Svea Glacier Basecamp

Wave goodbye to the stresses of modern day life and immerse yourself in a stunning artic universe where the silence is disturbed only by seals, birds and reindeer... Svea glacier is perhaps the most impressive and active glacier in Spitsbergen, renowned for its suprisingly rich variety of flora and fauna, it is an ideal place for a remote wilderness basecamp. From this camp we will go sea-kayaking and/or hiking everyday exploring the strange and fascinating artic world around us, from icebergs, tundra and glaciers to reindeer, arctic birds and walruses, every day holds a new adventure.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Flight to Longyearbyen

    Flight to Longyearbyen Welcome to Longyearbyen, we will greet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation in the city under the light of the midnight sun.

    Transport: Private vehicle and aeroplane
    Accommodation: Guesthouse or private apartment

  • Day 2 Explore Longyearbyen & Boat trip to Svea Glacier

    Explore Longyearbyen & Boat trip to Svea Glacier Today is a chance to meet everyone and prepare for our adventure, together we will explore the northernmost city on the planet, Longyearbyen, before taking the boat to Svea glacier and our home for the next few days.

    Activities: Free walking tour of Longyearbyen
    Transport: 3-4 hour boat trip
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Days 3 to 8 Into the wilderness

    Into the wilderness Now we find ourselves in a unique and magical situation, immersed in this beautiful arctic world, each day holds a new adventure as we explore our surroundings by sea-kayak and foot.

    We can paddle through iceberg filled waters where seals and arctic birds sunbathe. We can kayak along the edge of the glacier and go hiking through the tundra where reindeer roam. Let's explore ridges with stunning views and majestic ocher cliffs, let's discover true quietness and the marvel at the charms of our back to basics, adventurous life style.

    Activities: 3-6 hours of sea-kayaking / hiking each day
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 9 Boat to Longyearbyen

    Boat to Longyearbyen Today is our last day at Svea Glacier, this afternoon we take the boat back to Longyearbyen, arrival time 2am. Today is a final chance to enjoy this remote wilderness environment as well as to pack up, perhaps a final walk across the moraines and a final glimpse of the elegant reindeer...

    Activities: Pack down camp
    Transport: 3-4 hour boat trip
    Accommodation: Guesthouse or private apartment

  • Day 10 Farewell Spitsbergen

    Farewell Spitsbergen Morning transfer to the airport and flight home

Please note that this itinerary, including walking distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the programme may be made.

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Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€1,595 Yes Fully booked
€1,595 Yes Book now!
€1,595 Yes Book now!

Departures for French-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Trip code: ENSPSVEAA

Included


  • Airport transfers
  • Return boat trip Longyearbyen to Svea Glacier (3-4 hours each way)
  • Free walking tour of Longyearbyen
  • 2 nights in guesthouse or private apartment accommodation in Longyearbyen
  • All technical camping gear
  • All sea-kayaking equipment plus extras (see equipment section for more details)
  • Full supervision by an experienced professional guide
  • Full board except for one evening meal in Longyearbyen (day 9)

Not included

  • Registration fee: €18 per person (free for under 12s)
  • Flights
  • Evening meal on day 9 in Longyearbyen (kitchen facilities/restaurant options available)

Additional Options

Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities:
  • Meal in a local restaurant: from €30
  • Day cruise to Nordenskjöll Glacier via the abandoned Russian settlement of Pyramiden: from 200€
  • Summer dog-sledding: 110€ for a half day excursion
  • Day walking the heights of Longyearbyen and the glacier: from 70€

Notes

Comfort 1/5 - Camping

This trip includes 2 nights in guesthouse accommodation with shared facilities and the remaining nights camping.
Normally we provide a 3 man dome tent per 2 people for maximum space and comfort. For our basecamps we usually set up a fully equipped mess tent for meal times, including a table and stools. We are proud of our high quality camping equipment and take care to monitor and store everything correctly.

Level 2/5 - Moderate

No previous experience sea-kayaking experience in necessary but you should be in good physical shape and prepared to participate in 4-6 hours of activity per day. You should have a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

Insurance

Practical info

Staff

You will be welcomed at the airport by a representative from our friendly team and accompanied for the duration of your holiday. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge our professional Svalbard team are experts in polar environments. All activities are lead by our qualified guides who are all English speaking outdoor practitioners with a passion for everything arctic. Please note that this adventure takes place in an isolated, polar environment where around 2500 Polar Bears live - your guide will explain safety rules which must be followed.

Food

Besides one evening meal in Longyearbyen  this trip includes full board, for your evening meal on day 9 there are shops and kitchen facilities available or local restaurants for you to sample - we have lots of recommendations!

Despite the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the artic regions we are proud of the varied, fresh and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. Meals are based on a selection of local products and you will have the opportunity to try several local delicacies. Each  day will start with a cold breakfast accompanied by plenty of tea and coffee or hot chocolate. Then you will prepare your own picnic lunch for the day from a buffet style array of options. Evening meals will include three courses, soup, a hot dish and a dessert- we try to offer fresh fruit and vegetables everyday but please be aware that this is not always possible in an isolated arctic environment.

Your help in the kitchen is expected and much appreciated, particularly in the evenings. We like when the whole group work as a team to cook dinner, it creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the days adventures together.

Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.

Accommodation

Longyearbyen: 2 nights guesthouse or private apartment accommodation , double rooms, shared kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Camping adventure: normally we provide a 3 man dome tent per 2 people, we use equipment appropriate for Svalbards sometimes changeable conditions. We will also provide a spacious mess tent for meal times, fully equipped with kitchen equipment including a table and stools.


Transportation

This trip includes transportation by local boat between Longyearbyen and the Svea Glacier area

Budget & exchange

The currency in Svalbard (and Oslo) is the Norweigian Krone, NOK
Please budget for:
  • Any additional activities
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • One evening meal in Longyearbyen, kitchen facilities, shops and restaurants available.
We recommend a budget starting from €30 / 290NOK for a traditional meal in a local restaurant

Tips

Tap water is always safe to drink in Norway.

Supplied equipment

We will provide you with all of the technical equipment you will need for this adventure - all you need to bring are your hiking boots.

Group Equipment

We will provide the group with...
  • A 'Tepee' style mess tent with table, stools and cooking equipment
  • 'Ortlieb' water belts
  • A Sarsat beason
  • A VHF radio
  • A heavy caliber rifle
  • An alarm gun
  • Mini-flares and penjectors for each group member
  • A copy of Spitsbergens animal records
  • A first aid kit
  • Books about local flora and fauna

Individual Equipment

We will supply you with...
  • A tent per two people (a 3 man dome tent for maximum space and comfort)
  • A self-inflating sleeping mat
  • A suitable synthetic sleeping bag ( -6°C)
  • An aluminium thermos flask per 2 people
  • Helly Hansen fleece lined salopettes for kayaking and when ashore
Sea-kayaking equipment
  • A tandem sea kayak with directional rudder (1 per 2 people)
  • A Gore-tex dry suit with integrated warm  fleece liner
  • A pair of kayak pogies
  • A spray deck
  • A life jacket with two pockets
  • A neoprene balaclava
  • 1 pair of 'croc' style shoes/sandals

Our sea kayaks were chosen for their stability and comfortable, they are suitable for first time kayakers. Average speed 2-3 miles per hour, up to 6 miles per hour. Suitable for all sea conditions and in the unlikely event of capsize they are surprisingly easy to right, even at sea you would be back on board and paddling in no time.

Vital equipment

For Longyearbyen
  • Your swimming stuff (for the pool or sauna options)
  • Clothes for travelling in (these can stay here when you are on the expedition part of this adventure)
  • A small towel and your personal toiletries

For the expedition
  • A sleeping bag liner
  • Your walking boots
  • Waterproof, windproof jacket (with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers (breathable)
  • Warm gloves and hat
  • Thermals - top & long johns
  • A fleece/jumper
  • Suitable underwear, t-shirts and walking trousers
  • Thin socks and thick socks (we recommend bringing 3-4 pairs of thick socks)
  • Sunhat and sun cream
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • Toiletries and toilet roll
  • Any personal medication
  • A water bottle/flask
  • A small rucksack to use as a day bag
  • Head torch & spare batteries (although it is nearly always light in the summer months)  

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool.

The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

Our advice for keeping warm

It can be humid and cold in Spitsbergen, please think carefully about what clothes you pack especially for our winter trips. We will provide warm outer layers but the layers you wear next to your skin can make the biggest difference. We recommend:
  • No cotton
  • Bring dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves
  • Wear multiple layers including:
    1. A warm breathable base layer
    2. A second thermal layer
    3. Wind and waterproof protective out layers

Helpful equipment

You may also consider packing
  • Your camera (with protective case)
  • Binoculars
  • A comfortable evening outfit
  • A comfortable pair of shoes for the evenings
  • Walking poles
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Insect repellant
  • A knife
  • A notepad and pencil
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing

Luggage

You may bring a hold bag (up to 20kg) as well as a cabin bag.

For you hold luggage please bring a soft bag like a ruckack rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical when loading local buses and trailers. We also recommend that you pack your clothes in plastic bags inside your rucksack so that they stay dry in the event of bad weather.

Don't forget to bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag. You can bring this as hand luggage on the plane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day in this bag.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip. Please bring with you any personal medication that you may need such as inhalers, plasters and painkillers.

Healthcare in Norway can be extremely expensive, we strongly advice all of our clients to invest in insurance before travelling.

Passport

You will need a passport that is valid for at least three months after your return date.

Visa

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is a visa-free zone

Mandatory vaccines

There are no specific health risks

Health information & recommendations

Please be aware that your guide will be carrying a gun along with other safety equipment to alarm/repel any Polar Bears.

Healthcare in Norway can be extremely expensive, we strongly advice all of our clients to invest in insurance before travelling.

Weather

The weather in the Svalbard archipelago is very changeable.

The average annual rainfall in Longyearbyen is only 200mm (7.87 inches), in London, England, the annual average is 594mm (23.4 inches)! Spitsbergen is a cold desert, showers are very rare in summer.

In summer temperatures can range from 1 - 14°C (34 - 57°F), the average temperature is 6 - 8°C (43 - 46°F). The temperature of the sea in summer is around 2°C (35°F) on the West coast and -2°C (28°F) on the East. It is always colder nearer the glaciers.

Strong katabatic winds can occur here, particularly near to high glaciers but the winds are normally calm in June and July. Summer winds can generally be described as moderate and localised, the winds tend to pick up towards the end of August as winter nears.

Dark polar nights occur from 14th November to 29th January, the full moon shines across the snow creating a beautiful gliterring winter landscape. Then, from 19th April to 23rd August, the sun shines constantly, uninterrupted, high in the sky. 

Electricity

In Spitsbergen the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs is used, 230V with a frequency of 50hz

Local time

Svalbard uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) +1 hour and Daylight Saving Time (DST) is observed here.

Topography

  • The Norweigian Svalbard archipelago is the closest territory to the North Pole; Spitsbergen is the name of the largest island.
  • Svalbard covers an area of around 39146 square miles (63000km2) and two thirds of this polar world are constantly covered by ice.
  • The archipelago was deserted by human civilisation for a very long time but today has over 2600 inhabitants.
  • The archipelago has 3 National Parks, 3 Nature Reserves, 15 Ornithological Reserves (bird reserves) and 3 Botanical Reserves.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously. We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

In the Polar Regions the ecological balance is delicate so we ask that you are particularly careful regarding the conservation of the sites we explore. We aim to leave our camping spots even cleaner than when we arrived and, as a company, we participate in the Clean Up Svalbard programme. We support the laws, advice and recommendations which aid the conservation and protection of this unique arctic paradise. This is reflected in our trips, for example, we do not visit Ornithological Reserves during nesting season and never remove historical remains or whales bones from the beaches. We hope that all of our clients will respect our philosophies and embrace these attitudes.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...
1.    Be prepared
2.    Stick to trails and camp overnight right
3.    Stash your trash and pick up waste
4.    Leave it as you find it
5.    Be careful with fire
6.    Respect wildlife
7.    Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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Isabelle

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Isabelle

  • Outdoor activities enthusiast
  • Adventure travel expert
  • Loves the arctic world
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Region
Spitsbergen
Activity
Hiking Kayaking Svalbard in the Summer
Duration
10 days
Group
6 to 12 people
Code
ENSPSVEAA
Price
From €1,595
Level
2/5
Comfort
1/5
Language(s)
English / French

Strengths

  • Complete and total remote wilderness immersion in one of the most isolated and exciting environments on earth, near Svea Glacier
  • Hiking and Kayaking with a professional guide in this beautiful artic world
  • A professional and passionate on-site team who will ensure you have an unforgettable stay in complete safety

Required level

This trip is accessible to anyone in fair health with a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. We will do 3-7 hours of activity per day, our hikes are not technically difficult but may venture off-trail. For sea kayaking it is essential that you can swim at least 100m, no previous kayaking experience is needed. This trip involves camping and please note that your help with tasks like cooking is much appreciated and expected - we want you to be a part of our team; not just a sheep!
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