Svalbard | Norway

Ski and Sail Under the Midnight Sun in Svalbard

Season

May, 2021

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

Group size

1 – 14 people

Price range

$6.240 per person

Duration

8 days

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Backcountry skiing at the edge of the Arctic Circle!

Get ready for wandering polar bears, untracked summits jutting into the cobalt sky, and 1000m corn runs that end in the deep-blue sea — Svalbard rewards the adventure skier with a surprise every day. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime destination, especially on a ski & sail expedition.

Guests will arrive in the village of Longyearbyen via a short flight from Oslo. Even sitting at 79 degrees north at the edge of the Arctic Circle, Longyearbyen offers excellent restaurants, beautiful shops, and hidden nightlife. Just outside of town, dog teams take intrepid tourists onto the ice, where Arctic fox hunt mice and polar bears try to surprise the sleeping seals. Committed ski-tourers will find beautiful runs within sight of town, under 24 hours of daylight. Ski and ride in confidence with fully certified IFMGA mountain guides Tom Wolfe and Rob Coppolillo.

Week of Sailing and Skiing in Svalbard

After some touring and rest in Longyearbyen, Rob and Tom, their guests, the boat crew, and chef will board the 150-foot Noorderlicht, a two-masted gaff-rigged sailing yacht. Captain Floriss and his crew know which fjords offer sensational skiing, how to get there, where to anchor, and how to show the gang a good time. You’ll be in good hands!

Pre-sail three day FREE extension

You have an option to arrive early and settle in for a few days before boarding the boat and sailing to the remote corners of the archipelago. Authentic restaurants will keep you fed while in Longyearbyen and you can participate in three-day pre-sail ski tours. Accommodation and ski tour are free of charge if you complete full payment for Svalbard Sail and Ski tour until September 1, 2020, so hurry up and save your seat in time!

Tour Highlights

Given the long days in spring, there will not be any rush: around the clock the midnight sun provides an amazing soft light that is unique to ski touring this far north. You will be ski touring every day after lifting anchors in Longyearbyen. Skiing days last from 5 – 9 hours. Due to the presence of polar bears, the guides will be carrying bear deterrents and firearms during the ski touring days. All in all an amazing adventure – a trip of a lifetime!

Svalbard is largely glaciated, so guides carry a crevasse-rescue kit and guests must be experienced skiers. The terrain, though, is remarkably accessible. Gradual, scenic climbs give way to long, beautiful runs back to the water. And best of all, the warm, comfortable boat awaits tired skiers at the end of the day.

Prices and Dates

  • Price: $6,240 USD/person
  • Early sign-up bonus: Complete your registration before September 1, 2020 and join our pre-sail ski touring out of Longyear for no additional cost!
  • Deposit: 30% payment secures your booking; 60% due September 1, 2020; balance (full payment) due February 1, 2021
  • Trip dates: May 1-8, 2021 (3 spots left) & May 8-15, 2021 (4 spots left)
  • Pre-sail touring dates: April 29 – May 1 & May 6-8 (hotel accomodation included for two nights)

Need to know

Why should I book with 57hours?

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Whats's included?

This is what you’ll get:

  • 7 night yacht rental with crew, harbour fees, and permit fees
  • Breakfast and multi-course dinners on board
  • An experienced UIAGM / IFMGA mountain guides with extensive backcountry skiing knowledge

Pre-trip extension includes:

  • 3 additional days of town based ski touring and excursions
  • 2x hotel B&B in Longyearbyen.

Note: there is no cost for the extension – complete the booking before September 1 and just come ski with us!

Not included in the price:

  • Air travel
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Lunches and dinners in Longyearbyen
  • Hotel in Oslo en route

What's the itinerary?

Pre-trip three-day extension:

Day One

  • Arrival at the airport in Longyearbyen from Oslo
  • Transfer to the Hotel
  • Visiting town and Polarmuseum

Day Two

  • Ski touring day trip close to town and return to the Hotel

Day Three

  • Ski touring day trip close to town or alternative a snowmobile tour to the town of Barensburg, as small Russian mining town

Svalbard Ski and Sail

Day One

  • Potentially another shorter ski touring trip from town or a visit to an ice cave
  • Arrival day for those participants who chose to participate in the boat trip only
  • Boarding around 4 pm at the earliest
  • Safety briefing
  • Departure from pier usually around 6 pm

Day Two – Day Seven

  • First ski tour is only one hour of sail in the Isfjord; harbours like Ymerbukta
  • From there, you will be sailing along the West Coast of Spitzbergen to sample the best ski touring and peak ascent the group of islands has to offer. In May and June the sun is for 24 hours in Svalbard, which leaves a lot of flexibility for departures.
  • After each day of skiing, return from the shoreline is by Zodiak motor boat back to the Yacht, with the smell of dinner to welcome you.
  • Day will be finished on deck with a glass of wine, enjoying the contrast of the sea and the magnificent mountainscape with the everlasting sun above the horizon.
  • Arrival back in Longyearbyen is usually around 4 PM. There will be farewell dinner on the boat.

Day Eight

  • Bidding farewell to the Yacht and crew in the morning after breakfast and heading back to the airport.

Equipment list

Clothing list

  • Wool or synthetic socks and liner socks
  • Long underwear top – synthetic or wool
  • Light fleece or wool sweater
  • Wind shell – nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type jacket
  • Waterproof breathable jacket
  • Warm insulated jacket – down or synthetic
  • Long underwear bottoms – synthetic or wool
  • Multipurpose stretch nylon or ‘Schoeller’ type pants
  • Waterproof breathable pants
  • Warm hat – wool or synthetic
  • Brimmed cap for sun protection
  • Face warmer – scarf, neck tube or balaclava (optional)
  • Light gloves – wool, synthetic or leather
  • Insulated gloves or mitts with waterproof outer shell
  • Spare gloves or mitts
  • Handkerchief for blocking the sun (optional)

Snow Safety Equipment

  • Avalanche beacon with good batteries (and spares)
  • Shovel
  • Probe (2.4m or longer preferred)

Travel Equipment

  • Skis or split board
  • Ski strap
  • Ski or snowboard boots
  • Poles
  • Climbing skins
  • Skin wax (or a candle)
  • Ski crampons (mandatory)
  • Binding repair kit to fix your personal travel setup
  • Ski helmet (optional)

Personal Equipment

  • Pack (30-40 litres)
  • Sunglasses (both orange and dark lenses help a lot for travel in all conditions)
  • Goggles (orange lenses)
  • Sunscreen and lip cream (SPF 30+)
  • Head lamp with good batteries
  • Insulated water bottle or thermos (1-2 L)
  • Lunch bag or container
  • Personal blister kit (i.e: Leukotape-P and Compeed/Second Skin blister pads)
  • Pocket knife (optional)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Binoculars (optional)

Glacier Gear list

  • Harness – fitted for over your ski clothing
  • Locking carabiners (x2)
  • Non-locking carabiners (x2)
  • Prussik cord – 5m x 6mm (optional)
  • Sewn sling – 120cm (optional)
  • Lightweight ice axe (optional, don’t bring if you don’t have one or don’t like steep skiing)

If you have any question regarding the equipment list, feel free to contact us prior to booking.

What will the snow and weather be like?

May is the month for Svalbard Ski and Sail trips. The temperatures are mild and stable, with lows typically around -5°C and highs around +2°C. The snowpack is typically stable and skiing of the spring corn variety for the most part, although often Arctic Pow can be found on the steep norths.

Will we get a chance to see the Polar Bears?

While it is possible we will see polar bears on this trip it is highly unlikely.

Many tourists travel to Svalbard with the goal of seeing polar bears, and join trips that specifically go into the polar bear’s prime habitat — which is north into the pack ice. The goals of the Svalbard Ski and Sail trip is to get the best possible skiing accessible by sail boat. This means sticking to the ice-free waters further south. As a result, we have to disappoint those who are hoping to see polar bears.

At the same time, polar bear safety is always an important consideration. There will always be at least one person in each group carrying a rifle as well as flare guns (a type of bear deterrent). Since you will be moving from place to place and will not camp on land, there will also be no chance of attracting a bear.

Do I need an insurance?

The best way to tell if you want an insurance policy against individual financial risk is asking yourself ‘If unforseen circumstances prevent me from coming on my trip, am I fine with giving up the full cost of the trip?’. Unfortuntately, life’s unpredictability is its flaw as much as it’s a blessing. It’s better to play it safe, as you never know with goverment issued travel advisories or even simple injuries which can result in a week long hospital trips.

We strongly urge you to protect yourself with a suitable insurance policy that covers you adequately for your needs and individual financial risk tolerance.

Cancelation policy

All policies regarding cancellation, rescheduling and trip insurance you can find on this link.

Getting there and meeting location

The trip starts in Longyearbyen on Svalbard, which is the largest city on the Norwegian archipelago. There are daily flights to Longyearbyen from Oslo, Norway, but we encourage you to book early. Norwegian Air flies from Oslo, while SAS arrives from Stockholm.

Once you arrive to Longyearbyen on Svalbard, transportation from the airport will be provided.

The blue sky and ocean, interrupted by this spectacular, snowy landscape is unbelievable. Add that to the skiing and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So good!

By Rob Coppolillo – Certified AMGA/IFMGA rock, alpine, and ski guide.

$6.240 / person

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