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Svalbard Sea Kayak and Hike Expedition

Arctic, Svalbard, Norway
Available Departures: Jul

10 days from


without flights
Guided Group

A unique holiday exploring the Isfjorden area of Svalbard by sea kayak and on foot

Trip Code: PSK
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 Sea Kayak and Hike Expedition

  • Experience this incredible wilderness from sea level as well as high up on the mountainside

  • Look up at the impressive cliffs of Alkhornet from your kayak

  • Get the chance to see arctic wildlife such as, arctic fox, seals and reindeer

  • Walk in stunning landscapes and camp in awe-inspiring wilderness

  • Explore the ghost town of Barentsburg

  • A kayaking trip for beginners but still with all of the adventure

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 12
  • 7 days sea kayaking and walking
  • Join In Longyearbyen

Accommodation & Meals
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 8 Lunches
  • 8 Dinners
  • 2 nights Guesthouse
  • 7 nights Camping

A beautiful holiday for anyone who is wanting to see Svalbard from a different perspective. We will explore the bays of Ymerbukta and Tryghamna; arguably, the most beautiful sites of the Isfjord, with the impressive Esmark glacier (one of the few in Spitsbergen that is still advancing) providing a backdrop like no other. We are very likely to see polar foxes, seals, and reindeer – especially when gently paddling along hardly making a sound. The amazing cliffs of Alkhornet also provide incredible bird watching opportunities. In these moments we have plenty of time for photography and observation. We end our journey by visiting the ghost town of Barentsburg, a former mining base from the Soviet era. A gentle paced holiday, allowing us to see and experience the true beauty of Svalbard.

Is this holiday for you?

No kayaking or canoeing experience required, but a good level of fitness is still essential.We will be spending a lot of time on the water. As a safety precaution, you must be able to competently swim a minimum distance of 25 metres and you should be comfortable with the idea of being completely submerged under water.Each day will consist of about 4 to 6 hours of kayaking with additional walks fro …

No kayaking or canoeing experience required, but a good level of fitness is still essential.We will be spending a lot of time on the water. As a safety precaution, you must be able to competently swim a minimum distance of 25 metres and you should be comfortable with the idea of being completely submerged under water.Each day will consist of about 4 to 6 hours of kayaking with additional walks from the campsites. The hikes are often ascents of fairly low altitude summits (less than 1000m, most often from 300 to 500m). It is quite common to pass through scree and/or snowfields and there are no marked paths.A big part of this holiday is participation – from putting up your tent or packing it away, to helping with meal preparation and loading/unloading the kayaks– it’s all part of the adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the camp will run smoothly and for many this is one of the best parts of experience!The camping is of a basic level. There is no infrastructure from the moment we leave Longyearbyen, we have to transport everything (tent, sleeping bag, clothes, meals and food, etc.) on our kayaks; pack and unload them, and carry equipment to and from camp when necessary.Please be aware that, due to the possibility of encountering polar bears, it is compulsory for any guide on Svalbard to carry a gun. At camp you will also be asked to participate in guard tours. This does not mean guarding yourself against a bear, but simply keeping watch and warning the guide of the possible presence of a bear.The day to day itinerary is for guidance only and flexibility is paramount. The itinerary may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.

Why KE?

With only one departure in 2025, this is the only opportunity to explore and experience this amazing landscape in a truly unique and unobtrusive way.

All kayaking and safety equipment is included.



Meet at the group accommodation in Longyearbyen. Airport transfers are not provided.
We will be welcomed by our guide and depending on the arrival time, get all hired equipment sorted ready for the trip.
The holiday begins with an overnight at the accommodation.



After breakfast, we work together to sort and pack up all equipment onto the boat ready for the transfer to the Ymerbukta fjord. Here we set up camp and prepare lunch.
After a full briefing from our guide we can set out on our first kayak or hike and really start to appreciate this simply stunning wilderness. In the afternoon, we walk quietly at the foot of the mountains overlooking the camp, and discover the tundra landscapes. Viewpoints of the fjord and the Esmark glacier (Esmarkbreen).





After breakfast we walk towards the front of the glacier and set out in our kayaks among the floating ice, facing an ice wall about thirty metres high. Throughout our discovery, we will likely observe bearded seals warming up in the sun, calmly resting on the ice. From time to time, part of the glacier collapses into the sea in an impressive crash - witnessing this from a safe distance in our kayaks is a perspective that not many have the privilege to experience. In the afternoon we take a gentle hike through the moraine, along the Esmark Glacier.
This is our last night at this campsite, after we have worked together to prepare and clean up from dinner, we have a little time to relax and fully take in this incredible place (with 24hour day light there is no rush before darkness falls).





After dismantling the camp and loading our equipment on the kayaks, we paddle for about 3 hours to reach our second camp, in the fjord of Tryghamna. Here we are near the famous cliff of Alkhornet. In the summer, this cliff is home to thousands of birds and thanks to their guano, the vegetation is a vibrant green - quite a contrast to much of the surrounding scenery. Our kayaking adventure this afternoon will allow us to observe seals and many birds, including terns, gulls, puffins and guillemots.





Today we aim to be out for a full day of kayaking and walking (with about 4 hours of kayaking). Our first stop is at a former walrus mining area dating from the 17th century. We continue to the Harrietbreen and Kjerulfbreen glaciers, and picnic in front of a glacier "lake" covered with small icebergs. From here we go by foot to gain a little height, and look down on the stunning glacial scenery.





After breakfast, we leave on foot for the cliff of Alkhornet (about 5km round trip). After walking along a small glacier, we arrive at the edge of the cliff, the scenery changes completely: grasses and moss grow in abundance, green suddenly invades a usually austere landscape. The sound of thousands of birds is deafening; reindeer graze quietly and are easily approached. If we are lucky, we will also see polar foxes who come to hunt to stock up for the winter. We picnic at the foot of the cliff, facing the sea, in a grandiose setting.





We continue our exploration of Tryghamna on foot and by kayak. Depending on the weather we may return earlier to Ymerbukta to explore the glacier one last time.





Return by kayak to Ymerbukta camp. Stop on the rocky tip that separates the two fjords, where we walk for about 1h30. We can observe the astonishing rock formations, made up of sedimentary layers straightened vertically.





Return by boat to Longyearbyen. Along the way, we will visit the disused former Soviet mining base of Barentsburg. In Longyearbyen we check into our accommodation and after a (possibly well needed) freshen up, we head out for dinner.





The holidays ends after breakfast. Airport transfers are not provided.


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Essential Information

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

  • Expedition leader
  • All accommodation as described
  • All meals as described
  • Kayaking and safety equipment

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport Transfers
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Tips for staff
  • All meals as described in meal plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.


If flying from the UK there are low cost airlines available to the start and from the end of your holiday.

To benefit from full financial protection, ease your holiday planning, and avoid dealing with airlines, we can book scheduled flights from the UK as part of a flight inclusive package. Scheduled flights are usually more expensive that low cost alternatives, however potentially less stressful if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you book flights through KE Adventure Travel we will offset the carbon of your flight.

Day 1
Meet at the accommodation in Longyearbyen. Airport transfers are not provided.
Arrival can be at anytime, however we strongly recommend arriving earlier in the day to help avoid issues with delayed flights (The boat has a set departure time on Day 2 and this can not be changed).

Day 10
Departure can be at any time on this day.
Airport transfers are not provided.

All meals from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on day 10 included.

In general, we have a hearty breakfast, and lunch is much lighter, as we do not want it to inturupt the day too much. in the evening there is much more time, to set up the tents and make the fire (when there is wood and in the authorized areas). We try, as far as possible, to include as much fresh food as possible (fruits and vegetables). 

The evening meal is usually, soup, "main course" and dessert (and maybe a dram of whiskey or similar - if you have brought this with you).


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.

In Longyearbyen we have two nights in a guest house. This will be in twin rooms with shared bathrooms. Wi-fi will be available here.

During the trip we have 7 nights of basic camping. The tents are 3 person expedition tents (which we use for two people). There is also a mess tent where meals can be eaten.
While camping, there is no access to wi-fi and phone reception is very unlikely.
Everyone is required to help with setting up and dimantling the campsites - we are a small team and need to work together throughout the holiday.

The group will be led by an experienced and qualified leader.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

Important - please make sure you already have local currency when you arrive in Svalbard as there is no where to change money at the airport and there are no ATMs in Longyearbyen. 

Approximately £150 per person (or equivalent in US dollars or Euros) should be allowed for additional expenses.  This will include the bus from the airport into town any food on day 1, drinks with the last meal and any food purchased after breakfast on the last day.  Please bear in mind that food and drink in Longyearbyen is quite expensive due to the difficulty in getting it there. 

In Spitsbergen, carrying a gun is compulsory for the guide because of the presence of polar bears. You will be asked to participate in the guard tours. This does not mean guarding yourself against a bear, but simply warning the guide of the possible presence.

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 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.

The unit of currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone.

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.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

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.

Essential items for you to bring:

Upper Body

  • Moisture wicking base layer – synthetic or merino wool

  • Heavier weight fleeces / jumpers such as microfleece

Lower Body

  • Waterproof over-trousers

  • Swimming costume / trunks (if the weather is nice)

  • Shorts


  • Wetsuit socks, waterproof socks or warm wool socks

  • Neoprene shoes, trainers or wellies

  • Walking boots

Head and Hands

  • Warm wool hat and sunhat

  • Buff / neck gaiter

  • Gloves 

Essential items to have while sea-kayaking:

  • Water bottle or hydration bladder with 1-2 litre capacity

  • Full change of clothes in the event of a capsize

  • Sunglasses with buoyant strap

  • Sunscreen and lip balm

Recommended Optional Items:

  • Camera (spare batteries, memory card)

  • Binoculars

  • Plug adaptor 

  • Thermos flask

  • Lunch box

  • Midge net / Deet insect repellent

  • A dry cloth for wiping sunglasses

  • Polythene bags for valuables (to keep within dry bags)

  • Gloves when not paddling

In addition, on our wild camping expeditions, please bring:

  • Travel towel

  • Antibacterial hand gel

  • Sleeping bag

  • Thermarest

Personal First Aid Kit:

  • Your guide will carry a comprehensive first aid kit, but you may wish to bring some of your own items for travelling. This is especially relevant to any special medication you may need.

  • Personal medication

  • Antiseptic ointment

  • Plasters and small wound dressings

  • Scissors, tweezers and safety pins

  • Tick tweezers

  • Anti-inflammatory e.g. ibuprofen

  • Analgesics e.g. aspirin

  • Anti-diarrhoea drugs e.g. Imodium

  • Antihistamines

  • Re-hydration salts or solution e.g. Dioralyte

  • Spare contact lenses and glasses (if appropriate)

  • Toilet roll & lighter

Group and Safety Equipment (Provided):

We provide all necessary group equipment including: dry suit, wellington boots, kayaks, paddles, cagoules, bouyancy aids, spray decks and dry bags.

We will also provide all group safety equipment such as first aid kit, emergency shelter, flares, mobile phone, DeLorme satellite locator etc which will be carried by your guide.

Required information for equipment hire:

Height, Weight, Right or Left Handed, Shoe Size, Chest Size, Can you swim.

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


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More Information

  • Svalbard Sea Kayak and Hike Expedition
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: PSK /01/25/
  • This trip begins on Sun 13 Jul and ends on Tue 22 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$750
  • 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.

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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