noorderlicht polar bear cruise

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer

  • Overview
    This sailing expedition in Spitsbergen will be carried out by the sailing vessel Noorderlicht. This beautiful vessel will bring you to the remotest places around Spitsbergen. Sailing northwards we visit Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. We can also visit some big seabird colonies particularly noteworthy for their Little Auk.
    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 20 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard; Embarkation Day

      After arriving in Longyearbyen, the ‘capital’ (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration In the evening we sail, setting course for Trygghamna where we will see the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Pomor hunting station, which we will visit the next morning.

    • Day 2 - Alkhornet

      From Trygghamna we walk to Alkhornet a large seabird cliff, where the birds are prospecting their breeding places. Below the cliffs is a den of Arctic Fox and Reindeer graze on the lush vegetation. In Forlandsundet we visit a haul out place of Walrus at Poolepynten if sea conditions allows.

    • Day 3 - Ytre Norskøya

      Today we sail into Fuglefjorden with views on Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, with breeding places for Great Skuas and good chances for bears. In Birgerbukta we find blubber ovens of the Basques. We will try to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island which was used for many years as a lookout point for Dutch whalers. There we can still follow their tracks to the summit of the island, passing excellent bird cliffs on the way. On shore the remains of 17th century blubber ovens can be found, while Arctic Skua and Common Eider breed among the graves of 200 Dutch whalers.

    • Day 4 - Raudfjord

      Raudfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen is a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is also a favourite with Ringed and Bearded Seal, has good seabird colonies, and offers good chances for spotting Polar Bear and Beluga. Jermaktangen, at the fjord’s eastern entrance, is a geography lesson in the erosion of the land by the sea.

    • Day 5 - Reindyrsflya

      If sea-ice conditions allow, we may land on the northern-side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. The vast undulating plain is a good grazing area for reindeer and several species of waders also breed here. The area’s lakes offer good chances of spotting Red-throated Diver and King Eider.

    • Day 6 - Liefdefjorden

      We sail into Liefdefjorden and look Worsleyneset where King Eiders and Grey Phalaropes nest. Chances that fjord-ice is blocking our way to the front of Monacobreen and to the Warm springs in Bockfjord are there, but the life along the edge of the fjord ice is spectacular (chances for Bearded Seals, Polar Bears, foraging seabirds)

    • Day 7 - Fuglesangen & Magdalenafjorden

      In the morning we land at Fuglesangen, where we can sit near the Little Auks. Sailing southwards we visit Magdalenafjorden, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. We can also visit some big seabird colonies particularly noteworthy for their Little Auk.

    • Day 8 - Ny Ålesund

      Today we will visit Ny Ålesund, the northernmost permanently inhabited village in the world, a centre for polar research and a former starting point for many North Pole expeditions (Amundsen and Nobile for example). Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Common Eider, Arctic Tern and several species of wader can be seen at close quarters. The reindeers here are smaller than their mainland relatives and do not form large herds.

    • Day 9 - 14th of July Glacier

      In the morning we sail from Ny Ålesund to the 14th of July Glacier where we cruise in zodiacs. Not far from the glacier we see a breeding site for Brünnich’s Guillemot, Auk and Puffin. The guano of these bird colonies, the southward exposure and the sheltered situation, give rise to a relatively rich vegetation with many species of flowering plants.

    • Day 10 - Forlandsundet, or Sarstangen

      On our way south, we will try to make a landing on Fuglehuken, where we see many remains form the Polar Bear hunting era. There are large seabird colonies and a haul out place for harbour seals. Alternatively we land on the coast of Forlandsundet at Engelskbukta or Sarstangen. Occasionally Walrus are hauled out here. The tundra offers some great walking in a beautiful setting.

    • Day 11 - Gipsvika deep inside Isfjorden

      In the morning we find ourselves on Bohemanflya an extensive tundra area with their own avifauna and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika deep inside Isfjorden were we will go ashore near the majestic cliff of Templet. It is a stunning area with spectacular mountains eroded into shape in the sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous created around 290 mio years ago.

    • Day 12 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard; Disembarkation

      Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Endless Arctic nights

    Svalbard is the Arctic North as you always dreamed it existed. This wondrous archipelago is a land of dramatic snow-drowned peaks and glaciers, of vast icefields and forbidding icebergs, an elemental place where the seemingly endless Arctic night and the perpetual sunlight of summer carry a deeper kind of magic. One of Europe's last great wildernesses, this is also the domain of more polar bears than people, a terrain rich in epic legends of polar exploration.

    The Polar Bear

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    Onboard your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    Your expedition team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with firsthand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back onboard the vessel, team members hold lectures about their studies or the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Free use of rubber expedition boots
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - AECO and government fees
    - Port taxes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Gratuities
    - Internet / Wifi & Phone
    - Laundry
    - Beverages
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa expenses
    - Pre and post-cruise travel
    - Any airfare whether scheduled or charter flights
  • Map
    Oceanwide exp north spits arctic spring
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    NOORDERLICHT

    The ‘Noorderlicht’ was originally built in 1910 in Flensburg, Germany as a three-masted schooner. For most of her existence she served as a light-vessel on the Baltic. In 1991 the present owners purchased the hull and re-rigged and refitted her thoroughly, under the rules of “Register Holland”. The ‘Noorderlicht’ now has a well-balanced two-masted schooner rig and is capable of sailing the seven seas, and is therefor well suited for expedition cruising among small islands and offer good open deck viewing areas, also when under sail. The 2 inflatable rubber crafts (zodiacs) enable landing and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise inaccessible areas. The qualified captains have a great experience of the oceans. Together with the rest of the crew, they will do everything possible to ensure that you have a wonderful and unforgettable journey. The ‘Noorderlicht’ provides accommodation for 20 travellers in comfortable twin cabins. All cabins have upper and lower berths, a cupboard and wash basin with hot and cold water. Shared shower (4) and toilet (5) facilities are conveniently located. All cabins have a small hatch in the ceiling which vary in size, except cabin 6 which has a small, locked porthole in the ceiling but ventilation slots in the door. On occasion and depending on weather situation those hatches will be opened by the crew to allow fresh air ventilation of the complete lower deck (including cabin 6) while passengers go ashore.

    Features & Facilities
    • Sailing ship
    • Observation decks
    • galley
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 20
    Crew #: 5
    Ice Class:
    Speed: 7
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 46m
    Width: 6
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 300
    Registry: Netherlands
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Twin Shared Inside

23 Jun 2018 - 04 Jul 2018
USD 4,600pp
USD 4,600pp