Arctic Adventure

21 till 28 September 2020 (7 nights)

Northern Lights

2 boys are talking one says to other:

A.)What did you do in the school holidays?

B.)I sailed a tall ship into the arctic circle, walked in the footsteps of polar bears, saw the impact of global warming and put to practice the leadership skills of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

One dad says to another:

A.)What did you do in the kid’s school holidays?

B.)I got to know my son at a level I never thought possible.

B2M Arctic Adventure Year 10 – 2020 is for those who wish to be challenged physically, spiritually and emotionally. It is an opportunity for men young and old to observe themselves, each other, the northern lights and the wildlife that abounds: 19 species of marine mammals that are found in Svalbard waters. This includes polar bears, walruses, five species of seals and 12 species of whales and two species of land mammals; the arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer. Days will be filled with duties sailing a tall ship, snow shoeing and communing over meals about the leadership skills of the polar pioneer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, and their application in the modern arena.

Peter Bland, first Australian to have adventured to both the North and South Magnetics poles and father of 2 BGS boys will be leading the expedition. The journey with Peter begins 6 months month before we leave for the Arctic. Peter will come into the school on a monthly basis and facilitate discussion and debate on topics such as leadership as well as empowering the students to take ownership for the planning of and provisions for our undertaking.

We will also have at least 2 local outings to prepare and bond participants including rock climbing in the Macedon Ranges and orienteering. Shackleton’s Way by Margot Morrell will be required by both parents and the boys.

Sir Ernest Shackleton has been called “the greatest leader that ever came on God’s earth, bar none” for saving the lives of the twenty-seven men stranded with him in the Antarctic for almost two years. Because of his courageous actions, he remains to this day a model for great leadership and masterful crisis management. Now, through anecdotes, the diaries of the men in his crew, and Shackleton’s own writing, Shackleton’s leadership style and time-honored principles are translated for the modern business world. Written by two veteran business observers and illustrated with ship photographer Frank Hurley’s masterpieces and other rarely seen photos, this practical book helps today’s leaders follow Shackleton’s triumphant example.

Itinerary, subject to local weather.

Day 1: Largest town, biggest island

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage. In the evening you sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which you can visit the next morning.

Day 2 – 5: Glacial fjords, historic finds

Leaving Trygghamna early in the morning, you sail to the north side of Bellsund. Here you find a fjord system with two major branches: Van Mijenfjord and Van Keulenfjord – and one smaller side bay, Recherchefjord. The geology has created particularly unique landscapes here, such as the long and narrow island of Akseløya, which blocks Van Mijenfjord almost completely. In Fridtjovhamna, the calving glacier Fridtjovbreen is surrounded by picturesque mountains.

The rich wildlife of this area has attracted hunters throughout the centuries. At Ahlstrandhalvøya you can walk in the hunters’ footsteps, examining the remains of their huts. Recherchefjord has one of the highest concentration of historical sites in all of Spitsbergen, ranging from 17th century whaling culture to the mining period of the early 20th century. The glacier Recherchebreen ends at a lagoon, likely to be frozen in October, and several smaller icebergs. Polar bears are commonly sighted all over Bellsund, so keep your eyes open for them and for the belugas that frequent this area.

Day 6: Russian waypoints

You next pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen. An alternative is Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.

Day 7: Chasing the Arctic chill

Sailing into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system, you can see the new ice that is forming on the heads of the fjords. You may also experience temperatures as low as -10° C (14° F), depending on how clear the sky is.

Day 8: There and back again

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Our vessel:


The ‘Noorderlicht’ was originally built in 1910 in Flensburg, Germany as a three-masted schooner. For most of her existence she served as a light-vessel on the Baltic. In 1991 the present owners purchased the hull and re-rigged and refitted her thoroughly, under the rules of “Register Holland”.

Passengers: 20 in 10 cabins

Staff & crew: 5

Length: 46 meters (153 feet)

Breadth: 6,5 meters (22 feet)

Draft: 3,2 meters (11 feet)

Ice class: Strengthened bow

Displacement: 300 tonnes

Propulsion: 360 hp diesel

Speed: 6 knots average cruising


Price is USD 5,900 inclusive of flights ex east coast Australia, all meals, soft drinks, accomodation for dates of voyage and activities.

Please note this leadership expedition may be tax deductible for some in leadership, managerial and sales roles.

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