Sailing Spitsbergen

from £2073
excluding flights *
7 nights Sep-Oct, Mar-May

Overview

Climb aboard one of two historic sailing schooners, the Noorderlicht or the Rembrandt van Rijn, to explore the jaw-dropping landscapes of Spitsbergen's west coast.

Highlights

  • Photograph fearless Polar bears in their natural environment
  • Keep watch for beluga whales bobbing beneath the surface
  • Visit historic sights and the remains from settlements of the past
  • Sail up spectacular iceberg dotted fjords
  • Autumn departures have good chances of northern lights viewings

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
  • Experienced Expedition Team
  • Presentations on board

Full description

Stunning fjords set the scene as polar bears, beluga whales and Arctic foxes steal the show on this active ice-filled adventure. Sailing on a traditional schooner you can enjoy the silence of remote bays as you explore the highlights of Spitsbergen's west coast.

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Prices & Dates *

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

2018 Departures - prices are per person, based on a twin inside cabin without windows/portholes

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Prices from (pp)
23 Mar 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
08 Apr 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
15 Apr 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
04 May 2018 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,245
11 May 2018 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,245
18 May 2018 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,245
25 May 2018 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,245
09 Sep 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
16 Sep 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
23 Sep 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
30 Sep 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
07 Oct 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073
14 Oct 2018 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,073

No other cabin types are available on the Noorderlicht, but an upgrade is possible on the Rembrandt van Rijn.

2019 Departures - prices are per person, based on a twin inside cabin without windows/portholes

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Prices from (pp)
30 Mar 2019 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,273
13 Apr 2019 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,273
24 Apr 2019 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,455
01 May 2019 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,455
08 May 2019 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,455
08 May 2019** 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,273
15 May 2019 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,273
15 May 2019 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,445
22 May 2019 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,273
22 May 2019* 8 days SV Rembrandt van Rijn £2,445
20 Sep 2019 8 days SV Noorderlicht £2,273

* This departure has a special hiking focus and will offer extended walks on shore. ** This departure has a special skiing focus - skiers to bring their own equipment. More details on request.

Activity Key:
Snowshoeing

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • All Zodiac transfers, cruising & shore landings
  • Presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Vessels

Itinerary & Vessels

Day 1: Embarkation

After arriving in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting display on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration.

Set sail in the afternoon, on course for Alkhornet, a high cliff face. Below the cliffs Arctic foxes and reindeer are often seen. Continue to Trygghamna to visit the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Russian Pomor station.

Days 2-5: Central Spitsbergen

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 and Van Keulenfjord) and one smaller side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created some amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseløya 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 for several centuries - you will walk in their footsteps and see remains of their huts - for example, at Ahlstrandhalvøya. Recherchefjord has one of the highest concentrations of historical sites in Spitsbergen, dating back to 17th century whalers and early 20th century miners. The glacier Recherchebreen ends at a lagoon with many smaller icebergs. Polar bears are likely to be present anywhere in the Bellsund area, and the expedition team will keep a keen watch to find them. Beluga whales are also prevalent in this area.

Day 6: Barentsburg or Colesbukta

Pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, or to Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.

Day 7: Isfjord

Sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system, where during the night, with open skies, you will experience temperatures of around minus 10 degrees C, and new ice will be forming on the heads of the fjords.

Day 8: disembarkation

Disembark in the morning in time for your flight home.

Notes

Important Reminder: All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar regions!

S/V Noorderlicht

Type: Sailing Ship

Originally built in Germany in 1910, for most of her existence the Noorderlicht has served as a three-masted light-vessel in the Baltic Sea.

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S/V Rembrandt van Rijn

Type: Sailing Ship

The S/V ‘Rembrandt Van Rijn’ was originally built as a herring lugger in the early 1900s.

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Excursions

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