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Svalbard (Via Norway) Cruising Resources

Recommended Reading

Jon Amtrup of Explore North has written three excellent books that I recommend anyone planning to sail the higher latitudes should read and have aboard, they are available on Kindle or Paper:  Sail to Svalbard – High Latitude Sailing – Sail the Norwegian Coast

The Cruising Association has a very comprehensive cruising guide  – Cruising in Norway

Norwegian Cruising Guides Volumes 1-5 provide the most comprehensive and up to date information for cruising in Norway and Svalbard, these are available as paper or your favourite e-book format.

Den Norske (Norwegian Pilot guides) are an excellent source of information, mainly in Norwegian but volume 7 (Svalbard 7 Jan Mayen) is available in English and contains a wealth of information, all the guides can be downloaded here


Everyone has a personal view and a preference when it comes to charting but after a lot of research and comparing paper and electronic charts we decided to exclusively use electronic charts for cruising these waters. as a backup in case we had a catastrophic failure of all our electronic systems we had Kartverket large scale paper charts coving the areas we would cruise but made no reference to them other than comparing up to date paper and electronic charts for various anchorages prior to the voyage.. (No differences were found)

We have Raymarine Axiom displays on the boat and used Raymarine Lighthouse Charts as our primary navigation system and we have IPads running TImeZero Iboat as our backup with TimeZeros offline Vector charts. (Importantly the Iboat is using NMEA data over our boats wireless network for GPS position, you should not rely on the IPads internal GPS which will typically be delayed a few seconds, accuracy of GPS positions and of your compass readings will be less reliable the further north you go)

Whatever charts you use they will not always represent what you see around you, many areas in Svalbard are still poorly charted and where glaciers are present the depths will be constantly changing, so observation, monitoring depth and taking things slowly are all key to keeping safe.

With glacial melting you will often appear to be on land when you look at the chart, but metres away from the shore when you look around you and in deep water!

Resource Links and Downloads

The Svalbard Governors website has several useful downloads, together with the various laws and regulations, some are in English and some in Norwegian, applications for travel, landing permits and firearms permits should be submitted through the Sysselmesteren Online Portal

Norwegian Ice Service for Ice Charts

Barrents Watch for Weather, Sea Ice and more

Norwegian Meteorological Institute for Weather

Ny-Ålesund There is A 10.8 Nautical Mile radius around Ny-Ålesund defined as a radio silent area in the frequency range between 2 and 32 GHz, this means everything that uses WIFI / WLAN /Bluetooth so Phones, Smart Watches, iPads, Computers, Wireless radar and Instruments etc, more details can be found here

General Svalbard Travel Information can be found here

UK National Rifle Association for Expedition Defensive Weapons Training in the UK

Svalbard Rifle Rental http://www.longyear78.com/ and http://sportscenteret.no

Polar Bears International research and education
Polar Bears International Snow Bear fundraising page
Fundraising Login Page

For cruising the Norwegian Coast the Harbour Guide is an online subscription resource for anchorages, harbours and marinas that also covers most of Scandinavia, the SW Baltic and the complete E Adriatic coast including western Greece, its accessible online or via your favourite app or play store however you will need an internet connection to access the content.

For finding and paying for harbours in Norway and Svalbard you need the Go Marina App

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