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Sailing with an icebraker ship to the northernmost mountains of the world

Data disponibile:

il 26-05-2022

Dettagli

DESCRIPTION

SCENARY AND SKI TOURING IN ALBERT I LAND

A peninsula crossing project in North Spitsbergen @ Massimo CandoliniAt the end of a long Arctic winter, spring is starting to awaken. The climate, however, still clings to the cold: ice-covered mountains, snow-swept shores, temperatures around –4° C (25°F).

It’s a good time to experience the last of the winter scenery, and with a little luck, also see some polar bears, walruses, and seals in the bargain. The sea too is changing. Fast ice starts to be broken and changes to drift ice. The icebreaker ship cruises in water with drift ice without problems, across a stunning scenery.

It’s a good time to ski the northernmost mountains of the world. Slopes start from sea level and go up the view to the arctic ice sheet which is spectacular! Despite the 24 hours of light, the cold wind from the North Pole, keeps the temperature under zero and the snow is still good for skiing. A huge playground of slopes and mountains are ready to be skied, unbelievably, the snow is untouched! Yes, you read correctly: no one else skied on the mountain!

SKI TOURING DAYS

Making the path in North Spitsbergen @ Massimo Candolini

This program is designed for experienced ski mountaineers only, who have mastered techniques both for ascent and descent in challenging snow-covered alpine terrain. The accurate route cannot be determined in advance due to variable weather, sea, wildlife, and avalanche considerations. Obviously, we prepare a plan, but this must be considered as a rough guide only. The Expedition Leader, with support from the Mountain Guide, makes the final decision as to the daily adjustments. All itineraries are for guidance only.The view to the Kongs Fjorden from the Olssonfjellet @ Massimo Candolini

Our excursions all set off from the sea and reach the peaks of a spectacular landscape of fjords and islands with the taste of the Far North, often with excellent snow cover.

A typical ski mountaineering excursion sets off in the morning from the ship, landing by Zodiac dinghy. We usually cover altitude differences of 800-1200m (4-6 hours in ascent) and normally descend along a different route, sometimes even crossing to a different return point.

The main playground is the Albert I land, the “upper left corner” of Spitsbergen, the area of KongsFjorden, 79°00′ North, Krossfjorden, Magdalenfjorden, Smeerenburgfjorden, Raudfjorden, Liefdeffjorden and Woodfjorden, sailing almost to 80°00′ North. No other land before the North Pole, approximately only 1000km away!

THE POLAR BEAR

The Polar Bear is looking for food... @ Massimo Candolini

The Svalbard King and its symbol too. Some research counts approximatively 3000 bears, like the human population of Svalbard…

The Polar Bear can be aggressive and dangerous. To properly manage this risk, you must be knowledgeable about Polar Bear habits and behaviours, to prevent “face to face” meetings! The Guides are skilled and able to recognize the “mood” of the Polar Bear, in case of an encounter. Usually, it is interested in hunting seals, not skiers, so a proper group behaviour is what is needed to manage the bear. In any case, the Guide will handle the group reaction, and, if necessary, will use a flare gun or, only for defensive or immediate danger, will use a rifle to shoot the bear.

Very rarely do accidents happens, so acting in accordance to the rules, listening to the Guides and adopting a proper behaviour is what is needed to be able to enjoy an encounter with this magnificent animal.

A Polar Bear sequence while is walking on the shore @ Massimo Candolini

m/v HONDIUS

The icebreaker ship Hondious © Meike Sjoer

Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, meeting the latest and highest Lloyd’s Register standards for ice-strengthened cruise ships. Surpassing the requirements of the Polar Code adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Hondius represents the most flexible, advanced, innovative touring vessel in the polar regions, thoroughly optimized for exploratory voyages that provide you the utmost first-hand contact with the Arctic and Antarctica.

Happier polar passengers, healthier polar environment 

Not only will the numerous amenities and on-board entertainments help make your Hondius voyage truly memorable, the ship also gives you the peace of mind that comes with choosing one of the most environmentally friendly vessel on the polar seas. Hondius uses LED lighting, steam heating, bio-degradable paints and lubricants, and state-of-the-art power management systems that keep fuel consumption and CO2 levels minimal. This means that when you sail aboard Hondius, you get to enjoy the exotic landscapes and wildlife as much as possible while impacting them as little as possible.

Hotel comfort, expedition class

On board of Hondius - Midnight at Svalbard © Mike LouagiePlease be aware that a small number of cabins may have a partially obstructed view due to the size of the windows and the design requirements of the ship. For example, some windows may be partly obstructed in the lower half by a gangway. The best view is always on the outer deck or the bridge. Hondius offers high-quality accommodation for 170 passengers in six grand suites with balconies (27 square meters, 291 square feet), eight junior suites (19 to 20 square meters, 205 to 215 square feet), eight superior cabins (20 to 21 square meters, 215 to 226 square feet), 11 twin deluxe cabins, (19 to 21 square meters, 205 to 226 square feet), 14 twin window cabins (12 to 14 square meters, 129 to 151 square feet) as well as 27 twin porthole cabins, two triple porthole cabins, and four quadruple porthole cabins that vary in size from 12 to 18 square meters, or 129 to 194 square feet. One deck consists of a large observation lounge and separate lecture room, which are reserved for a wide variety of interactive workshops, exhibitions, and performances particular to Hondius. Though elegantly designed in stylish mid-century modern décor, this vessel holds true to Oceanwide’s distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere.

The fast, flexible, friendly heart of the polar regions

Our top priority is taking advantage of every wildlife and terrain opportunity as it occurs. To keep our itineraries flexible itineraries and our response time rapid, Hondius is equipped with advanced stabilizers and two main engines capable of powering the vessel up to 15 knots. But Hondius sacrifices no warmth to achieve its keen polar edge: You will have 72 crew and staff members (including expedition and hotel staff) at your service while on board, ensuring that what little time you do spend on the ship you will spend comfortably entertained.

On board of Hondius - The Bar © Ivan Ivanisevic
On board of Hondius - observatory lounge © Ivan Ivanisevic
On board of Hondius - Twin Porthole Cabin © Ivan Ivanisevic
On board of Hondius - Quadruple Porthole Cabin © Ivan Ivanisevic
Condizioni

TRAVEL DETAILS

DEPARTURE AND RETURN

In Longyearbyen airport, according to your flights

CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT

Standard ski-mountaineering equipment, compulsory ARTVA rescue kit and helmet. See detailed list below.

We recommend bringing a few very warm items of clothing, e.g. padded jacket, and a pair of comfortable après-ski boots.

GUIDING RATIO

1 : 8 max

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Full board on the ship, a berth in a sharing Quadruple Porthole cabin (when available), 8 days/7 nights. On excursion days, lunch will be replaced by sandwiches and snacks that can be collected at breakfast. It is possible to upgrade the cabin to a superior class, with an extra price. These cabins are equipped with 2 upper & lower berths, small sofa, private shower and toilet, and portholes.

Zodiac (tender) transfers from/to boat/shore

Mountain guide and crew services and cost

Free coffee and tea on board

Search and rescue insurance

WHAT’S EXCLUDED

Transfers to and from your house to the airport

Flights

Lunch and/or dinner and/or night not on board of the vessel

Ski touring and mountaineering equipment

Personal insurance for accidents, medical, cancellation and baggage

Everything not written in “what’s included”

GENERAL CONDITIONS

All itineraries are for guidance only.

We are not liable for any damage, such as (but not limited to) bodily injury, illness, and death unless as a result of gross negligence.

Furthermore, with the consent to participate in the ski mountaineering program, the passenger agrees to make no claims for reimbursement for shortened travel days due to reasons beyond the organization’s control, such as (but not limited to) conditions of weather and ice, avalanche threats, polar bear threats, and expedition staff injuries.

Programma

DAY BY DAY

Day 01

Largest town, biggest island

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plants have been recorded in it. In the early evening, the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage. We head north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden.

Day 02

Kongsfjorden , Blomstrandhalvøya and Krossfjorden

As a first step we jump inside the heart of Spitsbergen. This is my favorite area, huge glaciers directly in the sea, plenty of wildlife, historic locations, perfect slopes. We have several options and just one day: around Kongsfjorden we can choose the superb Feiringfjellet, the refined Olssonfjellet, the panoramic Bogentoppen, or around Krossfjorden the Tynairebukta jewel, the perfect cone of Kroneprins Olav fjellet, and more the ski oriented slopes of Dronning Mauds.

We can have time to a visit Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth, to sail in front of the huge Kongsbreen ice cliffs, to surely spot reindeers, seals, arctic foxes, and start to search for the Svalbard King, the Polar Bear!

Day 03

Exploring the North West

Next, we will head towards Magdalenefjorden and Bjornforden, where we can schedule a ski traverse or a regular ski day, depending on the conditions. A stunning Kvaspiggen peak dominates the skyline with a perfect pyramid shape, that calls to mind the Matterhorn.

Another amazing naturalistic place is Amsterdamoya, where you have the chance to hike past the remains of a 17th-century whaling station. You can also enjoy the beautiful panorama of Smeerenburgsleta, and we can make for the islands around Fair Haven. Ytre Norskoya is home to a small rookery of puffins, Brünnich’s guillemots, and other wildlife.

Day 04

Rugged Raudfjorden

This north fjord offers several opportunities especially on the mountains in the East side. The names Marstranderfjellet, Lagercrantzfjellet and Snotinden are just to identify the group, to each name corresponds several ski opportunities. Our Mountain Guide will suggest the best option according to snow, sea and weather conditions.

At Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you can take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears. Here we will find the right balance between safe activities and wildlife watching.

Day 05

The stunning sights of Liefdefjorden

Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are favourite feeding spots for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. Near the area of Texas Bar and Hornbaekpollen, there are also some great hikes and the perfect starting point for ski-touring. The Hannabreen glacier and the peaks around are a perfect area for rarely visited peaks (or never visited, we do not know…) with magnificent untouched slopes: Siktefjellet, Hannaryggen, Hogeloftet and more.

If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, we may use an alternate route along the west Spitsbergen coast.

Day 06

North Spitsbergen splendors

This is our reserve day for activities around North Spitsbergen. Weather, snow and wildlife permitting, we will choose the right location for another day of splendid outdoor adventures.

Day 07

Prins Karls Forland 

Forlandsundet, between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland, is a place of great beauty and fascinating wildlife. Walruses sometimes haul out here, and seabirds can be found around Fuglehuken. You may also see walrus populations around Sarstangen and Poolepynten. Ski-touring can be a very good option on the Prins Karls Forland, the long, narrow and mountainous island on the east side. From Grimaldibukta or Brebukta we choose to climb peaks as Rudmosfjellet or Phippsfjellet, skiing over cold and beautiful glaciers.

We will arrive in Longyearbyen later that night.

Day 08

There and back again

Even the greatest journeys eventually come to an end. Today you disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Materiali

GEAR AND CLOTHES

The complete ski touring set is necessary:

  • Ski touring skis, poles, skins, ski crampons, ski boots, helmet (mandatory);
  • Safety kit: TransReceiver, Shovel, Probe (mandatory);
  • Backpack (30/35 liters);
  • Harness, crampons, axe, one screwgate carabiner (optional reccomended);
  • Goggles or sun glasses;
  • GoreTex and wind stopper jackets and pants, down jacket, light and warm gloves, hat, buff, …
Luogo

MAP


Ski & Sail in North Svalbard
The route of Hondius in North Svalbard
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Sailing with an icebraker ship to the northernmost mountains of the world

Data disponibile:

il 26-05-2022

The Lilliehookbreen ice tongue in the fjord @ Massimo Candolini

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