Family Adventure on Svalbard

This travel proposal is specially designed for active families, where you both go hiking in the Svalbard wilderness, have great animal experiences, experience the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, go dog sledding and go on a fossil hunt. Svalbard is the perfect summer holiday destination and the trip can be tailored completely to the children’s age.

Experience an active and educational Arctic trip to Svalbard with the whole family! The flight is short, but the adventure is huge and will give everyone in the family memories for life. With Longyearbyen as a base, you go on day trips to the Arctic wilderness. Here you walk along glaciers to old hunting lodges, experience life in the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, find thousand-year-old plant and animal fossils and of course go dog sledding in the Arctic nature. Longyearbyen is easy to walk around and offers some exciting and educational museums as well as good cafes and restaurants. There will be opportunities to spot wildlife such as mountain foxes, arctic birds, reindeer, seals and if you are lucky, also whales, walruses and maybe polar bears. Safety is a top priority on this trip and on all day trips, experienced guides with rifles are included. If you have any doubts about whether Svalbard is a summer holiday destination for your particular family, feel free to contact one of our travel consultants who will be able to answer your questions about family travel and activities on Svalbard. Know more about Norway on smber.

The trip includes flights to and from Svalbard from Scandinavia, five nights in Longyearbyen and four fantastic day trips; trekking trip along the Foxfonna Glacier, fossil hunting, boat trip to Barentsburg and dog sledding on wheels. It is possible to extend your stay on Svalbard if you want several days to go on an excursion to the mines, take a boat trip to the Pyramid, a city tour in Longyearbyen, a wilderness evening at Camp Barentz and plenty of hiking opportunities.

On this trip, the focus is on experiencing the Arctic wilderness. This means that you must bring clothes for all weather and temperature conditions.

Day 1: Departure Scandinavia and arrival in Svalbard

By plane you arrive at Longyearbyen, the capital of Spitsbergen, which is Svalbard’s largest island. Here you are picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel in the city. The rest of the day you have time to walk around on your own and discover this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum provide fascinating insights into Svalbard’s history and culture. If you need to supplement your equipment and clothes for upcoming day trips on scooters and dog sleds, there are plenty of cool and well-equipped outdoor shops in Longyearbyen. End the day with a tasty dinner at one of the city’s fantastic restaurants – there’s something for everyone!

Day 2: Trekking trip in the Arctic wilderness

Today you join a hike that will definitely take your breath away. On the tour you will experience magnificent nature and a beautiful view of the Advent Valley and the Icefjord. The hike itself is just over a mile long and will take about 7 hours. There is therefore plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful nature along the way at a pace that suits everyone in the family. You start the tour with a short drive up to Mine 7, which is the only active mine left in Longyearbyen. Here you have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular views of Longyearbyen before you start your hike. The tour continues from here on foot along the 5 km² Foxfonna Glacier, named after the mountain fox. You will make a stop in Foxdalen at an old hunting lodge, the perfect place for a light lunch and a little hot drink. After lunch you set course for the beautiful Advent Valley and Camp Barentz summer kennel. This is where the hike ends and you will be transported back to Longyearbyen. The excursion requires that everyone in the family is in normal physical shape. The terrain you walk through is sometimes uneven and you will need to cross some smaller streams along the way. The excursion is therefore not recommended if someone in the family has difficulty walking. You will need to bring hiking boots, wind and waterproof clothing, a hat and gloves on the trip. You will hike with an experienced mountain guide who will be armed and thus be able to protect you if you hit a polar bear.(F , L )

Day 3: Boat trip to the Russian mining town of Barentsburg

Today you will sail around the Arctic waters of the MS Bard, an environmentally friendly and hybrid-powered catamaran. MS Bard has modern design and innovative technical solutions, such as underwater microphones and underwater drones, which creates a unique platform for exploring the sea, nature and wildlife both in and above the water surface. From Longyearbyen, the ship sails to Barentsburg, which with its 450 inhabitants is Svalbard’s second largest settlement. The city is run and owned by the Russian mining company Trust Arcticugol and has its own school, kindergarten, hospital and hotel. On the tour you will experience Svalbard’s pristine wilderness and fjords as well as exciting Russian culture. A Russian resident takes you to Barentsburg and gives you a tour of the city, and tells you all about what the life of the locals looks like in the small Russian bastion. After an exciting tour, the journey then returns to Longyearbyen. On the boat trip you will be able to discover marine animals such as seals, arctic birds and, if you are lucky, whales – remember to bring binoculars! Conditions on Svalbard change a lot all year round and a trip to Barentsburg under the midnight sun in May will be different than when the polar night approaches in October. Regardless of the season, you can expect unique and cool experiences in beautiful Svalbard nature. ( Regardless of the season, you can expect unique and cool experiences in beautiful Svalbard nature. (F )

Day 4: Dog team on wheels

Even if you visit Svalbard during the summer, you will of course not miss a fantastic dog sledding experience. On this day trip we have turned a classic sleigh ride into a sleigh ride on wheels for the whole family. You will be picked up at your hotel and driven about a mile outside the city to the kennel. Here you meet the sled dogs, expectant and ready to take you out into nature. Of course, there are overalls, boots and gloves on loan for everyone to stay properly warm during the trip. There will be small carriages with room for three people and where everyone will have the opportunity to take turns steering. Once you have met the dogs and helped put on their harnesses, it’s time to start the dog sledding journey. Along the way you will experience the fantastic landscape and the contrast between the beautiful colors of the plants in the Advent Valley, the mountains and the sky. Together with the clear Arctic air, it becomes a combination that is truly a delight to the eye. If you are lucky, you will discover reindeer and various rare bird species. Along the way you stop at regular intervals so that the dogs can drink water and you stretch your legs and have the opportunity to take pictures of the beautiful nature. The trip ends back at the kennel with some coffee and cakes and you will have the chance to visit the latest litter of puppies before you go back to Longyearbyen. (F )

Day 5: Fossil reconnaissance

If you want to see the magnificent glaciers and look for 60 million year old plant and animal fossils, make an excursion with the whole family on a treasure hunt! At the top of Longyardalen are the two glaciers Larsbreen and Longyearbreen. Stone and gravel have for thousands of years moved and collected into moraine and this is where you can find over 60 million year old fossils of both animals and plants. You will be picked up at the hotel and driven to the small village Nybyen, part of the road can not be driven on so you have to walk. You have a guide with you who has both rifles and polar dogs in case there is a curious polar bear nearby, but it is not very likely that it will happen. You get hammers and goggles as there are good chances of encountering fossils along the way. If you are lucky enough to find some, you can actually keep them as a memory and take them home. You take a break during the search and your guide has brought hot drinks and biscuits for coffee. After a few hours of fossil hunting, you will then drive back to Longyearbyen where the excursion ends. (F )

Day 6: Return trip

Every adventure, no matter how magnificent, has an end. Full of memories of fantastic experiences, you will be driven to the airport in Longyearbyen and begin your journey home. It is possible to extend your stay on Svalbard if you want more days to, for example, go on an excursion to the mines, take a snowmobile trip to the Russian mining town of Barentsburg or the beautiful Tempelfjord, visit ice caves, hike in Blomsterdalen, or experience a wilderness evening at Campz Barentz . ( F )

Overnight stays

Five nights at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel in a family room in Longyearbyen

It is possible to change the hotel standard to the Coal Miners Inn which is a little simpler or the a little nicer Funken Lodge.

Family Adventure on Svalbard