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.
Sofie plotted the perfect plan for the trip of a lifetime.

 

A unique combination of experiences

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Cruise between 78° and 80° North

Our cruise takes us along the West coast of Spitsbergen, the largest and best-known island of the Svalbard archipelago. 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. We choose to cruise in the Summer time, when the Sun does not set and the Arctic buzzes with life. We look out for brave animals on land, on ice, in the air and in the water and hope to observe puffins, white belugas, polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses, reindeer, countless birds… We zoom in on Arctic flora, such as the Svalbard poppy.

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Step back in time and lodge at Pyramiden Hotel

A unique addition to our journey is a visit to the two Russian settlements. In Barentsburg, we will visit the active mine. The ghost town of Pyramiden was abandoned when the Soviet Union collapsed and gives the impression that time stood still. In our urbex exploration, we will enter the intact buildings, such as the school and the swimming pool and we will lodge and dine at the one and only hotel. A very special cultural experience. A hike up the pyramid-shaped mountain will have us enjoy the spectacular surroundings of Billefjorden.

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. We scheduled this trip from 29 June to 10 July. Other dates upon request, also available for private groups.

Trip Starts: in the middle of the night on 29 June upon arrival at the airport of Longyearbyen

29 June - 07 July: cruise between 78°-80°N to North-West Spitsbergen 

08 July - 09 July: Russian cultural injection in the settlements of Barentsburg and Pyramiden

Trip Ends: after breakfast in the morning of 10 July in Longyearbyen, with free time to explore

 

 
 

Price & Group Size

4820 euro pp / minimum 6, maximum 8 puffins

At Puffins, we carefully select and only work with partners who share our values. What we offer is of high quality, yet our prices are sharp, because of low agency overhead costs and smart moves. Moreover, our package is complete, excluding the obvious, including all else. Browse and compare, nowhere else will you find all what’s listed below at this sharp price.

Included in the price:

  • Puffins’ roadmap to Spitsbergen and 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 equipment required for Arctic wilderness exploration on board and on land

  • private tour with a local, Russian guide in Pyramiden, mine visit and beer tasting in Barentsburg

  • all local transport in Spitsbergen, including airport transfers and boat transfer to Pyramiden

  • accommodation in twin cabins (bunk beds) aboard a polar expedition yacht for 9 nights, in a Soviet-style double or twin room with shared facilities at Pyramiden Hotel for 1 night, in a double room with ensuite bathroom in Longyearbyen for 1 night in decorative trappers style

  • all meals in the trip schedule, including 3-course farewell dinner at a cosy restaurant in Longyearbyen

  • all taxes and fees

  • our VAB travel assistance insurance of 28 euro. If you are already properly insured, we will deduct this from the total travel sum.

Not included in our package:

  • return flight to Longyearbyen airport. Flights to Longyearbyen are surprisingly affordable with low-cost Norwegian Air. Ask Puffins for a quote if you prefer not to book yourself.

  • 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.