Arctic Cruise : Sailing North Spitsbergen, 12 days/11 nights
This voyage offers you a truly unique experience: setting out on a two-mast sailing vessel through The Arctic. You will travel the northern area of the archipelago of Spitsbergen and experience the wonders of the north.
Day 01 : Longyearbyen-Alkhornet-Tryghamna
After arriving Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum with its interesting collection of history pertaining to Spitsbergen, the mining industry, and polar exploration. In the afternoon we will sail for Alkhornet home to a large colony of Kittiwakes. Below the cliffs is a den with Arctic Foxes which scavenge fallen eggs and chicks. We will continue to Tryghamna to visit the remains of the seventeenth century English whaling station and an eighteenth century Russian Pomor station.
Day 02 : Forlandsundet-Fuglehuken
Early in the morning we will leave Tryghamna toward Forlandsundet. As long as the weather is on our side we will go ashore at Fuglehuken where the first Western Europeans set foot on Spitsbergen. Here we will observe the graves of whalers and visit colonies of Common Guillemots, Brünnich's Guillemots, Little Auks and Kittiwakes. Nearby we may have the chance to see Harbour Seals and Walruses.
Day 03 : Ny Alesund
Today we plan to visit Ny Alesund, the northern most inhabited village in the world. It is an important centre for polar research and a former starting point for many North Pole expeditions. The local bird life has adapted itself to the human presence and is exceptionally tame. Barnacle Geese, Pink-footed Geese, Common Eiders, Arctic Terns, and several species of wader can be seen up close. The Reindeers here are smaller than their mainland relatives and do not form large herds.
Day 04 : 14th July Glacier
In the morning we will leave Ny Alesund and sail toward the 14th July Glacier where we will have a Zodiac cruise around the area. Not far from the glacier we will visit a breeding site for Brünnich’s Guillemots, 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 05 : Magdalenafjord
Heading north, we will visit the Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful sites on Spitsbergen with its many impressive glacier fronts. During a shore visit we will view the remains of the seventeenth century English whaling efforts. We will also have the chance to visit some large seabird colonies such as the Little Auks.
Day 06 : Ytre Norskøya
Today we will attempt a visit to Ytre Norskøya, a small island which was used for many years as a lookout point for Dutch whalers. We can still follow the tracks of these whalers to the summit of the island passing breathtaking cliffs on the way. On shore, we will observe the remains of the seventeenth century blubber ovens, while Arctic Skuas and Common Eiders breed among the graves of 200 Dutch whalers.
Day 07 : Raudfjord
Raudfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen is a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is also a favorite among Ringed and Bearded Seals, is home to various seabird colonies, and offers great opportunity for spotting Polar Bear and Belugas. Jermaktangen, at the fjord’s eastern entrance, is a great example of the sea’s ability to erode the land.
Day 08 : Reindyrfla
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 home to several species of breeding waders. The area’s lakes offer us a chance at spotting Red-Throated Divers and King Eiders.
Day 09 : Smeerenburg
Today we will visit the remains of Smeerenburg, the largest seventeenth century whaling settlement on Spitsbergen. If we manage to get permission we will also visit Danskøya, host to many nineteenth century artifacts and ruins of Swedish explorer Andree’s expedition to the North Pole by balloon.
Day 10-11 : Engelsbukta/Sarstangen/Poolepynten
As we head south, we will try to land on the coast of the Forlandsundet at Engelsbukta, Sarstangen, or Poolepynten where Walruses are often seen. From there we will head straight to Longyearbyen. However, if time allows we may have a chance to stop at Colesbukta to allow those willing to hike six hours to Longyearbyen.
Day 12 : Disembarkation
We will land in Longyearbyen where you will depart on your flight home.