Arctic Wilderness Adventure in Svalbard
Lookout for Polar Bears while you kayak, hike and glacier walk from your base at a wilderness camp in the Norwegian Arctic's Svalbard archipelago
Why it's much better
- A true Arctic adventure into the wilderness of Spitsbergen Island, part of the Svalbard Archipelago
- 4 nights sleeping in an Arctic wilderness camp
- Take turns to be on 'Polar Bear Lookout' duty to protect the camp
- Get up close to majestic glaciers during sea kayaking trips
- Keep an eye out for polar bears, whales, walruses, Arctic foxes and other Arctic wildlife
- Hike amongst the fjords, mountains and plains - and across a glacier
- Climb Värmlandsryggen peak for panorama views
- Brave the 'Polar Plunge'- a dip in the Arctic ocean - and experience the Arctic's midnight sun
- Support the alliance of tourism and conservation that exists in Svalbard to protect vast areas of wilderness
- Guides Expert, English-speaking local guides
- Accommodation 3 nights at hotel or guesthouse in Longyearbyen, 4 nights at Ymerbukta wilderness camp
- Meals All meals are included except for dinners in Longyearbyen on days 1, 2 and 7
- Transfers All airport transfers
- Permits All permits and entry fees
- Equipment All equipment for the wilderness camp, kayaking and glacier hiking.
- Happiness Guaranteed We're so confident that your holiday will be your best yet, we actually guarantee it
- Feel Good Vibes We mitigate 4x the carbon emitted by all our travellers and support important conservation projects
Day 1: Arrive in Longyearbyen
You'll get your first glimpse of the Norwegian Arctic when you touch down at Svalbard airport in Longyearbyen; the world's northernmost city. You'll be met at the airport by your host and transfer to your hotel.
The rest of day 1 is free for you to explore Longyearbyen. There are plenty of daylight hours for that this time of year... 24 hours to be exact! The streets in Longyearbyen have no names, cats are completely banned and reindeer wander freely through the town.
There will be a group briefing with your host at 18:00 before you grab some dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 2: First taste of hiking in the Arctic
After breakfast you'll lace up your boots for your first taste of hiking in the Arctic with a day's hike up Sarkofagen mountain. Starting from Longyearbyen, you'll head away from civilisation and experience the silence of the Arctic for the first time.
At the top of the mountain, you'll enjoy spectacular views over Longyearbyen - with mountains and glaciers everywhere you look. Your full day of hiking ends back in Longyearbyen itself with dinner and a well earned night's rest.
Day 3: Boat journey to Ymerbukta wilderness camp & kayak to Esmark Glacier
Today the wilderness expedition truly gets under way. Your guide will take you down to the harbour to board a boat to Ymerbukta: your wilderness camp for the next 4 nights.
There's a chance to see a myriad wildlife during the 3 hour boat journey. Keep your eyes peeled for polar bears, walruses, seals and up to 13 species of whales - including the Blue Whale, the largest creature on the planet. When you reach Ymerbukta, you'll be set ashore at the wilderness camp by zodiac boats.
After settling into the camp, you'll don a dry suit and life vest, ready for a sea kayaking expedition. You'll paddle in double kayaks, hugging the shoreline as you make your way to the towering wall of ice: Esmark Glacier. You may witness the glacier calving: you'll hear a crackling loud noise like thunder, followed by huge ice falls which create amazing blue colours and waves in the sea.
Back in camp after an active day, the group will prepare dinner together. If weather allows, you'll round off the day around a campfire.
Polar Bear Lookout
Tonight you'll have the unique experience of being on polar bear lookout - bet you've never said that before! Rest assured you'll have received a full safety briefing of what this entails. Looking out over the expanse of Arctic wilderness in complete silence and stillness, watching for polar bears in the distance while your fellow adventurers sleep, is an unforgettable experience.
Day 4: Glacier hiking on Esmark Glacier
Today starts with a big campsite breakfast, before you head out for a day of hiking across Esmark glacier. You'll be kitted out with crampons and a harness before hiking onto the glacier.
You'll hike across the ice, crossing deep cravasses and navigating snow bridges. At certain points, you'll be linked together with rope for safety while being supervised by your expert wilderness guides.
Lunch will be on the glacier, while you overlook the spectacular glacial formations. The rest of the afternoon you'll continue hiking across the glacier, taking in the views of the fjords and mountains in the distance.
Back at camp after a long day, you'll have dinner by the campfire and reflect on an incredible day of glacier hiking. Tonight the group continue with the polar bear lookout shifts.
Day 5: Arctic wilderness hiking
Today you'll spend a full day hiking towards the high peak of Värmlandsryggen. The aim of today's hike is to see a full Arctic panorama of the fjords, mountains, plains and glaciers.
The weather in the Arctic has a big impact on each day's plans, depending on conditions. Your guides will adjust the plan for each day according to the weather and how the group are feeling about the day ahead.
Later in the evening there'll be more outdoor dinners, more campfires and another chance for polar bear lookout shifts. Life in the Arctic is quite brilliant! Maybe tonight you'll pluck up the courage to take the 'Polar Plunge'; a quick dip in the ice cold Arctic sea.
Day 6: Hiking and kayaking wilderness expedition
Put your hiking boots back on and pack water, lunch and plenty of snacks ready for one last full-day adventure in the wilderness. You'll enjoy a combination of hiking and kayaking in a remote spot that the guides will have chosen, depending on the conditions that day.
Tonight will be your final night at the wilderness camp, so savour your last campfire meal with your fellow adventurers. The last of the polar bear lookout shifts will give you a chance to quietly soak up the place you've called home for the past 4 days.
Day 7: Boat back to Longyearbyen via Barentsburg.
Today you'll help clear the camp before heading out for a short hike before the boat trip back to Longyearbyen. The boat will stop at the Russian settlement of Barentsburg, on your way back to civilisation, where you'll be shown around by a local resident. Seeing Russian culture and Soviet era architecture after several days in the Arctic wilderness makes for an interesting detour.
You'll be back in Longyearbyen around 19:00 for dinner in a local restaurant and a night back in semi-civilisation.
Day 8: Transfer to Svalbard airport
Say goodbye to Longyearbyen and the Arctic as your host drops you off at Svalbard Airport in time for your flight home.
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
In Longyearbyen you'll be staying in one of two guesthouses or hotels. The July trips will stay at Gjestehuset 102 in Longyearbyen: a warm and friendly guesthouse with huge breakfasts to fuel the first hike on day 2. The August trips will stay at MaryAnns Polarrigg in Longyearbyen: a cosy hotel boasting 'The World's northernmost spa' for those wanting an Arctic sauna or jacuzzi either side of the wilderness camp.
In the wilderness, you'll be staying at a private camp at a place called Ymerbukta. All camping equipment is provided for your stay here, though you will need to hire a sleeping bag if you don't bring your own. The tents are for 2 people and have camp beds with sleeping mats. There is a toilet tent and a heated expedition mess tent with benches, table and stoves for cooking (and drying clothes when needed).
A campfire during the midnight sun is a surreal but beautiful regular occurrence at the wilderness camp.
Private Room Upgrade
For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for £142 per person (subject to availability).
Svalbard is an archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. It's a land of glaciers, fjords and vast ice fields. One of Europe's last wildernesses, the elements dominate life here with perpetual darkness in winter and 24 hours of daylight in summer.
The largest island is Spitsbergen, home to Longyearbyen; the world's northernmost city. There are more polar bears in Svalbard than there are people and nearly two-thirds of the archipelago is protected. Thirteen species of whale spend time in Svalbard's waters, including the largest animal on the planet: the blue whale. Endemic whale species in Svalbard include the beluga and narwhal.
Your trip starts at Svalbard airport in Longyearbyen. Transfers are included if you arrive on the start day, so please let your host know your flight times.
Your trip ends back at Svalbard airport in Longyearbyen, where your host will drop you off in time for your departing flight. Transfers are included if you depart on the final day, so please let your host know your flight times.
Dates & Prices
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There are currently no planned group departures. Please contact this host to request a quote for a custom trip.Request a Quote
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