MLS Signature Trip: Arctic Adventure

Discover one of the world’s last remaining frontiers, on this one-of-a-kind adventure custom-designed by legendary wilderness guide Jan Kortland. This itinerary, with its unique combination of activities and accommodations, is the first of its kind. Imagine driving your own dog sled or snowmobile through the frozen landscapes of the Svalbard archipelago, past breathtaking glaciers, fjords and mountains, keeping an eye out for the Arctic’s famed wildlife (including, hopefully, polar bears).

Learn the history of the whalers, hunters, explorers and miners who made this remote territory their home (and meet some who still do). Stay on a 100-year-old schooner surrounded by ice, and in a rustic but luxurious trapper’s lodge decorated with driftwood, sealskin and slate. It’s a truly remarkable excursion, filled with unforgettable sights and experiences – so contact Jan today to secure your spot.

Dog SleddingArctic Adventure with Dog Sledding and Snowmobiles

March 12-19, 2013
8-day wilderness excursion, accompanied by Jan and a local professional guide.
Cost: $11,950 (final price may vary with currency fluctuations)
A 40% deposit is due by the end of October, 2012
Price includes activities, meals and accommodations as stated in the program. All guests will be provided with thermal suit, gloves, snowmobile shoes, balaclava, cap and goggles.

Day 1

Upon arrival at the airport in Longyearbyen we will be picked up by our guide and transported to Trapper’s Hotel. Here we will go through the program for the following days.

Trapper's Hotel

In the afternoon we will be taken to the Trapper’s Station where dinner awaits us. This dinner conveys the history behind the hunters’ lives and cuisine. The “trapper’s dinner” is a celebration that takes us through four courses of Arctic foods and flavors. The surrounding buildings and land are designed like the original hunting communities on Svalbard, with images, books, artifacts and equipment that are still used by hunters today. This makes the perfect environment for the evening’s speech about the trappers’ lives in Svalbard during the old days. At the Trapper’s Station we will also have the chance to meet our sled dogs who have their homes here.

After dinner we will return to Trapper’s Hotel.

Sled DogsDay 2
After breakfast, our guide will give us a lesson on how to harness and handle our team of dogs. When ready, we mush into the open landscape, hearing only the panting of the dogs and the scraping of the sled runners against the snow. We will make a number of stops along the way and will learn more about the landscapes and the geology.

Arriving at the frozen Tempelfjord, we make a stop at the hut where the hero of Svalbard, Hilmar Nois, spent 37 winter seasons hunting for foxes and bears. The trip today will take us 50 km into the frozen landscape. After a long and great day behind the sleds we arrive at the Ship Noorderlicht. The ship’s hostess will give us a warm welcome and we will hear more on the history of the 100-year-old schooner, which the British Sunday Times twice named “one of the 5 places to visit before you die.” Two overnights on the Noorderlicht.

Day 3
We will spend today day exploring Tempelfjorden and its surroundings. Dog sledding at Svalbard is an experience that touches your soul, with the wide-open landscapes and breathtaking scenery. We mush to spectacular Von Post glacier, one of the large glaciers in the area. Our chef will prepare a lunch by the glacier front.

We will return to the ship in the late afternoon for a good rest and a tasty dinner.

Day 4
After two wonderful days at the ship, we will probably feel like the legendary explorers. It is now time to return to Longyearbyen, one of the world’s northernmost settlements. Our guide will, if the weather allows it, take us on a different route home. Once again we mush out in the open landscapes, through valleys and over frozen sea ice and lakes, knowing that we are halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

We make our way back to the dog yard and to the city. Once back we will have time to say our goodbyes to our new four-legged friends, before heading back to Trapper’s Hotel for a warm shower. We finish off this leg of the trip with a dinner at Kroa restaurant. This is a great place to share our stories, impressions and experiences after the trip. Overnight at Trapper’s Hotel.

SnowmobilesDay 5
Today it is time to explore a new area of Spitsbergen. To travel greater distances in a shorter time, we will use snowmobiles. We head west towards Cap Linnè and Isfjord Radio. During the expedition we will ride over glaciers, mountains and frozen fjords, and visit thrilling historical sites. We’ll make a number of interesting stops along the way.

If the weather and snow conditions are favorable, we ride through Barentsburg, the Russian settlement on Svalbard. Life in Barentsburg is quite different – we will feel like we have traveled back in time. We’ll be guided around the small town and hear stories about the mining work and life of the people living here. We then continue our journey through Kongressen, over Lake Linnè and to Isfjord Radio.

Until a few years ago, Isfjord Radio was an important connection for telecommunication between mainland Norway and Svalbard. The area surrounding the radio station has exceptional animal life. Removed from civilization, we will discover the biological and geological diversity which combine to make Isfjord Radio a fascinating place to visit and stay. Given the exotic location, we will again experience the tranquility and greatness of Svalbard’s nature.

Isfjord Radio, with views of the surrounding bird reserve and the sea towards Greenland, has a good library, and its open fires crackle away, warming us and setting the scene for our chef who is busy preparing the meals that are served in the dining room. Lena and Fredrik, the hosts at the station, will welcome us and tell us more about the interesting history of the station. Again our comfortable rooms lure us into a refreshing sleep before tomorrow’s adventure. Overnight at Isfjord Radio.

Polar BearDay 6
Today we will leave Isfjord Radio. We spend our day on safari with our snowmobiles along Nordenskiolds coast line, Cap Linnè. As this area is untouched, the chances of seeing polar bear are good. This time of year the sea is often packed with ice. Hopefully we get the chance to see the King of the Arctic as well as the seals laying on the ice and enjoying the sun. If the weather is good, we will find a perfect place where we can barbeque and enjoy the fantastic views.

In the evening we reach our camp for the night. The camp has been set up with North Pole tents, which will let us experience the true Arctic. Our guides will watch over the camp, while we get comfortable in our sleeping bags! Overnight in North Pole Camp in the wilderness.

Day 7
We leave the camp after breakfast. All of the impressions will sink in, as we travel along the mountains and fjords. Our guide will, if the conditions allow, again lead us on a different route home, so we will get to see even more of the majestic nature. Back at Trapper’s Gotel, we will be served warm drinks after a long day of snowmobiling. We end the evening at the legendary restaurant Huset, which holds the northernmost wine cellar in the world (and an extravagant one). Our guide will join us, so we can summarize the trip together, and plan the next trip to Svalbard. Be warned, it is easy to fall in love with this place! Overnight at Trapper’s Hotel.


Trapper's Hotel - ExtTrapper’s Hotel
Rustic luxury. Trapper’s Hotel is located at the heart of Longyearbyen, along with restaurants, pubs, bank and shops. It is Longyearbyen’s most unique hotel; decorated in a traditional trapper style with driftwood, sealskin and slate. Despite its rusticity, it is high quality accommodation. The hotel has comfortable beds and hot baths in all the rooms.


Ship in Ice“Noorderlicht” Ship in the Ice
The Noorderlicht is a two-masted schooner celebrating her 100th birthday last year. The comfortable schooner, equipped for both warm and cold regions, is the ideal ship for those who are into adventures. The deckhouse and saloon below deck are spacious. Here you find ten twin-cabins, each equipped with bunks, hot/cold running water and a 220V power point. Five toilets and four showers are for communal use.



Ilfjord RadioIsfjord Radio
The historic station is newly renovated and consists of the main building, Polar House and the Old Station with a total of 47 beds and 23 rooms. The facilities are good quality, with shared shower and toilets. The dining hall is in the main building, which also features a living room with open fireplace, meeting room, library, and sauna.



Polar CampNorth Pole Camp on the Ice
Each tent sleeps two people and is heated. Likewise, the small dining tent is heated. Being protected and shielded from the elements and yet only having a few millimeters of material between you and the outside world is as real as it gets. Naturally, meals are a little more basic and snow is melted for drinking water. A safety perimeter is set up around the camp which warns of any polar bear intrusions.