Traveling the Arctic in midsummer or open
sea conditions may well be as cold as travelling on the English
Channel in midwinter. Some days may be warm and sunny but there
may also be times of cold blustery winds. Be prepared.
You may already have plenty of experience and proper equipment,
then your bag is almost ready
For those who do not :
changes of underwear. It is always very unpleasant to
go on the deck while humid
of quick drying polar fibre
gloves .Large rubber gardening gloves worn over warm woolen
gloves would also do
Non skid boat
boots, large enough to wear over two pairs of warm socks
A parka or
anorak with a high collar
slippers for below decks
If you have
or can borrow a weather proof parka with an attached harness,
then bring it along, it's more confortable. Of course
there are lifelines and harnesses on board
We also have
nice and sunny days! Jeans, T shirts and simple sweaters
are welcome then
cream and lipstick
hygiene stuff and towel
you think you are prone to sea sickness, bring some motion
sickness tablets along
if you have any
Most of our
cruises take place during the midnight sun. Therefore
a search light is not necessary. However a small search
light may be appreciated to find something in a locker
Soft shell bags only please. No suitcase or hardshell case
allowed on board
Please make sure your passport is valid up until the day you
return to your homecountry. Some citizens will require a visa
to travel to Norway. Please check
if you need a visa.
Credit cards are accepted everywhere in Norway. Therefore you
will not need to carry much extra currency. You can check the
exchange rate between your currency and the Norwegian Krown
(NOK) on Oanda's website.
cameras and electronics
Bring enough extra batteries. The cold is very hard on batteries
and it is terrible to be unable to take pictures for that reason.
Available on board: 220 V, 12 V and 24 volts.
220 V and 12 V chargers are OK, with preference given to 12
V battery chargers
Precisions on itineraries:
Flight information for Spitsbergen trips : according with
SAS schedule, arrival to Longyearbyen on Monday morning
00h50, departure from Longyearbyen on Saturday morning
Circuits towards Lofoten Islands and North Cape allow
to enjoy the inside passages labyrinth which Northern Norway
offers generously. In this atmosphere where the sea has an affair
with mountains, it is rare to be exposed to open waters storms
Frequently asked questions:
Whom are your sailing adventures made for?
There are no special limitations and to date we had participants
aged 12 to 71 years old. Our circuits are accessible to all
those who like sailing, are willing to discover the wonders
of boreal nature and are animated by a team spirit. The boat
size allows everyone to be ad ease.
Do I need to have a previous sailing experience ?
No, beginners are accepted on the majority of our trips. We
just ask for a bit of experience for offshore trips like Norway-Spitsbergen.
A sailboat like the Southern Star gives everyone the possibility
to practice whatever the experience. Beginners and confirmed
navigators all together give the crew a good balance.
Do I have to be an athlete ?
A good general condition is necessary. Those persons enjoying
outdoors activities like hiking are perfectly in shape to board.
You will mostly need to be willing to commit in the way this
cruise goes on so that the adventure can be shared and created
among all participants.
How are the cabins and berths?
These are double cabins. Two of them are with bunkbeds and three
have double berths. Each double berth can be divided into two
single ones through the use of a wooden separator. In each cabin,
a closet or drawers allow to keep ones clothes dry and tidily
stored. Bags and soft packs can stay in the cabin.
Will I be cold ?
Most of our trips are organized in summer time when temperatures
are above 0° Celcius and the boat has a good heater. Of
course, you will need warm clothes, a good sleeping bag (see
our Information section above),
etc. Then there is no reason to be cold. Same for others trips,
the heater gives to the inside a good deal of confort to get
warm when we are coming from the deck. Each cabin has its own
heater and we have a heated locker to dry wet clothes.
What is the weather like ?
Spitsbergen like High Arctic regions is a desert. Its climate
is dry. The West Coast with the influence of the Gulf Stream
is a little bit more rainy (400 mm/year) than the East Coast
(200 mm/year). Temperatures are more or less steady and range
from 5° to 9° Celcius in summer time. When the sun shines
it can reach 16° Celcius. The sea temperature ranges from
4° to 7° Celcius and falls when we are approaching or
crossing ice fields.
In Longyearbyen the sun doesn't set from april 19th to August
In continental Norway, the weather is more humid, although long
periods of sun shine exist of course.
What wildlife will I see ?
We can see reindeers, arctic foxes, walruses, bearded seals,
ringed seals, humpback whales, bowhead whales, Arctic sterns,
fulmars, Eider ducks, black guillemots, Brunnich's guillemots,
pink footed geese, barnacle geese, brent geese, glaucous gull
and of course the king of the Arctic, the polar bear.
How is life organised aboard?
Like a real crew, we are building the adventure all together.
Manoeuvring, choosing the route and anchorages, watching the
weather forecast and ice conditions, cooking, etc. Of course
all maintenance and technical aspects are the captain and his
first mate duties. We know by experience that our organisation
gives everyone long moments to relax, read, or watch nature.
What about safety on board ?
Regarding the navigation part, the boat is equiped with first
class off shore equipment.
We also provide you with cold-water survival drysuits/foul weather
gear. There are 14 on board so there is certainly one your size.
On top of that, and because we are visiting remote places, we
have a safety radio beacon, an SSB radio (emission and reception),
an IRIDIUM telephone (Email + telephone), 1 fixed VHF and 2
mobile VHFs to keep contact between the boat and the shore when
a team is on trek.
For Spitsbergen, we have a gun to protect us from polar bears,
just in case... The Governor of Svalbard doesn't give a choice.
Every group who goes on shore must be equiped with a gun...
Offers maps of Norway and the Svalbard which can be zoomed in
with a very precise and accurate result.