• Wave icon Trip Type: Coastal, Offshore
  • Speech bubble icon Instructors: 2
  • People icon Crew Size: Max 9
  • Cake icon Ages: 18-75
  • Pin icon Region: Norway, Iceland & The Arctic
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Adventure Rating:
High

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Experience Required:
Low to some

12 Days from £2,999

Dates, Prices & Travel

Arctic sailing adventure: Norway – Svalbard

Join the crew for this once-in-a-lifetime sub-polar adventure as we sail from the Northern Norwegian coast to the Svalbard archipelago, 700 miles north and at the very edge of the Arctic pack ice. Starting in the beautiful archipelagoes surrounding Tromso, we head out into the Barents sea for a truly exciting offshore passage, sailing every further north until we are passing Bear Island and still further until the ice-capped mountain peaks of Svalbard appear over the horizon. After its long winter, Svalbard comes alive in the summer and we are here to explore on board and hiking ashore. It is a world of icebergs, glaciers and extraordinary wildlife with migrating birds and walruses, seals, and whales. On land, polar bears, polar foxes, Svalbard rock ptarmigan and Svalbard reindeer roam. Mysterious Soviet era towns such as Barentsburg and Pyramiden can still be visited. This adventure isn’t for the faint of heart, but for those who crave the untamed Arctic, it’s a truly spectacular adventure.

Please note that this is not an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean qualifying passage.

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime with the offshore sailing experts?

Rubicon 3 are renowned as the offshore sailing experts, renowned in the sailing world for our extensive experience, comprehensive training, dedication to discovery, and fantastic sailing adventures. Our expert team, highly experienced sailors in ocean passage making, the Arctic, North Sea, and Norwegian Sea, offer hands-on instruction in all aspects of offshore sailing, catering to those new to offshore sailing and more seasoned sailors.

Our selection of unique bucket lists and less-traveled routes sets us apart, ensuring offshore sailing that’s both exhilarating and full of discovery. Our ethos is an unwavering commitment to safety and environmental sustainability, ensuring every voyage respects the sailors and the sea. Additionally, we are as focused on individual skill-building as a sailing school so that everyone is fully involved in every aspect of the passage. This holistic approach built Rubicon 3’s reputation as the go-to experts for anyone seeking the highest level of offshore sailing.

Want to join?

Go to the Dates & Prices button to see the dates for this adventure sailing holiday. It will also give you information on connecting travel, including where to fly and when and where to join the boat.

Sailing Area

Norway to svalbard sailing area map
Norway to svalbard sailing route map
The Yachts
Key Information
What’s included
  • All food and accommodation on board

  • All fuel & berthing fees

  • Your own bunk and storage area

  • Use of oilskins

  • Use of lifejacket

  • Sailing tuition

  • RYA Competent Crew (supplementary fee)

What’s Not included
  • Your connecting travel to & from boat

  • Sailing & travel insurance

  • Meals you choose to eat ashore

  • Alcohol

  • Visas where required

  • Discretionary tip

Interested in dates & availability?

To see when this trip runs, its start and end locations, price to join the crew and availability, click on the ‘Dates, Prices & Travel’ button up top.

Discretionary tipping of the Rubicon 3 crew

The trip price is 5% less than we would normally charge. This is to allow you at the end of your adventure to offer a combined 5-10% tip to the Rubicon 3 skipper and mate if you feel they have delivered exceptional performance. This tip is entirely discretionary. See our FAQs here.

Got some questions?

Joining a big sailing adventure is a big thing, so don’t be surprised if you have lots of questions before you book. Who else joins, what to expect, and so many more queries are entirely normal. The home page has loads of info on this (scroll to the bottom), there are our FAQs and never hesitate to contact us by email, phone or live chat. The team are here to have a chat, discuss options, answer questions and help make sure you get on the exact right sailing trip for you.

A brief history of Svalbard

The history of Svalbard is a fascinating tale of exploration, exploitation, and international intrigue. First spotted in 1596 by Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz, Svalbard quickly became a hotspot for whaling and hunting, drawing adventurers and workers from Europe. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, coal mining became the dominant industry, with countries establishing settlements to stake their claims. The 1920 Svalbard Treaty recognized Norwegian sovereignty while allowing all signatory countries equal rights to commercial ventures, a unique arrangement that continues today. Throughout its history, Svalbard has been a frontier of Arctic exploration, a site of geopolitical importance, and a living example of international cooperation in managing and researching one of the world’s most extreme environments.

yacht by mountains

Itinerary

The exact weather conditions and sea ice levels at the time will determine what we can explore in Isfjorden, and the itinerary for this Svalbard expedition varies every year as we sail north into the fjord. After this expedition, we spend two weeks exploring the west coast of Svalbard and then sail south to Iceland via Jan Mayan. Here are some of the highlights of the region.

Tromsø and the Northern Archipelago

Tromsø, known as the “Gateway to the Arctic,” is a lovely city in the Arctic Circle near the top of mainland Norway. Just to the north, a scattering of islands forms an archipelago with secluded bays, traditional fishing communities, and outstanding opportunities for wildlife watching, including whales and seabirds. Tromsø and this surrounding archipelago are the starting point for our Arctic adventure!

Tromso

Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard, is the gateway to the high Arctic and where we will initially sail from Tromso. Nestled in the heart of the Arctic wilderness and at 78° north, tantalizingly close to the north pole, this small frontier community has a unique blend of Norwegian and polar culture. Despite its remote location, Longyearbyen is surprisingly cosmopolitan, with cozy restaurants, cafes, and shops showcasing local art and crafts. The town is a hub for scientists, adventurers, and artists drawn by the allure of the far North. As we are here at the time of the midnight sun, you can expect bright daylight even at 0200hrs!

Longyearbjen

Alkhornet

Alkhornet is a towering bird cliff home to thousands of nesting seabirds among the mountain peaks and arctic waters. As we anchor near the cliff, the air fills with the sounds of an incredible chorus. The area around Alkhornet is also a haven for Svalbard reindeer and elusive Arctic foxes, offering a glimpse into the rich wildlife diversity of the Arctic.

sailing in svalbard

Ymerbukta

Sailing towards Ymerbukta, we’re greeted by the sight of glaciers stretching down to the sea. Here, the highlight is the dramatic spectacle of calving glaciers, where icebergs crash into the ocean with a thunderous splendor. This natural phenomenon, set against the silence of the Arctic, is both awe-inspiring and humbling. The landscapes here can look like an Arctic desert; they are anything but!

Ymerbukta

Skansbukta

Skansbukta on the fjord’s north coast is an enchanting bay known for its geological wonders and historical remnants of early 20th-century mining. The striking cliff faces reveal layers of geological history, painted in red, orange, and yellow hues. A shore landing allows us to explore this natural amphitheater, where absolute silence reigns, broken only by the distant cry of birds. The remnants of mining operations add a touch of human history to the landscape and are a reminder of the challenges of Arctic industrial endeavors.

RIB landing in Svalbard

Pyramiden

Pyramiden is an abandoned Soviet-era mining town that stands as a ghostly monument to Soviet exploration in the Arctic. Wander through the desolate streets of this once-thriving but hastily abandoned community, including the world’s northernmost grand piano and a now silent library. The contrast between the town’s decaying structures and the enduring natural beauty surrounding it is striking.

Pyramiden

Billefjorden and Nordenskiöldbreen

Deeper into Billefjorden is the majestic Nordenskiöldbreen glacier, and you get to understand its vastness. This encounter with one of Svalbard’s most spectacular natural wonders is a huge highlight. We have often seen a polar bear in this region.

Polar Bear

Barentsburg

Barentsburg, the Russian mining settlement on Svalbard, is a real treat with its Soviet-era architecture and monuments. This small community provides a unique insight into Russia’s presence in the Arctic, featuring cultural displays, a Russian Orthodox chapel, and the opportunity to experience Russian hospitality.

Hiking Svalbard

 

The difference between Rubicon 3 and a yacht charter

This is not a luxury yacht charter vacation on a private yacht but a proper sailing adventure. 

  1. Tailored Experience: Unlike many yacht charters, the Rubicon 3 team works daily to tailor the experience to your interests and skill level. Whether you’re interested in learning advanced sailing techniques, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, or focusing on particular activities like snorkeling or fishing, we look to help you achieve it.
  2. Expert Knowledge: Yacht charter companies will send you off with minimal instruction. Rubicon 3 has extensive local knowledge and expertise. We can find hidden gems, secluded anchorages, and the best spots that might be off the radar of the charter companies. This insider knowledge significantly enhances the sailing adventure. 
  3. Learning Opportunities: Sailing in Norway with Rubicon 3, you don’t need any previous sailing experience. If you’re interested in learning about sailing, navigation, or seamanship, the expert Rubicon 3 instructors ensure a hands-on, educational experience. This is ideal if you see your sailing trip as a vacation and a learning opportunity.

 

Dates, Prices & Travel

Start Date & Location

July 7, 2025
Tromso, Norway

End Date & Location

July 18, 2025
Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Price

£2,999

Deposit

£1,499

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: July 7, 2025

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Tromso, Norway

Start Port: Tromso, Norway

Start Marina: Tromso

End Date: July 18, 2025

End Time: 10:00

End Country: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

End Port: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

End Marina: Longyearbyen

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Tromso (IATA Code: TOS)
Fly Out of: Svalbard (IATA Code: LYR)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Tromso, Norway.
  • It is scheduled to be in Tromso Harbour.
  • It is easy to get here from Tromso Airport.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on July 07 2025, so you will need to be in Svalbard by July 06, 2025.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in the Tromso.
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
  • The boat is scheduled to arrive into Longyearbyen on the evening of Friday 18th, 2025, and you will need to disembark by 09:00 AM, Friday 19th, 2025.
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel from Svalbard or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise regarding connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.
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