Activities

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Sail & Ski

Climbing and skiing off the beaten tracks above the Arctic Circle in the Lyngen Alps or daring to reach the northernmost latitudes of the Svalbard – the closest it is feasible to sail and land to the North Pole – you will be exploring genuinely remote domains accessible only by sea, and then only by combining in one team a world class skipper, our IFMGA professional mountain guides and first mate / chef on a highly comfortable and thoroughly prepared boat:

    • Small group, limited to 6 guests on our 22m / 73 ft Garcia sailboat, for unhindered space and comfort. The boat is thoughtfully adapted to host and embark-disembark skiers and their gear, making the entire operation smooth and safe.
    • Virtually endless choice of ascent and descent lines thanks to the variety of the domains, excellent snow coverage and quality. Being based on our sailboat, weather permitting we can sail to, anchor and disembark pretty much anywhere.
    • You will be guided by our professional IFMGA mountain guides Brian Farquharson, Andres Scherrer and Paul Degonda. With more than 10 years of experience in the Lyngen Alps and Svalbard, they provide an intimate understanding of the local weather patterns, snow conditions and lines to opt for the most enjoyable spots in safety.
    • As we are well into the territory of adventure, we have well established safety protocols aboard and onshore, as well as defined high standards of safety gear.
SKI-MOUNTAINEERING IN THE LYNGEN ALPS

The Lyngen peninsula is located above the Arctic Circle, latitude 69N and 70N. It has stupendous scenery, with glaciers between vertical snow-covered peaks reaching 1’800m. The Lyngen peninsula and the numerous islands around it, combined with the flexibility of being based on a sailboat, offer an endless choice of unmarked powder skiing domains overlooking the deep blue fjords.

Mid-March to early May allow for balanced conditions and accessibility, with excellent snow coverage and quality provided by the Northern Latitudes and milder weather conditions – temperature and visibility wise – than earlier in the season.

We will be picking you up at the Tromsø Airport and welcome you onboard to comfortably settle in, get acquainted with the crew and boat, check gear and go through safety briefings. The first evening we will be setting sail headed north through the Grøtsund and towards the Ullsfjord, Sorfjord and the Lyngenfjord, a 6 to 8-hour beautiful sailing ground through the fjords under the midnight sun, before we set anchor.

For ski-mountaineering, the peaks range between 800 and 1’500m, scattered between the Lyngen peninsula and a variety of islands, with typical ascents from 4 to 9km, 4 to 8h. Slope gradients are mostly below 25-30 degrees over glacier plateaus, but we can reach as much as 40 degrees and deep powder if we opt for gorges and the steeper lines.

Sailing time between the different anchorages will range from 1h to 3h depending on the selected ski area and weather conditions.

SKI-MOUNTAINEERING IN THE WEST COAST OF SVALBARD

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is situated to the north of the Norwegian mainland, latitudes 74N to 81N, between the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea.

”The northern end of the ocean” mentioned in the 12th century Icelandic chronicles, it is nearest it is feasible to sail and land to the North Pole, the starting point for many of the greatest adventurers that raced to reach the northernmost point on Earth.  It remains one of the remote frontiers of the planet.

65% of the archipelago is covered by ice, a rugged cruising area, most spectacular and contrasting. As our guide Daniel Farquharson puts it One of the magical things about skiing in Svalbard is the constant proximity of glaciers. Everywhere you look, they are calving into the sea. There are few things more magical than skiing down from a summit which meets the sea”

There are no roads connecting inhabited areas, nor the fjords that are the keepers of our preferred ski domains.

The ideal season to reach fjords free of icepack and benefit from best snow conditions begins mid-May and will typically extend to mid or end of June. We will be sailing and skiing the west coast, mainly in both shores of the Kings Bay (itself sheltered from oceanic swell by the 50 nm long Prins Karls island) and the various fjords and shores of Isfjorden.

As we navigate into the fjords, a magnificent array of peaks and glaciers will appear close us, a skier’s dream playground immersed into Arctic scenery. The ski-touring routes involve peaks ranging from 500 to 1’100m and 4h to 8h tours.  

Fauna in the Svalbard is most protected, with 20 natural parcs the home of Arctic wildlife. Gliding silently over water on our sailboat we will approach the wildlife unobtrusively, crossing paths with thousands of birds that migrate in the summer, walruses, bearded seals, whales, deer, polar foxes and with the imposing polar bear.

LIFE ONBOARD

You will be welcomed back onboard in a cozy and comfortable environment, securely at anchor in a protected bay. Your gear and ski clothing will be taken care of by the crew, making sure they are dry and ready for the next morning.

Getting a rest in your spacious cabins with individual restroom, shower and heating system, or enjoying the views surrounding the anchorage, you will find the environment to relish the day’s experience and properly relax ahead of dinner.

Ours is a culinary experience as well. Our first mate and chef will propose gourmet cuisine and typical local dishes assorted with a selection of quality wines, bearing in mind the nutritional requirements of outdoor activity. To store energy and recover properly we will carefully prepare meal packs with proper nutritional ingredients and hydration to carry with you as you head for your climb, and you will be treated with après-ski recovery snacks that will make you return eagerly onboard.

Evenings onboard become a special time for camaraderie and sharing experiences, planning the anchorages and ski lines along your voyage.

Sail & Explore

“We are not restricted by roads, size, range or depth. Weather permitting, we enjoy the ultimate freedom to sail, anchor and disembark pretty much anywhere, in a small group, without disruption to the surrounding nature “  Co-founder and skipper Lionel Lemonchois

You will be embarking into Arctic sailing explorations in the Svalbard and Greenland that require a genuinely experienced and united team of skipper and mountain guide, a sturdy and thoughtfully adapted sailboat as well as a diligent onboard and onshore safety protocols.

Gliding silently over the ocean, we will be immersed in bewildering Arctic landscape and fauna, where no roads or cruise boats can get you. Prepare to discover remote regions in the Arctic, delivered in comfort and safety by a unique team and boat.

Svalbard (Spitsbergen)

The Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard is situated to the north of the Norwegian mainland, latitudes 74N to 81N, halfway between Norway and the North Pole, surrounded by the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea. ”The northern end of the ocean” mentioned in the 12th century Icelandic chronicles, it is the nearest it is feasible to sail and land to the North Pole, the starting point for many of the greatest adventurers that raced to reach the northernmost point on Earth. 

65% of the archipelago is covered by ice, a rugged cruising area, most spectacular and contrasting, offering expedition landings, hikes, kayaking, snow shoeing and bewildering Arctic landscape and fauna: Svalbard has more than 3’000 Polar bears (for fewer than 3’000 inhabitants). 

From Longyearbyen (the northernmost inhabited settlement on the planet), there are no roads connections to the fjords that are the keepers of our preferred exploration areas

Fauna in the Svalbard is most protected, with 20 natural parcs the home of Arctic wildlife. Gliding silently over water on our sailboat we will approach the wildlife unobtrusively, crossing paths with many bird species that migrate in the late spring – summer to breed (little auk, guillemot, puffin, Arctic tern, skua, northern fulmar, black legged kittiwakes, glaucus and ivory gulls, barnacle and brent geese), walruses, bearded seals, whales, deer, polar foxes and with the imposing polar bear. 

Svalbard’s diversity of exposed geology is a dream for geologists and lovers of nature. As the Cruise Handbook for Svalbard puts it “No other place in Northern Europe displays such diversity of geological formations and no other place has so many geological eras exposed in outcrops”. 

Combined with the Archipelago’s fascinating history of polar explorers and cultural heritage from the coal mining, hunting and whaling eras, we are in front of an endless choice of anchorages and landings. 

You can leave your watch in your cabin. North of the Arctic Circle the day has no beginning or end. The Midnight Sun brings out magical colors in the surrounding landscape. The soft rays of the low-hanging sun bathe it all in a wonderful palette of pink, purple, yellow, and orange and create unforgettable memories.


Longyearbyen
Getting to Longyearbyen  (founded in 1909 by the Arctic Coal Company of Boston, called after its co-owner John Munro Longyear) is straightforward with multiple daily flights both for Tromsø and Longyearbyen to list of connecting airports from there you will be embarking into an Arctic sailing that requires genuinely solid and experienced team of skipper, professional guide, and sturdy, adapted sailboat as well as a diligent onboard and onshore safety protocols.
Isfjord
Sailing out of Longyearbyen and into the Isfjord, a system of multiple fjord branches and pyramid shaped mountains coming down to the water, we have a choice of fjords and anchorages such as Grønfjord, Billefjord, Trygghamna. We can visit Barentsburg (only Russian settlement since the closure of Pyramiden), Finnset (site of a former Norwegian whaling station), Pyramiden (a ghost USSR settlement, abandoned in 30 minutes, perfectly preserved, inhabited by two Russian caretakers) or Alkhornet’s WWII observation center as well interesting geological formations.
Prins Karls Forland - Forlandsund
“Forlandet” as it is referred to locally, named after son of James I of England. Whalers used to call it Foul Sound due to the Forlandslevet shallows. The Spitsbergen coast is lined with mountains and glaciers we can approach under summer weather conditions. There are many anchorages and landings to choose from including, in S-N, direction Farmhamna (with interesting geology, old whaling station), Eidembukta (with rich birdlife), Brucebukta and Fersvassbukta (common sighting of Walruses), Engelsbukta (with the Comfortlessbreen glacier).
Kongsfjord, Krossfjord and Magdalenenfjord
North East of Forlandsund, Kongsfjord and Krossfjord have striking scenery, dominated by peaks and glaciers running into the sea. Numerous anchorage options await us, such as NY Alesund (former mining center turned polar scientific research center, the site of Amundsen’s zeppelin 1926 north pole flight… and the world’s most northerly pub), Peirsonhamna (offering nice walks and flora), Blomstrandhamna (for breathtaking views of glaciers), Møllerfjord (surrounded by mountains and glaciers), Signehamna (walking with flora and birdlife)….
NW Spitsberg and Islands

Covered by the Nordwest-Spitsbergen National Park, the area covers the NW tip of Spitsberg and nearby islands of Danskøya, Amsterdamøya and the Norskøya.

It is rich in fauna, with seabirds, reindeer, walruses and polar bear. The region also hosts the northernmost hot springs on earth, the Troll and Jotun. There can be found the remains of whaling stations and graves from the 17th century and the debris of several early Arctic expeditions. With VARUNA we have a choice of anchorages, Bjørnhamna, Virgohamna and Kobbefjord (Danskøya), Smeerenburgbukta, Norskøysund to discover it all in this remote area on the edge of latitude 80N…

N Coast and crossing to the Nordaustland

The North coast is dominated by large, beautiful fjords that cut 35 nm inland: Liefdefjord and Woodfjord offer multiple anchorages where to observe the fauna (Svalbard reindeer, walrus reservation of Moffen island), hot springs and extinct volcano.

From the N Coast we will be crossing latitude 80N and making our heading to the Nordaustland (the northeast land), which is close to half the size of Spitsbergen. Depending on weather and icepack, we will be selecting our anchorages in the Murchisonfjord (sighting walruses and Polar bears) or the Sjuøyane group of islands.


GREENLAND
Greenland, so named by the Norwegian explorer Erik Thorvaldsson (known as “Erik the Red”) around 985, is both the largest island and the least densely populated region on Earth. Located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, three-quarters of Greenland is covered by a permanent ice sheet.

 

Close to ninety percent of the population are Inuit. Hunting and fishing remain their principal activity, as their ancestors thousands of years ago. As Danish writer Jørn Riel puts it “they have the sixth sense that we have lost”, friendly and caretaking.

Arriving during the Arctic summer, we will be exploring the remote east coast, a large proportion of which is covered by the world’s largest natural park. It is also the most isolated region – ice blocks access to the region 9 months of the year – home to only 3’500 inhabitants on a coastline 2,500km long.

Temperatures range from 1-6 degrees on average, but the generally dry air makes it milder than you may expect.


Scoresbysund

Scoresbysund (named after Arctic explorer and whaler William Scoresby), the world’s largest fjord system (over 100km deep) will be our exploration area on the eastern coast of Greenland.
After boarding at Constable Point we will be sailing south spend the night at anchor at the settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated town in Greenland and fewer than 500 inhabitants.

From there, we will head towards Scoresbysund fjord system, far and away from any infrastructure or inhabited area, in complete autarchy….the reward, sailing under the watch of the tallest icebergs, passing vertical mountain walls falling straight into the sea and admiring glaciers. We will silently be gliding along the Arctic wildlife – seals, muskoxen and the polar bear. 

Our clockwise loop within Scoresbysund will bring us to

  • Danmark OE, Fønfjord and Iceberg City
  • Roede fjord and Hare fjord
  • Ofjord and Bear Island
  • Sailing back to Constable Point

Offshore Sailing

Boreal Adventure Sailing proposes high latitude offshore sailing routes that will get you out of the beaten routes together with world class skipper Lionel Lemonchois on VARUNA, a 22-meter / 73 feet aluminum sloop, purpose built by the GARCIA shipyard for fast, long range passages.

Guest crew will be limited to 6 allowing to meet the targets of each individual as well as our comfort and safety standards.

With an extensive track record of solo and crew racing wins, be it across the ocean, hunting records or world circumnavigations, Lionel will provide no non-sense approach to offshore sailing in all its key facets, allowing you to tangibly grow as a sailor. The passages provide an extensive opportunity to dig deep in numerous boat preparation, sailing and navigation matters through exchanges with Lionel, and share past experiences and sea stories.

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Whether you are eager for your first immersive ocean experience or you are methodically preparing for a trans-oceanic voyage of your own, you will be able to actively participate alongside the skipper, developing and honing your skills in areas such as:

  • Boat preparation for long passages
  • Passage planning, coastal and offshore navigation
  • Maneuvering in small crew
  • Sails trimming
  • Practicing time at the helm
  • How to use autopilot, AIS, Radar
  • Working on both paper charts and plotter
  • Weather forecasting, including a pragmatic approach to downloading and read weather files, as well as routing.
  • Tidal currents
  • Bad weather and night sailing
  • Sleep management, eating, shifts
  • Energy management onboard, installation of energy systems, unbiased input as to the effectiveness of various energy sources
  • Boat monitoring and maintenance routines during long passages
  • Health and Safety on board
  • Emergency procedures

Bespoke voyage

PLAN YOUR BESPOKE VOYAGE WITH BOREAL

You can opt to privatize a voyage and chose with your parties to travel alone with our crew. Depending on the period of the year / region we can significantly adapt routes and onshore activities. This provides the flexibility to discover certain regions in greater depth or carrying out a different array of activities: Kayaking, animal watching, photo workshops, ice snorkeling, snowshoeing…

KAYAKING

Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimating and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit. Explore the crystal waters the Arctic has to offer, discover great glacial shadows of large icebergs and vast labyrinthine fjords starting from our moving base camp.

Expert instructors will guide you throughout the ice-strewn wilderness, keeping you safe and readily available to inform you about the local wildlife.

ANIMAL WATCHING

We can explore specific locations / obtain special permits (depending on availability, time of the year) to visit certain areas if your intent is get immersed in the Arctic wildlife, accompanied by a specialist guide. The wildlife richness in the Artic is unique: Whales, Walruses, Seals and Arctic Foxes; Narwhales, polar bears and Musk Ox in their natural habitat. A great variety in bird species in the late spring – summer to breed in Svalbard for instance (little auk, guillemot, puffin, Arctic tern, skua, northern fulmar, black legged kittiwakes, glaucus and ivory gulls, barnacle and brent geese).

PHOTO WORKSHOP

Svalbard and Greenland each offer a very distinct realm of Arctic landscape and wildlife.

Whether you are a skilled photographer or a beginner, we help you to take your photography skills to the next level and to create the best images. Our guides will lead you to selected locations depending on your photography focus topics, and give you expert instruction, so you can get the most out of your camera.

Corporate / Group Events

The environment provided by our boat, the context of the Arctic and the choice of activities represent a unique setup for teambuilding or to arrange a memorable event. With the level of comfort, space and safety available onboard, the culinary experience, the infinitely adaptable range of routes / activities / use of time onboard and onshore we can cater to the type of experience and objectives you are aiming at….and possibly contribute with creative suggestions of our own.

BOREAL ADVENTURE SAILING


Get up-close with the rich wilderness and Arctic beauty with one of our Photo Workshop tours.

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