Double crossing the Barents Sea

Are you looking for an opportunity to re-define „extraordinary“? Double crossing the Barents Sea might help…

This is the expedition for the most adventurous. Not only are we going on an extraordinary trip to Jan Mayen, but we will also try to climb the summit of Beerenberg; Norway’s only active- and the world’s northernmost volcano.

The expedition is carried out with our 70 foot expedition boat Valiente and the voyage over takes 4-5 days. When arriving Jan Mayen we set up camp on the beach as a base for hiking and trekking around this beautiful and inaccessible island, and we prepare to climb the 2277 meter high peak.

During the voyage from Longyearbyen to Jan Mayen, we will really get a feeling of the open sea. What kind of weather to expect is never easy to know, but we are sailing at a favorable time of year for this part of the Arctic, so we are hoping for good winds and calm sea, and as much time as possible on Jan Mayen. These will be adventurous days at sea where we will get to know each other well. Everyone on board is a participant and we all take shifts on watch keeping, so expect to see whales as you keep a steady course looking out for Jan Mayen in the distance. In these waters at this time of year, we have full midnight sun and large parts of the day will be bright, which is always a good starting point for an adventure trip like this.

Upon arrival on Jan Mayen, we set up a camp as a starting point for exploration and discoveries on land, and for the ascent of Beerenberg which is priority #1, which we start as soon as we have a suitable weather window!

We provide all the equipment needed to set up the camp, and permits to go ashore. All participants are involved in building the camp and creating routines for cooking and other practical tasks. The boat will be available near the camp, so if necessary it will be possible to carry people and goods back and forth. However, the weather determines whether it is safe to get back and forth between the boat and land, and we must constantly consider risk. The alternative may be to stay at anchor and wait, or sail with the weather until it has eased.

Our skilled guide and expedition leader will in collaboration with the group plan the trips on land. There will be a great focus on safety and we review the plans carefully so that everyone feels informed and involved in everything that is going on. The summit climb does not have to be particularly difficult in good conditions, but with the use of ropes on parts of the ascent and descent the trip takes 18-30 hours. Given where we are and the forces of nature in the Arctic, we take every precaution and prepare for a tough climb up and down the mountain.

We will be 2-3 skippers and crew, all good sailors, of which at least two of us will have solid seagoing experience and also experience from similar expeditions. In addition, we have a guide and expedition leader who is responsible for the trip on land. In the boat we will include all participants in the sailing, whether it is for sail or motor. We will generally sail at all times of the day, and everyone on board will be running watches of 4 hours on and 8 hours off.

It’s not just any sailboat we use on this trip, but our 70-feet expedition boat Valiente. She is a very steady and comfortable boat built in steel, made for sailing in arctic waters. The boat is well equipped and has a large outdoor area, a wheelhouse and a 360-degree-view lounge.

This expedition is, like our other longer trips, primarily a great voyage of discovery, but also an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about sailing and navigation, and not least using a boat as a starting point for discoveries and experiences on land. Are you ready for the late summer’s expedition to Jan Mayen?

The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and climate change. We are committed to taking care of the environment as much as possible and we believe that small boats with few people and little pollution and waste are much less harmful to the environment, climate and local wildlife, than larger boats and cruise ships. We also try to gather garbage at the places we visit, instead of leaving something behind. On Svalbard we follow AECO’s guidelines for encounters with wildlife, beach cleaning, cultural heritage sites and for arctic operators.

June 8 – June 22, 2020 for NOK88’500 per person

Itinerary

Day 1 Longyearbyen
We meet at 12:00 on the harbour in Longyearbyen. We start with getting to know each other, before we go through the plan for the week. We get to know the boat and the equipment, and finish packing provisions and equipments. The life onboard requires cooperation, and before departure we go through routines and procedures onboard, for sailing and emergency situations. We depart and start sailing out the Isfjord this first evening.

Day 2-6 From Longyearbyen to Jan Mayen
This will be some ocean crossing from Svalbard to Jan Mayen(!). After getting out into the open seas we head straight for Jan Mayen. If we get good conditions we arrive in less than four days, but if the weather is against us it can take up to a day extra. The actual crossing is around 570 nautical miles, but how long time we spend depends on the wind direction and sea conditions.

Day 7-11 „Campsite Beerenberg“ and exploration of Norway’s only active volcano
We bring all the equipment needed to set up camp on a volcanic island in the Arctic. We set up the camp together and get to know the area and plan the next days in detail. The weather plays an important role in all planning and we are prepared for all conditions. The goal is for the whole group to climb the summit of Berensbeerg, but if we don’t manage to do so for different reasons, the trip to Jan Mayen is well worth the try. We have quite a few days available and are optimistic.

Day 11-15 We sail back to Svalbard
We have become a close group at this time and have experience with offshore sailing from coming here. The boat will be a welcomed home after a few days in tent and you are familiar with the routines and life on board. Anyhow, we will enjoy the voyage back to Svalbard, whether it is in heavy weather or in the quiet Barents Sea. Back again in Longyearbyen we celebrate with a proper dinner on land and with good drinks and soft drinks! Thank you for the trip!

In Longyearbyen

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience Longyearbyen in advance of the trip, then we recommend staying an extra day or two before traveling home. It’s always smart to add time for some rest and calmness before and after such a trip, to let the impressions sink in and see what’s happening.

The program

The program may change according to weather and conditions, but it gives an indication of how we spend the days.

Included

Trip experience with sailboat – experienced and locally familiar skipper/instructor on board
Guide and expedition leader for the climb of Beerenberg
All the food we eat on board and in camp during the trip
Accommodation on board the whole trip
Our Comfort Package which consists of accommodation in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
Tents, cooking- and camping equipment
All boat-related expenses such as diesel, gas, harbour fees etc.
Personal safety equipment, HH inflatable life vest
A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurers from around the world
A lot of time outdoors – raw and honest nature experiences
Advice, guidance and practical training on sailing and boating in general. As an active crew member you will be engaged in, and learn to run a boat.
Survival Suit and Search and rescue (SAR) insurance for everyone on board
An environmentally friendly, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday

Not included

Travels to and from Svalbard
We do not have our own chef on this trip. As a part of the crew, you contribute on a rotating basis with the cooking and operation of the boat
Warm sleeping bag for use in camp. Personal trip/camping equipment.
Entrance to galleries, museums and similar, or other alternative arrangements and activities that you/we may come up with along the way
Possible optional activities where we hire external guides and equipment in Longyearbyen.
Personal snack for excursions on land (so, it’s smart to bring a little extra snack)
Drinks like wine, beer or high-exclusive apple juice and other luxury (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
Travel/cancellation insurance – recommended, but up to you.

Practical information

Travel – in general

Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also gives another start to a holiday. Cycling, taking the train or driving a car together are good alternatives! Feel free to add some extra time before and after, since up in the north weather that can sometimes change your plans…

Travel Svalbard

The trip starts and ends on Svalbard. A few row to Svalbard, a few more sail, but most fly. Norwegian and SAS fly to Longyearbyen, check out http://www.norwegian.no or http://www.sas.no.

Safety and risk – in general

We take safety seriously and on our trips we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. On board the boat and trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant is trained quickly enough to be a participating crew, not a passenger. It contributes to learning, sense of achievement and increased safety for all. This is also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses, you are trained to be one of the crew members on board.
Mountain hikes and alpine/backcountry trips involves a certain risk, as does sailing. However, we as an operator, and our skippers and guides, do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner. Everyone gains on this and we have no one to lose.

In terms of risk, we sail a safe and sturdy steel boat that is well equipped for this type of trip. However, all sailing in general, and sailing in arctic regions, involves a certain risk that you must be willing to take.

Feel free to contact us for a chat and guidance about risk.

Level of this trip

Sailing wise, our trips are not difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! We have with us both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. However, you must be prepared for everything from no wind to sailing in harsh weather. If you are a beginner, we will try to make you a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced you will be given responsibility and greater challenges.

Equipment/packing

In Northern Norway and the Arctics we must be prepared for all seasons, often during a single day. It’s a part of the experience; it’s wild, beautiful and raw – in all aspects, also with regards to weather. Prepare for the contrasts! For us the most important thing is to enjoy the ride and the sailing. Use what you have, borrow if you can, and invest in something new if you must. In good time before departure we will send you a detailed recommended packing list for this trip.

Food and cooking

On our trips everyone contributes to the operation of the boat, so as long as you have not booked one of our trips with a designated chef, all take their turns in the galley during the trip. Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. In advance of the trip, we set up a menu and shop what is needed. We try to offer good menus with healthy and “boat friendly” food. If you have allergies or preferences let us know in the registration form, and we will take that into account. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

What we expect from you

We want you to take part in the routines onboard the sailboat, whether it is sailing, docking, navigating, looking for whales and icebergs, washing up, cooking, clean the boat or contribute in other ways when required. Our trips require a little effort from all participants – and you should be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people go very well together. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least do things with new people with different personalities than one might be used to, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable stories 🙂

Life on board and accommodation

Life on board a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which is important to be prepared for. On our trips everyone participates in the operation of the sailboat and everyone is considered crew. We would like to get to know you well and hope that you will get to know everyone else on the sailboat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences are quickly what will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.
Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. The accommodation is generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some have a bunk bed solution. The distribution is quite a puzzle, but we do believe we are quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations.Any accommodation before and after the trip must be arranged on its own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we’re happy to give you some recommendations.
On the boat we have a lot of heat and a lot of good food, but not always abundance of fresh water.

What kind of people join this trip – and how many are we on board?

Many come alone, some travel as couples, some travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and committed people you become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but that is not so important to us. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old as long as you want to go on a trip and intend to do your part so that you and the rest of the crew will have a good trip together. The number of participants varies from trip to trip.

ECO, Environment and sustainability

Both sailing and hiking/alpine/backcountry trips are environmentally friendly activities and we sail as much as we can and use the engine as little as possible. We encourage crew and participants to travel as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we use local ingredients and resources as far as possible. We also have our own trips where we collect litter and clean ocean trash from beaches.
Philosophically we often say that sailing is an exercise in sustainability; we move with the wind and we have limitations on things like water, diesel, electricity and food. In order to run sustainable – knowledge, patience, agility and hard work are required. The same applies to almost everything you try to do in a sustainable way.

Changes to the program

The program should be seen as a starting point that we adapt to weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to constantly improve our itineraries. On board with us we always have a dinghy for beach landings and small expeditions, we have fishing gear for the cod, and gear to hike or make a bonfires on the beach – we are ready for adventure! Are you?

credits to Seil Norge

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