Five Glaciers Header
10-day adventure

The Five Glaciers

Svalbard
  • Kandoo Kayaking
  • Kandoo Arctic
  1. Homepage
  2. Svalbard
  3. The Five Glaciers

Code: SVFG

10 days
Challenging

Contact
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...
Learn more

Kandoo's view

Ymerbukta, Nansen, Bore, Wahlenberg and Svéa. Five remarkably different glaciers in one epic adventure. This journey of discovery is a chance to explore a selection of Svalbard’s finest fjords, glaciers and tundra. Designed to be a challenging expedition style trip that rewards those brave enough to take it on with an incredible immersion in the unique Arctic environment. Explore the coastlines and glacier walls by kayak, listen to the thundering noise of the collapsing ice falls mixed with the shrill calls of Arctic terns and paddle among electric blue icebergs in freezing waters. Sleep under canvas in beautiful and utterly remote locations, hiking through pristine wilderness and testing yourself against the elements on this once in a lifetime expedition as close to the north pole as many will ever go.

Trip highlights

  • Explore some of Svalbard's finest fjords and five remarkable glaciers
  • Kayak along the coast, among seals and sea birds
  • Hike inland to discover Svalbard's mining history
  • Our high quality equipment will keep you warm and dry

Experiences

Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    ARRIVE IN LONGYEARBYEN

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

    • Accomodation: Guesthouse
  • Day 2

    YMERBUKTA

    This morning we will take a scenic boat trip across Isfjord to the bay of Ymerbukta to begin our epic kayaking expedition. This sheltered
    bay is the perfect place to set up our first camp and practice our sea-kayaking skills. From here, we can explore Ymerbukta fjord and paddle up to the immense glacier front, it's walls carving in a catastrophic manner into the sea as the temperature slowly rises. We stay within a safe distance to view this phenomena in all it's melancholy glory.

    • Accomodation: Camping
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Day 3

    BORE BAY

    Today we manoeuvre along a dramatic coastline as we paddle into Bore Bay – which, contrary to its name, is no bore! Home to two glaciers, the majestic Bore Glacier and the looming Nansen Glacier. Keeping our eyes peeled for the rounded, tusked faces of the walrus colony, we glide through these iceberg infested waters before setting up camp on the grassy, arctic shoreline.

    • Accomodation: Camping
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • See more

Please note

Please note that this itinerary, including 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 itinerary may be made. This is especially true in Svalbard where weather conditions are extremely changeable and have a tremendous impact on what you can reasonably and safely achieve on any given day.  For operational reason we may also run the itinerary in reverse. 

Trip information

Difficulty

Although the kayaking and hiking is not highly demanding, we have rated this trip as level 4 due to the non-stop nature of the expedition.

You can expect to kayak up to a maximum of 30km a day and take part in hikes of up to 6 hours. In good weather the kayaking 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 packing away and putting up tents, assisting with cooking, loading and unloading kayaks and fetching 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.  

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. 

Luggage

You may bring a hold bag (up to 15kg) as well as a cabin bag. Your possessions will have to fit into your kayak during the expedition so please do not over pack. For your hold luggage please bring a soft bag like a rucksack rather than a suitcase because it is more practical when loading local buses and trailers.  Your main luggage will remain in Longyearbyen during the trip. Please bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag. You can bring this as hand luggage on the plane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day.


We will provide you with 2 dry bags to safely store your sleeping bag and your personal clothes during the expedition. Please note that the dry bag for your clothes will be 22 litres only. Our 2 person sea kayaks each have 3 large waterproof storage areas built in which is where all your personal gear and part of the group gear will be stored. Items such as your daypack and hiking boots can be packed directly into the kayak without being placed in a drybag. If you have questions about packing for this trip, please give us a call to discuss it in more detail. 

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, they are suitable for first time kayakers and have plenty of storage capacity for our expedition gear. 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
26/06/2024 05/07/2024 $4,675 £3,599
Available
Book now Enquire now
17/07/2024 26/07/2024 $4,675 £3,599
Available
Book now Enquire now
31/07/2024 09/08/2024 $4,675 £3,599
Available
Book now Enquire now

Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

Contact us

Price includes

  • All transportation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Two nights guesthouse 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