The Recreational Mariner's Guide

3. Svalbard



Diesel fuel is available in both Longyearbyen and Ny Ålesund; some years it is cheaper in Longyearbyen and some years in Ny Ålesund! While diesel is also available in Barentsburg, the quality is reportedly variable.


Hospital and dental services are available in Longyearbyen.


Note that there are strict regulations concerning the importation of pets into Svalbard, including a total ban on cats and ferrets. There may be an exception for dogs on application.

Expedition Support and Chartering

We have no personal experience with any of these companies so do your own due diligence

Boreal Yachting has a base in Longyearbyen and provides skippered voyages in Svalbard.

High Latitudes is an experienced group of high-latitude sailors who can provide full expedition support or an advisory service to assist you in preparing for and running your own expedition.

Seil Norge, based in Ylvingen on the Helgeland coast, organizes skippered sails to Spitsbergen. They claim to be Norway’s “leading organizer of sailing trips, expeditions and sailing courses”.

WayNorth Maritime can assist you with planning your cruise and will also deliver your boat to and from locations in Norway.

Fun and/or Informative Reading

Champagne and Polar Bears: Romance in the Arctic 

We met Marie Tièche, the author, and Hauke Trinks, a German professor, at an isolated station on Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, just at the beginning of their 13-month stay there. Marie does a wonderful job of describing their time on Nordaustlandet and the growth of their relationship.

Bear Island

By Alistair MacLean, this is a murder mystery novel written in the early 1970s that takes place on Bjørnøya. It’s a fun read.

Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge

Jill Fredston and her husband are avalanche experts in Alaska in the winter. In the summer they row their sculls along various challenging coasts, including those of Norway and Svalbard.

Ice Bears & Kotick: Rowing on Top of the World

This is the story of two young British men who row a traditional open Norwegian boat (oselvar) around Svalbard.