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TOPtoTOP Arctic Research Expeditions


TOPtoTOP is a nonprofit organization. It supports scientific expeditions and environmental education. TOPtoTOP has inspired already 155.000 students in more than 100 countries to participate in their environmental actions, according to the TOPtoTOP concept: EXPLORE - INSPIRE - ACT.

Over the past 22 years,  TOPtoTOP covered 126’000 nautical miles circumnavigating our blue planet conducting field-based research for universities, scientists, and research organizations, visiting the world’s most remote regions and their native inhabitants, and sharing examples of innovative solutions to protect, preserve and conserve our planet. 


TOPtoTOP’s current mission is to “SAVE THE ARCTIC”.  - Since 2013 TOPtoTOP has been operating in the entire Arctic up to 82 degrees North. It was the first sailboat circumnavigating the entire Svalbard under sail and opened a new Northwest Passage into Hudson Bay. See the map of the TOPtoTOP route in 2020 and 2021.

In 2022, TOPtoTOP will operate along the Norwegian Coast from North to South - around Iceland - the East Greenland Coast from South to North (including Jan Mayen) to Svalbard and Bear Island, Hopen back to Norway. TOPtoTOP plans to sample from the deep sea up to the highest summits in the Arctic.  TOPtoTOP main topics are currently biodiversity, climate change, and microplastic. The eDNA technology is key to collecting robust data sets. Furthermore, TOPtoTOP combines its environmental education program and clean-ups with its research activities.

In 2023 the plan is to sample at the West Coast of Greenland and sail as far North as possible to check a possible circumnavigation of the entire Greenland coast in the future. TOPtoTOP plans to stay in Arctic waters in the next 6 years.


The expedition sailing yacht “Pachamama” has a capacity of 12 people and a daily range of 200 nautical miles. The 50 feet aluminum sloop designed by Bernard Nivelt serves as a reference for the cruising world. The design objective and concept of Pachamama was to develop a vessel that can operate sustainably and fully autonomously (renewable energies) with maximum safety in the toughest marine environments. The vessel is equipped with the latest satellite communication systems, 2 live rafts, 2 EPIRBs, ROVs, drones etc...

The highly qualified and experienced crew has expertise in risk management in all kinds of environments (international mountain guides IFMGA, etc.) to safely collect data.

Check also our outreach-program for schools "ADVENTURE" and our campaign “SAVE the ARCTIC”.