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:
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 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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).
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.
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.