JourneyZone 2015 – Destination Svalbard

Calling all speakers!

Are you a speaker at JavaZone 2015? Then this is the trip for you! JourneyZone has become kind of an annual tradition at JavaZone – when the conference is over, we invite all of our speakers to join us on an adventure. This year, the trip goes to Svalbard – the northern Norwegian archipelago.

When and where?

We start the journey the day after JavaZone, and will be back in Oslo by Monday September 14th.

Who can attend?

All speakers of JavaZone are invited, but we have a limited number of spots for the journey. Those who hold 60 minute presentations and workshops are prioritized, but presenters of lightning talks are also welcome to apply – just be aware that we have limited space!

Day after day,
night after night

We have a tightly packed program for the whole journey – our goal is to see as much of Svalbard as possible in four days. This is our tentative plan, but we'll likely add in more stuff if time allows.

Friday, September 11th
We leave Oslo by plane from Oslo Airport Gardermoen at 09.00, and arrive at Longyearbyen. We'll have some time to explore the town, but be aware: don't walk outside the town – the signs with a polar bear on are not just for show! We'll spend the first night at Basecamp Hotel.
Saturday, September 12th
Rise and shine, we'll eat a good breakfast, and then we set sail for the sea (or, more correct: "set motor"). We'll split in three groups, and go by a polarcircle boat for a few hours, until we end up at Isfjord Radio. We'll explore the area, learn about the local bird life, and end the night with a 3-course dinner. We'll spend the night at Isfjord Radio.
Sunday, September 13th
No time for a lie in, we'll start the day early and take a hike around the area. We'll have guides with us, both because they know the history of the area and can tell us all about it, but also because we need protection in case we meet polar bears. No kidding. In the evening, we'll take a boat back to Longyearbyen. We'll spend the night there and try out the local pub!
Monday, September 14th
Finally, a day you can have a lie in, or choose to spend some time on exploring the area by yourself. Our plane leaves at 12.40, and we'll be back at Oslo Airport Gardermoen 15.35.


You should really read this list, to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible...

Visa and passport

All travellers to Svalbard will have to go through passport control. The identity of all those travelling between Svalbard and the Norwegian mainland will be checked both upon arrival and departure. If you need a visa to arrive to Norway, please note that you need a second visa to enter Norway again after your trip to Spitsbergen.

Physical fitness

We'll do our best to make sure that anyone can join the trip. That being said, there will be some activities that may be physically demanding: the boattrip to Isfjord Radio being one example. Please let us know if you have back pains, a heart condition or any other situation we should try to accomodate for.

Security when spending time on your own

We'll mostly spend time together, but you will also have some "alone time". In Longyearbyen you can walk around on your own. On both sides of the settlement there are polar bear signs making sure everyone entering the wilderness has proper safety equipment with them. Do not wander past those signs without an experienced guide and rifle.

Personal expenses

JavaZone will cover almost all your expenses which is considered your reward for holding your talk at the conference. To ensure that we stretch the budget to accomodate as many as possible we require that all attendees pay NOK 2000.

More info? Questions?

We'll give you a lot more information when we get closer to the trip. Until then, feel free to ask us anything by emailing us at

Packing list

These are some of the things our tour guides have recommended that you pack for the trip.

Before arriving at Svalbard, you must present a valid passport
Woolen top and woolen long johns
A layer of thermal underwear - these will keep you warm
Warm woolen trousers and woolen sweater
A thicker wool layer to have outside
Auxiliary layer - jacket and pants
For colder days it is advisable to have an extra layer available. A puff jacket is great!
Windproof outer layer
Windproof jacket and pants
Good hiking shoes
For the hiking trips you need good walking shoes / hiking boots
Mittens and windproof hat
You need good gloves and beanie to keep your hands and head warm
Inside clothing
Casual wear. Remember swimwear!
Backpack / Solid bag
Waterproof bag of about 40 liters - there is no room for large bags in the boats
Camera and binoculars
To bring the good memories home!
Indoor shoes
It is customary to take off your shoes when you are indoors, and go with slippers or house shoes

See you there!