3 days sailing-weekend on S/V Linden, our wooden three-masted schooner. Leaving Longyearbyen on Friday we venture into Svalbard second biggest fjord, Isfjorden for a taste of the Polar regions. Depending on the weather and wind conditions, we either search the different inner fjords of Isfjorden or sneak around the corner to sail northwards
Are you ready for a weekend sail around the glacier cost of Svalbard? Leaving Longyearbyen on Friday we venture into Svalbard second biggest fjord, Isfjorden for a taste of the Polar regions. Depending on the weather and wind conditions, we either search the different fjord arms of Isfjorden or sneak around the corner to sail northwards. The fjord is full of beautiful glacier fronts, bird cliffs and arctic wildlife. The gulf stream keeps the fjord ice-free for large parts of the year, although sometime the same stream carries tons of drift ice into the fjord. Million years of geological history is visible, and over 400 hundred years of human presence has put its mark on the landscape.
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. What will we see this weekend?
Day 1 - (LYR & late night landing)
Meet your guide at Basecamp Hotel in Longyearbyen who will take you to our wooden three-masted 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 loves sailing and is eager to teach you too. With the help of our professional team, you can become a true seaman yourself! Linden is made for the Arctic waters and sails graceful. Later we gather for the captain’s welcome dinner as we continue to sail towards our next destination.
After dinner a non-stop noise from the towering bird cliff greets us and we head ashore. Thousands of female Brunnich'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 birds and eggs below the cliffs.
Day 2 - (Isfjord Radio & Poolpynten/St. Jonsfjord)
On Saturday morning we wake up next to Basecamp’s outpost, Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel. Indulge in unexpected luxury and genuine hospitality at this old radio station packed with history. If you feel like it, 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! 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 before we embark Linden again.
And the afternoon has more adventure to come. Nearby Isfjord Radio, there are areas where the walrus colonies gather on the beaches. We will under sail or by engine check the sites and 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!
Day 3 - (Tempelfjorden & Skansebukta & back to LYR)
On Sunday morning we wake up surrounded by wild landscape and glimmering glaciers. 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 with loud roars and tumbles down into the ocean.
After a hearty and healthy breakfast, we land and hike into the valley in search of geological clues, patterns and fossilized wildlife. Svalbard is a geological hotspot without much vegetation displaying several billion years of history. One treasure trophy found here was a 15-meter-long fossilized Jurassic pliosaurus, the most fearsome carnivorous marine reptile ever to have existed on Earth. Back on the ship, we enjoy lunch before we head back to civilization. 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!
PRICE: NOK 12.900 per passanger
DEPARTURES: Every Friday
SEASON: 25.5 - 14.9.2018
MINIMUM & AGE LIMIT: 4 persons & 10 years
INDIVIDUAL & GROUPS: If the departure dates above does not suit your itinerary, we can set up a private group for you and your fellow passengers with additional supplement for private guide.
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
IN ADDITION: Flights, airport shuttle, drinks with meals, accommodation in Longyearbyen, private travel insurance, CO2 investment of NOK 250
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 arrive at the original planned destination.
We will sail through some areas with high density of wildlife, but we cannot guarantee any wildlife encounters, as the migratory patterns changes throughout the season and from day to day.
Our aim is 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.
What season should you travel on Linden? In May and long into June there is usually more sea ice around. Sea ice means less maneuverability for the ship, and it may hinder us from going to certain areas and destinations. But it also means more chances to see polar bears on ice! From late June the ice is melting and disappearing rapidly until it is more or less gone sometime in July. This means we can usually access most fjords and beaches without problems. In late July there is also chances of catching the Brunnich Guillemot chicks leaving their nest by jumping off the cliffs. Late August the light of the low midnight sun casts a magic spell over the Arctic scenery.
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.