A fascinating polar outpost

In Svalbard, you become part of a Nature documentary,
a priviliged witness to undisturbed wildlife and the powerful natural forces that shape our world.
Millennia of geological formations at a most visible display with spiky peaks and flat, pyramidlike tops.
It is a fragile, icy environment which holds the rest of the world in its grip and deserves more conscious attention and care.

With little more than 400 years of human activity, Svalbard has a short, yet most intriguing history.
A line-up of brave risk takers and fortune seekers who followed in the wake of Willem Barentsz.
Scattered around are traces reminding of the past adventures of fearless whalers and Russian trappers, scientists, miners and polar explorers.

Step aboard our expedition yacht and share our curiosity for this Arctic treasure.
I plotted the perfect plan for the trip of a lifetime.
- S/V (Sofie Vanmaele)

 

Arctic explorer cruise between 78° and 80°N

Sailing the icy fjords of Spitsbergen

Our cruise takes us along the West coast of Spitsbergen, the largest and best-known island of the Svalbard archipelago. During 9 full days, you will enjoy a digital detox in pure Arctic wilderness.

With a curious mind, we visit historical sites and we’ll dig into the stories of national and personal glory in the race to the North Pole. Juicy details will shed a new light on polar heroes like Amundsen and lesser known names such as Andrée and Wellman will enrich your mental encyclopedia.

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We deliberately choose to cruise in the Summer time, when the Sun does not set and the Arctic buzzes with life. Recharge on the midnight sun and come to understand the magic of the Arctic light.

We look out for brave animals on land, on ice, in the air and in the water and hope to observe our beloved puffins, white belugas, polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses, reindeer, countless birds… We zoom in on Arctic flora, such as the Svalbard poppy.

On our bucketlist

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Your Expert Guide & Crew

With extreme dedication and contagious enthusiasm Sofie will share her fascination for the Arctic. Sofie is a true seabird with a big heart for people and our beautiful planet. This trip is the ‘Best Of’ distilled from Sofie’s previous sailing experience in Svalbard and countless hours of research. With a broad lens, and surprising focus. Sofie guided many groups in Scandinavia and Greenland. She loves to connect likeminded people to each other and to faraway, wild places. Always with a big smile, and calm personality.

On land, Sofie is assisted by a professional safety guide from Spitzbergen Reisen, an organisation from Longyearbyen with two decennia of local experience.

Aboard the yacht, Captain Philippe and his sailing team will guarantee your safety. With controlled calculation, they’ll make sure you will get the most out of your trip. Apart from knowing every screw and bolt in his beloved yacht, which is a dream come true, Philippe’s life is an interesting library full of adventure. This former fighter pilot is an amiable storyteller and a true people’s person. It is genuine passion reflected, which brings us Puffins to Philippe and his beautiful yacht.

 

Explorer Comfort aboard S/V

We believe a sailing yacht is the best and most natural way to travel around Spitsbergen. The flexibility of the small yacht allows us to reach places inaccessible to the larger ships. In a small group, your adventure becomes much more personal and we listen to each other’s interests. The wilderness setting and cosy confines of the yacht let you experience a new dimension of group bonding.

We strive to set sail as much as possible and be as quiet and invisible as we can to the natural environment. When sailing, you really become part of nature. Apart from being environmentally friendly, our chosen yacht is also extremely fast, thanks to its sleek and elegant design. The yacht is built specifically for the comfort of curious polar explorers and is your safe basecamp during the cruise. More details about the yacht in our pdf brochure on request.

 
Picture by KM Yachtbuilders

Picture by KM Yachtbuilders

Picture by KM Yachtbuilders

Picture by KM Yachtbuilders


 

Schedule

Puffins listen to nature and travel with a flexible itinerary. We set goals, adjust plans to weather and ice conditions and grasp opportunities to make the most of our trip. Safety is always our primary concern. Please ask for the detailed PDF/e-brochure. There are two departure dates for this trip in 2019. Extra departures can be organised for private groups.

28 June - 08 July: still spots available

10 July - 20 July: still spots available

Day 1: Prelude: fly towards the Midnight Sun to Longyearbyen

Day 2-10: Explorer cruise: cruise between 78°-80°N to North-West Spitsbergen, details in brochure 

Day 11: Epilogue: free time to explore Longyearbyen or optional extra urbex exploration of ghost town Pyramiden

 

Extra: Soviet timecapsule in the ghost town of Pyramiden

An optional, unique cultural experience and according to Sofie an absolute must.

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In its heyday, Pyramiden was a flagship of Soviet Russia, with high living standards for the miners and their families. Today, it is an abandoned ghost town with almost intact buildings and furniture. It seems as if the inhabitants left head over heels at the end of the ‘90ies.

A fascinating enclave amidst overwhelming natural beauty at the foot of the pyramid shaped mountain and in front of the mighty Nordenskiöld glacier.

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Price & Group Size

4150 euro p.p. / minimum 6, maximum 8 puffins

Included in the price:

  • lifelong Puffineers membership with exclusive pioneer deals

  • professional services of your bilingual (NL/EN) guide Sofie, a Spitzbergen Reisen Safety guide, an experienced and licensed captain and sailing crew

  • all safety and communication equipment required for Arctic exploration on board and on land

  • local airport transfers in Spitsbergen

  • accommodation in twin cabins (bunk beds) aboard a polar expedition yacht

  • all meals on board, from breakfast at day 2 until breakfast at day 11

  • 9 full days of cruise along the West coast of Spitsbergen to North-West Spitsbergen

  • visit to the mine in Barentsburg with a local guide

  • all taxes and fees

Not included in our package:

  • return flight to Longyearbyen airport. Flights to Longyearbyen are surprisingly affordable. Ask Puffins for a quote if you prefer not to book yourself.

  • travel assistance and cancellation insurance. Read more about our VAB cancellation insurance options.

  • a valid travel passport. Check with your foreign affairs department. Svalbard is not a part of the Schengen agreement. For travellers from Belgium, a valid travel passport is advised.

  • alcoholic beverages, you can bring your own bottles aboard or buy from the wine cellar/beer cave aboard the yacht and in the restaurants.

  • optional extended stay in Longyearbyen. As Puffins for an accommodation option.

  • optional extended stay in Pyramiden. Ask Puffins for a package deal.