Spitsbergen – 2004-2009


VAGABOND is a dedicated base camp for DAMOCLES, which main objective is to study Arctic Ocean sea ice and its future. France Pinczon du Sel and Eric Brossier brought their polar yacht and their experience to work with scientists for 5 years, on the East Coast of Spitsbergen (2004-2009). In July 2009, a year after the end of the International Polar Year, at polar bear land, Vagabond finished her fifth wintering, still in collaboration with the French Polar Institute IPEV.

Map of Svalbard

Last report (pdf, 3 Mb).

See the wintering location (Inglefieldbukta, 77°53.1'N - 18°15.9'E), a watercolor of Svalbard, and the map of Storfjord.

Read the log book and Vagabond's Newsletter (archives since 2001...).


The European-Russian program (Developping Arctic Modeling Capabilities for Long-term Environmental Studies) is an integrated ice-atmosphere-ocean monitoring and forecasting system designed for observing, understanding and quantifying climate changes in the Arctic. This innovative and ambitious project will use hi-tech instruments from space as well as in situ. DAMOCLES is specifically concerned with the potential for a significantly reduced sea ice cover, and the impacts this might have on the environment and on human activities, both regionally and globally.

See presentation of Damocles exhibition.

Find more information

European project DAMOCLES
International Polar Year
French Polar Institute
Norwegian Polar Institute

ACSI: Arctic Ship Coordination during the International Polar Year

Voyage to the poles : Vagabond, witness of the North for Océanopolis

One Day at the Poles: live from Vagabond, from March to August 2008, Rennes Sciences Center

Futura Sciences, complete document about Vagabond's missions

Vagabond's spirit, 26 minutes report (from TSR)

Sailing News, video reports

Photos from Christian Morel (Spitsbergen, March 2007)

ThePoles, news about polar adventures

Vagabond is also collaborating with:

Montain of Silence

Frozen Five

About the 2 first winterings in Spitsbergen:


Vagabond's wintering location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Contacts: for more details on how to contact us.