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A walrus sunbathes on the ice

North Spitsbergen

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Noorderlicht
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The sailing expedition is carried out by the two-mast sailing vessel Noorderlicht. This beautiful vessel brings you to the most remote places around North Spitsbergen. This 12-day voyage 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 : Longyearbyen | Embark | Whaling Station at Trygghamna
Day 2 : Alkhornet
Day 3 : Ytre Norskøya
Day 4 : Raudfjord
Day 5 : Reindyrsflya
Day 6 : Liefdefjorden
Day 7 : Fuglesangen | Magdalenafjorden
Day 8 : Ny Ålesund
Day 9 : 14th of July Glacier
Day 10 : Forlandsundet
Day 11 : Isfjorden
Day 12 : Longyearbyen | Disembark


  • 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 walrus sunbathes on the ice Hiking across rocky hills in the arctic. Glaciers and beautiful arctic tundra. Travelers find a walrus on a zodiac trip through the arctic. Polar bear relaxing on an iceberg.

Day 1 Longyearbyen | Embark | 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. In the afternoon sail to Trygghamna to visit the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and an 18th-century Russian Pomor station.

Day 2 Alkhornet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave Trygghamna early in the morning, 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 and sail through Forlandsundet, the sea passage that divides the island of Prins Karls Forland from the mainland, and hope to see walruses and harbor seals. 

Day 3 Ytre Norskøya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today sail into Fuglefjorden with views on Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, and where there are breeding places for great skuas and good chances to see bears. In Birgerbukta find the blubber ovens of the Basques. Try to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island which was used for many years as a lookout point for Dutch whalers. 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.

Day 4 Raudfjord

  • 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 fjord of ringed and bearded seal, has good seabird colonies, and offers good chances for spotting polar bear and beluga whales. Jermaktangen, at the fjord’s eastern entrance, is a geography lesson in the erosion of the land by the sea.

Day 5 Reindyrsflya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If sea-ice conditions allow, land on the northern-side of Reindyrsflya, 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.

Day 6 Liefdefjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail into Liefdefjorden and see Worsleyneset where king eiders and grey phalaropes nest. There are chances that fjord-ice is blocking the way to the front of Monacobreen and to the warm springs in Bockfjord, but the life along the edge of the fjord ice is spectacular. There are chances to see bearded seals, polar bears, and foraging seabirds.

Day 7 Fuglesangen | Magdalenafjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, land at Fuglesangen, where you can sit near the little auks. Sailing southwards, visit Magdalenafjorden, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit view the remains of 17th-century English whaling activities. Also visit some big seabird colonies - particularly noteworthy are the colony of little auks.

Day 8 Ny Ålesund

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit Ny Ålesund, the northernmost permanently inhabited village in the world, a center for polar research and a former starting point for many North Pole expeditions (Amundsen and Nobile for example). Barnacle goose, pink-footed goose, common eider, arctic tern and several species of wader can be seen at close quarters. The reindeer here are smaller than their mainland relatives and do not form large herds.

Day 9 14th of July Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning sail from Ny Ålesund to the 14th of July Glacier where you cruise in zodiacs. Not far from the glacier, see a breeding site for Brünnich’s guillemot, auk and puffin. The guano of these bird colonies, combined with the southward exposure and the sheltered situation, give rise to relatively rich vegetation with many species of flowering plants.

Day 10 Forlandsundet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Heading south, your ship attempts a landing on the coast of the Forlandsundet at Engelsbukta or Sarstangen, where walruses are often hauled out. The tundra offers some great walking in a beautiful setting.

Day 11 Isfjorden

Sail to Gipsvika deep inside Isfjorden and go ashore near the majestic cliff of Templet. It is a stunning area with spectacular mountains eroded into shape from sedimentary rock dating to the Upper Carboniferous period, created around 290 million years ago. In the afternoon, visit Skansbukta, with the wreck of an old sealing vessel on the beach. Here the remains of an old gypsum mine are testament to the diversity of the early 20th-century mining attempts in Svalbard.

Day 12 Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 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
- Free use of snowshoes
- 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 arrangements
- 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.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kelly B

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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