Sailing Svalbard’s Glacier Coast

from £2030
including flights
3, 5 nights May-Sep

Overview

A little way from the North Pole lies a wonderful gathering of Arctic islands – the Svalbard Archipelago. In the summer the best way to move around these icy islands is by sea, just like the ancient explorers did. You can explore the Arctic Ocean like a true polar explorer on a wooden three-masted schooner, standing on the deck and feeling at one with nature, yet aware that you are the only visitors in this fascinating environment.

Highlights

  • Travel on the beautiful wooden schooner S/V Linden
  • Enjoy wonderful nature and wildlife spotting
  • Experience the land of the midnight sun
  • Visit the bird cliffs and look out for whales in the fjords
  • Marvel at stunning scenery

What's Included

  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Longyearbyen
  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom at Basecamp Hotel
  • Accommodation in cabins on the boat with shared bathroom
  • Full board on ship
  • 2 nights stay in Longyearbyen

Full description

There are two sailing options to choose from, either the shorter 3 night voyage “Sail into the Wild” which gives you a taste of Arctic sailing around the Isfjorden area or the 5 night trip “Discover the Deep Fjords”, taking you further out towards the southern or northern points of the island. The cruises are true expeditions, meaning there are plans but these can always change with the weather, wind and ice conditions determining the way.

You board and disembark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s main town, and from here you set sail exploring the different fjords of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the archipelago. Once the Captain gives the go ahead to hoist the sails and raise the anchor you glide into the wilderness on S/V Linden. Almost 50 metres in length, she is the largest wooden schooner still sailing in Europe.

The days aboard depend on the conditions. Normally you sail to the next planned destination where you anchor and go ashore using zodiacs - small open boats. On the land excursions you are accompanied by a professional guide and head to the best places to spot wildlife and learn about the geology and history of the islands. There can be several landings during the day. To cover more distance during the voyage, you sail overnight, so waking up the next morning with new scenery waiting to greet you.

Wildlife and Nature

After a long winter, the archipelago is invaded by migrating birds and the surrounding waters are nutritious offering plenty of food, encouraging an abundance of walruses, seals and whales to enter the fjords. At ground level plants and fungi emerge under the warming midnight sun, creating colourful life on the barren land. You will navigate through wildlife hotspots, keeping your eyes open for the Big Five of Svalbard – polar bear, walrus, Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer and the ivory gull, but will you see them?

Longyearbyen

The sailings operate on set departure days, so depending on the flight times we recommend a night or two in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Svalbard, in fact the northernmost city in the world.

Contact our Svalbard specialists now
worldwide team jo cooper bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates

Prices from per person based on two sharing, unless stated otherwise

Departure Day Duration Vessel Twin Cabin Single cabin
Thursday (May - Sep 2018) 3 nights S/V Linden £2,030 £2,083
Sunday (May - Sep 2018) 5 nights S/V Linden £3,142 £3,196

What's Included

  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Longyearbyen via Oslo with Scandinavian Airlines
  • First night at Basecamp Hotel with private bathroom on breakfast basis
  • 3 day or 5 day voyage as described with all meals provided
  • Accommodation in cabins on the boat with shared bathroom
  • Transportation from/to accommodation in Longyearbyen to harbour
  • Floatation device for boat transfers
  • Insulated rubber boots for hikes and boat
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Please note: Travelling options to Svalbard can be limited so it may be necessary to overnight in Oslo in order to take more convenient flight times the following day. There are also very late arrivals and very early departures from Longyearbyen, just adding to that unusual factor for your stay in Svalbard.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

3 day Voyage - Sail into the Wild

Day 1: Thursday - fly to Longyearbyen

Fly from London Heathrow in the late afternoon to Oslo and take the connecting flight to Longyearbyen which arrives in the early hours of Friday morning.

Day 2: Friday - set Sail on S/V Linden

Arrive in Longyearbyen at 01.25 and take the airport coach service (payable locally) to town, which stops at Basecamp Hotel, your resting place for the night. Time to relax before meeting the guide at 3pm in the hotel's reception. Head to the harbour and board the three-masted wooden schooner S/V Linden. Any extra luggage can be stored at the hotel. Get to know the staff and your fellow travellers before hoisting the sails and head into the pristine Arctic waters. Later, gather for the Captain’s welcome dinner as Linden continues to sail gracefully towards the first destination. After dinner you reach the towering bird cliff where thousands of female Brunnich’s Guillemots lay a single egg each on the narrow cliff ledges above. You head ashore, watching for Svalbard reindeer who may be in the area and with a bit of luck, you may see the Arctic Fox foraging for birds and eggs below the cliffs. After time ashore return back to Linden, bringing an end to your first day on the sea.

Day 3: Saturday - Arctic Sea Adventures

Wake up next to Basecamp’s outpost, Isfjord Radio Wilderness Hotel and indulge in unexpected luxury and genuine hospitality at this old radio station packed with history. You can join the guide for a 2-3 hour hike in the surrounding area. Afterwards, relax in the new scenery sauna at the hotel. Bordering Isfjord Radio is a bird sanctuary, providing new opportunities to spot wildlife. For lunch, the hotel’s very own Michelin star trained chef will prepare you a treat before embarking Linden again. Nearby there are areas where the walrus colonies gather and you check the known sites to see if they are at home. Then continue sailing on the Arctic sea to the next destination and enjoy dinner on board Linden.

Day 4: Sunday - Glaciers, Hikes and Longyearbyen

In the morning wake up surrounded by wild landscape and glimmering glaciers. Millions and millions of bubbles are continually released as the glacier melts away underneath the ocean surface. And then all of a sudden the glacier calves with loud roars and tumbles down into the ocean. What an amazing sight! After a hearty breakfast, you land ashore and hike into the valley in search of geological clues, patterns and fossilized wildlife. Back on ship, enjoy lunch before heading back to civilization. Even when approaching the settlement, keep looking out for white flashes in the water. There are groups of white beluga whales in the fjords around Longyearbyen. Transfer back to town and head to the airport (payable locally) for the flight departing at 14.45. Alternatively, extend your stay and spend time in Longyearbyen, enjoying the land based excursions which are available to pre-book.

5 day Voyage - Discover the Deep Fjords

Day 1: Sunday - Flight to Longyearbyen

Fly from London Heathrow in the late afternoon to Oslo and take the connecting flight to Longyearbyen which arrives in the early hours of Monday morning.

Day 2: Monday - Set Sail on S/V Linden

Arrive in Longyearbyen at 00.40 and take the airport coach service (payable locally) to town, which stops at Basecamp Hotel, your resting place for the night. Time to relax before meeting the guide at 3pm in the hotel's reception. Head to the harbour and board the three-masted wooden schooner S/V Linden. Any extra luggage can be stored at the hotel. Get to know the staff and your fellow travellers before hoisting the sails and head into the pristine Arctic waters. Later, gather for the Captain’s welcome dinner as Linden continues to sail gracefully towards the first destination. After dinner you reach the towering bird cliff where thousands of female Brunnich’s Guillemots lay a single egg each on the narrow cliff ledges above. You head ashore, watching for Svalbard reindeer who may be in the area and with a bit of luck, you may see the Arctic Fox foraging for birds and eggs below the cliffs. After time ashore return back to Linden, bringing an end to your first day on the sea.

Day 3: Tuesday - Glaciers and Arctic Landscape

Wake up surrounded by wild landscape and glimmering glaciers. Millions and millions of bubbles are continually released as the glacier melts away underneath the ocean surface. And then all of a sudden the glacier calves with loud roars and tumbles down into the ocean. What an amazing sight! Lunch is later served as you watch the frozen landscape in all directions, then head ashore and take a closer look at the surroundings in search of geological clues, patterns and fossilized wildlife. Back on board Linden, you’ll have dinner as you set sail to the next destination.

Day 4: Wednesday - Arctic Sea Adventures

The morning brings another chance to go ashore and continue the search for wildlife and good hiking possibilities. Weather permitting, you hike across the tundra looking out for birdlife - the well-feathered ptarmigan is quite often seen in this area. While ashore the chef will prepare lunch for when you return to the ship. In the afternoon keep watch outside for seals which may be in the waters or hauled up on the ice. You may even see flashes of white passing by. In Svalbard there are often groups of white Beluga whales patrolling the fjords in search for food. Enjoy the evening on board with your fellow passengers, marvelling at the Arctic landscape under the midnight sun.

Day 5: Thursday - Wildlife spotting

You will be located near the beaches where the walrus colonies gather, and you check the known sites to see if they are at home. If the beaches are deserted, they are an excellent location to go beachcombing. Scour the coast for timbers from ancient shipwrecks and other treasures! After lunch you move next to Basecamp’s outpost, Isfjord Radio Wilderness Hotel. Go ashore and indulge in unexpected luxury and genuine hospitality at this old radio station packed with history. You can join the guide for a 2-3 hour hike in the surrounding area. After the hike, relax in the new scenery sauna at the hotel. Bordering Isfjord Radio is a bird sanctuary, providing new opportunities to spot wildlife and even the elusive Arctic fox hunting for birds and eggs. Return back to Linden for evening drinks and the Captain’s farewell dinner.

Day 6: Friday - Return to Longyearbyen

After breakfast on ship, head back to Longyearbyen. Even when approaching the settlement, keep looking out for white beluga whales. There are often groups of them in the fjords around Longyearbyen. Transfer back to town and head to the airport for the flight departing at 13.35. Alternatively, extend your stay and spend time in Longyearbyen, enjoying the land based excursions which are available to pre-book.

Basecamp Hotel, Longyearbyen

Svalbard

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

At the heart of Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world, lies the home of the modern-day arctic trappers.

Discover More

S/V Linden

Svalbard

Type: Sailing Ship

Built in 1993 as a replica of the original Linden of 1920, she has an ice-strengthened hull enabling a safe passage through the icy waters around Svalbard.

Discover More
How to Book
Call us on 01737 214 250 to discuss your plans or
Enquire Now
Browse the website

Find a holiday idea or suggested itinerary that inspires you, then send an enquiry or call us

Personalised Quote

Your dedicated travel specialist will create a quote based on your preferences

Refine & Book

Together we’ll refine your itinerary until you’re happy and ready to book

You’re in safe hands

From the moment you book until you return home we’re here for you no matter what

You may also like