5 days Billefjorden Kayak expedition: Nordenskiold Glacier
with Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions
During the summer, the long fjords constitute the life nerve in the Arctic nature of Svalbard. This is where the seabirds nest in mountain cliffs, where the fox hunts for goose eggs in the beach zone, and where the polar bear hunts for seals on the ice floes by the glaciers. Billefjorden in the innermost part of Isfjorden is precisely such a fjord with a buzzing animal life in the summer. At the same time, Billefjorden offers a fantastic mountain and glacier landscape, as well as many cultural monuments from previous human activities on Svalbard. In the course of this trip, we will explore the fjord from the sea route, just like the old Arctic discoverers. Four entire days of kayak paddling will guarantee you a rich Svalbard experience.
Arrival day – 1st Meeting
Good planning, nice tour mates and careful preparations are half the trip! It is therefore important that all participants are in place in Longyearbyen on Monday afternoon. The guide will pick you up at your choice of accommodation at 4 pm. During the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the other participants and to make sure you brought the necessary equipment. The guide will brief you on the planned route and give you an updated weather forecast. We will pack and prepare the kayaks for the next day before we end the meeting. Those who need to supplement their equipment will have time to do so before the sporting goods stores close at 6 pm.
Departure from Longyearbyen by boat. A two-hour voyage lies ahead of us before we arrive at Skansbukta (Skans Bay). Here, we will go ashore and prepare the kayaks for our trip into Billefjorden. Skansbukta has a rich plant and bird life and also features remains of Svalbard’s trapping history. We will take an easy walk in the area before we get into the kayaks. The goal is to reach the abandoned Russian mining town of Pyramiden. The town was founded because of the coal seam in the area, but the town was abandoned in 1998. We will set up our camp with a clear view of the Nordenskiöld glacier, named after Gustav Adolf Nordenskiöld. The length of this journey is about 15 km.
We will kayak a short distance in the morning before we reach Pyramiden. Pyramiden has a modern architecture and housing, a cultural centre, a sports hall, a school and an abandoned mine. The town is completely deserted, and a walk through this settlement is a
unique experience. Our trip continues after a couple of hours of urban experience, and we will paddle over Petuniabukta (Petunia Bay) to the Nordenskiöld Glacier. We will set up our camp overlooking the mighty glacier front and a rich variety of birdlife. In this area it is also possible to see Svalbard’s biggest seal, the bearded seal, which can weigh up to 350kg – an exciting sight when sitting in a kayak. The length of this journey is about 18 km.
We will take our time kayaking in this area. Large chunks of ice continually calve from the glacier, which limits how close to the glacier we can get. Seals are usually very curious about the kayaks, so there can be many exciting photographic opportunities here. This camp is set up in Brucebyen (Bruce town), which was founded by the Scots in 1919. Like many others, they discovered that mining for minerals on Svalbard is an expensive business, and the cabins were abandoned after a few years. The length of this journey is about 12 km.
In front of us lies Billefjorden and the horizon. We paddle towards the sun, out to Phantomodden, which is the last stop on the tour. On the way, the landscape begins to open up, and wide tundra plains dominate the coast. We will have time to discuss the events of the previous days, and enjoy the silence of travel in the kayaks. We will be picked up in the afternoon and will return back to Longyearbyen around 7 pm. The length of this journey is about 18 km.
Tour execution may vary somewhat based on the tour description. Be aware that the length per day, the trip and the activities may change due to weather conditions and the composition of the group. Bad weather and wind might cause us to shorten or lengthen the trips from what is described here.
If the group makes good time, we will change the pick-up place, thus enabling a longer trip. There might be time for the group, together with the guide, to plan some hikes. The area where we will kayak is filled with exciting and interesting history, and offers some really great wildlife experiences. We will meet birds and animals up close and hopefully get some good photo opportunities.
All equipment and food will be brought with us in the kayaks, and we will change location of our camp every day.
Transport round trip
Personal kayak clothing such as a drysuit and life jacket
Guide with necessary safety equipment
Camera in waterproof bag
*After booking confirmation, you will receive our complete recommended equipment list for this expedition.
*NOK 500 sleeping bag rental
We serve hot meals. Bring your own packed lunches if needed.
Larger luggage can be stored in our warehouse or in your accommodation’s luggage room.
The tours start: At 07:30am
Duration: 1+4 days
Age limit: 16 years*
*Minimum 4 adults above the age of 18 y/o
Price: from NOK 16 610
Participants should be experienced kayakers. Inexperienced must have good physical shape and favour a challenge. Paddling for several days puts a lot of strain on the arms and shoulders.
We use double kayaks and stay as close to the coastline as possible. The trip is moderately demanding with distances of 15-20 km each day.
Max. drysuit size: XXL
Max. passenger height: 1.95 m
TERMS & CONDITIONS
1. VALIDITY: These conditions shall apply to all orders unless otherwise agreed to in writing.
2. ORDERS/PRICES: Orders may be placed through your travel agent or in writing to our office, or our web address www.wildlife.no and using the activity calendar at top right side of our web page which covers online booking. We will send you separate order forms for our long trips/expeditions/cruises. Any arrivals after the start of the event and/or departures prior to the end of the event shall not entitle participants to any reductions in the price of the trip, unless this has been explicitly agreed or stated in advance. Nor shall participants be entitled to any price reductions due to circumstances beyond our control, such as e.g. weather, wind, flight and boat delays, changes in ice conditions, forgotten drivers license etc. See section 6.
3. PAYMENT CONDITIONS: Upon placing an order for our expeditions and camps, a deposit of 25% of the price of the trip must be paid. We will send an invoice for the remaining amount to the customer due for payment 30 days prior to departure. Upon late order placement, the full amount will be charged. A receipt of payment of the amount must be sent to us by e-mail email@example.com. After the due date, a late payment interest of 2.5% per month will accrue. For bookings our daytrips, the full amount will be charged upon booking online or manually. Tailor-made activities, we send payment link or give bank details. For each manual payment there will be required a fee from NOK 75 to NOK 150. This applies to all bookings.
4 a. CANCELLATION CONDITIONS OVERNIGHT TRIPS: Cancellation of overnight trips must be done in writing. Depending on when we receive notice of the cancellation, we will refund the price of the trip minus the below listed share to cover our losses arising from the cancellation. We recommend that participants take out cancellation insurance with their private insurance company, which should cover among others cancellation due to illness etc. 48 days prior to activity 10% fee, minimum NOK 1,000 in administrative fees 47 – 22 days prior to activity 25% fee, minimum NOK 1,000 in administrative fees 21 – 14 days prior to activity 50% fee 14 – 7 days prior to activity 75% fee 7 days or less prior to activity 100% fee 4 b. CANCELLATION CONDITIONS DAY TRIPS: Up to 22 days prior to activity, fee equivalent to 5 % of paid amount apply From 21 – 8 days prior to activity fee equivalent to 50% of paid amount 7 – 0 days prior to activity fee equivalent to 100% of paid amount. CHANGE FEE: If the customer wishes to change the ordered program less than 14 days prior to arrival, a change fee of NOK 400 per change shall apply. If the trip is with another tour operator, normal cancellation conditions are followed.
5. UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions AS reserves the right to change departure times, minimum amount of participants and to cancel trips within 4 weeks prior to departure (or up to the starting time for day trips) in the event of an insufficient amount of participants in relation to the minimum amounts stated in brochures or on the website. Furthermore, we reserve the right to cancel trips up to the starting time of the trip due to force majeure or other circumstances that are beyond the control of the company and that prevent the completion of the trip or event. In such events, Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions AS shall be entitled to cancel the agreement without incurring liability beyond the amount that the customer has already paid. We also reserve the right to change the program in the course of the trip, if the planner/guide deems such changes necessary for security or technical reasons (weather conditions, scooter break-down, delays etc). In the Arctic, the weather is in charge, and the extreme conditions that can prevail in certain situations may necessitate changes to the program (also due to ongoing rescue operations); consequently, such unforeseen circumstances do not entitle customers to any price reductions. Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions AS will attempt to the extent possible to carry out the trip as described. The safety of our guests will always be our first priority.
6. CUSTOMER LIABILITY The customer shall be responsible for evaluating his/her own physical and mental condition in relation to the contents of the trip. The customer shall at all times adhere to the instructions given by the event leader, and at no times are they allowed to bring private weapons or pyrotechnical equipment on our trips. Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions as reserves the right to deny persons participation in our activities if they are considered a risk to safety, or act in such a way that it is a nuisance to guide or other participants on the trip. Scooter insurance included and max for you to pay if accident NOK 6.000,-
7. INSURANCE Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions AS’s activities are covered through liability insurance taken out with our insurance company. We have also furnished a guarantee towards the Governor of Svalbard for expenses in connection with potential rescue missions on Svalbard. Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions AS will accept no liability for damages occurring or losses incurring beyond our control. For participation in our longer trips, the individual participant must have an individual travel insurance. Such insurance may be purchased from a travel agent or from a personal insurance company.
8. PACKAGE TRAVEL ACT The Package Travel Act of 25 August 1995 governs this offer, and Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions is the operator of this offer in a legal sense. As a member of Den Norske Reisebransjeforening (the Norwegian Travel Industry Association), Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions AS has also furnished a guarantee towards Reisegarantifondet (the Norwegian Travel Guarantee Fond) in accordance with the Package Travel Act.
9. TYPING ERRORS AND PRICE CHANGES Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions AS accepts no liability for any typing errors and price changes due to circumstances beyond our control.