North Spitsbergen by Sailing Ship
North Spitsbergen by Sailing Ship 12 days aboard SV Noorderlicht
An expedition on board a 10 cabin, steel hulled schooner, with as much time spent under sail as possible. This trip gives the opportunity to get close to nature, sailing through Arctic waters and encountering whales and other cetaceans, myriad birdlife and hopefully polar bears and other mammals, and all the while, spectacular scenery.
- Voyage under sail on a 20 passenger schooner
- Autumn light and colours under unpolluted skies
- Spectacular scenery
- Whales and other wildlife
- Full board accommodation on board
- Services of expert guide
ITINERARY11 Nights 12 Days
- Day 1 | Longyearbyen
- Day 2 | Tryghamna
- Day 3 | Ny Alesund
- Day 4 | Zodiac cruising
- Day 5 | Magdelenafjord
- Day 6 | Ytre Norskoya
- Day 7 | Raudfjord
- Day 8 | Reindyrfla
- Day 9 | Smeerenburg
- Days 10-11 | Heading South
- Day 12 | Longyearbyen
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 evening we sail, setting course for Trygghamna with the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Pomor hunting station, which we will visit next morning
From Tryghamna we walk to Alkhornet a large seabird cliff. Below the cliffs is a den with Arctic Fox which scavenge off fallen eggs and chicks. Reindeer graze on the lush vegetation. At noon we sail through the Forlandsundet. Weather permitting we will go ashore at Fuglehuken where the first Western Europeans (the expedition of Willem Barentsz) set foot on Spitsbergen. Here, near another big bird-cliff, we can see the graves of whalers. Nearby we may be able to visit a haul-out of Harbour Seal and Walrus.
Today we will visit Ny Alesund, the northernmost permanently inhabited village in the world, a centre for polar research and a former starting point for many North Pole expeditions (Amundsen and Nobile for example). The local bird life has adapted itself to the human presence and is exceptionally tame. Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Common Eider, Arctic Tern and several species of wader can be seen at close quarters. The reindeers here are smaller than their mainland relatives and do not form large herds.
In the morning we sail from Ny Alesund to the 14th of July Glacier where we cruise in zodiacs. Not far from the glacier we will visit an accessible breeding site for Brunnich's Guillemot, Auk and Puffin. 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.
Sailing northwards we visit Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. We can also visit some big seabird colonies particularly noteworthy for their Little Auk.
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 Skua and Common Eider breed among the graves of 200 Dutch whalers.
Raudfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen is a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is also a favourite with Ringed and Bearded Seal, has good seabird colonies, and offers good chances for spotting Polar Bear and Beluga. Jermaktangen, at the fjord's eastern entrance, is a geography lesson in the erosion of the land by the sea.
If sea-ice conditions allow, we may land on the northern-side of Reindyrfla, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. The vast undulating plain is a good grazing area for reindeer and several species of waders also breed here. The area's lakes offer good chances of spotting Red-throated Diver and King Eider. (On this voyage later in the season, we have the unique opportunity to land on the island of Moffen an important haul out place for Walrus. We see the extensive killing fields where those animals were slaughtered in previous centuries for their tusks)
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.
On our way south, we will try to make a landing on the coast of the Forlandsundet at Engelsbukta or Sarstangen or Poolepynten, where Walrus are often hauled out. From there we head straight for Longyearbyen, but if time allows we could call at Colesbukta, from where good walkers may walk to Longyearbyen in six hours.
Arrive in the morning and disembark.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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