Dream trip: Ski & Sail in Svalbard

Dream trip: Ski & Sail in Svalbard

The word ‘bucket list’ is often used for no reason, but this time it really fits. A trip that every skier or snowboarder should have done and that may completely change your view of the world. From May 9th to 17th we will take a very special trip with a group of passionate skiers and boarders: Ski & Sail in Spitsbergen! Imagine: the infinite emptiness of the Arctic wilderness, the majestic silence of pristine snow fields, and you, in the middle of this enchanting landscape on skis or your splitboard. It’s not going to get much better. There is room for twelve people on this trip and there are only three places left. There is also the possiblity to charter the full boat one week later (if you want to do this amazing trip with your own crew).

Earn your turns on Svalbard

We explore Svalbard on board the sailing ship ‘the Meander’, your home for a week in this winter wonderland. You can already see the slopes on deck. This is ‘earn your turns’ at its best, because of course we skin up ourselves. Obviously, there are no ski lifts on Svalbard. You will be rewarded with a panoramic view over the fjords and an amazing run down. This is the essence of Svalbard, pure and as good as it gets. In the month of May, the Meander takes you to the heart of these Svalbard fjords. Every year, for just a few weeks, there is a window to explore this part of the world with a group of passionate skiers and splitboarders. Our journey starts in Longyearbyen. Depending on the weather we set course to the north or south of the Svalbard region. Our boat serves as our base and anchors at the most spectacular descents in Svalbard. The ship’s flexibility allows us to reach the most unique locations and search for the best snow conditions.

The skippers

The skippers of the Meander are Mario Czok, with years of experience in the Arctic region, and Jaap van Rijckevorsel. The latter is a long-time wePowder user. In addition to his role on the ship, Jaap will also take the group into the developments that climate change is having on Svalbard.

The Meander

The Meander was built in 1946 at a German shipyard in Hamburg. At the time, this shipyard in Finkenwerder was known for building strong ships and built the Meander with an ice-reinforced hull. The Meander is an ice classified ship and can operate effortlessly in the Arctic region. She sails at a good speed and still delivers comfort and coziness. Modern navigation equipment, generators and even solar panels enable the Meander to operate independently for a long time. A heating system keeps it nice and warm on board.

The terrain

For skiers and snowboarders who really want to do something unique, Svalbard is a destination like no other. With its endless, virgin slopes, imposing mountains and untouched snow, it is a touring paradise that has no equal. The landscape of Svalbard offers a rich variety for skiers - from beautiful couloirs to vast, gently rolling slopes, and from breathtaking runs that wind their way down to the coastline. You simply want to experience this.

The snow

Svalbard has a combination of maritime and tundra climate. This makes the snow in Svalbard as varied as the terrain, from spring snow in the wide bowls to powder snow in the steep and sometimes narrow couloirs. There are many glaciers; 60 to 70% of the entire archipelago consists of glaciers. The guides look for routes that suit the level and wishes of the group, where safety is of course paramount.

The program

  • May 9th - Day 1: Your departure city - Longyearbyen
    We recommend arriving at the airport on Thursday and staying in Longyearbyen. This offers flexibility and ensures that everyone can board the Meander on time.
  • May 10th - Day 2: Arrival on the Meander
    Today we board the Meander around 12:00 and are greeted by the Meander team. We immediately hoist the sails, and during the day we will inform the group about safety measures and the program for the coming days.
  • May 11th - Day 3: The first day
    We wake up on the boat with the smell of fresh coffee and a view of the first trip. After a hearty breakfast we load the equipment onto the dinghy and sail to the coast. The guide has chosen an easy tour for the first morning so that everyone can get used to the equipment and the snow. Upon reaching the top we are rewarded with breathtaking views of Svalbard’s impressive landscape. In the late afternoon we descend to the sea where the boat awaits us.
  • May 12th-May 16th - Day 4 - 8: Five days of touring
    Every day we make one or two ascents and descents. Before dinner we sail further and the boat anchors at the foot of the next trip. We are well looked after by the crew on board. Every morning a hearty breakfast is ready and we can prepare a packed lunch for the day. When we return to the ship in the late afternoon, we relax with a drink and an après-ski snack. During dinner we will be surprised by the chef.
  • May 17th: Day 9: Back to the harbour
    After breakfast we say goodbye to the crew and are taken back to Longyearbyen town or the airport. Depending on your travel plans, you can leave Svalbard on Saturday or spend an extra night in a hotel of your choice. You can expect to be back at your next destination on Sunday.

The groups

There is room for a maximum of twelve participants on board the Meander. In addition, there are several guides and two crew members who take care of us on board. The small groups are compact, fast and the differences between them are small. In practice, this means more time/space to personally guide each participant and the opportunity to ski or board more untracked snow, depending on their own level.

Skill level

This trip is suitable for skiers and splitboarders with experience. The guide tailors the ascent and descent to the level and wishes of the group. It is therefore necessary to have some experience with skinning uphill on skis or a splitboard. It’s clear that you have good downhill skills.

The costs

The costs for this once in a lifetime trip are €4,500. This amount includes the following:

  • 6/7 days Ski & Sail program with ski or snowboard guide
  • 3 guides
  • 7 nights on the Meander including full board
  • All meals and dinners made by a chef on board the Meander
  • Trees for All contribution to offset the CO2 emissions of your trip
  • Contribution to the SGR fund & Calamity Fund

And the following items are exclusive:

  • Before and after overnight stay in Longyearbyen
  • Flight tickets to and from Longyearbyen (LYR)
  • Alcoholic drinks and other personal expenses
  • Safety equipment
  • International travel, accident and cancellation insurance

More information

If you would like to join this amazing journey, please contact Arjen (wePowder) or Paul (Epique) or just comment on this article and we’ll send you a PM. There are only only three spots left available on this trip!

was born with maps of ski areas in the cradle and has visited almost all of them. His great passion is freeriding.


twgarlickAuthor24 April 2024 · 13:27

Hello, I am interested in this trip, please email me the details! Twgarlick@hotmail.com, all the best

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