Total snowmobiling distance: 500 km
Day 1. Longyearbyen – Todalen – Colesdalen – Grøndalen — Barentsburg
Arrive in Longyearbyen, “the capital” of Spitsbergen, daytime flight.
Longyearbyen (also Longyear) — the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, the northernmost settlement with the number of inhabitants more than 1 000 (about 2 000 people) and the northernmost airport in the world.
Transfer from the airport to “Russky dom”, “Russian house” – the office of our travel company “Grumant” in Longyearbyen. Lunch, brief information about program, short safety training and snowmobile driving instructions, getting outfit and packing belonings.
Snowmobiling on the route: Longyearbyen – Todalen — Colesdalen – Grøndalen – Barentsburg.
Total distance – 70 km, duration: 3-4 hours
Barentsburg – Russian “capital” of Spitsbergen, the coal-mining settlement founded in 1921 by the Dutch company. Since 1931 belongs to Trust “Arcticugol”. Barentsburg nowadays is the arctic coal-mining settlement with the northernmost Russian mine, as well as attractive touristic place, where history and traditions meet modern Arctic development. Population of Barentsburg – 500 inhabitants including about 70 children.
Arrive in Barentsburg, accommodation in double rooms in Barentsburg Hotel
Sightseeing guided tour
Dinner at the hotel
Day 2. Barentsburg — Isfjord Radio – Starostin Cape- Barentsburg
Early in the morning we offer you a tour to the Mine (paid additionally). It is one and the only tour into the working mine in the world! At first we get familiar to safety instructions, change our cloth and take miner’s equipment. Guided by a professional miner the tour starts at the wooden gallery with short insight of the mining history, then through the main entrance we go underground and visit two mine galleries.
Breakfast at the hotel
Snowmobiling on the route: Barentsburg — Isfjord Radio – Starostin Cape- Barentsburg
Circle route with diverse terrain and picturesque Arctic views. Total distance – 95-120 km (depending on the weather condition, ice and snow cover and preparedness of the group), duration – about 7-8 hours with lunch stop in the cozy Isfjord Radio restaurant.
Isfjord Radio – shore radio and meteorological station in the Cape Linné. A century ago it became the link between the archipelago and the mainland, acting as a navigation system and collecting meteorological data. Nowadays the station is completely automatically-controlled, and the cozy hotel and restaurant is arranged inside.
Cape Starostin, Kapp Starostin – attractive, picturesque place with a special atmosphere. It got its name after legendary pomor trapper Ivan Starostin, who spent 39 winters in Spitsbergen and the last 15 years never left the archipelago. His main habitat was at the mouth of river Russekeila, close to Gronfjord. Our guides will show you the reconstruction of Starostin winter camp and pomor funeral cross, you have a look around a functioning cabin. One interesting fact – Cape Starostin and its surroundings became the location during the shoot of Norwegian movie “Operasjon “Arktis”.
Return to Barentsburg. Visit our museum dedicated to Pomor culture and history of Spitsbergen and Arctic discovery. Except the main archeological exhibition devoted to pomor trappers and Russian arctic explorers of 16-19 centuries, you have a chance to see the unique items of Willem Barents expedition 1596 year and Art Arctic Gallery.
Dinner at our famous brewery bar and restaurant “Krasniy medved” (“Red bear”). You will taste the northernmost freshly-made Russian beer and traditional Russian cuisine, will try local codfish from Gronfjord.
Day 3. Glaciers and the ghost settlement: Barentsburg – Colesdalen – Longyearbyen – Sassendalen — Nordenskiøld Glacier – Petuniabukta — Pyramiden
Early check-out and depart for a long itinerary, striking in its beauty and diversity of the landscapes. We pass Cape Heer and Colesdalen on the way to Longyearbyen and make a short break with lunch in the Expedition Centre Russki Dom. Half a route is staying behind ….Then continue over shiny glaciers and sharp mountains in the valley of Sassendalen . We may encounter walruses along the way. About 100 miles northeast of Longyearbyen lays the mighty glacier Nordenskiöld. Just in several hundred meters from the glacier, you can find the ghost town Pyramiden, a destination point for today.
Upon arrival in Pyramiden, check-in at a small hotel, dinner and night in Pyramiden.
Snowmobiling 2 pers/machine, 200 — 220 km, approx.10 hrs
Day 4. Pyramiden – Nordenskiøld Glacier – Lomonosov plain — Longyearbyen
After breakfast, walk around Pyramiden. The ambiance of this ghost settlement makes an unusual and strong impression on any experienced traveller. This community was founded by Sweden in the beginning of the 20th century and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. The speculations around its importance during the Cold War are many. One thing is certain; this was an Arctic out-post, but also an Arctic Paradise for those who lived and worked there in the Communist spirit. The town was a showcase to the West exhibiting to the world the excellence of communism. The atmosphere is still there! In the end of the nineties, Pyramiden was closed and has since then remained abandoned with all its infrastructure in place, ‘’conserved’’. All the buildings are in a good state and the settlement seems inhabited, but the silence reigns over Pyramiden, there is no living soul around… Lunch in Pyramiden.
We leave this ghost place and driving through valleys to the great Nordenskjøld glacier and endless Lomonosov plain. Just take a look around and find yourself in the ice kingdom…… It will take your breath away! Now the time to go back to civilization.
Snowmobiling 120 – 160 km, 4-6 hrs
In the evening arrival in Longyearbyen and dinner in one of the local restaurants (KROA or Stationen).
Transfer to the airport for the night flight. *
* Before the flight, you can stay in the common guest area of the expedition center «Russkiy Dom».
*If you don’t want to have a night flight, you can book one of the places of accommodation in Longyearbyen, stay for one more night and get a day flight instead.