Spring in North Spitsbergen - Hike & Sail 8 daysAboard: SV Rembrandt van Rijn
This exciting sailing adventure on board a three-masted schooner will take you along the pack ice and into the spectacular fjord systems of north Spitsbergen. Enjoy amazing scenery at every turn and great chances of spotting wildlife, including polar bears, as you sail through this remote wilderness close to the top of the world. Travelling at the end of the long Arctic winter, this sailing offers you the perfect chance to experience the last of the winter scenery and to witness spring awakening right in front of your eyes. With a special focus on hiking and snowshoeing you can enjoy fantastic treks across a variety of landscapes and elevations.
- Sail aboard a historic 3 mast schooner sailing ship
- Search for an abundance of Arctic wildlife including polar bears, walrus, whales, seals, Arctic foxes and reindeer
- Spectacular winter scenery at every turn
- Enjoy hikes of varying degrees of difficulty, walks and land visits
- Snowshoeing included
- Full board accommodation on board with all meals, snacks and hot drinks
- All Zodiac excursions and shore landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Snowshoe rental free of charge
So much to experience
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Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
As Senior Travel Expert, Simon has an absolute wealth of experience in adventure travel in some of the most fascinating places in the world. With in-depth knowledge and fantastic organizational skills, Simon’s first-hand experience and genuine passion drive him to work to create your perfect itinerary.
Zoe’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your Arctic sailing adventure will begin in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago, where after having arrived independently you can enjoy some time exploring this unique Arctic town before making your way to the port for embarkation. After settling in to your historic schooner ship and meeting your new shipmates we will set sail through Isfjorden in the early evening towards Trygghamna. As we sail you may spot the first minke whale of your voyage, and upon arrival in Trygghamna we will stop here for the evening and enjoy our first night on board.
Please note, land and air packages are available for transport to and from Longyearbyen, please enquire for more details.
Trygghamna & Alkhornet
This morning we will transfer to shore via Zodiac boat to explore Trygghamna and see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station. Later you can enjoy a walk to the large seabird cliff of Alkhornet to observe the birds scouting for breeding places as the Arctic spring sets in, and the Arctic foxes that stalk below the cliffs. If snow conditions are not too heavy, it is also common to see reindeer here grazing on the lush vegetation.
Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden
Over the course of the next two days we will be gently sailing north to discover Spitsbergen’s spectacular north-west coastline. As with all polar sailing, itinerary flexibility will be key here, and each day your captain and experienced crew will assess the weather, sea and ice conditions to chart the best course for scenic and wildlife experiences. The plan is to head for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden where the snow-encrusted landscapes will offer ample opportunities for walking and snowshoeing adventures.
As well as the spectacular scenery of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, we also hope to visit a number of historically significant areas such as Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world, and Ny London, where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining. We may also take a visit to some remote research stations and see the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926.
Having explored the north-west coastline your ship will turn south again to sail between the main island of Spitsbergen and Prins Karls Forland. Our itinerary here will be flexible but we plan to visit Poolepynten to search for sightings of the walruses that are often spotted hauled-out here, as well as ringed and bearded seals which are often found amongst the winter ice. As we sail there will be excellent photo opportunities as we pass the scenic St. Johnsfjorden, near Gaffelbreen.
As your ship makes it way gently back towards Longyearbyen we will spend two days exploring around Isfjorden. The plan is to sail to Ymerbukta to take the Zodiacs to shore for a walk along the expansive tundra to see the unique geological formations that characterise this area and search for some unique Arctic bird sightings. Later we will visit Ekmanfjorden to enjoy a hike to see the numerous glaciers that terminate near or in the sea. The following day we plan to visit Gipsvika to go ashore near the cliff of Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago!
Our arrival back into Longyearbyen signals the end of our exciting Spitsbergen sailing voyage, and after breakfast you will disembark and bid a fond farewell to your expedition team and new-found friends. You may wish to spend some further time here exploring this unique Arctic town or enjoying some of the many extra excursions and activities that are on offer here. Please enquire for details of the land-based activities that we would be happy to arrange for you. Otherwise, it’s sadly time to make your way to the airport for your onward or homeward flights, filled with memories of the adventure of a lifetime.
A view from Above
The Rembrandt van Rijn was originally launched in 1922 and has been completely rebuilt (completed in 2011) as a three masted schooner with twin auxiliary engines. There is accommodation for 34 passengers in twin cabins, some with private facilities along with a dining and lecture room and separate bar/lounge. There is plenty of deck space and passengers are encouraged to participate in sailing duties.
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