Welcome to the Arctic, welcome to the wilderness and welcome to the journey of your lifetime!
Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Located on top of the world, it contains endless areas of unspoilt, raw Arctic wilderness. Svalbard consists of all the islands, islets and skerries between 74° and 81° north latitude and 10° and 35° east longitude. The largest island is Spitsbergen, while the highest mountain is Newtontoppen (1,713 m above sea level).
A visit to the High Arctic archipelago – roughly midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole – is full of contrasts and amazing nature-based experiences.
The Arctic silence creates a unique atmosphere, and you will experience tranquillity that is virtually unrivalled anywhere else on earth. Up here at 78° N, you will soon become part of the most beautiful Arctic adventure imaginable. Majestic mountains, blue sea ice, almost never-ending glaciers and a rich animal life dominate the landscape, which changes appearance during their three main seasons; from the colourful tundra of the Polar Summer, via the spectacular light show of the Northern Lights winter to the frozen fjords and endless snowy landscape of the Sunny Winter.
17th of May – 30th of September – Polar Summer is a popular time to visit Svalbard. The Midnight Sun has already dominated the sky for more than a month when summer marks its entrance on the 17th of May (Norway’s Constitution Day) and won’t drop below the horizon again until late August.
In a polar summer day and night becomes one in the High Arctic, and the light is the same around the clock.
1st of October – 28th of February – Northern Lights Winter. It’s already dark in the evenings and there is noticeably less daylight as each day passes. They refer to the dark season in Svalbard as the “Polar Night”.
This two-and-a-half-month period lasts from mid-November to late January. The sun is at least 6 degrees below the horizon during this period and it’s pitch-dark 24/7. The darkness is the same around the clock, so it does not give you any hints about what time it is.
1st of March – 16th of May – Sunny Winter is the most popular time to visit Svalbard. It’s still full winter during this two-and-a-half-month period, with a beautiful ice and snow-covered landscape as far as the eye can see. Even though they have daylight, the contrasts are enormous – from virtual twilight during the daytime in early March to the never-ending light of the Midnight Sun from 20 April.
Who lives in Svalbard?
Just 1300 km from the North Pole, you can visit the world’s northernmost urban community, Longyearbyen. Most of the residents in this tiny Arctic metropolis are Norwegians, but there are residents from around 50 other countries.
In all, around 2,100 people call this place “home”, and they enjoy a strong sense of unity and fellowship. Even in the middle of the settlement, you will get so close to the pristine nature that it will take your breath away.
Although Svalbard belongs to the Kingdom of Norway, two settlements in the archipelago are mostly populated by Russians and Ukrainians.
Juva Cabin – the Jewel of Svalbard
“Modern comforts meet the wilderness”
At Juva Cabin, you can experience the freedom in the spectacular landscape of Svalbard, without the primitive aspect. The cabin is equipped with comfortable beds, a warm fireplace, lounge room, kitchen, indoor toilet and, last but not least, a brand new sauna, providing you a wilderness experience in comfort.
The cabin is strategically placed in a magnificent scenery. The view from the lounge room window will take your breath away, and with mountains on all sides you are just a little stroll away from the cabin and up a hill to catch an unforgettable sunset.
Be surrounded by untouched wilderness and varied landscape. You will be far away from the light pollution of Longyearbyen, which gives you a clearer night sky, and better chances to get a glimpse of the Northern Light.
The cabin is the perfect place for skiing trips or wilderness safaris. You will get closer to the wildlife than in Longyearbyen, and be able to experience Svalbard at its most beautiful.
While sitting in the hot sauna with an ice cold beer, enjoying the northern lights dancing over the mountains to the south, you might not have thought about just how different this is from the trappers’ life in the 1800s. The trappers had neither saunas nor good beds to sleep in. However, they had the same views, the same northern lights, and perhaps they had the same feeling of simple satisfaction when they looked out over the snow, despite their more rustic accommodations.
Add to your adventure by taking a 3 Day adventure with dog sledge which includes stay at Juva cabin, and also a night at a trappers cabin. Best of both World’s?
The cabin can be hired for private groups of 4 – 10 guests.
3-day Dog Sled Expedition with stay at Juva Cabin:
Season Dates: 1 Feb 2021 – 10 May 2021
The guide will pick you up at your hotel by car at 9 o clock. He will then drive you through Adventdalen, to their main kennel which is located in Bolterdalen, around 12 kilometres out in the wilderness. Here you will be equipped for the trip – you will have a coverall suit, boots, neckgaiter (which you can keep after the tour), mittens and a hat for you.
The dogs are eagerly waiting to start the sled tour and they will be excited when the guide gives you a throughout briefing in mushing, before the trip starts. They will mush in pairs and two guests will be seated at the guidesled. Everybody will take turn in mushing and everybody will help out in the daily work with the dogs, such as harnessing, feeding..and giving hugs!
“…You will then get an introduction to dog sledding; attach the dogs to the sleds and behind us, the world disappears. It is as if nothing else exists.
The sound of the sledges, the ringing from 28 dog collars and the deafening silence are all that remain. Running a dog team is magical. It tickles the soul. The dogs’ paws hit the snow so quietly with all their power. It is not heard. It’s like we’re flying…”
As soon as the dog sledges are launched, the dogs will stop barking and the only sound will be dog paws hitting the snow and maybe you will hear a ptarmigan or a fox in the mountains, surrounding the valley.
After about 2 hours of mushing you will arrive at the ice cave.The track goes 400 metres up and part of the way you may have to help the dogs. Here you will enjoy lunch at a tent put up on the glacier and the dogs will have a well-earned break and a snack.
After lunch you will explore the ice cave that goes far into the glacier. With helmets and headlamps you will descend into the cave. It is created during the summer, when meltwater runs through the glacier.
During the winter this water freezes, creating fantastic channels and artistic ice crystals in the clear, still air inside the glacier. No matter what the temperature is outside, the cave is at a steady -2°C.
After a tour within the glacier you will experience the exhilaration of downhill mushing through the moraine and out through Bolterdalen. You will continue towards Foxdalen where your cozy little cabin awaits.
Once the fire takes off in the oven the temperature will rise quickly while they feed the dogs. If the northern lights or the beauty of the surroundings don’t keep you outside, then you will spend a cozy evening inside enjoying good food, a warm fire, and interesting mushing stories until it is time to creep into our sleeping bags.
Sleeping bags, sheets and food are provided for you.
The following morning you will harness the dogs again and set off towards Jansonhaugen and the exciting and diverse terrain that is found in that area. The wide, beautiful Advent Valley will narrow and you will see the mountains even closer as you follow the frozen riverbed into the land.
If conditions are favorable, you will stop for lunch at the frozen waterfall north of Eskerdalen. The goal for the day is Spitsbergen Expedition Lodge, a new and well-equipped cabin beautifully located in Brentskaret. From the cabin you can enjoy the wild landscape– a snow-covered universe where hunters and trappers have lived and hunted throughout history.
The lodge is cozy with four bedrooms, a simple bathroom, gas cooking facilities in the kitchen and a great fireplace. We will stay here for the night.
The next day you’ll sled west. You will plan the day according to weather and conditions, and try to make a detour into Eskerdalen. The dogs are happy being on the trail and we’ll get to know each dog’s personality during the trip.
Upon our return, your guide will drive you back to town at our hotel.
- The expeditions are always led by experienced guides, and the polar bears will be kept away by the dogs.
- You do not need to have previous experience in dog sledding. No previous winter camping experience is required, just an adventurous spirit! However, you should be in average good physical condition to participate on this trip. The participants will be asked to help out with the camp, feeding of the dogs, preparations for the trips etc.
- The weather in the Arctic can change within hours and it may be both cold and windy – even down to -5 to -10° C in May and June.
- The guide will take care of your safety, and will bring all necessary safety equipment.
- Included: Full catering, sleeping bag, fullsize suit, hat, boots & mittens.
Min no of participants: 2, max 5.
Minimum age for participation: 12 years.
Above trip expedition is operated by Green Dog Svalbard, which is located in Bolterdalen and being managed by Martin Munck & Karina Bernlow. They came to Svalbard after many years in East Greenland, where they made a living from hunting and tourism.
Green Dog separates itself from other commercial dog kennels in Svalbard, since their dogs are a mix between the Greenland dog and husky – and also, since their family, consisting of 2 adults and 4 children – and all of our guides – are living at the kennel all year round.
How to book?
You can book above trip experience with Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd. They are a Boutique Luxury Travel Design company with it’s office in New Delhi, India. They have the expertise, connections, as they have partnered with Juva Cabin and Green Dog SVALBARD to operate above trip experience.