Sail from Tromsø to Svalbard via Bear island with expedition yacht Valiente.
Sail with expedition yacht Valiente as she takes guests on an Arctic adventure from the North coast of Norway, into the Barents Sea to the archipelago of Svalbard.
This voyage is perfect for those looking for new adventures to bucket list locations, embracing sustainable transport methods and experiencing life on the open water.
- Offshore expedition sailing
- 600 nautical miles
- Remote destinations
- Arctic circle
- Private cabins
- Wildlife watching
YOUR SAILING AREA
On this trip you will have the opportunity to arrive at Svalbard in a way that few have done before you. With sailing as a means of transport, we get close to the natural forces over the Barents Sea, and we get close to nature and wildlife for the last days along the coast up to Longyearbyen. We will get winds in the sails, saltwater in our hair and experience lots along the way!
On this trip we cover a distance of about 600 nautical miles. The crossing of the Barents Sea is a wonderful experience, and we’ll sail through the bright polar night on our way to the goal; Svalbard. As we leave the mainland, we’ll only have the ocean in front of us until we arrive at Bjørnøya (translated: Bear Island), which is about halfway.
When reaching the southernmost tip of Svalbard we’ll be greeted by the typical Svalbard nature with its iconic mountains, deep fjords and glaciers. We sail into one of the fjords of South-West Spitsbergen; Hornsund or Bellsund, where glaciers meet and crash into the sea. A spectacular sight. If time allows we also visit the Russian settlement of Barentsburg, before we arrive in Longyearbyen.
The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and climate change. Valiente is committed to taking care of the environment as much as possible and we believe that small boats with few people and little pollution and waste are much less harmful to the environment, climate and local wildlife, than larger boats and cruise ships. We also try to gather garbage at the places we visit, instead of leaving something behind. On Svalbard we follow AECO’s guidelines for encounters with wildlife, beach cleaning, cultural heritage sites and for arctic operators. More about AECO’s guidelines can be read
All voyages for Valiente
Guest berths: 12 Rig: Gaff
Expedition yacht Valiente has been designed to withstand tough icy conditions so it’s little wonder she makes a great boat for Arctic sailing adventures.
From exploring the fjords on the West coast of Norway, to crossing the Arctic circle to Svalbard or Barents Sea sailing to Greenland, Valiente offers a unique, safe and comfortable way to explore sailing territories far off the beaten track.
Joining Valiente will see you become part of the crew, taking part in all aspects of sailing. From the day to day running of the boat, to cooking up meals with your fellow guests, the crew of Valiente will be on hand to guide you in this bucket list experience.
Tough on the outside, soft on the inside. With her steel hull made to withstand icy waters, below decks is a welcome contrast. Central heating runs continuously throughout the boat so you’ll be wonderfully cosy! The saloon and well-equipped galley are set mid ships with 360° windows at deck level with plenty of storage space.
All cabins have heating, comfy beds, thick duvets and wool blankets. The cabins are a mix of double beds and twin bunks but cabins are not allocated until all guests are on board so that everyone is matched with the right size bed and right facilities for their needs!
The Arctic sailing grounds are a vulnerable area increasingly under pressure from climate change. The owners of Valiente are committed to taking care of the environment as much as possible and believe that small boats with less people, are considerably less harmful to the environment and local wildlife, than larger cruise ships.
Deck planMore about Valiente
Life on Board Valiente
You don’t need any experience to join Valiente’s expedition sailing holidays, just a love for the natural world and a real sense of adventure.
Sailing with Valiente is a real hands-on, humbling experience as you work with the crew and fellow guests to navigate the Arctic wilderness together. Get stuck into all aspects of life on board, from taking the helm, setting & trimming the sails, basic sail theory and domestic duties.
The skipper and first mate, (plus a dedicated guide for Svalbard sailing voyages) will be onboard for the duration of Valiente’s sailing holidays. Along the way, preferably by sailing but sometimes under motor, we will include all guests in the sailing experience.
The physical sailing of Valiente is relatively straightforward so she’s a great boat to learn on if you haven’t sailed before. Her simple rig has three sails; the main, genoa and jib, all working off a winch system. The wheelhouse is set at deck level, with a modern navigation system. You can take the helm, working with the skipper to watch your course. The crew that sail in these waters are wildly skilled, resourceful and calm and they are always on hand to guide guests.
The boat works on a relaxed watch system, usually 4 hours on and 8 hours off. This gives guests a real chance to have some focussed sailing time but equally have the time to just be. To sit, watch the world go by, to relax, nap, read a book in your cabin, play cards in the saloon or just simply sit at the bows, watching, reflecting as the world glides by. If Valiente spends time on anchor, the watch system will run overnight, but with all guests and crew participating, you wouldn’t be on watch on consecutive nights.
There is always a thorough safety briefing and introduction once guests have settled onboard, followed by a “man overboard” procedure (don’t worry – this is a fender not a real person!) and a fire safety drill.
Central heating runs continuously throughout the boat, (there’s even heated towel rails in all bathroom and a heater in the wheelhouse) so she is wonderfully cosy! The spacious saloon and galley are set mid ships with 360° windows at deck level – perfect for cooking with a view. The galley is really well equipped with an induction hob, two domestic ovens, two fridge drawers and plenty of storage space.
All cabins have heating, comfy beds, thick duvets and wool blankets. Cabins are not allocated until all guests are booked and on board so that every is matched with the right size bed and right facilities for their needs! A small bath towel is provided per person but you’ll need to bring an extra hand towel or swim towel if you wish.
There are full size domestic showers with plenty of hot water although as with all sailing experiences, guests are asked to be respectful with their water consumption. It may not be possible to shower every day, but more or less every other day we are either in a harbour with fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or enjoy a sauna. A morning swim in the sea is free and is available all year round!
Naomi from the VentureSail team sailed with Valiente in Norway – you can read her blog here for an insight into her experience!
Aside from setting the sails and taking the helm, the next most important aspect of Arctic sailing on Valiente is definitely the food! Once you’ve boarded the boat, a crew member will split all guests into pairs, who are then divided over a rota for breakfast, lunch and dinner duties. With an average of 10 people on board, you’ll normally end up doing one of each service over a week’s voyage.
If you’re not much of a cook, fear not! There will be a menu plan for the whole voyage already planned out with all the provisions on board. The menu plan is entirely flexible depending on the plan for the day, maybe you catch a fish or maybe the more confident cooks will want to experiment a little! Alongside the menu plan, there is a correlating recipe book, especially made with ingredients, quantities and cooking methods to match the meal plan.
Cooking on board is an integral part of how a sailing ship operates. A hearty feed after a sailing adventure, a chance to bring everyone together, for confidence to grow and cultural culinary tips to be shared.
- All inclusive (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. soft/hot drinks)
- All bedding (pillow, sheets & duvet) and wash towel
- Full crew plus tuition
- Marina and fuel fees
- All tender trips to and fro the boat
- Fishing equipment
- Use of the on board small sailing dinghy for extra practice!
What’s not included
- Waterproofs > Guests can rent oilskins from us for 500NOK per trip, per person
- Swim towel
- Any flights
- Transit hotels
- Travel to and from the boat on the day of joining/leaving
- Travel insurance
- Sailing Insurance (Please read our Sailing Insurance page for more information)
- Crew tips
- Personal expenses
- Any meals ashore
Travel insurance notes
As this is an active adventure holiday, we advise that everyone has the appropriate personal accident travel insurance whilst onboard in addition to standard travel insurance which would cover you in the time between making your booking and departing for your adventure. These policies can sometimes be combined so please check with your travel insurance provider.
Are all meals included?
Yes, all meals and soft drinks are included. Guests work on a rotation basis to cook together onboard.
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Yes - please specify at time of enquiry
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
3x double cabins, 1x twin bunk cabin, 1 x quad bunk cabin
How many toilet/showers does she have?
4 for guests
Is there WIFI?
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
12v charging under sail, 220 EURO 2pin when connected to shore power/generator
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Guests can rent oilskins from Valiente for 500NOK per trip, per person.
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.
Is bedding included?
Yes, all bedding and a towel is provided.