Discover the Arctic wonders of the glaciers, wilderness & wildlife of Svalbard from the water.
Join tall ship Noorderlicht high in the Arctic circle on the island of Svalbard for a bucket list adventure holiday to remember! From iced topped mountains, glistening glaciers to polar bears and whale watching, a sailing holiday in Svalbard certainly is a destination for the adventure traveller.
Discovering Svalbard under sail with a tall ship is by far the best way to see the very best of this Arctic archipelago. Svalbard has strict tourism policies with guests unable to leave the main town of Longyearbyen without a registered guide. Noorderlicht has been given special permission to sail and explore this magical land and always has a registered guide onboard meaning guests are in safe hands are able to explore locations and anchorages far beyond Longyearbyen. This is a bucket list location certainly best seen by boat!
Noorderlicht is fully crewed but guests are welcomed to get actively involved with sailing her across the cold waters. Fully heated below decks, she also has a dedicated chef providing all meals after a day out in the Arctic air.
Below is a rough day-to-day guide of what to expect based on previous voyages but please bear in mind that all itineraries are subject to the weather. As you board, the Captain will have a better idea with updated forecasts of what you can expect from your adventure sailing holiday in Svalbard.
Day 1: Longyearbyen
Climb aboard Noorderlicht in the small snowy town of Longyearbyen – the largest inhabited settlement in Spitsbergen. Enjoy a welcome from the crew and captain, before a delicious first dinner on board while the ship sets course towards Gipsvika bay, where it will anchor for the night.
Day 2: Visit the mysterious ghost town of Pyramiden
Wake up in Gipsvika Bay and get ready to head ashore and explore the pebble beach where you can find various cultural relics, left behind by the old mining company.
Once back aboard, set the sails to head deeper into the Isfjord towards the Russian settlement of Pyramiden. The town is named after the pyramid-shaped mountain next to the town which was founded by the Swedish in 1910. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for Arctic wildlife!
Day 3: Gems of nature: Nordenskiöldbreen & Skansbukta
In the morning, take a tour through the ghost town where you will notice that the communist-style is still present. There is a large statue of Lenin’s head on the main square, there are inscriptions in Russian and some old installations belonging to the former coal mine.
After everyone is safely back on board, continue the journey towards the magnificent glacier of Nordenskiöldbreen, one of the largest glaciers in the Isfjord. Although the glacier has receded markedly in recent years, it is still very impressive. Keep an eye out for polar bears that have shown themselves here repeatedly in recent years!
In the evening, anchor in the beautiful Skansbukta bay underneath a clear and starry Arctic sky.
Day 4: Past historic Kapp Thorsden towards Trygghamna
Jump ashore to explore Skansbukta and walk among the impressive cliffs, where there are remains of the gypsum mine that once was active here.
Once back on board, set sail in the direction of Trygghamna and past Kapp Thorsden, a location where a lot of scientific research and mineral extraction has taken place. At this cape, you can find the oldest house of Spitsbergen, the Svenskehuset from 1872. Our expedition leader can certainly tell you more about this as the ship sails past the cape before dropping anchor in the sheltered bay of Trygghamna.
Day 5: Visit to bird cliff Alkhornet & a Soviet-style town: Barentsburg
After breakfast, explore ashore at Trygghamna, where you find the oldest traces of human activity in Svalbard. After the Western Europeans left, the Russian Pomors took over this area. Their activity was focused mainly on hunting walruses for their products and hides. The remains of this 18th-century Pomor (Russian hunters) hunting station can still be found here. The tundra at the bottom of the cliff receives nutrients from the sea birds and provides meadows for reindeer, nesting sites for geese and shelter for Arctic foxes & Polar bears.
Depending on the availability of a berth in the port of Barentsburg, Noorderlicht will sail towards the Russian mining settlement after a hot lunch.
Day 6: Colesbukta – Borebukta
In the morning, set sail for Colesbukta, a former port that shipped and transported coal from the Soviet settlement of Grumantbyen where the remains of the once-thriving coal industry can be found. Visit the abandoned hut of the Russian geologist Vladimir Rusanov. Weather permitting, spend the rest of the day sailing to Borebukta staying close to experience the steep glacier front of the Borebreen before anchoring in Nansenbreen for the night.
Day 7: Sailing towards Longyearbyen
In the morning, make a final landing in Cape Bohemanflya, before sailing back to Longyearbyen.
Day 8: Goodbye Noorderlicht!
After a hearty breakfast, you can disembark by 09:00.
As with all Noorderlicht’s sailing holidays, your ticket price includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Tea/Coffee. All cabins are private twin cabins with shared bathrooms.
Simply click “Enquire Now” to reserve your berth for five days whilst you sort your travel plans. No booking form or deposit is required until you are ready to book! Upon booking, Noorderlicht requires a 50% deposit with the remaining balance due 90days before departure. Noorderlicht is giving full refunds in the event of Coronavirus restrictions that mean they are unable to sail.
|Voyage||Set Sail||Days||Cost p/p|
|Sailing & Exploring Isfjorden, Svalbard||3 September 2022||7||£1,690||Enquire now|
|Sailing & Exploring Isfjorden, Svalbard||2 September 2023||8||Was £2,345Now £2,228||Enquire now|
Guest berths: 20 Rig: Schooner
Originally built in 1910, Noorderlicht has a colourful history and has spent much of her life sailing the Baltic Sea and exploring Svalbard. With various refits, hull extensions and rigging reconfigurations, she now sails as a graceful two-masted schooner taking guests on bucket-list sailing holidays in the Arctic.
With comfortable accommodation for up to 20 guests in private twin cabins, Noorderlicht offers guests whale watching and wildlife expeditions exploring the Arctic waters of Northern Norway & Svalbard. Her size and draft mean she can reach some of the most remote areas of Svalbard so she is a great way to discover the hidden gems that this breathtaking part of the world has to offer.
Low impact and environmental travel go hand-in-hand with Noorderlicht’s ethos. Her ability to set sail and explore this part of the world is the best way enjoy the beautiful unspoiled nature.
In the early 90’s she was refitted to become a charter vessel and so her accommodation below decks was given careful consideration. She has ten comfortable twin cabins that all share four bathrooms. The galley and downstairs seating area sits in the middle of the ship with another seating area and bar in the deck-house.
Noorderlicht is sailed by her loving owners along with a friendly crew who are all well trained to sail the wilderness of Svalbard. They invite guests to get involved with sailing Noorderlicht but it is certainly not mandatory!
Deck planMore about Noorderlicht
Are all meals included?
Yes, all meals on board are included in the price. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and hot drinks) Alcohol is not included.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
We can cater for Vegetarian, Dairy and Gluten free but sorry no vegans.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
10 x Twin Cabins with shared bathrooms
What is the difference between standard and Plus size Cabins?
The standard cabins are slightly smaller than the Plus cabins but all have a basin and storage space.
Are bedding and towels provided?
All bedding is provided but please bring your own wash towels. Micro-fibres are great - quick drying & lightweight travel.
How many toilet/showers does she have?
4 Shower rooms and an extra single toilet
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Yes, please bring european adaptors
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are at all worried to take some medication 24 hours before departure.
Fly from most UK airports to OSLO, Norway where you can continue to Longyearbyen. Norwegian Airlines or SAS airlines offer affordable flights.