Discover The deep Fjords

5 days sailing expedition along the west coast of Svalbard

per person 23,900 nok
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Discover The Deep Fjords

5 days sailing expedition along the west coast of Svalbard

Join us on the three-masted schooner Linden for a five day sailing adventure in the pristine Arctic wilderness on Svalbard. We head out from Longyearbyen to discover the cold glacier coasts of Spitsbergen. This is an excellent way to combine Arctic adventure with sailing, we take you to the hidden gems of the west coast of Svalbard. As the breeze goes from gentle to moderate and strong we watch the sails fill into three dimensional curved airfoils. Some of us are sitting comfortably with a book in hand and others exhilarating at the top of the mast rigging sails. The choice is yours.

We navigate through wildlife hotspots, but as always luck comes with hard work. Along the way we keep our eyes and ears open to find the best wildlife viewings, as the migratory pattern changes throughout the season and even the day. Over the last years more whales are visiting Svalbard, so we might even see the 200 tons blue whales gliding in the water, where the sound of the blow takes your breath away.

Many of us have the Big Five of Svalbard on our bucket list. Therefore keep scanning to spot the Polar Bear, Walrus, Arctic Fox, Svalbard Reindeer and Ivory gull. We are always considering the wildlife opportunities and the weather conditions when making decisions of where to sail. South or north? Who knows in what fjord we will wake up next morning!

Day 1

Meet your guide at 15:00 at Basecamp Hotel in Longyearbyen who will take you to our wooden 3-mast Schooner Linden. If you have extra luggage, you can leave this in the luggage storage at the Basecamp hotel. We will gather in the ship lounge for some snacks and a safety briefing. This is a good time to get to know the staff and your fellow voyagers. Checking the last ice charts and the weather, your Captain and Expedition Leader will finalise our route. If the wind is favorable it’s time to hoist the sails and head into the pristine arctic waters!

Our crew can’t wait to teach you the sailing skills and show you how elegantly Linden can sail. With the help of our professional team, you can become a true seaman yourself! Linden is made for the arctic waters with her ice-strengthened hull. The midnight sun sits high in the sky as we gather for the captain’s welcome dinner as we continue to sail towards our next destination. And you should get used to it. The sun will not set at all during the summer months.

After dinner a non-stop noise from the towering bird cliff greets us and we head ashore. Thousands of female Brünnich’s Guillemots are to lay a single egg each on the narrow cliff ledges above us, and these big black and white auks busy around and fill the air. As we hike across the tundra we need to watch out as the Arctic skuas don’t want us near their nests. The Svalbard reindeer is rather interested in getting a closer look at us. With a bit of luck on our side, we may find the Arctic fox foraging for bird eggs below the cliffs.

dinner included
S/V Linden

Day 2

On Tuesday morning we wake up surrounded by wild landscape and glimmering glaciers. Our excursion is all about frozen rivers of ice. First the surreal scene appears silent, but you will discover there is a constant fizz, snap and pop of melting ice releasing trapped air bubbles. Millions upon millions of bubbles are continually released as the glacier melts away underneath the ocean surface. And then it happens. The glacier calves in front of us with loud roars and tumbles down into the ocean.

We enjoy lunch as we watch the frozen landscape around us. Less than 7% of the land has any vegetation at all in Svalbard. We take a close look at the surroundings as we head ashore. From a distance the land looks immensely barren, but stepping onto a thin layer of thawed permafrost, shining specks of flowers appear. As we savour dinner we head to our next destination, and watch the continuous mountains and shores without any roads, buildings or infrastructure. This is what makes Svalbard a unique wildlife spot in the world. We are in the Arctic kingdom where polar bears rule on land and sea-ice.

all meals included
S/V Linden

Day 3

Waking up surrounded by sediment slopes and pointy peaks we continue to search for wildlife and good hiking possibilities. Weather permitting, we hike across the tundra and the polar deserts. Along the way we find time to sit down and listen to the Arctic silence. It’s a marvelous sound of nothingness. On our hikes we may also catch sight of the only bird overwintering in Svalbard, the well-feathered ptarmigan. Born a carnivore, the chicks eat insects while their vegetarian parents forage for plants and seeds. Our chef will serve us another great meal as we sail to our next destination.

In the afternoon we explore glaciers fronts plunging down into the sea. There might be seals in the water or hauled up on ice and if you keep your eyes closely on the water you might see flashes of white passing by. In Svalbard there are often groups of white Beluga whales patrolling in front of glaciers, where the prey is easier to catch being slightly dizzy in the altered salt content of the seawater mixed with fresh water from the ice.

all meals included
S/V Linden

Day 4

On Thursday we wake up within reach of beaches where tusked walrus may haul out. And we’ll pay a visit to see if they are home. Will our search for this bewhiskered beast pay off? It’s never possible to know for sure beforehand, but walrus don’t like wind or fog as it makes it easier for polar bears to approach and attack. So for once, we are hoping for less wind! After 60 years of protection the numbers of walrus are finally rising in Svalbard. If the walrus are out, their beach is an excellent location to go beachcombing. Scour the beach for timbers from ancient shipwrecks and other treasures!

After lunch we find ourselves next to Basecamp’s outpost, Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel. Indulge in unexpected luxury and genuine hospitality at this old radio station packed with history. Just like the former station manager hosted and served the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, Isfjord Radio’s own Michelin star trained chef will prepare and serve us a treat. If you like, join one of your guides for a 2-3 hour hike around the station and the surroundings. After the walk you can enjoy the new scenery sauna at the Isfjord Radio – what a way to finish a hike! Bordering Isfjord Radio is a bird sanctuary, providing new opportunities to spot that Arctic fox egg and bird hunting! Step back on board Linden for evening drinks and the Captain’s farewell dinner.

All meals included
S/V Linden

Day 5

On our last day we sail back to civilization. Enjoy breakfast on the ship before you head back to Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world. Even when closing the settlement, keep your eyes for white flashes of up to 4,5 meters of lean blubber crossing our paths. There are groups of white beluga whales in the fjord as we get close to Longyearbyen to drop you off!

breakfast included

Summary

Price: nok 23.900 per person
Departures: Every Monday
Season: 25.5 -14.9.2018
Minimum: 4 persons
Age limit: 10 years

What’s included?

Private bathroom double occupancy or Shared bathroom single occupancy
Activities, accommodation and meals
Transport to and from accommodation
Search and rescue insurance
Transport to and from shore excursions
Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for boat transfers
Insulated Rubber Boots for hikes and boat rides

What’s not included?

Flights, airport shuttle, drinks with meals, accommodation in Longyearbyen, CO2 investment of NOK 250, travel insurance

Recommended equipment

Recommended clothing in the Arctic: Woollen underwear as the base layer, warm wool or fleece trousers & sweater on the top, two layers of socks (thin & thick woollen socks), water- and windproof layer on the top (spacious clothing is recommended since air is the best insulation),  minimum 2 pair of gloves (1 pair wool and 1 pair water- and windproof are recommended), warm hat (windproof), scarf or fleece tube

Good to have with you: Indoor shoes or extra woollen socks, Indoor leisure wear/ casual clothing for dinner, Toilet articles, Sunglasses, Sunscreen (not based on water), Binoculars, Camera, Contact lenses (for those using glasses), Small bag/ backpack for personal equipment during excursions and a power adapter plug for European 220 volt. The rest of your belongings you can leave to Basecamp Hotel.

 

PFD Personal Flotation Device
Please let us know more details if you need a child size PFD so we can ensure we have the correct flotation device for your child.

Note

In Spitsbergen, weather conditions can change quickly. We can meet heavy winds, storms, and thick fog. This means we might need to make changes to the planned route, and this can cause us not to reach all the destinations we have described in the program.

We will sail through some areas with high density of wildlife, but we cannot guarantee any wildlife encounters, as the migratory pattern changes throughout the season and from day to day.

Our aim to sail as much as possible, but the weather conditions will determine where and how we go. The Captain in cooperation with the Expedition Leader will make the final decision about when and if to set sail.

As part of Basecamp Explorer Spitsbergen’s efforts to be climate neutral, there will be an additional climate investment charge of NOK 250 per guest.  This is donated in its entirety to Basecamp Foundation’s forestry project in Masai Mara, Kenya. The trees bind CO2 and contribute to reducing the effects of emissions associated with our activities – and your travel. For more information, please visit: www.basecampfoundation.org

Combine your stay with accommodation at the most unique hotel at Longyearbyen – Basecamp Hotel.

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