Day by day
DAY 1: FIRST DAY AT THE ARCTIC FJORDS
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.
DAY 2: EXPLORING THE ARCTIC
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.
DAY 3: HIKE ACROSS POLAR DESERTS
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.
DAY 4: EXPLORING THE ARCTIC
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.
Isfjord Radio Adventure Hotel offers unique wilderness accommodation 90 km from Longyearbyen. There are no roads connection from Longyearbyen, so you need snowmobile or boat transfers to get here. At summer time we have daily boat safaris from Longyearbyen to Isfjord Radio at 10 am and return safari at 3 pm. The price for the return boat safari is 1,990 nok per person. Room booking for summer season is open from 1.7-30.9.
Please note that Isfjord Radio is a wilderness hotel and to move outside you need a guide with rifle for polar bear protection. At summer time we have a weekly adventure program. You can by additional adventures with the room booking or evening before at Isfjord Radio.
Price adults 1800
Children under 12 years
DAY 5: SAILING BACK TO LONGYEARBYEN