and transfer to the Sterna Sailboat. Presentation of the crew and night on board of the boat.

Days 2 and 3: Start of the voyage by sailboat to Isfjorden. From Longyearbyen to Pyramiden

Today we will start our journey in the Sterna Sailboat around Isfjorden, the biggest fjord of Spitsbergen, which is located in the heart of the archipelago of Svalbard.

We will go along the edge of the coast of the fjord until arriving at the fjord Tempelfjorden, one of the divisions of the fjords, where we will disembark for the first time to realise an easy activity of kayakking. With the kayaks, we will go as close as the glacier tongue Von Postbreen, which is situated at the end of the fjord and which offers us spectacular views.

We will continue to navigate far into the fjord Billefjorden. During this trip, besides the landscapes formed by mountains, valleys and glaciers, this zone offers the possibility to observe colonies of sea birds that are migrating to the archipelago during spring. In the proximities Kapp Ekholm we will disembark to realise a hike until Kapp Napier, where we will get close to the glacier Ferriermorenen. We will continue to visit the area of Petuniabukta, finally arriving at the village Pyramiden.

Night on board of the sailboat.

Day 4: Visit to Pyramiden

Today we will disembark at the “ghost town” Pyramiden. This city was funded by the Swiss in 1910, to be sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. Thanks to the carbon mine, in its heighth in 1958, more than 1000 habitants arrived to start living here, having various greenhouses and stables.

Pyramiden became much more than a mine. The sovietic state wanted to construct the perfect poblation: an auto-sufficient city featured by up to a climatized pool. In 1998, because of an order from the Russian government, the city was almost completely evacuated in barily 24 hours, turning it into a ghost town from almost one day to the other.

This day we will dedicate to visit this area, entering an abandoned mine, and with a guide, we will walk around the city being able to enter homes, schools and more buildings. We will see how the people from there lived, due to the immediate evacuation, had to leave personal objects behind, such as furniture, clothes, books, and the most northern pianos of the world, already converted to relics and part of their history.

We will also go for a hike in the mountain of Pyramiden (its form gave name to the city), contemplating one of the most spectacular views on the city, the valley, and the fjord.

Night on board of the sailboat.

Days 5 and 6: From Pyramiden to Ymerbukta

We will leave Pyramiden behind to continue our journey. We will dedicate a day to the navigation, passing by the fjords Ekmanfjorden and Nordfjorden.

During the tour, we will become true Arctic navigators. The boat crew will show us to navigate on high sea and hug the coastline. We will learn how a sailboat works, acquiring knowledge on navigation by sail an motor, practicing several courses depending on the wind; and the daredevils among us may even take charge of the rudder ourselves.

We will pass by the Boheman Fuglereservat, one of the first colonies of migrating birds of Svalbard, where we will have to opportunity to observe thousands of birds that live there.

We will disembark in Borebukta to go for a hike, as well as admire the glacier Borebreen. As alternative, for those who are willing, we can go close to the glacier by kayak, navigating by the fjord, with our guide by our side. After we will continue our walk until Ymerbukta.

Nights on board of the sailboat.

Day 7: From Ymerbukta to Barentsburg

Today we will disembark in Ymerbukta, where we will make an excursion with crampons to the glacier Esmarkbreen, for which no previous experience is needed. It will be an easy activity, to enjoy the experience of walking over glacier ice.

To continuation, we will go to the locality Barentsburg. A mining village and the second largest settlement of Svalbard, with an poblation of Ucranian or Russian origin, being the most nordic diplomatic mission of the world.

After, we will navigate back to the capital of the archipelago, Longyearbyen.

Night on board of the sailboat.

Day 8: Arrival at Longyearbyen, visiting the city and return flight

At dawn, we will arrive at Longyearbyen, where we will have some time to visite the city. This city is the largest of the archipelago, with a poblation above two thousand inhabitants. The mayority are norwegians, but we will be able to see people from all over the world. Here, we can enjoy the city’s attractions and visit its museums or its church.

In the evening or at night, depending of the flight timetables, we will go to the airport and get on our return flights.