Svalbard/Spitsbergen Practical Information

Arctic Practical Information


Entry visas are not required for entry into Greenland or Spitsbergen. All nationalities require a full passport valid for 6 months. However in order to reach Spitsbergen you have to fly Longyearbyen which is in Norway – so you will require a Norwegian Visa.


Greenland Standard Time (Winter): GMT -3 Greenland Summer / Daylight Saving Time: GMT -2
Noway Standard time zone: UTC/GMT +1 hour Daylight saving time: +1 hour


The local currency in Greenland, Denmark and the Faroe Islands is the Danish Krone.

The local currency in Norway is the Norwegian Krone.

As a general rule, we advise that you take cash in the local currency along with a couple of credit / debit cards which can be used to withdraw money from ATM’s as well as can be used in any major hotels & shops.

Polar Bears

On all our Polar expeditions we always take every reasonable precaution.
For our Greenland trek this includes …… Polar Bear trip wire alarm system (since 2009 using a pin activated personal attack alarm system, rather than shotgun cartridges that can become damp and fail); 30.06 large calibre rifle & 20 ammunition; 1 x rocket flare 1 x smoke flare 1 x hand flare inside every tent 1 x pack of 8 x mini pen flares Flare Gun (large calibre); Pepper Spray bear deterrent; Each tent has it’s own hand held flare. The other items (rifle, spray, mini flares, rocket flare) are distributed between the other tents.
For our Spitsbergen on tracks we have strict policies in place regarding Polar Bears encounters and acceptable distances between a client and a Polar Bear. When we stay in fixed accommodation there is very little risk of attack, If we camp, the site will be well away from the coast (at least 10km), and we always put up a bear trip wire – Attacks are more likely in the summer when the sea ice has melted and their main food, seals, become scarce. Our trips run in March and April when the Polar bears are still able to hunt the seals that bask on the sea ice at that time… Our guides have military training with firearms…


Adequate travel insurance is mandatory for everyone who participates in a H&W expedition. Please bring a copy of your insurance policy and contact numbers to give to your expedition leader in case of illness or accident.


We have a social, cultural and environmental conscience! It is vitally important that travel has a positive impact on the social, cultural and environmental aspects of the places we visit. We ensure that when you visit places with us, your presence will help those that live there, that their culture will be respected and that the environment at the very least will not be harmed.

Arctic Weather

Many of our winter trips are run in April when the snow is still on the ground, but the temperatures have raised a little.

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