• Berth and accommodation in a 2-person cabin
• Sailing on the expedition yacht
• Captain's supervision and basic training
• Yacht insurance, search and rescue (SAR) insurance, personal accident insurance
• PPP (provisions, fuel, port fees, gas, water)
• Rental of weapons
Cost does not include:
• Airfare to and from Longyearbyen
• Transport to the yacht
• Personal expenses
Tromso - Nordkapp - Bjørnøya Barents Sea - Spitsbergen
From Tromsø through the Barents Sea. Bear Island and Spitsbergen
Tromsø is over 500 nautical miles away from Longyearbyen. Ahead of us is a several-day cruise across the Barents Sea.
This route will bring joy to enthusiasts of long sea voyages. How many days will it take to sail from Tromsø through Bear Island to the southern reaches of Spitsbergen… that will be decided by the wind. This is the essence of life at sea—time flows at its own pace. The days of the week blur together in the calendar. The time of day becomes irrelevant. Only the next watch on deck determines the flow of time…
If you are able to slow down for a moment and stop in the majesty of nature, mountains, fjords, and glaciers, immerse yourself in the silence interrupted only occasionally by the breaking chunks of ice with a thunderous crash into the abyss of the ocean, then this cruise is for you.
On the route:
North Cape (Nordkapp 71°10′21″N, 25°47′40″E) – a rocky precipice on the island of Mageroya, connected to the mainland by an underwater road tunnel. The island is dominated by bare rocks, in some places covered with tundra. The only tree is a dry branch attached to the rock with an iron hoop in the town of Gjesvær. The name North Cape was given in 1553 by the English explorer Richard Chancellor, who passed by it while searching for the Northeast Passage to Asia.
The Barents Sea is located on the outskirts of the Arctic Ocean between Northern Europe, the Svalbard Archipelago, Franz Josef Land, and Bear Island, connecting to the Norwegian Sea to the west, the Greenland Sea to the northwest, and the Kara Sea to the east.
Scientists studying the Arctic for several years say that the Barents Sea is undergoing atlantification —it becomes climatically similar the northern Atlantic. Conditions here are beginning to resemble those of the Norwegian Sea.
Atlantification is a change in the physical properties of water. The northern half of the Barents Sea has always been covered with ice. However, rising temperatures cause the ice boundary to move north. Its absence causes further temperature increases, and the longer the ice is absent, the more the seawater changes. Melting ice releases cold and fresh water, which is lighter than the warmer salty water below. This creates a kind of protective buffer against warmer waters from the south. If ice in the Barents Sea (and beyond) continues to decrease, freshwater resources will eventually be depleted. This will lead to easier mixing of Atlantic waters with Arctic waters. In such a situation, the characteristic water stratification for this region will disappear, and there will be no opportunity for sea ice to regenerate between Svalbard and Novaya Zemlya (HUBERT BUŁGAJEWSKI).
On the horizon, as the first of the Svalbard islands, we will see the Bear Island. Although Bjørnøya is as much a „bear” as Greenland is „Green” or Iceland is icy, the sight of mighty cliffs and caves carved by the waves is stunning… Bjørnøya seems small against the vast Barents Sea that surrounds it. The north and west of the island are plateaus with numerous lakes. The south and east are dominated by mountain formations and steep cliffs reaching 500 meters above sea level. In the southern part of Bjørnøya, there are some of the largest seabird colonies in the northern hemisphere. In the breeding season, over a million birds nest here.
The name Spitsbergen, translated as the „Land of Sharp Mountains,” was given by Willem Barents. In the summer of 1596, while searching for the Northeast Passage to India, he traversed the treacherous waters of the Arctic Ocean. Passing the 80th parallel north, he reached the inhospitable shores of unfamiliar land. Pristine islands, bristling with sharp mountains and deceptive underwater rocks, somewhat suggested their name to the explorer…
The Polish Polar Station Hornsund, named after Stanisław Siedlecki, is the northernmost year-round Polish scientific facility. The station is located on the island of West Spitsbergen, above the Bay of the White Bear (Isbjørnhamna) in the Hornsund Fjord. It was established in 1957, and since 1978, year-round research expeditions organized by the Polar Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences have been operating there.
We will visit Barentsburg, a „piece of Russia on Norwegian soil.” Barentsburg is a Soviet mining settlement, now mainly inhabited by Ukrainians from the Donetsk region, seeking work in the Arctic in the face of the crisis in their homeland. Among the remaining buildings, you can find many relics of the former inhabitants. Barentsburg is a place full of contradictions: the Arcticugol Toyota Trust and the monument to Lenin, abandoned houses, and social facilities, and in the background, a new hotel and a mini-brewery. The settlement was once a preview of Soviet propaganda at its best. Currently, the city is systematically rebuilt, and from a distance, you can see modern buildings built on the foundations of old ones. In the city, you will find a charming bar selling beer from the northernmost brewery.
In Billefjorden, we will visit the mining settlement-museum of Pyramiden, where only puffins and other birds live, and a few caretakers. Pyramiden was a Soviet mining settlement founded by the Swedes in 1910, sold to the USSR in 1927. In its heyday, over 1000 people lived here. There was a hospital, a two-story swimming pool, a covered sports field, a cinema, a library, a concert hall, a hotel, and a helipad. When coal mining ceased in 1998, the city was evacuated in haste, without unnecessary luggage… notes still lie in the offices, spare parts in the warehouses, vodka bottles and cigarette packs on the tables, dried flowers in pots, and only Lenin’s head still stands facing the Nordenskiöld glacier.
Longyearbyen is the capital of the Svalbard archipelago, where the crew exchange will take place. The city where more bears live than people. Once a settlement of hunters and whalers, it is now mainly inhabited by scientific workers and miners working in the coal industry -our base for venturing into the world of the Arctic tundra and polar sea.
Longyearbyen is a city at the top of the world, as the inhabitants say. A city with its own character—it lies on Svalbard, an Arctic Archipelago, on its largest island, East Spitsbergen. It is one of two functioning cities here and also the capital. Everyday life in Longyearbyen is surprising… Instead of cars on the roads, snowmobiles dominate, although there are parking spaces for dog sleds too. There are no funerals here (the earth returns the bodies), and the average length of stay in Longyearbyen is 5 years, resulting in hardly anyone here having heard of someone retiring…