Spitsbergen (summer)

Spitsbergen is an island group in the Northern Arctic Ocean which consists of three larger and several smaller islands. The total surface is roughly 63,000 km2, this is about the same size as the surface of the Benelux. The ‘capital’ of Spitsbergen is Longyearbyen and has approximately 1,500 inhabitants. In 1970 an air service started from Tromso to Longyearbyen and today there is a daily air service to Longyearbyen (SAS, Braathens, Norwegian Air).

Longyearbyen is the starting point for Noordelicht’s summer program.

From the end of May to mid July 11-day sailing/hiking trips to the northern part of Spitsbergen are made. The ship sails past the West coast to the Northwest. For the first trip of the summer season snow boots are used, for the following trips this will be regular boots or climbing boots(for recommended shoes, go to travel info). At the end of the trip the ship will sail down the West coast back to Longyearbyen.

From mid July to mid September it is time for 15-day sailing/hiking trips around Spitsbergen. Depending on the ice conditions, the ship will sail through the Hindenloopen straight. Sailing past the East coast of Spitsbergen will give you a complete picture of Spitsbergen.

From mid September to early October the Noorderlicht will take 7-day sailing/hiking trips to the South.
The final route of every journey is partly dependent on the weather, wind and ice conditions. Every day hikes are made under the supervision of the expedition leader. The hikes may vary in length from one to five hours.
The difficulty level of the hike will be indicated before any hike. There is a possibility to help with hoisting the sails and steering the ship. On the first day the passengers will be familiarized with the ship.
A good lookout is important for spotting polar bears. There is also an opportunity of encountering walruses, bearded seals, belugas, and minke whales. Spitsbergen also offers bird lovers a lot of enjoyment in the summer: black guillemots, northern fulmars, atlantic puffins, kittywakes, ivory gulls, etc.
The sailing/hiking trips in the polar area take place in the summer months, during this period there is 24-hour daylight. Temperatures vary between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius.