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8-day adventure

Svea Glacier

Svalbard
  • Kandoo Kayaking
  • Kandoo Arctic

Code: SVSG

8 days
Challenging

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our UK team

Our local team

Each year we send some of our most experienced and highly trained Altai guides up to Svalbard. To lead groups in this wild and remote environment where polar bears roam requires years of hard won arctic expedition experience. We keep a storage facility in Longyearbyen for the vast array of equipment needed for our expeditions from kayaks and tents to snow shoes and frying pans. From March to August each year we welcome people for cross country...
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Kandoo's view

Immerse yourself in the remote isolation of the Svalbard wilderness; the silence broken only by the far off thundercracks of calving glacial ice. Spend a week amidst floating icebergs, setting up camp on the shores of the Svea Glacier, a land dominated by its four legged inhabitants; arctic fox, reindeer and elusive polar bears. The rich variety of arctic flora and fauna forms a decorative blanket across the otherwise barren tundra whilst in the ocean, icebergs and drift ice create a daily puzzle as you explore the depths of the bay and the glacier that stands guard over it. Either by boat or on foot this strange and fascinating world delights, as day melts seamlessly into the glow of the midnight sun and you take turns to sit on bear watch.

Trip highlights

  • Spend a week camping under the midnight sun in the Svalbard wilderness
  • Kayak between floating icebergs in Arctic waters
  • Hike to the edge of the majestic Svea Glacier
  • Stay warm and comfortable with our quality polar equipment

Experiences

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Welcome to Svalbard!

    Welcome to Longyearbyen, you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your accommodation in the light of the midnight sun. Spend the rest of your day exploring the town and finding somewhere to sample some local cuisine.

    • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Day 2

    Boat to Svea Glacier

    This morning, after a sumptuous breakfast, we head out on a walking tour of Longyearbyen, the northernmost city on the planet. Returning from this, we head to the store to be kitted out with our specialised equipment, designed to protect against the freezing, Arctic conditions. We then board the local fishing boat to the majestic Svea Glacier. We will see the glacial blanket from out in the bay, but it is only as we draw nearer that the vast glacial wall looms in front of us; our home for the next few days.

    • Transport: Boat (3 - 4 hours)
    • Accomodation: Camping
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Days 3 to 6

    Svea Glacier

    We spend the next four days camping on the ice strewn shore near to the glacier, where the creaks and groans echo off the water and our cluster of tents feel almost palatial. We explore on foot and by boat, immersing ourselves in the natural surroundings and getting to know the bay and it's inhabitants. Each day leaving from our tented base, we adventure into a new area, discovering new species of flora and fauna before returning to camp and embracing the comfort of an evening routine. This culminates in the humbling experience of taking our turn on "bear watch" beneath the infinite midnight sun.

    • Accomodation: Camping
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Trip information

Difficulty

This is the easiest of our trips to Svalbard, having a set base there is lots of scope for flexibility when it comes to distances travelled per day. With the benefit of a set camp, you will be able to bring a larger bag and therefore bring thicker layers and more clothes with you to increase your comfort levels. However, although the kayaking and hiking is not highly demanding, we have rated this trip as level 4 due to the non-stop nature of any adventure in Svalbard.

In good weather adventuring around the glacier can feel easy but if you encounter strong winds, rain or freezing conditions, it could feel very difficult indeed. As well as kayaking and hiking you will also be assisting with cooking, loading and unloading kayaks, fetching water and taking turns on "bear watch". There are no porters, cooks or waiters on this trip, you are part of the team and must do your share of the work. Although this makes the adventure more demanding, it also adds to the enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement at the end of your journey. 

We are camping in the wilderness where there is the possibility of polar bears roaming near the camp. A member of the team must be on "bear watch" at all times day and night and this is normally done in rotating 2 hour shifts. As it never goes dark in Svalbard in the summer months, some people may find it difficult to sleep.  

If you have any questions about your suitability for this trip or would like more specific information about what to expect, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Food & drink

This trip includes full board meals except for nights spent in Longyearbyen when meals are at your own expense. There is a range of restaurants to choose from in Longyearbyen or the hotel restaurant is also very good.


Despite the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the arctic regions we are proud of the varied, fresh and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. Because everything we need for the 8 day expedition must be carried with us in our kayaks, we are limited on what we can carry and must choose our ingredients carefuly. Fresh produce is used nearer the start of the trip with the more basic foodstuffs such as pasta and rice used towards the end.  In the evenings you can expect dishes of quinoa, lentils, salmon fillets, tofu and reindeer. Some evening meals will be vegetarian and we will carry as much fresh veg as possible. There will also be deserts of fruit yogurt, cake or chocolate.


For breakfast there is a choice of cereals, bread, chocolate spread, jam, honey and plenty of tea and coffee.  Lunches are comprised of soup, noodles, bread, local "kaviar", Norwegian brown cheese and cold cuts. If you would like to bring along some snacks for in-between meals there is space to do so. 


Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.

Accommodation

LONGYEARBYEN: Warm, comfortable, guesthouse accommodation in twin rooms. Shared bathroom and kitchen facilities with heating and hot water. Although these aren't en-suite, there are plenty of bathrooms available per floor of the accommodation and these are modern facilities kept to an extremely high cleanliness. There is also a bar and restaurant serving simple dishes available on premises and it is roughly a 10 minute walk into the town. 


CAMPING: We provide a 3 man dome tent per 2 people, an insulated sleeping mat and a synthetic sleeping bag. For our expeditions we use light equipment which is appropriate for Svalbard’s winter conditions. We will also provide a spacious mess tent for meal times, fully equipped with kitchen equipment. Please be aware that our adventures in Svalbard involve full participation. You are joining an arctic expedition and will need to do your share of the work, this will include pitching tents, fetching water and preparing meals. There are no porters or chefs up here in the frozen north, this is adventure in its purest form. 


At all times while camping in Svalbard, there is the possibility of polar bears roaming near the camp.  "Bear watch" is shared amongst everyone in the group in 2 hour shifts. Your guide will provide instruction on what to do if you see a bear and how to use the flare guns provided. 

TOILETS: In Longyearbyen your accommodation will have flushing toilets. Whilst camping the toilet situation will be a little less luxurious. It is a case of finding somewhere hidden, away from camp or the path and digging a hole. You will be provided with a flare gun whilst away from camp to protect you from polar bears. We can guarantee it will be the most scenic, exciting toilet break you've ever had! Please remember to bring toilet roll. 

How do I get there?

To reach Longyearbyen, there are direct flights from Oslo (3 hr journey) provided by SAS and Norwegian Airlines. Although they are direct, the flight will land in Tromso on Norway's west coast and you will be asked to disembark to go through the Svalbard immigration before re-embarking on the plane once more and continuing your journey. This means that you will be flying at a low altitude when passing over the jaw dropping Lofoten islands. If you wish to get a birds eye view of these out of the plane window then make sure to be seated on the left hand side of the plane for both the outgoing and return flight. Direct flights do not operate every day of the week so you may also need to spend a night in Oslo before continuing your journey the next day.

To reach Oslo from the UK, there are direct flights with British Airways from Heathrow and Norwegian Airlines have direct flights from Gatwick and Edinburgh. SAS have direct flights from Manchester.

If you are travelling from the US, SAS operate direct flights to Oslo from New York. From the west coast there are good flight options with Air France, KLM and Lufthansa.

Budget & change

The currency in Svalbard is the Norwegian Krona (NOK). For the latest exchange rates please visit www.xe.com

Please be aware that Svalbard is nearly cash free due to the absence of banks. Payments are made with credit or debit cards so it is important you take a card with you for any incidental purchases. Please inform your card provider that you intend to travel to Svalbard (Norway) before  departure, this will ensure that your card continues to work properly while overseas. A lunch in Longyearbyen will cost you roughly £20 (265 NOK) and dinner will be £30 (350 NOK). Therefore, our recommended guidance for spending budget in the Svalbard would be roughly £100-150 (1300-2000 NOK) on top of any tips, to give you ample souvenir spending money.   

Tips

Tipping customs vary all over the world and can be very confusing when travelling to a new country. Tipping in Svalbard is always appreciated, however it is not obligatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual. If you are satisfied with your guide’s services we recommend a tip between 350-450 NOK per person (equivalent to £30-40 per person). On the other hand, if you receive bad service or have not been treated well, you would not be expected to tip at all.

Formalities & health

Passport

Most travellers require a passport that is valid for at least six months after the return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required. You can check your requirements on the website provided by the Norwegian government

Visa

Travelling to Norway is visa free for up to 90 days, for UK and US citizens

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses.

We ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf.

Equipment & clothing

Equipment supplied by Kandoo Adventures

We will provide you with all of the technical equipment you will need for this amazing adventure. Our tandem sea kayaks were chosen for their stability and comfortable making them suitable for first time kayakers. They are suitable for the changeable sea conditions and in the unlikely event of capsize they are surprisingly easy to right; even at sea you would be back on board and paddling in no time.


GROUP EQUIPMENT
  • 'Tepee' style mess tent with table, stools & cooking equipment
  • Sarsat beacon
  • VHF radio
  • Heavy calibre rifle
  • Flare guns 
  • First aid kit

INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT

  • Suitable tent per 2 people (3 man dome tent for maximum space & comfort)
  • Self-inflating sleeping mat
  • Suitable synthetic sleeping bag ( -6°C)
  • Aluminium thermos flask per 2 people
  • Helly Hansen fleece lined salopettes for kayaking and ashore
  • Tandem sea kayak with directional rudder (per 2 people)
  • Gore-tex dry suit with integrated warm fleece liner
  • Pair of kayak pogies
  • Spray deck
  • Life jacket with two pockets
  • Neoprene balaclava
  • Pair of ‘croc’ style shoes/sandals

Clothing to bring

  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket (with a hood, Gore-Tex/Nikwax or equivalent)
  • Waterproof trousers (Gore-Tex/Nikwax or equivalent)
  • Warm gloves and a hat
  • Insulated jacket
  • Thermals – long sleeved top & long johns
  • Fleece/jumper
  • Suitable underwear, t-shirts and walking trousers
  • Thin socks and thick socks (we recommend bringing 3-4 pairs of thick socks)
  • Sunhat and sun cream
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)

IN LONGYEARBYEN
  • Your swimming stuff
  • Clothes for travelling in (these can stay here when you are on the expedition part of this adventure)
  • Small towel and your personal toiletries

Equipment to bring

  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Mini toiletry kit and toilet roll
  • Any personal medication
  • Water bottle/flask
  • Small rucksack to use as a day bag
  • Head torch & spare batteries (although it is nearly always light in the summer)

Dates & prices

From To Price Availability Book Enquire
01/08/2024 08/08/2024 $3,115 $3,245 £2,399 £2,499
Available
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03/07/2025 10/07/2025 $3,245 £2,499
Available
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17/07/2025 24/07/2025 $3,245 £2,499
Available
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31/07/2025 07/08/2025 $3,245 £2,499
Available
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Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • All transportation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Two nights accommodation in Longyearbyen
  • All technical camping equipment provided
  • All sea-kayaking equipment provided
  • Full supervision by an experienced professional guide
  • Full board meals during the expedition
  • Return boat trip across Isfjord 

Price does not include

  • Flights to Longyearbyen
  • Travel insurance
  • Your personal trekking gear
  • Your personal medication
  • 2 meals in Longyearbyen on first and final evenings (approx. £25 per meal)
  • Activities not mentioned in the itinerary

Options

Additional nights in Longyearbyen are available upon request, please speak to a member of our team to arrange this.