Pristine ice, locked up for millennia and fresh as the day it fell as snow, is handpicked during its brief few months of life before it melts away forever in Arctic waters. Melted and bottled, it becomes Svalbarði.
Melted icebergs - calved freshly from the fjords around Svalbard, just 1,000 kilometres from the North Pole - provide the source for Svalbarði’s pure water.
Svalbard's glaciers release approximately 5 billion cubic metres of icebergs into the sea every year. We head out for anywhere from 3 to 7 days to find the perfect ice. The icebergs need to be from the most protected inner part of the glacier. The presence of ancient air bubbles, which make a crackling sound as they melt, is a key sign that the right pre-industrial era iceberg has been found. The source ice can be up to 4,000 years old and requires no chemical treatment.
The iceberg must then be carefully lifted out of the arctic water. This is hazardous work. Rough seas can threaten to crash tonnes of ice against the Ulla Rinman, our gathering vessel. Calving glaciers can shoot pieces of ice hundreds of metres. Ensuring maximum safety means sometimes the search must move on to find a safe location with the right type of ice.