2023 Svalbard | Spitsbergen 11 days Footsteps of Whalers (1)
Join the Reade Swan // Noorderlicht to Spitsbergen in footsteps of Whalers. Experience the fjords, ice, see the whales and polarbears!
Sailing expedition to Spitsbergen
The trips in the Arctic spring are one of the most beautiful and purest trips that sailing ship Noorderlicht makes. The landscape is still pristine white and because there is often floating ice in the fjords, there is a great chance of spotting polar bears, seals & walruses.
From the end of April in Svalbard we experience the midnight sun, which means that there are 24 hours of daylight. In the mornings and evenings, the light is phenomenal, making these trips extremely suitable for photography enthusiasts.
Day 1: Embarkation in Longyearbyen
You will arrive at the small airport of Longyearbyen, located about 15 minutes drive from the centre of the small town.
Our sailing ship Reade Swan // Noorderlicht will be waiting for you at the so-called ‘floating pier' where you can embark from 16:00. After a welcome from the captain, the mooring lines will be cast off andthe ship sets course towards Trygghamna bay, where it will anchor for the night.
Day 2: Visit to seabird cliff Alkhornet
The first zodiac landing in Trygghamna. Yyou can see the remains of a 17th century whaling stations. From here we will hike to the 428-meter high Alkhornet cliff, where some 10,000 pairs of different seabirds breed. After lunch on board the crew will set sail and head to the bay Grimaldibukta.
Day 3: Bird cliff Fuglehuken & the gem Magdalena Fjord
In the morning we will leave Grimaldibukta to continue in a northerly direction and continue to sail in the Forlandsundet. Due to its shallow draft, the Reade Swan // Noorderlicht is one of the few ships that can navigate these waters although the crew will need full concentration. If the weather permits we sail to Fuglehuken, the northernmost tip of Prins Karls Forlandet.
Day 4: Center of the Dutch whaling industry: Smeerenburg
As we sail further north we come across the island of Amsterdam. After landing you will receive an extensive lecture on whaling in Smeerenburg and the ship will move to Sallyhamna where we will find anchorage for the night.
Day 5: The Zeeuwsche uitkijck & 'Spitse bergen’
Today we plan a landing near Ytre NorkskØya. We can follow the historical route to the 150 meter high peak of the island. When we sail south again to Virgohamna, we can clearly see why Willem Barentsz used the name Spitsbergen for the land he discovered.
Day 6: The glaciers of the Kongsfjord and Krossfjord
The next morning we sail to the beautiful Kongfjord and Krossfjord where we will be greeted by the towering face of the “14th July” glacier. We may also be able to organize a landing on the Blomstrandhalvoya peninsula.
Day 7/8 : Ghost Town in Soviet style: Barentsburg
The next few days we will turn south and make our way back to the Isfjord, if possible making a stop in the sheltered and beautiful bay of St. Johnsfjord. After an adventurous journey in the unspoilt nature of Spitsbergen, you will have the opportunity to move freely without the supervision of a guide with a rifle, as is necessary in most of Spitsbergen.
Day 9: Dutch coal mine Rijpsburg
In the morning we take a short walk through Barentsburg where the expedition leader will show you the sights of the mining town. When everyone is back on board, we leave for Borebukta. We will try to get as close as possible to the northwestern end to get a look at the steep glacier front of the Borebreen. We then continue to the west side of the bay, close to the Nansenbreen, where we will anchor for the night.
Day 10: Sailing towards Longyearbyen
In the morning we will organize a final landing at Cape Bohemanflya. We will spend the rest of the day sailing back to Longyearbyen.
Day 11: Goodbye Reade Swan // Noorderlicht
Unfortunately, our adventure through the Arctic landscape of Spitsbergen has come to an end. After a hearty breakfast, you are kindly requested to disembark by 09:00.