Texas Bar

A truly remarkable expedition in the lands north of Spitsbergen. A place where few humans venture, an arctic paradise where polar bears reign and silence dominates, a land of icebergs, glaciers and rocky outcrops..

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Evening flight to Longyearbyen

    Evening 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 Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen Your guide will join you at your accommodation this morning for an official briefing - this morning is a chance to meet the group, prepare for our adventure and deal with logistics like equipment, the weather forecast and safety procedures. We should also have time to explore Longyearbyen before our afternoon departure by boat for the North via Isfjord.

    Activities: Explore Longyearbyen & prepare for expedition
    Transport:Boat
    Accommodation: On board

  • Day 3 Navigating the North of the Svalbard Archipelago

    Navigating the North of the Svalbard Archipelago Today we cruise along the west coast to the north of the archipelago. It is a top start to a great expedition, cruising through the ice-filled waters. The boat will drop us on a beach during the night depending on the weather conditions.

    Transport: Boat
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Days 4 to 21 The Great Northern Expedition

    The Great Northern Expedition Over the next 17 days we will spend each night camping, discovering different sheltered spots and immersing ourselves completely in these northern lands. We can expect a new adventure each day in this varied remote wilderness where polar bears reign suprime - the northernmost kayaking destination!

    To begin, we will most likely head to Smeerenburg Fjord in the northwest of the island, just opposite the island of Amsterdam. It is one of the most spectacular places of the archipelago with its distinctive, sharp peaks.

    In these untouched remote northern lands we will observe white and blue glaciers tumbling abruptly into the sea and thousands of islands which are home to a suprising variety of wildlife. We will weave around islands of black rock ( the last rocks before the North Pole), and imposing icebergs which drift through the seas, battered by the winds...

    We will find ourselves in an area where few humans have ventured before and explore coves and cliffs sheltering thousands of birds - our own private spectacle. Here, on the beaches, it is not uncommon to find seals or walruses basking in the sun...

    Then we will explore the great ocher red flat lands where reindeer roam. This is the kingdom of the mighty polar bear, we are likely to come across these breathtaking mammals often and are able to observe them in their natural environment.

    We will then head to Wood Fiord and Leift where we find the hut of Texas Bar, opposite the huge glacier of Monaco that gave its name to this magnificent expedition. The Glacier Front stretches for more than 3 miles (+5kms) and carries tons of icebergs which are scattered across the bay. It is in this magical place, where in 2006 we were graced with the presence of a female polar bear with her two cubs who had taken up residence near our camp for three days.

    Our remote wilderness adventure comes to an end at the secret hot springs of Woodfjorden where we will be picked up by the boat that will take us back to civilisation.

    Return to Longyearbyen by boat.

    Activities: Sea-kayaking expedition
    Accommodation: Camping each night & guesthouse in Longyearbyen day 21

  • Day 22 Longyearbyen

    Longyearbyen A day to relax and explore Longyearbyen with its edge-of-the-world atmosphere. We recommend visiting Svalbard museum and you can also choose from a variety of optional activities like summer dog-sledding or a cruise to the abandoned Russian city of Pyramiden... Please note that today also acts of a 'safety day' in case of delays in our itinerary.

    Activities: Various optional activities
    Transport: Airport transfer late this evening
    Accommodation: Not included

  • Day 23 Farewell Svalbard

    Farewell Svalbard Transfer to the airport for your flights home

Please note that this itinerary, including 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
€4,995 No Book now!

Trip code: ENSPTEXA

Included

  • Airport transfers
  • Two nights guesthouse accommodation in Longyearbyen
  • 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 22)
  • Overnight boat trip across Isfjord to expedition start
  • Boat trip back to Longyearbyen after expedition

Not included

  • Registration fee: €18 per person (free for under 12s)
  • Flights
  • Accommodation on day 22 - late evening departure for flights
  • Evening meal on day 22 in Longyearbyen

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

This trip includes two nights guesthouse accommodation in Longyearbyen, one night on a boat and all other nights in tents. 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 5/5: Extreme

Our extreme adventures are only for those in in very good physical shape. Experience in the chosen activity/activities is mandatory as is 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 the final day there are shops and kitchen facilities available or local restaurants for you to sample - we have lots of recommendations!

During our expedition, each person is responsible for their own equipment, including food, and will carry everything therefore light and easy to cook meals are favoured. In spite of this, plus the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the artic regions, we are proud of the varied, and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. You will have the opportunity to try local products and several local delicacies. Each day will start with a hearty breakfast accompanied by plenty of tea and coffee or hot chocolate. You will carry a picnic lunch and plenty of snacks for the day and evening meals will include three courses, soup, a hot main dish and a dessert.

Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs. Please be aware that this is a participatory trip, your help cooking and setting up camp is expected. We want you to be a member of our team; not a sheep!

Accommodation

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

On board: One night on the cruise ship to reach start point of expedition

During the expedition: 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 boats.

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*
  • Food and perhaps accommodation during your transfer in Oslo

*We recommend a budget starting from €30 / 290NOK for a traditional meal in a local restaurant

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 tandom sea kayaks were chosen for their stability and comfortable, they are suitable for first time kayakers and have plenty of storage capacity for our expedition gear. They are suitable for the changeable 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 (and suitable protective case)
  • Binoculars
  • A comfortable evening outfit
  • A comfortable pair of shoes for the evenings
  • 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. Please remember that your possessions will have to fit into your kayak during the expedition so please do not over pack.

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
Kayaking Svalbard in the Summer
Duration
23 days
Group
6 to 10 people
Code
ENSPTEXA
Price
From €4,495
Level
5/5
Comfort
1/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • An exceptional expedition in a place where few humans have ventured before
  • Polar Bears, the Northern Lights and icebergs; glaciers, beaches and hot springs; arctic birds, seals and walruses
  • High quality equipment and supervision by experienced professional guides - experts of this arctic world

Guide's advice

'This trip really is a once in a life-time, out of this world adventure'

Required level

This trip is for those who are physically and mentally prepared for a 17 day  participative camping and sea-kayaking expedition in the most northernly paddling destination in the world.
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