2015 Expedition – The master plan

Barba will set out on her greatest expedition to date on June 20, 2015, sailing from Stavanger in Southern Norway to the Arctic island of Svalbard and subsequently attempting to circumnavigate the archipelago, if ice conditions permit.

The journey covers 3,400 nautical miles / 6300 km and will take us as far north as 80.5 degrees to the world’s end, a place inhabited by only a few souls, among them polar bears and the other fabled animals of the Arctic. The return date to Stavanger is estimated to be on October 10, 2015.

For the duration of the journey, Barba will be manned by skipper Andreas B. Heide, US travel journalist Terry Ward, German photographer Daniel Hug and Norwegian explorer Jon Grantangen. We are also very pleased to have the Russian sailor Ivan Kutasov with us for the the sail from Stavanger, around Svalbard and back to Northern Norway. Ivan has spent a substantial amount of time in Russian Arctic, and has sailed to Novaya Zemlya, among many other expeditions. Former professional sailor and outdoorsman Nicholas Fraser from Wales will be joining us for the return leg down the Norwegian coast. See the crew page for additional information about the participants.

Barba - Route Svalbard

Above: Departure Stavanger (1) June 20th. Numerous stops along the route, which includes Lofoften (2), Tromsø (3), Longyearbyen (4), North-Eastern coast of Svalbard (5), Bear Island (6), Nordkapp (7) and Stadt (8) as some of our key destinations. The intended route is 3,400 nautical miles / 6300 km.


We will spend about three weeks sailing north from Stavanger with an estimated arrival in Tromsø on July 10. Following a few days of preparation in port, we will sail on a straight course from Tromsø to Svalbard with an estimated arrival in the municipality capital of Longyearbyen on July 16.

This port of call will be the last opportunity to gather supplies before we sail clockwise around the archipelago on a 40-day leg that will include a stop at Bear Island, a remote island between mainland Norway and Svalbard.

Once back on the Norwegian mainland (estimated arrival September 1), we will be joined by Nicholas Fraser, who will continue with us on five-week journey back down the Norwegian coast and returning to Stavanger on October 10.

As always, Barba will be equipped with climbing gear, paragliders, scuba diving equipment and a huge array of camera gear to document our interactions with nature and share it with those following the journey. Along the route we are likely to encounter whales, polar bears, walrus and many other creatures that inhabit these wild locales.

In addition to sailing the icy waters of Svalbard, we will traverse the spectacular Norwegian coast twice, with activities along the way ranging from scaling mountains and rappelling into caves to diving on shipwrecks and interviewing locals about their ways of life in these far-flung coastal locales.

Svalbard Plan (1 of 2)


Driven by a profound passion for nature and adventure, the crew’s primary goal is to experience nature from a unique and challenging perspective on a journey propelled by the wind and with minimal impact to our surroundings.

We will meet with many different people on the trip, ranging from the typical tourist to Norway to lonely hunters on the isolated islands of the north. During our journey, we will report to Yale University’s Yale Climate Connections about how the earth’s changing climate is impacting the men and women who have spent their lives living off and alongside nature.

The trip will be documented to the best of our abilities with still and video photography, interviews and printed and online stories in order to share the expedition and pave the way for even greater adventures in the future.

It is a long and perilous journey we are setting out on to the world’s end, and the challenge of making this plan a reality will no doubt be part of the thrill.

We hope readers from near and afar will follow our journey through blog updates, Instagram, Facebook and the boat’s live position tracker as the journey progresses. And above all, we hope this journey will inspire other pursuits in the name of nature, friendship and adventure.

Greetings from the Barba crew!


Share this

Get video and photo updates

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Megan Robertson
9 years ago

A wise man once said that journeys of 1,000 miles begin with a single step — it’s amazing to see the plan for this adventure. Can’t wait to see how is goes along the way. Stay safe and have fun!

Get video and photo updates