• Wave icon Trip Type: Coastal
  • Speech bubble icon Instructors: 2
  • People icon Crew Size: Max 9 (10 for ocean)
  • Cake icon Ages: 18-70 ish
  • 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: Svalbard

Embark on an unforgettable sailing adventure in Svalbard. Navigate through icy waters and witness the breathtaking beauty of magnificent glaciers and rugged mountains that rise dramatically from the sea. The Arctic’s midnight sun provides endless daylight, allowing you to continue sailing and exploring at all hours of the day. Svalbard is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise, with opportunities to see polar bears, walruses, and numerous seabirds in their natural habitat.

Svalbard’s isolation adds to the adventure, requiring a level of self-sufficiency that is not found in more traditional destinations. However, the reward is unparalleled experiences, such as anchoring in secluded ice-laden fjords, hiking on untouched arctic tundra, and witnessing the awe-inspiring beauty of icebergs up close. Svalbard is a rare blend of adventure, natural beauty, and wildlife, with some of the most breathtaking scenery on the planet.

Sail with Experts in Arctic Exploration

Rubicon 3 are renowned as Arctic sailing experts, recognized in the sailing world for our extensive experience, comprehensive training, dedication to Arctic exploration, and unforgettable sailing adventures. Our expert team, comprised of highly experienced sailors in Arctic expeditions, the North Sea, and the Norwegian Sea, offers hands-on instruction in all aspects of Arctic sailing, catering to both newcomers and more seasoned sailors seeking Arctic challenges.

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

Want to join?

Go to the Dates & Prices button to see the dates for this Arctic 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

Svalbard sailing area map
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 sail south to Iceland via Jan Mayan, and you can join both these expeditions back to back,.

Here are some of the highlights of the region.

Longyearbyen

This small but vibrant community is the gateway to the Arctic’s remote wilderness. Nestled amidst the glaciated mountains, this town is an authentic blend of Norwegian and polar cultures. Visit the Svalbard Museum to learn more about the history of Spitsbergen, its mining industry, and polar exploration over the years.

Longyearbjen

Trygghamna

Translating to “Safe Harbor” in English, Trygghamna is a stunning bay that historically served as a crucial anchorage for whalers and explorers due to its sheltered waters, which provided refuge from the harsh Arctic conditions. The bay is home to thousands of seabirds, including guillemots and kittiwakes, surrounded by towering cliffs and glaciers. The area around Trygghamna is also rich in Arctic flora, and you may see Svalbard reindeer and Arctic foxes. The historical remnants of blubber ovens also bear witness to its past, mixing the bay’s natural beauty with a touch of human history.

Trygghamna

Ytre Norskøya

Ytre Norskøya is a small island that was a Dutch whaling lookout for many years. 17th-century ovens for cooking whale blubber and the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers offer a glimpse into the past, along with the iron cross atop the 151m high mountain Utkiken. Fuglefjorden has beautiful views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, and you may well see great skuas, arctic skuas, and even a polar bear. Here, you see remains from the great era of polar bear hunting.

Polar Bear

Raudfjorden and Ermaktangen

Raudfjord, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, is an awe-inspiring fjord known for its spectacular glaciers and rich wildlife. The fjord’s name, ‘Red Fjord,’ is derived from the reddish-brown sediments that color its eastern side, creating a striking contrast against the white glaciers. It is a haven for wildlife, offering chances to see ringed and bearded seals, maybe a beluga whale, and polar bears. The area has much historical significance, with Christiane Ritter’s having over-wintered in a hut near Gråhuken. Ermaktangen, on the fjord coast of Spitsbergen, is another highlight if we make it there.

sailing in svalbard

 Reindyrsflya

Reindyrfla is the largest tundra area in Spitsbergen and is a starkly beautiful rolling plain of Arctic wilderness. Accessible only when ice conditions permit, it is a lovely place to see the Arctic’s flora and fauna up close. The vast tundra, dotted with wildflowers during the brief summer, also provides a habitat for a wide variety of bird species and is often frequented by Svalbard reindeer, who roam freely up to the edges of the sea ice. The lakes afford you the chance to spot red-throated divers and king-eiders.

Ymerbukta

Monaco Glacier

The Monaco Glacier, named after Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneering oceanographer who explored the Arctic extensively, is one of Svalbard’s most breathtaking natural wonders if the sea ice permits. Located in Liefdefjorden (the “Love Fjord”) on the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, this imposing glacier is renowned for its beauty. Stretching miles across the fjord, the glacier’s towering ice front is mesmerizing, with vibrant blue hues and massive ice formations.

As one of the most active glaciers in Svalbard, Monaco Glacier is a significant source of ice calving, where giant chunks of ice break off and crash into the sea. The area around Monaco Glacier is also rich in wildlife, offering chances to spot polar bears, which are often seen on the ice floes hunting for seals, as well as a variety of seabirds that thrive in the nutrient-rich waters stirred up by the glacier’s activity.

RIB landing in Svalbard

Magdalenafjorden

Magdalenefjord is one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen, flanked by rugged mountains. This historical bay, once a prominent whaling area, has an astonishingly white sandy beach at Gravneset. The brave may dare to swim here in its icy waters, surrounded by floating icebergs. Fuglesangen is a great place to observe spirited communities of little auks on a shore visit.

Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden

Here, we can visit Ny London, with its remains of early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ãlesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also international research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska, in 1926. Krossfjorden has views of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks. Remember, the extent of the fjord ice dictates how much we can see in these types of places. There are large seabird colonies here, a haul-out spot for harbor seals, and the occasional polar bear.

Hiking Svalbard

Bohemanfiya and Gipsvika

Bohemanflya has an expansive tundra with its avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika, you can go on shore near Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period, around 290 million years ago.

walrus

Barentsburg

Barentsburg, a semi-abandoned Russian mining town on the southeastern tip of Isfjorden, feels like stepping into a different era. Its Soviet-era murals and statues of Lenin stand as relics of a bygone time, while its mining history, dating back to 1912, tells a story of Arctic industrialization and geopolitical competition. The tale of Knut Emil Glad and his wife, Anna Josefine, who wintered in what would become Barentsburg, adds a human element to the stark landscape.

barentsburg

 

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 this route 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 21, 2025
Svalbard

End Date & Location

August 1, 2025
Svalbard

Price

£2,999

Deposit

£1,350

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: July 21, 2025

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Svalbard

Start Port: Longyearbyen

Start Marina: Longyearbyen Harbour

End Date: August 1, 2025

End Time: 10:00

End Country: Svalbard

End Port: Longyearbyen

End Marina: Longyearbyen Harbour

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Svalbard Airport - IATA Code: LYR
Fly Out of: Svalbard Airport - IATA Code: LYR

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
  • It is scheduled to be in Longyearbyen Harbour.
  • It is easy to get here from Svalbard Airport.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on June 15 2024, so you will need to be in Svalbard by June 14, 2024.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in the Longyearbyen.
    • 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 July 31, 2025, and you will need to disembark by 10:00 AM, August 1st, 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.
Add Trip Extras

Sub total:

Start Date & Location

August 4, 2025
Svalbard

End Date & Location

August 15, 2025
Svalbard

Price

£2,999

Deposit

£1,350

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: August 4, 2025

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Svalbard

Start Port: Longyearbyen

Start Marina: Longyearbyen Harbour

End Date: August 15, 2025

End Time: 10:00

End Country: Svalbard

End Port: Longyearbyen

End Marina: Longyearbyen Harbour

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Svalbard Airport - IATA Code: LYR
Fly Out of: Svalbard Airport - IATA Code: LYR

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
  • It is scheduled to be in Longyearbyen Harbour.
  • It is easy to get here from Svalbard Airport.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on August 4, 2024, so you will need to be in Svalbard by August 3, 2024.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in the Longyearbyen.
    • 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 August 14th, 2025, and you will need to disembark by 10:00 AM, August 15th, 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.
Add Trip Extras

Sub total:

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