Spitsbergen Cruise Svalbard Norway

   
 
 

North Spitsbergen Cruise Aboard a Sailing Vessel

2015 Departures
June 21
July 02
September 11
Prices From$4800 per Person Double
Make A Request By Selecting an Above Departure

12 days and 11 nights aboard the Nooderlicht.

The Norwegian name for this archipelago including Bear Island and Jan Mayen is Svalbard. However it is usually known as Spitsbergen. Covering an area almost as big as the Republic of Ireland, Spitsbergen with its population of 3,500 in five settlements is still today virtually unspoilt wilderness.

With its rugged mountains, sweeping tundra, ice caps and glaciers, it is a true High Arctic archipelago, and only 600 miles from the North Pole.

Its abundant wildlife was once a huge draw for whalers and trappers but now discerning visitors are discovering the attractions of huge Arctic seabird colonies and the chance to enjoy and photograph species like Walrus, Reindeer, Arctic Fox and of course, Polar Bear..

Itinerary

 
Day 1     Longyearbyen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Dinner

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre for Spitsbergen, and a former mining town. There will be a chance to visit the Museum, which has an interesting collection on the history of the islands, the mining industry and polar exploration. In the afternoon we sail through scenic Isfjorden, setting course for Alkhornet at the mouth of the fjord, whose cliffs are home to a large colony of Kittiwakes. Below the cliffs is a den of Arctic Foxes, who scavenge on fallen eggs and chicks. We continue to Trygghamna to visit the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Russian Pomor station.

 
Day 2     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

We leave Tryghamna early in the morning and sail through Forlandsundet, the sea passage that divides the island of Prins Karls Forland from the mainland. Weather permitting, we will go ashore at Fuglehuken, where the expedition of Willem Barentsz landed on Spitsbergen and in doing so became the first Europeans to set foot on the islands. Here we can see the graves of whalers and observe impressive colonies of Common Guillemots, Brünnich´s Guillemots, Little Auks and Kittiwakes. Nearby, Harbour Seals and Walruses often haul out and prove popular subjects for photography.

 
Day 3     Ny Alesund
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Today we visit Ny Alesund, the northernmost permanent settlement in the world, a centre for polar research and a former starting point for many North Pole expeditions, including those of Amundsen and Nobile. The local bird life has adapted itself to human presence and is exceptionally tame. Barnacle Geese, Pink-footed Geese, Common Eiders, Arctic Terns and several species of wader can be observed and photographed at close quarters. Reindeer can also be seen in the vicinity - they are smaller than their mainland relatives and do not form large herds.

 
Day 4     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

In the morning we sail from Ny Alesund to the 14th July Glacier where we take to the Zodiacs, for a spectacular cruise along its front. Not far from the glacier we visit an accessible breeding site for Brünnichs Guillemots, Little Auks and Puffins. 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 5     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Sailing northwards we visit Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier fronts. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. Birdwatchers will not be disappointed as there are substantial seabird colonies here, particularly noted for their Little Auks.

 
Day 6     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Today we will try to visit Ytre Norskoya, 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 Skuas and Common Eiders breed among the graves of 200 Dutch whalers.

 
Day 7     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Raudfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen is a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers and an exceptional variety of wildlife. It is a favourite with Ringed and Bearded Seals, has abundant seabird colonies, and offers good chances for spotting Polar Bears and Belugas. Jermaktangen, at the fjord's eastern entrance, shows marked features of sea erosion.

 
Day 8     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

If sea-ice conditions allow, we may land on the northern-side of Reindyrfla, the largest tundra area on Spitsbergen. Its vast undulating plain provides good grazing for Reindeer and several species of waders also breed here. On the tundra lakes there is a good chance of spotting Red-throated Divers and King Eiders, whose breeding plumage is especially colourful.

 
Day 9     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Today we visit the remains of Smeerenburg, the largest 17th century whaling settlement on Spitsbergen, and, if we obtain permission, Danskoya, where many historical remains are to be found of the 19th century expedition by the Swedish explorer Andree, who tried to reach the North Pole in a balloon.

 
Days 10 - 11     Spitsbergen
On Board the S/V Noorderlicht
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

On our way south, we will try to make a landing on the coast of Forlandsundet at Engelsbukta or Sarstangen, where Walruses are often hauled out. From there we head straight for Longyearbyen, but if time allows we could call at Colesbukta, from where fit walkers can walk to Longyearbyen in around six hours, joining the rest of the party when the ship arrives later in the day.

 
Day 12     Longyearbyen
Meals: Breakfast

Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.

 

Notes

All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.

Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Price Includes
Accommodations in Select Cabin Category
Port Charges
Services of Expedition Guides
Shore Excursions
Sightseeing and Entrances Per Itinerary
Meals Daily Shipboard
Tour Escort
OCE-0414