North Spitsbergen Arctic Summer by Sailing Ship 11 days aboard SV Noorderlicht
This exciting sailing adventure on board a historic two-masted schooner will take you along the pack ice and into the spectacular fjord systems of north Spitsbergen. Enjoy amazing scenery at every turn and great chances of spotting wildlife, including polar bears, as you sail through this remote wilderness close to the top of the world. Travelling during the Arctic summer, the majority of the ice packs will have cleared, allowing your ship to push further up the western coast of Spitsbergen to rarely explored lands that will not fail to delight.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
- Sail aboard a historic 2 mast schooner sailing ship
- Search for an abundance of Arctic wildlife including polar bears, walrus, whales, seals, Arctic foxes and reindeer
- Spectacular Arctic summer scenery at every turn
- Myriad birdlife
- Enjoy pleasant hikes, walks and land visits
- Snowshoeing included
- Full board accommodation on board with all meals, snacks and hot drinks
- All Zodiac excursions and shore landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Snowshoe rental free of charge
ITINERARY10 Nights 11 Days
- Day 1 | Longyearbyen
- Day 2 | Trygghamna & Alkhornet
- Day 3 | Fuglefjorden & Ytre Norskøya
- Day 4 | Raudfjorden
- Day 5 | Reindyrsflya
- Day 6 | Liefdefjorden & Monaco Glacier
- Day 7 | Fuglesangen & Magdalenafjorden
- Day 8 | Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden
- Day 9 | Fuglehuken
- Day 10 | Isfjorden
- Day 11 | Longyearbyen
Your Arctic sailing adventure will begin in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago, where after having arrived independently you can enjoy some time exploring this unique Arctic town before making your way to the port for embarkation. After settling in to your historic schooner ship and meeting your new shipmates we will set sail through Isfjorden in the early evening towards Trygghamna. As we sail you may spot the first minke whale of your voyage, and upon arrival in Trygghamna we will stop here for the evening and enjoy our first night on board.
Please note, land and air packages are available for transport to and from Longyearbyen, please enquire for more details.
Trygghamna & Alkhornet
This morning we will transfer to shore via Zodiac boat to explore Trygghamna and see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station. Later you can enjoy a walk to the large seabird cliff of Alkhornet to observe the birds scouting for breeding places as the Arctic spring sets in, and the Arctic foxes that stalk below the cliffs. If the ground is relatively free from snow, which we expect it to be, it is also common to see reindeer here grazing on the lush vegetation.
Fuglefjorden & Ytre Norskøya
Today we plan to sail into Fuglefjorden, passing scenic Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta along the way. Here we have great chances of seeing great skuas and maybe even some polar bears. Whilst we are here we will board our Zodiac boats to reach the shore to visit Birgerbukta to see some 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber.
In the afternoon we plan to visit the small but very special and historically significant island of Ytre Norskøya. The island served as a Dutch whaling lookout for many years and we can enjoy a gentle walk along the shore to see some more 17th-century blubber ovens and pay our respects at the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers. This is also a well known breeding spot for Arctic skuas and common eiders, which we expect to see in good numbers.
As we sail further north up the west coast of Spitsbergen we will reach Raudfjorden, and as we sail you will be able to sample some of the spectacular scenery that Spitsbergen is famous for as we travel through an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers. Today we will mostly be on the lookout for fascinating wildlife sightings including the ringed and bearded seals that often frequent the fjord, beluga whales, and the thriving seabird colonies that reside in the cliffs and along the shorelines. We will also have good chances of spotting polar bears here!
Our aim today, if ice conditions permit, is to make land on the northern side of Reindyrsflya to discover the largest tundra area in Spitsbergen. Here you can enjoy a walk across the vast rolling plains in search of the Svalbard reindeers that are frequently seen here grazing on the vegetation. This is also an excellent spot for birding, with several species of waders breeding here and red-throated divers and king eiders often being spotted around the lakes.
Liefdefjorden & Monaco Glacier
As with all polar expeditions, itinerary flexibility is the key, and each day your captain and experienced crew will determine the best course to travel in order to provide you with the very best scenic and wildlife observation opportunities. Today we hope for favourable conditions to sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground so we will hope for lots of sightings of these majestic animals here along with the thousands of kittiwakes that make the front of the glacier their favourite feeding spot. If ice conditions are not favourable for a cruise into Liefdefjorden, your crew will determine an alternate, but similarly exciting, route along the west coast.
Fuglesangen & Magdalenafjorden
Today will be one for the birding enthusiasts among us. This morning we will arrive at Fuglesangen where we will board the Zodiacs to explore around and make land to observe the large communities of little auks, before returning to the ship to sail to Magdalenafjorden. Magdalenafjorden is renowned as being one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen and we will make another landing here to see more large colonies of little auks and discover some remains of 17th-century English whaling.
Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden
Today will be spent gently sailing along even more of Spitsbergen’s spectacular north-west coastline. The plan is to head for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden where the snow-encrusted landscapes will offer ample opportunities for walking and snowshoeing adventures.
As well as the spectacular scenery of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, we also hope to visit a number of historically significant areas such as Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world, and Ny London, where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining. We may also take a visit to some remote research stations and see the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926.
As your ship turns to sail back south we aim to make a landing at Fuglehuken where we can enjoy a walk around to see the large seabird colonies and good numbers of harbour seals that frequently haul-out here. We will also be able to see some fascinating remains from the era of polar bear hunting.
Should a landing at Fuglehuken prove impossible we shall instead land on the coast of Forlandsundet to see the large haul-outs of walrus that are often seen here and enjoy a relaxing walk along the tundra.
As your ship makes it way gently back towards Longyearbyen we will spend a day exploring around Isfjorden. The plan is to stop at Bohemanflya for a walk along the expansive tundra to see the unique geological formations that characterise this area and search for some unique Arctic bird sightings. Later we plan to visit Gipsvika to go ashore near the cliff of Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago!
Our arrival back into Longyearbyen signals the end of our exciting Spitsbergen sailing voyage, and after breakfast you will disembark and bid a fond farewell to your expedition team and new-found friends. You may wish to spend some further time here exploring this unique Arctic town or enjoying some of the many extra excursions and activities that are on offer here. Please enquire for details of the land-based activities that we would be happy to arrange for you. Otherwise, it’s sadly time to make your way to the airport for your onward or homeward flights, filled with memories of the adventure of a lifetime.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot
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