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A single home in the desolate arctic.

North Spitsbergen

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Noorderlicht
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The sailing expeditions in Spitsbergen and Norway are carried out by the two-mast sailing vessel Noorderlicht. This beautiful vessel brings you to the most remote places around Spitsbergen & the Lofoten on this Arctic expedition cruise to North Spitsbergen. This cruise is a wildlife enthusiast's dream with chances to spot whales, seals, walrus, polar bears, reindeer, arctic fox, and a myriad of sea birds. The stunning cliffs, glaciers, fjords, and tundra provide a stunning backdrop for this unique cruise. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Longyearbyen | Whaling Station at Trygghamna
Day 2 : Fuglehuken
Day 3 : Ny Ålesund
Day 4 : 14th July Glacier
Day 5 : Magdalenafjord
Day 6 : Ytre Norskoya
Day 7 : Raudfjord | Jermaktangen
Day 8 : Reindyrfla
Day 9 : Smeerenburg
Days 10-11 : Forlandsundet | Longyearbyen
Day 12 : Disembark in Longyearbyen


  • Walk through the Arctic tundra and observe grazing reindeer and many birds
  • Cruise through beautiful fjords with cliffs full of seabird activities
  • Watch polar bears hunt and feed on the edges of pack ice and glaciers
  • Enjoy shore-based excursions to former whaling settlements



Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

A single home in the desolate arctic. Travelers find a walrus on a zodiac trip through the arctic. A walrus relaxes on the snow. Glaciers and beautiful arctic tundra. Polar bear relaxing on an iceberg.

Day 1 Embark in Longyearbyen | Whaling Station at Trygghamna

After arriving in Longyearbyen, the ‘capital’ (actually the administrative center) 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. Sail in the afternoon, 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. Continue to Trygghamna to visit the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and an 18th-century Russian Pomor station.

Day 2 Fuglehuken

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave Tryghamna early in the morning and sail through Forlandsundet, the sea passage that divides the island of Prins Karls Forland from the mainland. Weather permitting, go ashore at Fuglehuken, where the expedition of Willem Barentsz landed on Spitsbergen and in doing so became the first Europeans to set foot on the islands. Here see the graves of whalers and observe impressive colonies of common guillemots, Brünnich´s guillemots, little auks, and kittiwakes. Nearby, harbor seals and walruses often haul out and prove popular subjects for photography.

Day 3 Ny Ålesund

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit Ny Ålesund, the northernmost permanent settlement in the world, a center for polar research and a former starting point for many North Pole expeditions, including those of Amundsen and Nobile. The local bird life has adapted itself to human presence and is exceptionally tame. Barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, common eiders, arctic terns and several species of wader can be observed and photographed at close quarters. Reindeer can also be seen in the vicinity - they are smaller than their mainland relatives and do not form large herds.

Day 4 14th July Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning sail from Ny Ålesund to the 14th July Glacier and take to Zodiacs for a spectacular cruise along its front. Not far from the glacier, visit an accessible breeding site for Brünnich's guillemots, little auks, and puffins. 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.

Day 5 Magdalenafjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing northwards visit Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier fronts. During a shore visit view the remains of 17th-century English whaling activities. Birdwatchers are not disappointed as there are substantial seabird colonies here, particularly noted for their little auks.

Day 6 Ytre Norskoya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today a visit to Ytre Norskøya is attempted, a small island which was used for many years as a lookout point for Dutch whalers. There you 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 skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of 200 Dutch whalers.

Day 7 Raudfjord | Jermaktangen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Raudfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen is a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is also a favorite with ringed and bearded seals, has good seabird colonies, and offers good chances for spotting polar bear and belugas. Jermaktangen, at the fjord’s eastern entrance, is a geography lesson in the erosion of the land by the sea.

Day 8 Reindyrfla

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If sea-ice conditions allow, 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 divers and king eiders.

Day 9 Smeerenburg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit the remains of Smeerenburg, the largest 17th-century whaling settlement on Spitsbergen. If permission is obtained, also visit Danskøya, 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.

Day 10-11 Forlandsundet | Longyearbyen

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
On your way south, try to make a landing on the coast of Forlandsundet at Engelsbukta or Sarstangen, where walruses are often hauled out. From there head straight for Longyearbyen, but if time allows your ship could call at Colesbukta, from where fit walkers can walk to Longyearbyen in around six hours, joining the rest of the party when the ship arrives later in the day.

Day 12 Disembark in Longyearbyen

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark your ship and depart by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.


Per person starting at
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Twin Non Private
The ‘Noorderlicht’ provides accommodation for 20 travellers in comfortable twin cabins. All cabins have upper and lower berths, a cupboard and wash basin with hot and cold water. Shared shower (4) and toilet (5) facilities are conveniently located.


- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Noorderlicht - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.

All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Fares include:
- 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
- Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- AECO fees and governmental taxes
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials

Not included:
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangement
- 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 mandatory)
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
- Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Please note: It is agreed that if fuel prices will exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure Noorderlicht reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US Dollar 25 per passenger per night.


  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kevin M

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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