Sailing & Whale Watching in Norway
- Vessel: Noorderlicht
- Where: Harstad, Norway
- Duration: 8 days
- Embark: Harstad Marina - 5 March 2022, 16:00
- Disembark: Harstad Marina - 12 March 2022, 09:00
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Cross the Arctic circle on schooner Noorderlicht as you search for whales and spend your evenings under the Northern Lights.
Join schooner Noorderlicht for a sailing adventure through the Norwegian fjords and islands. Enjoy the magnificent scenic landscape of Northern Norway with majestic mountain peaks, diverse bird and animal life, picturesque villages and the fairytale Arctic light.
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.
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. The main focus of this voyage is to sail where we have the best chances of spotting whale species. As you board, the Captain will have a better idea with updated forecasts of what you can expect from your adventure sailing holiday in Norway.
Day 1: Harstad: the gateway for spotting whales around Andenes
Arrive above the Arctic circle into the sweet Norwegian town of Harstad. A great starting point for a sailing holiday exploring the beautiful Lofoten Islands. Noorderlicht awaits you in the harbour of Harstad, where you can embark from 16:00. After a welcome from the crew and a delicious 3-course dinner, there is time in the evening to explore the town of Harstad.
Day 2: Cast off the lines & hoist the sails towards Skrolsvik
Set the sails toward the southernmost tip of the island of Senja. With beautiful scenery, the town of Skrolsvik was once a thriving fishing village and with little light pollution, it gives a perfect location for observing the Northern lights in the evening.
Day 3: in search for whales around Andenes
Set course towards the ‘’Bleik-canyon’’ for some ultimate whale spotting opportunities. This extraordinary deep-sea area offers the possibility to observe a variety of whales in their natural habitat. Once you have passed the canyon, Noorderlicht will sail for the fishing village Andenes to anchor for the evening.
The scenery of this little town is dominated by the Andenes lighthouse, a 40 meters high lighthouse that dates back to 1859 and is still in use today.
Day 4 -6: Exploring the spectacular scenery of Senja
Spend the next few days continuing your exploration of the coast of Senja. Also referred to as “Norway in miniature’’ or “fairytale island’’, Senja is loved for its dramatic mountains that plunge straight into the sea, its rich wildlife and low light pollution which can offer the best aurora experience. Noorderlicht will moor off some picturesque fishing villages such as Gryllefjorden or Hamn where you can explore the scenic landscape ashore.
Day 7: Return towards Harstad
Sail back to Harstad where can enjoy some free time to shop for souvenirs, visit a museum or take a walk in the winter air. The crew will have a last surprise for you awaiting aboard and you can enjoy your last evening with the crew and your fellow travellers.
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.
All voyages for Noorderlicht
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
Travel insurance notes
As this is an active adventure holiday, we advise that everyone has the appropriate personal accident travel insurance whilst onboard in addition to standard travel insurance which would cover you in the time between making your booking and departing for your adventure. These policies can sometimes be combined so please check with your travel insurance provider.
Please read more information on our Insurance guidelines page.
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?
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
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?
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.
From: Harstad Marina
To: Harstad Marina
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
Fly from most UK airports to OSLO, Norway where you can continue to Harstad-Navik, Evenes Airport. SAS airlines offer affordable flights.
You can then catch the airport bus to Harstad which is about a 50-minute journey.
Noorderlicht will be moored on the quay near Havnegata, 9404 Harstad, Norway.