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Ke Classic
Ke Classic

Svalbard Hike and Sail

Arctic, Svalbard
Available Departures: May

8 days from


without flights
Guided Group

A one week holiday sailing along the coastline of Svalbard, walking and snowshoeing in the arctic wilderness

Trip Code: PHS
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.


Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Svalbard Hike and Sail

  • Sail on a 3 mast schooner, the Rembrandt van Rijn - with a maximum of 33 passengers.
  • Get the chance to see arctic wildlife such as walrus, arctic fox and polar bears
  • Zodiac and shore excursions around Spitsbergen including the northernmost community in the world, Ny Alesund
  • Fantastic walks in awe inspiring landscapes with expert expedition staff

At a Glance
  • Group Size 1 to 33
  • 6 days walking and snowshoeing
  • Join In Longyearbyen

Accommodation & Meals
  • All meals included
  • 7 nights SV Rembrandt van Rijn

From our sailing ship, the beautiful Rembrandt van Rijn, we can access small remote fjords, rugged peaks and isolated settlements of the Svalbard archipelago. Each day we disembark and have different walk or snowshoe options, each allowing us to truly experience this arctic wilderness, witnessing the simply stunning views of this unique landscape. This remote area has a freshness and beauty seldom found elsewhere; we will soon be in awe of this tremendous land. Sailing to a new location on most evenings, we are also on the lookout for wildlife such as walrus, seals, arctic fox, abundant birdlife and the undeniably impressive polar bear. It is truly an honour to see any of these incredible animals in their natural environment. With short and long walk options each day, this is a polar cruise holiday with a difference, one for the more adventurous!

explore international

Explore International. This holiday is part of our Explore International range. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Each day we will disembark the ship and have excursions of between 2 – 6 hours; either 2 shorter walks or 1 longer one depending on the location. It is likely that most of this time will be on snowshoes (no experience of snowshoeing is required). These excursions are rarely on paths or tracks as there are simply not enough visitors to most of the locations to form a ‘path’. For each excursion there will be an easier or more difficult option.


You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk for several hours per day. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. You must be able to get up and down the gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs  - effectively a ladder with 4 rungs . Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. Also consider that you are travelling in remote areas without quick access to sophisticated medical facilities.


The Rembrandt van Rijn is a sailing ship, with engines for when the weather is not suitable for sailing (based on open sea, water depth, wind, and time); the captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or the other propulsion method. You will not be expected to ‘help out' with the crew on sailing the boat, however you can participate if you wish and it is always appreciated. 


The day to day itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. No two voyages are alike and flexibility is paramount on expedition cruises.

Why KE?

A polar cruise with added adventure - Imagine combining the romance of sailing, the wildlife of the Arctic and a fantastic variety of walks and cultural encounters. Visit remote fjords, spot reindeer, sail amongst icebergs and gaze up at the mountains.  Step aboard a very special schooner experience and travel through one of the most incredible regions on the planet.

KE's very own Chloë has travelled on this fantastic adventure - she is more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

No surprise costs.
All zodiac excursions, landings and all meals on board are included in the price.



This is the land of the midnight sun with 24 hour daylight from mid-April to mid-August. Longyearbyen is the world's most northerly town, and is the largest settlement on Svalbard. Originally a whaling station, coal mining was the main occupation of the inhabitants of Longyearbyen from 1906 until the early 1990's. Today tourism and Arctic wildlife conservation are the principal industries and there is a very friendly and international feel to the town. The transfer to the Rembrandt van Rijn is in the afternoon. Once aboard we have time to settle in to our cabin, before we gather together in the lounge for an initial briefing from the Expedition leader and are introduced to members of the expedition staff and crew.


SV Rembrandt van Rijn



Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. Distances are relatively short in the archipelago and, as there are no ocean crossings, the seas are normally calm. An option for today's walk is from from Trygghamna to Alkhornet; a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below these impressive cliffs there are often reindeer grazing on the vegetation which has started to push its way through the snow, and keep your eyes peeled as spotting an arctic fox here is a real possibility.


SV Rembrandt van Rijn



After a fantastic breakfast on board, we aim to spend the day exploring Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape here is very likely to still be showing signs of winter, with snow covered slopes - allowing for some fantastic snowshoeing opportunities. We aim to land on the shores of the island of Blomstrand, views from here across to Kongsbreen and the mountain range behind are absolutely stunning, we might even be able to see the weird pyramidal peaks known as the Three Crowns, Dana, Nora and Sveya in the distance. From here there will be options of walks, these could include a hike to the highest point (around 250m) and a more gentle walk along the shore, both will conclude at the old mining town of Ny London where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining.


SV Rembrandt van Rijn



Today we'll spend out time exploring the northernmost community in the world; Ny Alesund, an old coal mining town which is now host to sixteen permanent research stations run by agencies from ten countries. Also just out of town we can visit the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926. We can even post a postcard home; from the world's northernmost post office.


SV Rembrandt van Rijn



We wake up to the most incredible view, from the deck we can see cliffs teeming with birds, and the impressive 16km long, 14th July Glacier. The aim today is to be on shore for most of the day so we make packed lunches and fill our water bottles at breakfast time. A couple of options today; to walk and snowshoe up the side of the glacier with lunch at a high point (with arguably one the most breathtaking views in the area), or a much more gentle option of cruising around the bay in the zodiacs calmly observing the wildlife and ice formations. As always the exact walks on offer will be determined by the weather on the day.


SV Rembrandt van Rijn



After a wakeup call at 7:30 (our guides take it in turns to do the wakeup call over the tannoy) and the usual amazing breakfast at 8:00, we layer up our clothing and head out in the zodiacs. Our aim is a wonderful spit of land which is well known as a walrus hang out. Not too much walking this morning (hence the need for lots of layers) as we, led by our guide, slowly approach these impressive animals. Our guide keeps everyone in a line and stops every now and then as the walrus get used to our presence. More often than not walrus don't do very much on land, where movement is an effort with over 1000kg of blubber to haul around. We can watch them for a good hour or so, arguing amongst themselves as they get themselves comfortable and continually scratching with their flippers. Our afternoon is a little more active and while we eat lunch back on board we sail south to Selvagen. This is an extremely remote-feeling area with a true barren and yet starkly beautiful landscape. There will be a couple of options for the afternoons walk; a more gentle hike staying mostly at sea level walking around the cracked ice of the inner bay and heading towards the ruins of an old trappers hut or a tougher option climbing upwards to where the views of our ship open up below, with the aim to reach one of the smaller surrounding peaks. This afternoon is more about the arctic wilderness than wildlife spotting; just being and experiencing the remote quiet of this island is enough here.


SV Rembrandt van Rijn



Today we double back into Isfjorden and venture to Ymerbukta. Our aim is to get out into this mountainous area (if winter is still holding on the snow covered slopes simply add to the dramatic landscape). As with most days on this holiday we use the snowshoes provided to enable us to get further and higher in this surreal environment. A nearby foreboding glacier is aim of all the walks here; walking up to the face of this giant really helps to put the scale of the magnificent landscape on Svalbard into perspective. If the conditions are favourable we will be able to return to Longyearbyen under sail; and as we may have by now set sail many times, we can be ready to help the crew rigging the sails a perfect way to conclude a wonderful week.


SV Rembrandt van Rijn



We disembark in the morning and transfers to the airport are provided. KE Land Only package services end with a transfer to the airport.


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The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • Expert expedition staff and sailing staff
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals on board the SV Rembrandt Van Rijn
  • Snowshoeing with expert expedition team
  • Snowshoe hire

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Tips for staff
  • Meals other than those on board the ship
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

You will meet at the ship in Longyearbyen at 4pm on day 1 of the land only itinerary.

Single timed airport transfers are provide don Day 1 and Day 8.

Emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All meals on board the SV Rembrandt van Rijn are included, from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

On board the ship a diverse range of international dishes are available. Meals are prepared and catered by professional chefs and all meals are included in the holiday price. Special dietary requirements, including vegetarianism, can be accommodated with advance notice (please advise at the time of booking). Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included and can be prurchased in the dining room or the lounge areas.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

During this trip the group will spend 7 nights on board the SV Rembrandt van Rijn. This is a 3 mast schooner sailing vessel. It was built as a herring lugger early last century. The vessel was rebuilt as a three-mast passenger sailing schooner in the Netherlands, with final refurbishments completed in 2011. The ship is well suited for expedition cruising among small islands (due to its size) and offers good open deck viewing areas also when under sail. Two zodiacs enable landing and wildlife viewing opportunities. The bow of the vessel is enforced and is therefore suitable to sail in arctic waters.

The Rembrandt van Rijn measures 49.5m in length, 7m in width and has a draft of 2,5 m. The maximum speed on engines is 9 knots. It has an experienced crew of 12 persons on board including 2 tour guides. The ship can accommodate a maximum of 33 passengers in 16 cabins consisting of 1 triple cabin with a porthole, 6 twin inside cabins (no porthole) and 9 twin cabins with a porthole. All cabins have en-suite facilities with a shower & toilet. On board there is also a restaurant and a bar/reading room for use to everyone whilst on board.

Our base price is a triple cabin with three single beds and a porthole. It is possible to upgrade to cabins with twin berths with no porthole or a twin with porthole. If you are travelling on your own and book a triple room you will be sharing with members of the same sex. If you are travelling on your own and book a twin cabin then we try to match you with someone of the same sex, although this is not always possible. Single cabins are also available. Please contact the KE office for further details on specific departure availability and prices. All cabins have private en-suite bathrooms.

A carefully chosen professional and qualified team will lead your voyage. Their goal is to provide an informed and balanced interpretation of the destination, accomplished through day-to-day briefings, and informal discussions. The expedition staff will work conscientiously with you, on deck and in the field, to allow you to experience all that the destination has to offer. Their strong sense of ethics and ecological knowledge make for stimulating and mindful conversation whether onshore or at the dinner table.

It is not practical to set a recommended amount for personal spending money on a holiday like this. All meals while on board and the daily Zodiac excursions, are included in the trip price. The main extra spend on board will be on drinks and this will vary greatly from person to person. On board ship, bar bills can be put on a tab and paid at the end of the cruise by credit or debit card or in cash Euros. You will also need some money for any meals taken in Longyearbyen and for tips.

Please note - You will not be able to exchange your foreign money to Norwegian kroner in Svalbard. Many of Longyearbyen’s stores and restaurants will however accept almost any debit or credit card. You will find an ATM in the post and bank building, in the middle of the pedestrian street.

The customary gratuity to the ship's service personnel is made as a blanket contribution in one envelope at the end of the voyage, which is divided among the crew and staff. You will receive detailed guidelines on board. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. It is better for the crew and staff, if you can give them cash, either US Dollar or Euro.  As a guide, we recommend you allow about $15 per day for tips to your crew and expedition staff.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Your baggage will be kept in your cabin with you and there is a finite amount of space. Please keep the weight of your main luggage to around 15kg. A soft bag, such as the KE kit bag, are the most suitable as they are easier to store in the cabin - in fact the ship crew discourage the use of hard cases as much as possible, as they simply take up too much space in the cabin.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The holiday will be conducted in English. Generally on these trips there will be a mix of nationalities but it is not possible to guarantee this.


Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.


You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

The unit of currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone.

When on the ship everything is priced is Euros.  If you are paying in cash you will need Euros, if you are paying by card your bank will use their exchange rate.

Please note - You will not be able to exchange your foreign money to Norwegian kroner in Svalbard. Many of Longyearbyen’s stores and restaurants will however accept almost any debit or credit card. You will find an ATM in the post and bank building, in the middle of the pedestrian street.

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an adventure holiday getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience.

Svalbard’s location within the Arctic circle is the biggest factor on climate but temperatures especially around the coast are moderated by the influence of the warm North Atlantic Current which keeps the waters navigable for most of the year and average spring / summer temperatures at around 2 to 6°C. However, on deck with a sea breeze, the wind chill can bring the real feel temperature below freezing. Precipitation is most certainly possible at this time of year, although is likely to be in the form of snow.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. Please restrict your baggage to one main bag and a small daypack.

You SHOULD bring the following items:

  • Casual shoes / Trainers or similar for onboard

  • * Rubber boots (Wellington boots) for Zodiac landings and for use with snowshoes

  • Waterproof jacket with hood

  • Waterproof trousers or salopettes

  • Trekking trousers

  • Windproof soft shell

  • Thermal Baselayer top and bottoms

  • Casual shirt and/or T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Down Jacket

  • Underwear

  • Socks (Warm, high wool or similar socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet)

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat (plus spare)

  • Scarf and/or buff

  • Sun glasses/glacier glasses with sides (plus spare)

  • Waterproof gloves

  • Water bottle 1 Litre (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Rucksack 25 litres

  • Selection of dry bags (to keep rucksack contents dry)

  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Seasickness remedy

  • Plug adapter - On the ship (Rembrandt van Rijn) you will need a plug / adaptor with European 2 pin round holes.

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, and plasters (band-aids).


  • Travel clothes
  • Ski goggles
  • Camera (in a dry bag)
  • Binoculars
  • Walking / Trekking poles (highly recommended)
  • USB memory stick (in case you want to swap photos with other travellers)
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

NOTE: Snowshoes are provided

* Wellington boots should be used instead of walking boots on this holiday to ensure you keep your feet dry, this will be both when hiking with and without the snowshoes. There are several reasons for this: most zodiac landings will be 'wet landings' where it is likely that water depth will be atleast ankle deep / when hiking the snow can be atleast ankle deep / when hiking there are often streams to walk through. 

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more


Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.



Adults from



More Information

  • Svalbard Hike and Sail
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: PHS /01/24/
  • This trip begins on Wed 15 May and ends on Wed 22 May
  • This departure is available and departs within 30 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Contact us for single room pricing
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Svalbard Hike and Sail
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: PHS /02/24/
  • This trip begins on Wed 22 May and ends on Wed 29 May
  • This departure is available and departs within 37 days. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Contact us for single room pricing
  • Download Trip Notes



Adults from



More Information

  • Svalbard Hike and Sail
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: PHS /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 15 May and ends on Thu 22 May
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,150
  • Contact us for single room pricing
  • Download Trip Notes

More Information

  • Svalbard Hike and Sail
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: PHS /02/25/
  • This trip begins on Thu 22 May and ends on Thu 29 May
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$1,150
  • Contact us for single room pricing
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Longyearbyen. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Longyearbyen Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel.


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

Final Balance

Full payment for all Polar Cruises is 14 weeks prior to departure. Early booking is recommended as flights fill early and cabin choice can be more limited nearer to departure.


Upgrade Price per person and cabins

Our base price for this holiday includes accommodation in a triple cabin with porthole. It is possible to upgrade to cabins with twin berth with or without porthole. If you are travelling on your own you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Please contact the office for further details on upgrade prices. All cabins and have private en-suite bathrooms. 

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)

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