The Five Glaciers

Esmark, Nansen, Bore, Wahlenberg and Svéa... Five remarkably different glaciers in one epic adventure. This journey of discovery through the remote artic environment is a chance to fully explore a selection of Svalbards finest fjords, glaciers and tundra. This adventure has been designed with a relaxing pace for adventurous travellers who want to immerse themselves in a silent, magical arctic universe. We will progress along the coast by sea-kayak, setting up camps in remote and beautiful places and enjoy hiking in some of the most wild isolated lanscapes on earth...

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Flight to Longyearbyen

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

    Transport: Aeroplane and private vehicle
    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 2 Yymerbukta

    Yymerbukta This morning we will take a scenic boat trip across Isfjord to the bay of Ymerbukta and begin our kayaking expedition. This sheltered bay is the perfect place to set up our first camp and to practice our sea-kayaking skills. We can explore Ymerbukta fjord and paddle up to the glacier front. where we can witness the impacts of global warming as we observe Ymerbukta Glacier throwing itself with difficulty into the sea.

    Activities: Sea-kayaking
    Transport: Local boat across Isfjord
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 3 Bore Bay

    Bore Bay Today we paddle to Bore bay - which, contrary to its name, is no bore! It is home to two glaciers, the huge, magestic Bore Glacier and the looming mysterious Nansen Glacier.

    Activities: Sea kayaking
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 4 Boheman and its mining history

    Boheman and its mining history To reach Nordfjorden, we pass through Boheman Cape flat lands where reindeer roam. A walk through the tundra allows us to immerse ourselves in the world of miners, here we can visit the remains of Spitsbergens first ever coal mine and explore wind-battered old cabins of the late 19th century.

    Activities: Walking
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 5 Hiking the moors of Boheman

    Hiking the moors of Boheman Today we will go hiking in the moors of Boheman and explore the tundra and permafrost which characterize these Arctic lands. We can enjoy splendid views of the glacier and the fjord and spot reindeer and migrating barnacle geese.

    Activities: Hiking
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 6 Wahlenberg – Svea Glacier

    Wahlenberg – Svea Glacier Today we will discover the majestic Wahlenberg Glacier which overlooks the sea and journey to Svea Glacier, the largest and most active of all. Every year this glacier yeilds thousands of multi-coloured icebergs which drift from the bay.

    Activities: Sea kayaking
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Days 7 to 8 Svea bay

    Svea bay Now we have two nights at Svea Glacier to fully explore this silent arctic world. We can paddle among icebergs where seals and arctic birds bask and summit ridges with simply stunning views...

    Activities: Sea kayaking and hiking
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 9 Svea - Longyearbyen

    Svea - Longyearbyen This evening we head back to Longyearbyen, today is a final chance to enjoy this remote wilderness environment as well as to pack up, perhaps a final walk across the moraines or a final paddle through ice-filled waters will be on the agenda...

    Activities: Pack up camp and sea kayaking/hiking
    Transport: Boat trip, Svea to Longyearbyen
    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 10 Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen Day to relax and explore Longyearbyen with its edge-of-the-world atmosphere. We recommend visiting Svalbard museum and you can choose from a variety of optional activities like summer dog-sledding or a cruise to the abandoned Russian city of Pyramiden...

    Activities: Various optional activities
    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 11 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
€1,895 Yes Book now!
€1,895 Yes Book now!

Trip code: ENSP5GA

Included


  • Airport transfers
  • 3 nights guesthouse accommodation, Longyearbyen
  • 7 nights in our quality tents
  • Free walking tour of Longyearbyen
  • All technical camping gear
  • All sea-kayaking equipment
  • Full supervision by an experienced professional guide
  • Full board except a final evening meal in Longyearbyen (day 11)
  • Boat trip across Isfjord, Longyearbyen - Ymerbukta
  • Boat trip Svea Glacier to Longyearbyen

Not included

  • Registration fee: €18 per person (free for under 12s)
  • Flights
  • Evening meal on day 11 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
  • Svalbard museum: from €9
  • Day cruise to Nordenskjöll Glacier via the abandoned Russian settlement of Pyramiden: from €200
  • Summer dog-sledding: from €110 for a half day excursion

Notes

Comfort: 1/5 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. This trip includes warm guesthouse accommodation at the beginning and end of the trip.

Level: 3/5 Challenging

You should be in good physical shape to join our more challenging adventures. You should have a sense of adventure, a positive attitude and be prepared for a full-on action packed programme including 6+ hours of activity per day. Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather conditions.

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 11 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: two nights guesthouse accommodation, double rooms or dormitories of 2,3 or 4 beds, shared kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Camping adventure: normally we provide a 3 man dome tent per 2 people, for our expeditions we use light equipment which is suitable 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

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 (290NOK)
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
  • 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.

Your main lugage will remain in Longyearbyen during the trip. We will provide you 2 dry bags to store safely the sleeping bag and your personal clothes. Please note that the bag for your personal clothes does not exceed 17 liters.

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
11 days
Group
6 to 12 people
Code
ENSP5GA
Price
From €1,895
Level
3/5
Comfort
1/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • Our professional and passionate on-site team will ensure you have a safe and unforgettable adventure
  • Complete remote wilderness immersion with remarkable areas to explore including the 5 glaciers
  • Our state of the art equipment will keep you warm, dry and smiling
  • Time to relax and explore the most Northern Capital in the world, Longyearbyen

Required level

This trip is accessible to anyone in good health with a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. Our hikes do not normally exceed 600m height gain per day but are mostly off-trail and include crossing terrain such as tundra and glaciers. 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!
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