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The Svalbard archipelago is a very special area and offers a magical atmosphere and real frontier spirit for those who venture so far north - ideal for a dog sledding adventure! With a population of just over 2000, the capital, Longyearbyen, is the northernmost town on the planet and the northernmost settlement of any kind with more than 1000 persons.
Svalbard is a land of extremes of light and darkness. Between 19th April and 23rd August, the sun is continuously above the horizon with 24-hour daylight. Between 26th October and 15th February, the sun is continuously below the horizon during the polar night. Midnight Sun Dog Sledding in Svalbard runs at the beginning of the polar day period, from early April onwards, which means that during your dogsled tour you have the unique experience of a winter adventure combined with 24-hour daylight (it will be continuously light during all tour dates, with full Midnight Sun from 19th April onwards), and of sledding and camping in an area just 1300km from the North Pole! Average daytime temperatures at this time are just a few degrees below zero, ideal for winter camping tours.
Your dogsled tour takes place in the remote wilderness of Svalbard, with arrival + departure + 5 days' dog sledding taking you through a stunning landscape of glaciers, valleys and mountains, and into the land of the polar bear. The environment can be challenging, but no prior dog sledding experience is required. Participants should have previous outdoor experience and be prepared for an adventure! Safety is of course a high priority on your tour, and your guides will carry full safety equipment for the expedition including weapons, emergency beacons, flares and First Aid kit. Group size is very small, with max. 3 participants + guide offering a very personal experience.
Each participant will drive their own team of Alaskan Huskies. Midnight Sun Dog Sledding in Svalbard is based on wild winter camping along the route. Each night you will pitch camp to sleep in a large communal tent (for safety and comfort) while the dogs keep watch.
The route taken and the particular region of Svalbard to be explored will be chosen to offer the best possible experience depending on weather conditions, often heading east from Longyearbyn towards the coast at Inglefieldbukta, where you have good chances to see seals and perhaps even polar bear (though note that seeing polar bears is not a focus of the tour).
You will normally move from point to point each day, possibly keeping the same base camp location for a night mid-tour to do an exploratory day tour with lighter sleds.
Midnight Sun Dog Sledding in Svalbard combines the wild beauty of the Svalbard archipelago, the challenge and adventure of winter camping, and the very special atmosphere of husky sledding beneath a sun that never sets!
NB: Overnight in local accommodation after your last day's sledding on Day 7 is included, but we recommend if possible planning to spend at least one additional night on Spitsbergen following your tour, both to make the most of your visit to the Svalbard area and also to allow for the unlikely event that an additional day is required on the tour due to weather conditions (for example if needing to wait out a storm). The itinerary below is subject to change due to weather conditions and other safety considerations. Please contact us for suggestions for accommodation if staying extra night(s) before and/or after your tour.
Arrival in the afternoon for transfer to the lodge at the kennels.
NB: Please note that it is not possible to arrive with the late night flight - you must arrive latest afternoon/evening.
Together with your guide and the rest of the group, you will go through the route you will be covering on your dogsled tour into the Svalbard wilderness over the coming days, meet the dogs and review the personal and communual equipment you will be using. When ready, you will eat dinner together around the fire in the hut before retiring to your sleeping bags for your first night in Svalbard!
Note that there are no shower facilities at the lodge.
Breakfast and harnessing the dogs before your husky adventure begins.
Each tour is a fresh adventure (see typical itinerary below), and the particular region you will be sledding in over the coming days and the distance to be covered will be chosen to give the best possible experience depending on weather conditions.
Typical areas to be visited/routes to be taken during a tour may include Sassendalen, through Fulmardalen and to Agardh, along the eastern shoreline of Inglefieldbukta, over Inglefieldbreen, Nordsysselbreen and down Edvartbreen towards the stunningly scenic area of Ratjørna, the valley of Kjellstrømdalen and through Adventdalen back towards the kennels.
Your final day of dog sledding takes you homewards to the kennels to arrive sometime in the early afternoon, where you unharness your team, bid farewell to the dogs and organise your equipment and packing before transfer to guesthouse or simple hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen (which offers shower facilities) for your last night, and a chance to reflect and swap stories and impressions from your time in the polar wilderness.
Note that dinner on the last night is not included. Dinner is available to purchase locally.
General area in which the dogsled tour takes place
A typical itinerary for the expedition part of the tour would be:
- Day 2: To Sassendalen, typical distance around 45-60km
- Day 3: Up Sassendalen through Fulmardalen and over to Agardh on the east coast of Spitsbergen. Good chances to see seals.
- Day 4: South along the east coast of Inglefieldbukta.
- Day 5: An extra day to explore the beautiful east coast area.
- Day 6: Towards Ratjørna in the valley of Kjellstrømdalen.
- Day 7: Up Bergmesterbreen, down Drønnbreen and through Adventdalen to the kennel for transfer to Longyearbyen.
After breakfast (not included, available to purchase locally), it's time to say goodbye! Taxi transfer (not included) to the airport for departure (unless staying additional nights in the area).
- Not Included
02.04-09.04.18, 11.04-18.04.18, 20.04-27.04.18*
*full Midnight Sun tour
Prices are in British Pounds and Euros. If you wish, you are also welcome to make your payment in Norwegian Kronor (NOK) - please contact us for details.
|Per person||GBP 2,635||EUR 2,830|
- One night's accommodation in hostel standard rooms at the kennels on Day 1. Shared rooms with bunk beds. Hostel on Day 1 has electricity but no running water (water is provided in container, dry outside toilets, note that there are no shower facilties). Accommodation on Day 6 has shower facilities.
- One night's accommodation in guesthouse/simple hotel standard rooms in Longyearbyen on Day 7. Rooms for 1-4 persons. Shared WC/shower and kitchen facilities. The accommodation normally used in Guesthouse 102, but actual accommodation location/facilities may vary depending on availability. If requested, solo travellers will be allocated single room if possible subject to availability.
- Five nights' accommodation in tent during tour. For comfort and safety, a large communal tent is used where all participants sleep together. Everyone participates equally in tasks during the trip and around camp, including looking after the dogs, pitching and breaking camp, etc.
All meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 7. Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
Equipment and Clothing:
- Husky sledding equipment including own sled dog team of Alaskan Huskies and services of local guide.
- Warm winter outer clothing: thermal snowmobile suit, winter boots - please provide clothing (S-XXL) and shoe sizes in advance. Please note that guests must bring own warm gloves/hat.
- Warm winter sleeping bag/liner and mat. Reindeer skins are provided for extra warmth to sleep on.
- Camping/cooking/eating equipment, thermos.
- Instruction in harnessing and sled handling.
- Services of local guide.
- Transfer between Longyearbyen airport and the kennels on arrival if arriving with daytime flight (the standard arrangement for the start of the tour). Guests arriving with evening flight (special circumstances only possible by prior arrangement) should take taxi from the airport to the kennels (approx 250 NOK, about £25).
- Guests are responsible for own transfer to airport (or to Longyearbyen if staying extra nights) on departure.
- Travel: We do not arrange flights or domestic travel, but are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey. See under "Good to Know > Getting There" for general travel information.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Transfer from airport on arrival day unless arriving with daytime flight.
- Transfer to airport/Longyearbyen on departure day.
- Getting There
- Eco Info
Good level of fitness. You should have previous outdoor experience (inc. camping in summertime) and be comfortable living in close proximity with others. Minimum age 18 (16 if accompanied by adult).
No previous dog sledding experience is required. Dog sledding, winter camping and tasks around camp can be physically demanding. You will need to assist the dogs during uphill sections by stepping off and running behind the sled.
What makes this "Hard"?
This tour features winter camping, which significantly adds to the level of challenge compared to a cabin tour, and also takes place in a very remote landscape. The terrain is treeless and can be very exposed.
NB: Perception of difficulty is very subjective. What is hard to one person may be easy for another and vice versa, depending on factors including level of fitness, age and previous experience. Weather conditions/temperatures can also dramatically affect the actual level of challenge encountered.
For information on any equipment and/or clothing included as standard for this experience, please see under "Dates and Prices > Included".
A detailed recommended packing list for personal items to bring will be sent with your booking documentation.
NB: We advise you not to buy equipment or clothes for your trip or to incur other non-refundable expenses such as flights until you have received confirmation of your booking from us in writing. Note of course that the most appropriate clothing to use as well as the level of challenge experienced during any outdoor activity may vary significantly depending on factors such as the time of year and the particular weather/temperature conditions during your trip.
A total of minimum 2 persons is required for scheduled tours to run. You are of course welcome to book as a solo traveller.
Detailed information on travel options to this experience will be provided in response to your enquiry. We are happy to advise on suitable connections and assist you with any aspect of planning your journey.
Please ensure that you make a booking with us first and wait for confirmation that your spaces are reserved before making any travel arrangements.
Fly to Oslo for domestic flight to Longyearbyen. Local transfer from Longyearbyen on arrival is included.
Maximum group size 3 persons.
This provider has a written environmental policy.
Will I see Polar Bears?
The tour takes place in areas where polar bears can be seen, and bears are occasionally spotted during tours (when made, sightings are usually from a distance). However, seeing polar bears is not a focus of the tour, and would not be appropriate either from the point of view of disturbing the animals (Svalbard has very strict guidelines on this) or for safety reasons. Every effort is made to minimise the risk of getting too close to a polar bear to avoid disturbing them.
It is certainly possible that you may see seals or signs of other wildlife such as arctic foxes during your tour.
"[The best part was] camping in the totally isolated mountains of the east coast of Svalbard." Keith, April 2017
"Spectacular trip, guide knowledgeable and friendly." Eddie
"I just returned from a six-day-dog sledding trip in Svalbard - and I loved every second of it! And it was perfectly organized by Nature Travels: I was very well taken care of by Jayne and the others at the office, from the very beginning of my booking process until the very end. I would definitely recommend Nature Travels when considering going on a tour to the north - I will most certainly go on another of their offered tours at some point during the next years. [The best part was] just the sheer endlessness of the landscape, only ice and snow and the sound of husky-paws on the soft snow.it doesn't get much better than that!" Susanne