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Arctic Ski and Sail

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SVALBARD SKI TOURING CRUISE
9 Days | 8 Nights

Location: Europe | Tour Focus: Guided | Terrain Focus: Backcountry
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Price p/p
USD 7,006
Head way way north to Svalbard for this inimitable ski touring/split boarding experience. Cruise around the Arctic Sea on a small sail boat and head ashore to ski amazing mountains in the land of the polar bear. Only 8 guests: join as a solo traveller or small group. More
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Fixed Date(s)
Days
Price
Availability
Fixed Date(s): May 04 - May 12, 2019
Days: 9
Price: USD 7,006
Availability: Enquire
Fixed Date(s): May 23 - May 31, 2019
Days: 9
Price: USD 7,006
Availability: Enquire
Future rates & dates are currently not yet available for this operator. Click here to enquire.
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Svalbard Ski and Cruise Tour

Head away from the ordinary backcountry ski touring options, and head to the extraordinary to go skiing in Svalbard with Ice Axe Expeditions on the Svalbard Arctic Circle Ski and Sail trip. Ski Svalbard aka Spitsbergen amongst the planet’s most northern mountains in the land where polar bears roam. If you only want to write a short bucket list, put Svalbard skiing in the top 5 things to do to make the most out of living a full and adventurous life.

Whether you want to go skiing in Svalbard or split boarding in Spitsbergen, which means “jagged mountains” (the largest island of Svalbard is called Spitsbergen and the whole archipelago of Svalbard was called Spitsbergen prior to 1925), you’ll get to explore a majestic environment of glaciated mountains and pristine fjords.

Ice Axe Expeditions was a pioneer in ski expedition to Svalbard. Ice Axe Expeditions is under the leadership of Doug Stoup, who is well renowned for his mega polar expeditions. He had previously based out of Longyearbyen Svalbard for his North Pole expeditions. After years of gawking at the amazing snowy mountains of Svalbard and the lines that no one, or only few, had skied, he chartered a sailboat and explored Svalbard on skis. You can benefit from the experience of Ice Axe Expeditions and join a small intimate group for this Arctic ski cruise aboard the Arctica II boat.

Where is Svalbard Norway?

A bit like the north pole, the artic region is a magnet drawing you in. The archipelago of Svalbard Norway in the Arctic Ocean is way up north and half way between North Cape of Norway and the North Pole. The Svalbard island range from 74° to 81° north latitude.

You have to fly into Longyearbyen (LYR) in Svalbard, which is probably the only town where you’ll find a street sign to indicate a polar bear road crossing.

Skiing in Svalbard

Cruising around in a boat is the best way to really explore the remote wilderness, and hunt down the best conditions. The boat moves to a different location each day and you head ashore via a zodiac.

The Svalbard skiing terrain on offer varies significantly from scenic and meandering alpine terrain to steep and challenging sphincter tightening couloirs. There are two mountaineering guides on the trip, so to some degree, the 2 groups can undertake different skiing and snowboarding objectives.

With respect to the Svalbard snow, expect any type with variants in the form of powder, crust, or corn.

More Reasons to Ski Svalbard

Apart from the majestic scenery, the wildlife spotting adds to the appeal of the trip. You may see reindeer, the Arctic fox, whales, dolphins, seals, walruses, and of course, polar bears. But don’t fear! Considering this is the land of polar bears, the mountain guides always carry a gun in case of a polar bear encounter.

Trekking, kayaking and wildlife zodiac cruises are also available during the cruise. You’ll take many photos that will look way better than any postcards your aunties ever sent you.

Another reason to head this far north, is that it’s sort of fun to put sun screen on at night time!

Required Ability/Experience

Whilst this sounds like a mission for a pro skier, you don’t actually need to be a pro skier or split boarder. As an absolute minimum you need to be an advanced skier or snowboarder (black ungroomed runs) and have plenty of experience riding off-piste in a range of snow conditions (including challenging snow quality). Previous ski touring/split boarding experience is required and crevasse rescue skills advantageous but not essential. Human power via skinning and boot packing is the only way to get up the mountains, so needless to say, you’ll need to be very fit.

A gear list will be provided which includes ski/snowboard touring gear, crampons (ski/split board and boot) and ice axe. Gear rentals are not provided. And BYO eye shades if you’re a light sleeper.

The trip is limited to 8 clients per itinerary. Some travel with friends but many also travel alone.
The trips start with a flight into Longyearbyen in Svalbard. Due to common flight schedules, commonly a night in Oslo Norway (OSL) is required.

Day 1
Arrive Longyearbyen, Norway, and transfer to hotel.

Day 2
Board Arctica II and begin journey with almost endless daylight. Once aboard the Arctica II, all accommodations and meals are included from an on-board chef.

Days 2-9
We will cruise the fjords of Spitsbergen, Norway in search of excellent terrain and first descents. Trekking, kayaking and wildlife zodiac cruises also available.

Day 9
Return Longyearbyen, Norway and depart for flight home.

Flexibility is a must for all Arctic travel. This program is subject to change throughout the journey depending on ice, weather and local conditions.

The Boat

The Arctica II is a 62 foot sailboat. It is a high comfort strong steel sailboat built for extreme conditions in polar regions.

The boat will sail to a new location each day in search of the best snow and terrain, and the size of the boat provides great versatility. Zodiacs are used to get ashore for ski objectives.

There are no long ocean crossings (unlike the Antarctica ski trip!) or long trips to get to ski descents. The boat may hit some unsettled waters but most guests do not suffer any seasickness effects.

Your ski gear would be housed in the front of the boat and you would sleep in small rooms with two sleeping berths in sleeping bags. Each cabin has its own bathroom with a shower with hot and cold water. A water maker produces enough water for you to have a shower when you need.

The boat is built for sailing in a cold climate and has a big warm saloon in the wheelhouse with large panoramic windows. Meals are cooked by the on-board chef.

You are not responsible for any of the sailing activities unless you would like to learn and help.

Rates Notes

  • Rates are in USD

Inclusions
  • Stay onboard the Arctica II boat
  • Guided ski/snowboard touring (1:4 guide:guest ratio)
  • Hotel night stay in Longyearbyen with continental breakfast
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on board the boat
  • Group transfers from the hotel to the ship on embarkation and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation and all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges
  • Shore landings & Zodiac excursions as permitted by weather & local conditions
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information package
Add-ons
No optional extras to display
Not Included
  • Airfares - flight options here
  • Skiing or trekking equipment
  • Baggage, cancellation and travel insurance (emergency medical & evacuation insurance is mandatory)
  • Telecommunications charges
  • Gratuities for mountain guides & yacht staff

Reservations and Payment

A deposit of 50% per person is required to confirm a reservation. The deposit may be paid by bank wire transfer, check, money order or Visa/Mastercard credit card. There is a 5% service fee for the use of credit cards. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure. Final payment may be paid by bank wire transfer or check. We do not accept credit cards for final payments. All prices and payments are in US dollars and no other currencies can be accepted.

Mandatory Travel Insurance

Passengers traveling with Ice Axe Expeditions are required to be covered by a travel insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage up to a minimum of $200,000 USD. Your policy must cover ski mountaineering if you will be participating in that activity. We travel to remote regions of the world and we recommend that the policy’s emergency evacuation benefit be higher than minimum.

Cancellations and Refunds

All requests for cancellations must be received in writing. Cancellations received up to 150 days prior to departure are refunded less an administrative fee of $500 per person. If cancellation is received between 149 and 95 days prior to departure, the 50% deposit is forfeited. Please note that for cancellations received within 94 days prior to departure, all deposits and tariffs are forfeited. If cancellation occurs within the 94-day period and full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and unpaid monies are due immediately. If for any reason the voyage on the vessel “Arctica II” (which is chartered) is cancelled, passengers will not be entitled to make any further claim for compensation or damages, for any loss, consequential damage, expenses, loss of time or inconvenience which may result from such cancellation arising, whether or not such cancellation arises in whole or in part as a consequence of any act or omission of Ice Axe Expeditions or its servants or agents. For these and other reasons mentioned below, passengers are strongly encouraged to obtain trip cancellation insurance.

Prices quoted are based on group participation and no refunds will be made for any part of the program in which you choose not to participate. It is understood that refunds cannot be made to passengers who do not complete the tour for any reason whatsoever. Itinerary The itinerary described is subject to change at the discretion of the ship’s master and Ice Axe Expeditions’ Expedition Leader. This is an expedition to a remote part of the world, and we reserve the right to change the itinerary due to weather conditions, availability of anchorages, political conditions and other factors beyond our control without consulting the passengers. It is understood that such decisions will be made in the best interests of all passengers aboard and with regard to the safety of the vessel. We may for any reason change the date of departure or conclusion of the expedition, the scheduled point of departure for the expedition, omit or change a scheduled stop on the expedition, change the scheduled place for conclusion of the expedition and change the mode of transport whether before or after the tour has departed, without prior notice to the passengers.

Passengers will have no right to refund and Ice Axe Expeditions will not be liable for any loss, consequential damages, expenses, loss of time or enjoyment or inconvenience in the event of these inevitable itinerary changes. The images featured in our brochure are inspirational in character and do not necessarily depict the exact people, animals, and places encountered by passengers. Ice Axe will not refund any of the payment due to weather delays and loss of ski days.

Rates

Voyage rates are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of printing and are subject to change prior to departure. Substantial changes in tariffs, exchange rates and the price of fuel, services and labor sometimes increase the cost of expedition arrangements significantly, and we reserve the right to alter our prices or introduce surcharges accordingly, even if payment has been received in full.

Responsibility

Please read this important information carefully. The payment of a deposit of any part or full payment for a reservation on this tour shall constitute consent to all the provisions contained herein. Ice Axe Expeditions acts as a general sales agent for the vessel, and also act as sales agents for the passengers with respect to other transportation, hotels, etc., and as such exercise every possible care. However, Ice Axe Expeditions and/or associated Agents shall not be held responsible for property loss or damage and/or any damages resulting from illness, personal injuries or death that may be sustained by reason of, or while engaged on, any tour whether due to the ownership, maintenance, use, operation or control of any automobile, boat, vehicle, hotel, common carrier or any other conveyance used in carrying out the tour. We can assume no liability due to any cause whatsoever whether caused by failure or delay or other irregularity, acts or omissions occurring during a tour under which the means of transportation or other service provided thereby is offered or supplied by owners, operators or public carriers for whom Ice Axe Expeditions acts only as Agent. Ice Axe Expeditions reserves the right (at their discretion) to alter or omit any part of the itinerary or change any reservation, feature and/or means of conveyance without notice and for any reason whatsoever and without allowance or refund, and with extra costs, if any, resulting there from paid by the passengers. We reserve the right to cancel any tour prior to departure, in which case payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. Ice Axe shall not be responsible for any injury to person (whether or not resulting in death) or damage to property arising out of any act of war, insurrection, revolt or other civil uprising or military action occurring in the countries of origin, destination or passage. Baggage is at the owner’s risk entirely. In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation, the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger. The transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not aboard their carriers or conveyances. The passenger contract in use by the carriers concerned (when issued) shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies and the purchaser of these tours and/or passage. By accepting the ticket the passenger also agrees to its terms and conditions. By forwarding of deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers. Ice Axe Expeditions reserve the right to cancel or withdraw any person as a member of the tour at any time.

Photography

Passengers extend Ice Axe Expeditions permission to take their photograph during the voyage and release all rights over those images. Passengers who do not wish to be photographed during the voyage must inform Ice Axe Expeditions in writing prior to the voyage.