Ski Pulka on ice floe in Svalbard
16-day adventure

The East Coast Expedition

Svalbard
  • Kandoo Arctic
  • Kandoo Winter
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Code: SVEC

16 days
Tough

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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

This extraordinary expedition enables total immersion in the most beautiful winter landscapes of Spitsbergen. Travel through remote areas where few people have ever ventured and journey through glacial valleys where reindeer shelter to the ice floes of the east coast where polar bears meet in the spring. This magnificent crossing of Spitsbergen connects Sassendalen to the east coast in the spirit of the great polar expeditions. A completely autonomous 12 day expedition, Nordic skiing with pulks.

Trip highlights

  • A challenging ski adventure crossing the east coast of Spitsbergen
  • Discover the hidden arctic wilderness of Svalbard
  • Enjoy the experience of sled dogs to help pull your gear
  • Stay warm with high quality technical equipment

Experiences

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    ARRIVE LONGYEARBYEN

    Welcome to Svalbard. We will greet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation in the city. Don't worry if your flight arrives in the middle of the night, we provide 24 hour airport transfers.

    • Accomodation: Guesthouse
  • Day 2

    LONGYEARBYEN

    Distribution, verification and familiarization with our equipment ready for tomorrow’s departure by Snowcat. Today is a chance to meet everyone, to prepare for our adventure and to explore the northernmost city on the planet, Longyearbyen.

    • Accomodation: Guesthouse
    • Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    RABOTBREEN GLACIER

    Into the wilderness! We load our expedition equipment and set off in a Snowcat towards Rabotbreen glacier, the starting point of our
    expedition, far from civilization. (Yes, a Snowcat!).

    • Accomodation: Camping
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Please note

Please note that this itinerary, including walking distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the programme may be made. A contingency day is in place so that in the event of poor weather conditions, a rest day may be implemented before continuing with the expedition. 

Trip information

Difficulty

Our extreme adventures are only for those with a very high level of fitness.


This is a demanding winter expedition in the land of polar bears. Due to the remote nature of the journey and the limited amount of supplies that we can carry, it is essential that we cover distances in good time. You must know how to ski to participate in this type of trip. Proper control, good stamina and ease getting on and off your skis are required. This trip begins with training so you can get accustomed to your equipment and enjoy a smooth start to warm your muscles and avoid injury. Temperatures can also fall to -20C so we highly recommend you get some cold weather camping experience under your belt beforehand. A wild camping trip in the mountains of the UK or US in December or January will give you a taste of what its like to sleep under canvas in freezing conditions. We provide all your technical equipment such as down jackets, polar overalls and snow boots but there is nothing like real experience to get you prepared! Please note: our difficulty levels can also change based on weather and ice conditions.

For this trip, we must stress the difficulty of getting help in an emergency evacuation. Radio links are non-existent and health centres are very often far away. Your guide is a qualified first aider and will always carry a full first-aid kit but we recommend that you bring your own personal first aid supplies. A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip; please explain clearly that you are going to the Arctic in weather conditions that may be very severe and require excellent health.


As well as skiing and pulling your pulk you will also be packing away and putting up tents, assisting with cooking, loading and unloading pulks and melting water. There are no porters, cooks or waiters on this trip, you are part of the expedition 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.  

To talk to us about your suitability for this trip please feel free to give us a call. 

Food & drink

Besides one evening meal in Longyearbyen, this trip includes full board. For your evening meal on the final day there are shops and kitchen facilities available or local restaurants for you to sample - we have lots of recommendations!


During our expedition, each person is responsible for their own equipment, including food, and will carry everything on pulks. Therefore light and easy to cook meals are favoured. In spite of this, plus the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the arctic regions, we are proud of the varied, and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. You will have the opportunity to try local products and several local delicacies.


Each day will start with a hearty breakfast accompanied by plenty of tea and coffee or hot chocolate. You will carry a picnic lunch and plenty of snacks for the day and evening meals will include three courses: soup/starter, a hot main dish and a dessert.


Your help in the kitchen is expected and much appreciated, particularly in the evenings. We like when the whole group work as a team to cook dinner, it creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the day’s adventures together. We want you to be a member of our team; not a sheep!


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 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 a bar and restaurant available on the premises and from the accommodation it is roughly a 10 minute, downhill walk into Longyearbyen 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 expeditions in Svalbard involve full participation, we expect all travellers to assist with setting up and packing down our camps, preparing meals etc. This is a team effort!


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 and a lighter to burn it after use. 

Your guide

You will be welcomed at the airport by a representative from our friendly team and accompanied for the duration of your holiday. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of knowledge our professional Svalbard team are experts in polar environments. All activities are lead by our qualified guides who are all English speaking outdoor practitioners with a passion for everything arctic.


Please note that this adventure takes place in an isolated, polar environment where around 2500 polar bears live - your guide will explain the safety rules which must be followed at your expedition briefing .

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.

Medication

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip. Please bring with you any personal medication that you may need such as inhalers, plasters and painkillers.

Equipment & clothing

Equipment supplied by Kandoo Adventures

We will provide you with all of the technical equipment you will need for this adventure, so that you spend a pleasant stay without suffering discomfort. We are proud of the range of high quality equipment we are able to supply which is suitable for Spitsbergen’s unpredictable spring climate.


GROUP EQUIPMENT
  • 'Tepee' style mess tent with table, stools and cooking equipment
  • Sarsat beacon
  • VHF radio
  • Heavy calibre rifle
  • Alarm gun
  • Mini-flares and penjectors for each group member
  • First aid kit

INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT
  • Large warm down jacket for when you are not participating in activities
  • Polar overalls
  • Suitable tent per 2 people (3 man dome tent for maximum space & comfort)
  • Self-inflating sleeping mat
  • Suitable synthetic sleeping bag ( -25°C)
  • Nordic cross country skis and/or snowshoes
  • Ski poles
  • Warm snow boots for walking around camp (Sorel)
  • Pulks (mini sledges for carrying your gear)
  • Aluminium thermos flask per 2 people

Clothing to bring

  • Long waterproof jacket (with a hood, Gore-Tex/Nikwax or equivalent)
  • Waterproof trousers/salopettes (Gore-Tex/Nikwax or equivalent)
  • At least two pairs of good under gloves and over gloves
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • Ski mask (mandatory)
  • Thick balaclava (fleece)
  • Appropriate warm neck wear
  • Warm hat (wool)
  • Warm jacket (synthetic or down)
  • Several sets of warm thermal underwear (long johns & long sleeved tops)
  • Thin socks and 3 or 4 pairs of thick socks


IN LONGYEARBYEN
  • Your swimming stuff (for the pool or sauna options)
  • Clothes for travelling in (these can stay here when you are on your expedition)
  • Small towel and personal toiletries

Equipment to bring

  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sun cream and protective lip salve (not water-based as it will freeze)
  • Any personal medication
  • Mini toiletary kit and toilet roll
  • Thermos flask
  • Head torch & spare batteries

Dates & prices

From To Price Availability Book Enquire
26/03/2025 10/04/2025 $5,585 £4,299
Available
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16/04/2025 01/05/2025 $5,585 £4,299
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 transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation including three nights in a guesthouse in Longyearbyen
  • Full supervision by an experienced professional guide
  • Full board except for a last evening meal in Longyearbyen
  • Cold weather technical equipment

Price does not include

  • Flights to Longyearbyen
  • Travel insurance
  • Your personal trekking gear
  • Your personal medication
  • Evening and lunchtime meals in Longyearbyen (approx. £25 each)
  • Activities not mentioned in the itinerary