Jan Mayen


Because of new rulings by the Norwegian Government there are serious restrictions on landings and camping on Jan Mayen. We are reviewing our plans for the island.

For further info please email, info@BoreaAdventures.com 

Borea has for few years offered exclusive expeditions to the remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen (70°59′N 8°32′W). It lies 600 km north of Iceland, 500 km east of Greenland and 1,000 km west of the Norwegian mainland. Its most northerly point is about the same latitude as Nordkapp on the Norwegian coast.

An expedition to Jan Mayen can be challenging. First of all, even if the dates we have chosen normally give us the best option for good weather, the North Atlantic can be stormy any time of the year. Secondly the landing on the island can be a challenge as there are no good harbors and there is often heavy surf on the beaches. But for those looking for an exiting expedition to an exclusive destination visited each year by only a handful of tourists this is it!

We will start in Dalvik just north of Akureyri on NE Iceland and use 2-2.5 days sailing onboard our comfortable 60ft sailing yacht AURORA. En route we should have good opportunities to see whales such as Humpbacks and Orcas as well as Porpoises and Dolphins.

When we arrive in Jan Mayen, the group will move to a base camp on the island and get ready to climb Mt Beerenberg (2277m), the world’s most northerly active volcano. This volcano last erupted in 1984. The climb can be serious arctic mountaineering depending on weather and conditions on the mountain. Normally it is technically easy, even if we are roping up on the glacier. We will also use this opportunity to look at the sights on the island: icecaps, black cliffs, birdlife and even visit the small Norwegian weather station at Olonkinbyen. After a successful climb of Mt Beerenberg (5-6 days on the island), we’ll set sails again and take the course back to Dalvik, Iceland (to Isafjordur on the second trip).


Borea Adventures is the most experienced operator of trips to Jan Mayen with numerous expeditions under our belt and many successful ascents of Beerenberg.

Here is also a spectacular set of photos with excellent descriptive narrative from Erik Aaseth of Norway - this is from one of our trips in 2008. Also check out photos in our own collection here.

Trip itinerary

Day 1

Meeting onboard AURORA. Departure from Dalvik at 19:00. Course set NE towards Jan Mayen crossing the Arctic Circle later thet night.


Day 2

Sailing north while keeping a sharp lookout for whales and dolphins. Good chance of seeing White-beaked dolphin, Humpback, Minke whales, Orcas etc.


Day 3

Getting close to Jan Mayen and if the wind is cooperating we may arrive this evening. In clear weather it may be possible to see Beerenberg from up to 80 nautical miles offshore.


Day 4

Landing on Jan Mayen Island. The landscape is quite unique with black lava cliffs, green moss and many seabirds. We'll anchor on the lee side of the island, most likely either Jameson bay on the east side or Stations bay on the west side. It may also be possible that we'll anchor in Kvalross bay on the west side. People and equipment will be ferried ashore in a rubber dingy and base camp will be established. Jan Mayen is rich of driftwood and we may have a small campfire on the beach this first night.


Day 5

If weather permits we'll start our preparations for a summit attempt for Beerenberg. We'll start in moss and loose volcanic gravel and ascend between small craters towards Kronprins Olavs Glacier (Bre) which we enter at around 600 meters elevation. We continue up the glacier and from around 1300 meters we'll tie up with climbing ropes. We arrive at Nunataken (the Nunatak), a cliff sticking out of the glacier at around 1600 meters. Above Nunataken the climb is steeper, and there are numerous crevasses. - But they are usually not a major technical challenge. After 10-16 hours climbing we will reach the rim of the main crater. The main crater is about a kilometre in diameter and 300 m deep. Quite often you can see steam rising from crevasses where the great Weyprecht glacier breaks out of the crater and falls all the way down to sea level. We continue along the crater rim, to the highest point, Haakon VII peak. Return is the same way and we should be down at camp after about 16-20 hours.


This plan can of course change depending on weather and snow conditions. We may for instance establish a high camp on the glacier to be in a better position for a summit attempt when the weather breaks.


Day 6

A days rest after the summit. Options include short hikes and nice evening at a campfire on the beach.


Day 7 - 8

Options include various hikes.


On the southern part of Jan Mayen the mountains rise 5-700 meters high, crater landscape with Rudolftoppen (769m) is the highest. From its peak we can get a great view over the whole island, of course with Beerenberg as the main attraction, towering over everything else to the north. 


The narrow central part of the island diminishes to a width of only 3 km and this is also the lowest part of the island with summits under 300m. Here one can cross the island without having to walk up to more than 30m heights. The loose sand can be heavy for walking but the landscape is fascinating. In the Schmelk valley there is a labyrinth of lava caves so we'll bring along our head-torches in case we take a look inside.


Eggøya is a quite peculiar cliff that used to be a separate island crater. After a volcanic eruption in the 1800s it is now attached to the main land. It's only 200m high and can be climbed fairly easily. The view from the top is spectacular and small steam fumaroles can still be found.


There are no mammals left on the island as the foxes were hunted to extinction. Seabirds breed on the steep cliffs out near the coast with Fulmars and Razorbills as the most numerous. There are also large colonies of Puffins and Little Auks.


The island is rich of historical sites. Some from the times of whaling, centuries ago, but most of them from more recent times. The old weather station (Gamle Metten) on Libergsletta is still well kept but the even older station (Eldste Metten) is more of a ruin. Jan Mayen also has sites from WWII and even wreckage from a German bomber-plane that crashed in the mountains.


Day 9

Opportunities for short hikes in the morning. Break camp, pack and get ready for departure. Move people and equipment onboard AURORA and depart in the early afternoon.


Day 10

At sea en route to Iceland


Day 11

At sea, keeping a good lookout for whales and dolphins, as we get closer to Iceland. Should see the Icelandic mountains in the morning. Arrival in Dalvik in the evening.


View slideshow
Colin Samuels skiing down Mt. Beerenberg in Jan Mayen. Photo: Bjorn Pedersen
Colin Samuels skiing down Mt. Beerenberg in Jan Mayen. Photo: Bjorn Pedersen
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  • All food onboard and on land on Jan Mayen
  • Accommodation onboard, all port fees, fuel cost and local taxes
  • Use of sailing clothing (Gore-Tex jacket and pants), safety harness and life jacket
    Use of tents, stoves (incl fuel) and climbing ropes
  • Guiding on land, one guide pr 3-4 guests


Not included:

  • Travel to and from Ísafjörður, Iceland unless specifically mentioned in itinerary.
  • Food the first day until boarding the yacht in Ísafjörður
  • Personal medical insurance
  • Personal equipment as pr recommended equipment list.

Difficulty: Moderate to Challenging





Terms and conditions

The Borea Adventures trips/voyages are of an adventurous nature and to relatively remote locations in Iceland, Greenland and other places. Borea Adventures makes best effort to stick to the planned itinerary but participants must appreciate and acknowledge that the trip/voyage requires considerable flexibility. The company and captain of the vessel reserve the right to adjust the itinerary without notice for reasons beyond their control such as weather, ice-conditions or other unpredictable or unforeseeable circumstances. Once departed on the voyage the captain will have final say on all decisions affecting safety etc and this must be accepted by all participants.

Download full version of "terms and conditions" here.

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"Thanks for the trip of a lifetime. Iceland is gorgeous, your hospitality wonderful and many many memories. You´re the best!"
- Paul, Canada
"You guys have a really special thing going here – and your love and respect for the mountains and nature is inspiring. Thanks especially for your hard work, great guiding and flexibility...."
- Brian, USA
"It doesn't get much better! Great company... Delicious food... Adventures to places that are so scenic...-with icebergs that are awesomly huge and mountains that dont have names ..."
- Eric, England
Welcome to the website for Borea Adventures, Iceland, your number one stop for Arctic adventures in high latitudes. We provide great adventures and expeditions in Iceland, Greenland, East Greenland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard (Spitzbergen), mainly using our spacious yacht, the Aurora. Our philosophy is to make our trips as silent as possible where we minimize the use of motorized power and encourage physical activities, whether sea kayaking, climbing, sailing, walking and hiking, wildlife, ski touring and backcountry skiing for beginners, experts and people of all ages. The North Atlantic is our playground and we offer scheduled trips for individuals and groups as well as customized itineraries and charter for groups. We travel in harmony with the wildlife of the area: Arctic Foxes, Birds, Seals, Whales and Polar Bears. Aurora is a sturdy expedition yacht and was raced four times around the globe as part of the Clipper Round the World yacht race under the ownership of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. She gives us a great opportunity to provide Arctic adventures in areas that are hard to reach otherwise. We call her our floating basecamp. Our name is derived from Greek mythology where Boreas was the god of the north wind. Aurora on the other hand was the Roman rosy-fingered goddess of dawn. Aurora Borealis is a name for the Northern lights which are common in our area. As we humans have proven through the decades, names can be hard to remember. Especially if a bit of alcohol gets passed around the galley too many times! You might spell our name Boreal Adventures, Borial Adventures, Borea Adventrues and Borealis Adventures. Thank you for visiting Borea Adventures.