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Adventure Sailing in Svalbard

  • Vessel: Noorderlicht // Reade Swan
  • Where: Svalbard,Norway
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Embark: Longyearbyen - 29 April 2023, 16:00
  • Disembark: Longyearbyen - 6 May 2023, 09:00

Sail with Noorderlicht in Svalbard as the Captain shows you his favourite spots.

Join Noorderlicht in Svalbard for an Arctic sailing holiday adventure to remember. Let the Captain show you the very best of Svalbard from the water. Think fairy tale white landscapes, floating sea ice home to polar bears, seals & walruses, the absence of busy tourism and fresh cold air blended with crystal clear skies. There really is no better way to discover Svalbard than an adventure holiday.

Sailing with tall ship Noorderlicht is perfect for solo travellers, couples and families alike with sailing in this fascinating part of the world certainly leaving life-long memories. Noorderlicht is fully crewed but guests are welcomed to get actively involved with sailing her.

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!

Day 1: Embarkation in Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen is the largest inhabited settlement in Spitsbergen and the world’s most northerly inhabited town with more than 1000 inhabitants. Discover the fascinating history of the island as you join Noorderlicht on the ‘floating pier’.

Enjoy a welcome from the crew and captain, before a delicious first dinner on board while the ship sets course towards Trygghamna bay, where it will anchor for the night.

Day 2: Visit to seabird cliff Alkhornet

Head ashore to explore the whaling and hunting station of the Pomor in Trygghamna. From here you can hike to Alkhornet cliff, where some 10,000 pairs of different seabirds breed.

The cliffs are composed of carbonate rock, which is more than a billion years old where 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 and Polar Bears.

If the entrance of the fjord at Forlandsundet is free of ice, Noorderlicht will sail overnight into the St. John Fjord. This beautiful and sheltered fjord system contains multiple glaciers and is one of the Captains favourite spots!

Day 3: The Ice limits & wildlife in the Forlandsundet

With guidance from the expedition leader, a spot will be selected to go ashore and explore before hoisting the sails to make our way out of the fjord. Depending on the accessibility of the ice at Grimaldibukta, Noorderlicht will look for an anchorage for the night. After a 3-course dinner, we hope to make an evening walk to admire the walrus populations at Sarstangen.

Day 4: Panoramic view from Prins Karls Forland

Murraypynten, named after a Scottish oceanographer, is a peninsula north of the Grimaldibukta. From the hills, you have a beautiful panoramic view of the rugged mountain and glacial landscape of Spitsbergen and the flat landscape at the foot of the mountain makes it wonderful and easy to walk. On the south side of Murraypynten, you can visit a ruin of a hut built by a German expedition in 1963. Continue the journey south, back to the Isfjord, where Noorderlicht will anchor in the sheltered bay at Ymerbukta for the evening.

Day 5: Ghost Town in Soviet-style: Barentsburg

The Esmarkbreen glacier flows into the bay of Ymerbukta providing panoramic views while walking. Explore the historic mining town of Barentsburg. In 1926 the mining town was taken over by the Russians, after which it grew into a town of miners with more than 1000 inhabitants. Today there are still about 400 people of mainly Russian or Ukrainian descent.

In the evening you can enjoy the locally brewed beers and Russian snacks, together with part of the crew of the Noorderlicht.

Day 6: In Borebukta searching for Polar bears

After a morning walk through Barentsburg, Noorderlicht will set sail for Borebukta. At this time of the year, it is usually partially or completely frozen so there is a high chance of encountering arctic animals such as the polar bear here. We will try to get as close to the northwestern end as possible to get a look at the steep glacier front of the Borebreen. We then continue to the west side of the bay, close to the Nansenbreen, where we will anchor for the night.

Day 7: Sailing towards Longyearbyen

After breakfast, it’s time for one last stop at the historic mining settlement of Cape Bohemanflya before our sail back to Longyearbyen.

Day 8: Goodbye Noorderlicht!

After a hearty breakfast, you can disembark by 09:00.

As with all Nooredrlicht’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.

Noorderlicht // Reade Swan

Guest berths: 20 Rig: Schooner

Originally built in 1910, Noorderlicht // Reade Swan 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. She is transitioning her name from Noorderlicht to Reade Swan which translates into Red Swan as she starts her new life with Dutch owners.

With comfortable accommodation for up to 20 guests in private twin cabins, Noorderlicht // Reade Swan 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 // Reade Swan’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 // Reade Swan 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 plan

Noorderlicht deck plan More about Noorderlicht // Reade Swan

FAQ

  • What COVID policies are in place for sailing with Noorderlicht?

    There are currently no Test & Sail policies in place for the 2022 season. Guests will just need to ensure they are following any international guidelines to travel to the boat.

  • 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-free and gluten-free. We cannot cater for a vegan diet.

  • What language is spoken onboard?

    Dutch/English

  • Do I need to tip the crew?

    Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew (and can be paid by card or in cash €)!

  • 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 and lightweight for travelling.

  • How many toilet/showers does she have?

    4 shower rooms and an extra single toilet

  • Is there an age limit?

    Yes. No children younger than 11. Above aged 16 is fine, but ages 11-16 we must check directly with the boat on a case by case basis.

  • When is the best time to see the Northern lights in Norway/Svalbard?

    You have the best chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis from mid-late September through to mid-March.

  • How cold is it in Svalbard?

    Temperatures vary from April through to September. Depending on the time of year you can expect lows of -30 and highs of +10. It is hard to predict.

  • Are muck boots (similar to Wellington boots) essential?

    Yes 100%. Without them your Svalbard experience could be limited, as they will absolutely be required for a number of shore landings from the RIB/tender.

  • What luggage type is best for taking on a boat?

    Duffel type bag; made with water-resistant material is desirable. If you must take a hard suitcase (though we do not recommend it) it must be kept in your cabin.

  • Is there Wi-Fi?

    No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.

  • Can I charge my phone/camera?

    Yes. There are power points in all cabins. Please bring 2-pin European adaptors.

  • Are life jackets provided?

    Yes

  • Are waterproofs provided?

    No

  • 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.

Locations

From: Longyearbyen

To: Longyearbyen

GETTING THERE

Fly from most UK airports to OSLO, Norway where you can continue to Longyearbyen. Norwegian Airlines or SAS airlines offer affordable flights.

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