Over the past year, entrepreneur Brita Knutsen Dahl has developed her polar tourism company with considerable success. The location is normally and by most people not considered among the most welcoming and accessible – Svalbard in the North Atlantic.
Basecamp Spitsbergen contains adventurous accommodation. The camp is built in a traditional fashion with materials like driftwood, planks from the Russian settlement in Barentsburg, slate, corrugated iron, and sealskins. Visitors get the feeling of wandering into a trapper’s cabin rather than a hotel. Knutsen pays very careful attention to detail, so the that guests will never forget that they are in very special climatic environment.
Staying aboard the world’s only boat locked in the ice provides modern people with a unique experience, and the opportunity to view spectacular arctic nature up close. Getting trapped in the ice used to be an almost certain death sentence in the harsh climate. Now it is still demanding on the tourists physical abilities, but Knutsen’s innovative organization and keen addressing of all dangers in nature has led to a concept that has the thrill -and yet is safe enough.
Moving around in this astonishing landscapes is done by dog sledges or skiing. In the summertime boat trips are organized to allow visitors to the midnight sun and astonishing landscapes. Special tours are organized for those who seek serious challenges in close contact with ice, snow, dogs and arctic conditions. An expedition is organized with guests as active expedition participants; putting up their tents, feed the dogs etc. The program should be regarded as an expedition, and there is no personal service. Guests are warned before the expeditions that it is ultimate in terms of experiences; “it is demanding to stay out for 5 days in the Arctic with people you do not know, and in tough climate and landscape. You might have blizzards, fog or sunshine for 24 hours. The snow can be wet and heavy and it might get freezing cold. We ask potential participants to thoroughly consider their own skills before deciding whether to participate or not. If you are uncertain, please contact us for a chat before you make up your mind.”