Svalbard polar bear
Photo: Stian Hagen

This archipelago, formerly known as Spitsbergen and high in the Arctic Circle, offers an extraordinary skiing experience. There are no helicopters so turns are earned by skinning up on touring skis or a split-board. With no roads or human development outside Longyearbyen, all ski touring trips are yacht-based.

Ski Touring, Wildlife and Arctic Wilderness

Svalbard is an other-worldly winter winterland and the (epic) skiing is only part of its attraction. The scenery and wildlife attract many visitors who have no interest in skiing and it is the best place in the world to see and photograph polar bears.

Elemental Adventure arranges both "fixed-date" trips to Svalbard based on particular vessels (which are available to book exclusively or by cabin) and completely bespoke trips for private groups where we will source a vessel and a guiding team, design an "expedition-style" itinerary especially for you and lay on activities both afloat and ashore.


Elemental Adventure will be returning to Svalbard in 2025. Limited spaces remaining.

It's simple - Svalbard is a mandatory item on the bucket list of any serious skier.



The Lowdown

The Skiing

The entire archipelago is mountainous and heavily-glaciated meaning that Svalbard has almost limitless potential for skiing from late-April to early June and there is potential to claim runs never skied before. Skiing starts right from the beach and most ascents are 900-1000m.

Due to the high latitude and 24 hour daylight, freeze-thaw cycles are less intensive than in many other ski-touring locations meaning that snow quality is generally very good though it can be wind-affected due to the lack of trees. Guides with local experience and knowledge of Svalbard's topography and weather have a distinct advantage when it comes to choosing where and when to ski and can often find great corn snow or boot-top powder snow.

The terrain ranges from mellow to challenging and, with so many options, the degree of difficulty can be varied to suit your group. Due to its remoteness, Svalbard is not a place for newcomers to ski-touring but the low elevation and lack of trees and tracks (and non-skiing options) mean the appeal is not limited to diehard ski tourers.

Choice of Vessel

To state the obvious, yachts and ships move, and what is available changes from one year to the next. Choosing the right vessel is crucial for success and the yachts and ships range from small sailing boats to micro cruise ships and superyachts. Cruising speed, comfort, stability, crew numbers and ice capability are all factors that have an important bearing on the trip, even before we consider how many cabins or what facilities are important to you.

For our fixed-departure trips we choose the best vessels and crews for the trip we want to deliver. For bespoke private charter trips we will be happy to discuss your needs and source the best vessel for you.

Other Activities

Longyearbyen is a great introduction to Svalbard and its fascinating history and geography. Snowmobiles and dog sleds make it possible to explore the surrounding areas and you can visit museums and mines before embarkation.

Outside Longyearbyen (and a handful of other settlements), there are no roads, no cars, no telegraph poles and no people - this is an immersive wilderness experience that is brought to life by a polar guide, trips ashore for snow-shoeing or hiking and shoreline excursions by Zodiac.

Photography is a highlight combining both the scenery (soaring mountains, inky blue fjords and plunging glaciers) and the wildlife (from polar bears to walruses and seals, whales to reindeer and arctic foxes). Finally, a polar plunge into the Arctic Ocean is an unforgettable rite of passage.

The Itinerary

Trips begin in Longyearbyen which is reached by regular flights from Oslo. We recommend a night or two here and can arrange visits to museums, mines and the local brewery. Depending on the season, snowmobiling tours and dog-sledding enable your first wilderness forays.

Once afloat, Svalbard's west coast is our oyster, with a series of fjords to explore. The itinerary is not decided until we embark because weather and sea ice conditions often determine the best places to cruise. Before casting off ropes, the captain, ski guides and polar guides will discuss the options with guests to optimize the itinerary, whether you want to maximise your chances of observing polar bears, ski steeper lines or see the most spectacular glaciers.

Prices & Dates

Svalbard Bespoke

Customised trips to the Arctic

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