Poli Artici was established in 1999 and specializes in trekking, skiing, snowmobile, and boat excursions throughout the archipelago during the summer and winter seasons. Additionally, we provide a wide range of logistical services and field support throughout Svalbard.
Poli Arctici consists of the owner Stefano Poli and our team of dedicated guides who have known each other for many years. Our team has many years of experience working in Svalbard leading hiking, trekking, boating, ski, and snowmobile trips. The main reason that our team has stayed in Svalbard for so many years is our strong personal interest in the High Arctic. Working in Svalbard, spending time in the wilderness, and enjoying the freedom that the archipelago has to offer is a choice—it is not accidental. We expect quality, safety, and a keen interest in Svalbard from ourselves. We are the tour operator in Svalbard with the most experienced guides with the longest continuity guiding in Svalbard.
There is a sense of freedom one feels working and exploring Svalbard’s vast wilderness. Your values adapt to the environment, and you appreciate the satisfaction of fulfilling your body and mind’s basic needs. Over the years, Stefano and the Poli Arctici team have built Poli Arctici to prioritize sharing these values and experiences in Svalbard’s wilderness with our guests.
Stefano Poli (1968), the owner of Poli Arctici, was born and raised in Italy. He has always been enamored by unspoiled nature. From a very young age, Stefano spent many summers and winters in the Alps. His first trip to Norway was in 1987. In 1990, he crossed Iceland by foot. In 1992-1993, Stefano attended a mountaineering school in the Lofoten Islands. Stefano's first trip to Svalbard was a two week ski tour in 1993. Since that trip, he has remained in Svalbard. First authorized as a Svalbard Guide in 1998, he built Poli Arctici in 1999 as well as the North Pole Expedition Museum in 2008. He also worked as the logistics manager for the remote camp of Talos Dome in Antarctica during 2005-2006. Stefano’s love for Svalbard and the High Arctic comes from the feelings of freedom and solitude that being in these wild spaces offers. He speaks English, Norwegian, Italian and a bit of Russian.
Giovanni Poli (1966) has been an UIAGM Mountain Guide since 1997. He lives in Italy at the foot of the western Alps. He has been exploring and guiding in Svalbard since 2002. Giovanni has an enormous passion for skiing, spending as much time as possible ski mountaineering and back country ski touring. He guides in the Alps, Lyngen Alps, and in Svalbard. He has also organized and led expeditions in Africa, South America, and New Zealand. He is the author of the first ski guidebook for Svalbard titled Ski Touring in Svalbard, published by FriFlyt i 2020. He speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, and a bit of Swahili, Edo and Norwegian.
Maiken Vassel (1990) is German and Norwegian. She started working in Svalbard for Poli Arctici in 2010. She became Arctic Nature Guide in 2011, meteorologist in 2018, and has completed extended work postings on Bear Island and Jan Mayen for the Norwgian Meteorological Institute. Always happy to work, she spreads happiness and creates a fun atmosphere wherever she finds herself. She feels at home outdoors and enjoys skiing, mountaineering, snowmobiling, and everything connected to adventures in a polar environment. She speaks Norwegian, German, and English.
Dirk Rasmussen (1988) is from the United States and splits time between Leadville, Colorado and Longyearbyen. He started guiding for Poli Arctici in 2008 after visiting Svalbard with Lofoten Folk School. He holds a Master's Degree in Geology and has several publications in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to significant experience leading scientific field reseach and managing logistics, he has 10 years of outdoor education and guiding experience. Dirk is passionate about trekking and back country ski touring – much of his experience is throughtout northern Norway, the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and the Desert Southwest. Dirk is drawn to the expansive polar wilderness and multicultural community of Svalbard. He loves sharing his knowledge of ecosystems and natural history with guests. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder, speaks English and Norwegian, and is learning a bit of Italian.
Andrea Mutti (1965) has been an UIAGM Mountain Guide since 1998. He has "solo" winter accents of many great norht faces in the Alps including the Eiger, Grand Jorasses, and Mattherhorn! He did also climbed Bonatti Pilar at Mount Blanche several times. He lives in Italy at the foot of the eastern Alps and has been exploring and guiding in Svalbard since 2004. Andrea has an enormous passion for skiing, ice climbing, high altitude climbing, paragliding, and canyoning. He is co-owner of a specialized outdoors adventure company (www.mmove.net) in the Alps. Andrea has also climb many difficult routes in Andes, Alaska Range, and Sierra Neveda of California. He currently works in the Alps, Lyngen Alps, and in Svalbard. He speaks Italian, French, and English.
Marina Van Dijk (1967) is Dutch, and has lived permanently in Svalbard since 1995. She runs her own goldsmith business designing and creating jewelry inspired by Svalbard. Marina joins many Poli Arctici trips during summer and winter as a guide. Marina feels most at home sailing – she has many years sailing experience in the polar environment of Svalbard and Greenland-During the early nineties, she lived several months at the trapper station of Farmhavna. During 2002-2003, she overwintered in northwestern Spitsbergen with her sailboat frozen into the fjord. Marina completed a two month canoeing expedition in Canada's wilderness and did a 4500 km bicycle tour crossing of the Rocky Mountains. She loves people and has a genuine curiosity about other cultures. Marina speaks Dutch, Norwegian, English, and German.
Trond Erik Johansen (1953) is Norwegian and has lived in Svalbard since 1972. He worked for the mining company in Longyearbyen and Svea for 43 years. All the while, Trond has been driving snowmobiles both for work and for pleasure during his free time. Now retired from mining, Trond can't stop snowmobiling! He's been working part-time for Poli Arctici guiding snowmobile trips since 2015. He loves long, multi-day transports in Svalbard that require complex logistics. He has tremendous knowledge about mining operations, Svalbard culture and history, and stories from the "old days". He speaks Norwegian and English.