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8 days - Sail through the Svalbard archipelago by tall ship in late autumn.
Enjoy the peaceful and at times, exhilarating experience of sailing a 46 metre sailing vessel through the High Arctic. 50 Degrees North offers unique, small-group expedition voyages to the Arctic that allow you to enjoy the natural wildlife and scenery of some of the world's most spectacular and pristine shorelines.
It might look cold but, remember, to see the Northern Lights in all its glory, you need cold and clear nights - just what this voyage is designed for. Cozy cabins inside and excellent service on board this boat makes for a comfortable and thrilling adventure.
- Visit the Bellsund area - Polar bears are commonly sighted all over Bellsund, so keep your eyes open for them and for the belugas that frequent this area
- Sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station and visit on a zodiac tour
- Only 20 other independent-minded travellers from around the world. Shared travellers are characterised by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camarader and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.
- Day 1
- Start in Longyearbyen, set sail for Alkhornet
- Days 2 - 5
- Sail to the Northside of Bell Sund
- Day 6
- Visit Barentsburg
- Day 7
- Sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system
- Day 8
- Finish Longyearbyen
- Start/End Place
- Longyearbyen, Svalbard
- Country Visited
- 8 Days
- Group Size
The Noorderlicht was originally built in 1910 in Flensburg, Germany as a three-masted schooner. In1991 she was re-rigged and refitted thoroughly. The Noorderlicht now has 20 berths, and a well-balanced two-masted schooner rig capable of sailing the seven seas. The qualified captains have great experience of the oceans, and together with the rest of the crew, they will do everything possible to ensure that you have a wonderful and unforgettable adventure. The Noorderlicht has no ice class, but has a strengthened bow.
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
- AECO fees and governmental taxes.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Day 1 - Start in Longyearbyen, set sail for Alkhornet
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 afternoon we sail, setting course for Alkhornet, a seabird cliff with a large colony of Kittiwakes. Below the cliffs is a den with Arctic Foxes which scavenge off 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.
Days 2 - 5 - Sail to the Northside of Bell Sund
We leave Tryghamna early in the morning and sail to the north side of Bell Sund. Bell Sund is a fjord system with two major branches (Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord) and one smaller side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseloya that blocks Van Mijenfjord almost completely. In Fridtjofhamna, the calving glacier Fridtjofbreen is surrounded by picturesque mountains. The rich wildlife of the area has attracted hunters throughout several centuries. We will walk in their footsteps and see remains of their huts, for example at Ahlstrandhalvoya. Recherchefjord is one of the places in Spitsbergen with the highest concentration of historical sites, dating back to 17th century whalers and the mining period of the early 20th century. The glacier Recherchebreen ends at a lagoon, likely to be frozen in October, with many smaller icebergs. Polar bears are likely to be present anywhere in the Bellsund area, and we will keep our eyes open to find them. We have also seen Belugas (White whales) in this area.
Day 6 - Visit Barentsburg
We will pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, or to Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.
Day 7 - Sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system
We sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system, where during nights with open sky we will experience temperatures of minus 10 degrees C, and new ice will be forming on the heads of the fjords.
Day 8 - Finish Longyearbyen
Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.
Accommodationend of trip
All prices listed are per person.
27 Sep 2019
Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40% discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults).
The autumn Spitsbergen voyages, just at the onset of winter, are ideal for observing the northern lights. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Willingness to compromise on comfort is a basic requirement on board a historic sailing vessel. Important information about the sailing program: The boat is equipped with sails to be used in good conditions (based on open sea, water depth, wind, and time). This is not guaranteed. The captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or the other propulsion method. If sails are used, the crew operates them. Guests must follow the safety instructions of the team. The average cruising speed for s/v Noorderlicht is 6 knots.
Interactive Tour Map
Fitness Requirement and Preparation - Small Ship Expeditions
Refer to our comprehensive Expedition Manual, which you will receive upon confirmation of your booking.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Voyages on The "Noorderlicht"
Age range & Nationality onboard
Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s - with a majority usually from 45 - 65, but a little younger on the Noorderlicht. Our expeditions attract independent-minded travellers from around the world. They are characterised by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.
Three meals of international cuisine per day are served in the mess room and prepared by our cook.
Combating sea sickness
Anticipate some rough water on the voyage. Should you be prone to motion or sea sickness, please consult your physician which medication is appropriate and its side effects. To avert motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids, and confined spaces. Most people feel better sitting on deck looking at the horizon or prone with eyes shut. Oddly, you will feel better with some food, such as crackers or dry toast in your stomach. Many people eat to avoid feeling sick. Remember, once you start to experience motion sickness, medications are of little help.
In keeping with our expeditions atmosphere, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities. Keep in mind that much of the spectacular scenery can be appreciated from deck, which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles and make sure the parka is never far away in case of the call "Whales!" comes over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside. Wear layers since it is comfortably warm aboard the ship - and often cold on deck.
The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220 volt 50hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins. Australian & NZ passengers may need a 220v/110v converter.
Excursions & Landings
Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take three to six hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers´ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.
The customary gratuity to the ship's crew and expedition leader is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. We suggest to give cash Euros or Norwegian Crowns.
On board our vessels we have a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship. You can smoke on deck but do not throw your cigarette filter overboard ! Do not smoke on the aft deck in the proximity of zodiacs, engines and fuel. Please respect the wishes of non-smokers.
The crew of the "Noorderlicht" consists of three expert Dutch sailors, a cook and an expedition leader. The sailors are in charge during sailing and will bring us ashore. Whilst sailing the assistance of the passengers is appreciated for handling the sails and taking the helm. This includes being on watch during nightly sailing.
Your physical condition
You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join most excursions, you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.