South Spitsbergen - Aurora Borealis

South Spitsbergen - Aurora Borealis information and booking

from
$2650
  • Duration
    8 days
    Days
  • Group size
    1-20
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Discovery & Cruising
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 8 day voyage
  • 7 nights aboard Noorderlicht
Equipment Required
A comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking.

Highlights

  • Opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis 'Northern Lights'
  • Cruise through the magical Bell Sund
  • Spectacular fjords and historical villages
  • Participate as a crewing member on board a traditional schooner

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

These voyages take place in the northern autumn, as the days are getting shorter, and provide an excellent opportunity to view the spectacular Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). Our voyage takes us through Bell Sund, a fjord system with two major branches (Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord) and one smaller side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology of the area is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseloya. Whilst we expect to encounter some cold nights on these voyages, the timing is perfect for the Aurora Borealis, as is opportunities to spot Polar Bear and Beluga Whales. Our small group of 20 passengers will sail aboard the basic but comfortable schooner, the Noorderlicht. Manned by a skilled crew and expert naturalist/expedition leader, this voyage involves some participation with the handling of sails, taking the helm or being on watch during the night. These voyages are dependent on the weather and the sea conditions, therefore the itinerary is only an outline.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Specialist expedition staff
  • Cabin accommodation on cruise
  • All activities while on cruise including zodiac excursions, lectures and guide services
  • Use of all ship facilities and public areas
  • Medical kit
  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities

Itinerary

Day 1 Join Longyearbyen
On arrival in Longyearbyen 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 we sail, setting course for Alkhornet, a high cliff. Below the cliffs we often see Arctic Foxes and Reindeer. We continue to Trygghamna to visit the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Russian Pomor station.
Day 2 to 5 Bell Sund
We 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, Van Keulenfjord) and one smaller side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseloya 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 throughout several centuries - we will walk in their footsteps and see remains of their huts, for example at Ahlstrandhalvoya. Recherchefjord is one of the places in Spitsbergen with the highest concentration of historical sites, dating back to 17th century whalers and the mining period of the early 20th century. The glacier Recherchebreen ends at a lagoon, likely to be frozen in October, with many smaller icebergs. Polar bears are likely to be present anywhere in the Bell Sund area, and we will keep our eyes open to find them. We have also seen Belugas (White whales) in this area.
Day 6 Barentsburg or Colesbukta
We will pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, or to Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.
Day 7 Isfjord system
We sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system, where during nights with open sky we will experience temperatures of minus 10 degrees C, and new ice will be forming on the heads of the fjords.
Day 8 Disembark Longyearbyen
Disembarkat the Noorderlicht in the morning, where trip concludes.