SVALBARD

Dates:
4 – 14 June 2022
14 – 24 June 2022
Trainees:
18

Age:
18+ / 12+ with parents

Experience:
Not required


Sail training voyage
on the Dutch tall ship Noorderlicht

In the footsteps of Whalers

SVALBARD
Dates:
4 – 14 June 2022
14 – 24 June 2022
Sail training voyage
on the Dutch tall ship
Noorderlicht

In the footsteps of Whalers

Trainees:
18

Age:
18+ / 12+ with parents

Experience:
Not required
EXPLORE REMOTE SVALBARD,
WHALES AND FJORDS
June is the brightest time in Svalbard. You can expect sunny days without rainfalls and daytime temperature that stays above zero. Mountains are still covered with snow, but there are first fragile flowers in the tundra already. Animal life is fruitful: seals and whales enter the fjords, attracted by the feast on offer in the cold waters by the ice edge. Polar bears are active and find a lot of fish. Polar summer is the best time for calm sailing between the fjords and glaciers.

Did you know? In the spring of 1596 the Dutch navigator and cartographer Willem Barents set out on a third expedition to find a northern sailing route to China and Japan with his crew. On June 17 1596 they came across land completely covered with snow and later called it "Spitsbergen" after the pointed mountains they found there. Because of the well-documented landing on Spitsbergen, Willem Barents is credited as its discoverer.

The voyage will first lead us to the Northwest corner of Svalbard, where Willem Barents was inspired to call the land he saw Spitsbergen and to Smeerenburg, where Dutch whaling celebrated its heyday. At the Isfjord will we make a visit to the minning town Barentsburg, named after Willem Barents, and make a landing at the former Dutch coalmine Rijpsburg.


THE SCHOONER NOORDERLICHT
Noorderlicht was originally built in 1910 in Flensburg, Germany. In her early days she was rigged as a three-masted schooner and functioned as a lightvessel for ships, to indicate the danger of the shallow, and as a pilot station.

During her long life she underwent several transitions and today she sails the beautiful seas of Norway as a two-masted schooner.

The tall ship Noorderlicht is fitted with all modern technology and safety-equipment. She welcomes 17 guests on board to explore Svalbard, northern and southern Norway.

Technical specifications:
Length – 46 m
Width – 6.5 m
Draught – 3.2 m
Average speed – 6 knots
Ice class – Reinforced bow
CREW
We sail the Noorderlicht together with an enthusiastic and committed crew which we found during our years working on sailing ships. The crew of every voyage consists of 3 qualified sailors, a ship's cook, an expedition leader and a sail training instructor. All of the crew have a broad experience at sea and are in possession of all the required diplomas and competences.
ACCOMODATION
The Noorderlicht offers cozy accommodation for 17 travelers, with small but comfortable double cabins (there are 3 types to choose from). All cabins have 2 beds above each other, a built-in wardrobe and a sink with hot and cold water. There are shared showers and toilets. The cabins have frosted glass in the ceiling, allowing daylight to enter the cabins.

The ship is authentically decorated which gives an informal and nautical atmosphere on board. There is spacious seating area in the upper and lower deck salon for the maximum 20 passengers, a small board library and a cozy bar in the upper deck salon.
Left
Right
ITINERARY
MAIN STOPS
Longyearbyen — 26 nm —Trygghamna
Trygghamna — 5 nm —Alkhornet cliff
Alkhornet cliff — 69 nm Fuglehuken
Fuglehuken — 52 nm — Magdalena Fjord
Magdalena Fjord — 5 nm — Graveneset

Graveneset — 19 nm — Smeerenburg

Smeerenburg — 5 nm — Virgohamna
Virgohamna — 63 nm — Kongsfjord
Kongsfjord — 56 nm — St. Johnsfjord
St. Johnsfjord — 61 nm — Barentsburg
Barentsburg — 26 nm — Cape Bohemanflya
Cape Bohemanflya — 16 nm — Longyearbyen


Duration:
11 days
Overall distance:
403 nautical miles
MAIN STOPS
Longyearbyen — 26 nm —Trygghamna
Trygghamna — 5 nm —Alkhornet cliff
Alkhornet cliff — 69 nm Fuglehuken
Fuglehuken — 52 nm — Magdalena Fjord
Magdalena Fjord
— 5 nm — Graveneset
Graveneset — 19 nm — Smeerenburg
Smeerenburg — 5 nm — Virgohamna
Virgohamna — 63 nm — Kongsfjord
Kongsfjord — 56 nm — St. Johnsfjord
St. Johnsfjord — 61 nm — Barentsburg
Barentsburg — 26 nm — Cape Bohemanflya
Cape Bohemanflya — 16 nm — Longyearbyen

Duration:
11 days

Overall distance:
403 nautical miles

Note: this is a voyage to a remote, inaccessible region. All activities during the voyage depend on ice and weather conditions and are determined by the expedition leader and the captain. The actual itinerary of the voyage may differ from the declared one. Encounters with declared wildlife species cannot be guaranteed.

Note: this is a voyage to a remote, inaccessible region. All activities during the voyage depend on ice and weather conditions and are determined by the expedition leader and the captain. The actual itinerary of the voyage may differ from the declared one. Encounters with declared wildlife species cannot be guaranteed.
PROGRAMME
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. Longyearbyen is the largest inhabited settlement in Spitsbergen and the world's most northerly inhabited town with more than 1000 inhabitants.

If you have the opportunity, it is an absolute must to visit the Svalbard museum. Here you can delve into the history of the island, the coal mining industry, the wealth of unique polar animal species, scientific developments and the many polar expeditions. After your visit, you can take a walk into the former mining town where you will find several shops offering a collection of unique Arctic products and souvenirs.

Our sailing ship 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 and you will receive a comprehensive safety briefing from the crew. Afterwards you will enjoy a delicious first dinner on board, while the ship sets course towards Trygghamna bay, where it will anchor for the night. The name Trygghamna comes from the original Dutch name 'safe harbor', because of its sheltered and safe anchorage possibilities.

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Day 2: Visit to seabird cliff Alkhornet
After a healthy breakfast, you will be asked to prepare for the first zodiac landing in Trygghamna, where you can see the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and a 18th century hunting station of the Pomor (Russian hunters). From here we will hike to the 428-meter high Alkhornet cliff, where some 10,000 pairs of different seabirds breed. The cliffs are composed of carbonate rock, which is more than a billion years old. The tundra at the bottom of the cliff receives nutrients from the sea birds and provides meadows for reindeer, nesting sites for geese and shelter for Arctic foxes. Therefore, this location is very suitable for spotting these animals as well as polar bears.

After everyone is safely back on board, we will, if the wind is favourable to us, hoist the sails towards the Forlandsundet strait. This beautiful strait is located between the main island of Spitsbergen and the island of Prins Karls Forlandet. This island was, with its 1084 meter high mountain Monacofjellet, one of the first parts, perhaps even the first land, that was seen by Willem Barents in 1596.

At the bay Grimaldibukta we will anchor for the night. At Murraypynten we hope to make a landing to admire the walrus colonies often present here. From the hills you have a beautiful panoramic view of the rugged mountain and glacial landscape of Spitsbergen and the flat landscape at the foot of the mountain makes it wonderful and easy to walk.

Day 3: Bird cliff Fuglehuken &
the Magdalena Fjord
In the morning we will leave Grimaldibukta to continue in a northerly direction and continue to sail in the Forlandsundet. Histocally, the northern part of the strait has always been a fear to many whalers, because of the Forlandsrevet sandbar. Due to its shallow draft, the Noorderlicht is one of the few ships that can navigate these waters although the crew will need full concentration. In the meantime, do not forget to keep an eye out for large groups of walruses that can often be found at Sarstangen and Poolepynten!

If the weather permits we sail to Fuglehuken, the northernmost tip of Prins Karls Forlandet. Willem Barents is said to have set foot ashore here in June 1596 as the first traveller to Spitsbergen. Large numbers of guillemots and kittiwakes nest here on the steep cliffs and here we also find graves of whalers. After the hike, we will sail further north to the breath-taking blue-green bay of the Magdalenafjord, one of the most impressive fjords in Spitsbergen. With rugged and pointed mountain peaks and impressive glaciers you find yourself here in a small Arctic paradise. In the mouth of the inlet, at Graveneset, roughly 160 graves from whalers from the 17th and 18th century are found between the remains of two furnaces which were used to boil the blubber of the whales.

Day 4: Center of the Dutch whaling industry: Smeerenburg
As we sail further north we come across the island of Amsterdam, where we can get a good insight into the 17th century whaling. Here you will find Smeerenburg, a former settlement of Dutch whalers that grew into the center of Dutch whaling in the period from 1617 – 1646. The settlement consisted of warehouses, homes and a blacksmith shop. Horseshoe shaped ovens were used to boil the blubber of the whales, to extract oil which was used for soap and fuel for lamps.

Today, little can be seen of the activities that took place 400 years ago. Remains of blubber ovens, tombs and houses can still be found here and there. 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. In this area, full of shallow spots, polar bears have been spotted frequently so keep your binoculars at hand!
Day 5: The Zeeuwsche uitkijck & "Spitsbergen"
Today we plan a landing near Ytre NorkskØya where we hopefully can land at the Zeeuwsche Uitkijck. Here in 1617, whalers from Zeeland built a blubber cookery and were able to keep a good lookout over the sea for whales from the highest point of the island. Here we can follow the historical route to the 150 meter high peak of the island, the Utkiken. On the coast remains of the blubber furnaces and the graves of Dutch whalers can still be found, very well preserved in the frozen subsoil.

When we sail south again to Virgohamna, we can clearly see why Willem Barents used the name Spitsbergen for the land he discovered. The steep mountains with sharp peaks in this area are the most striking of all of Spitsbergen! Our goal is Virgohamna, where a Harlinger blubber cookery can be found on the Danish island. Since there was no place for merchants from Stavoren and Harlingen at the blubber cookery in Smeerenburg, they built the "Harlingertraankokerij" in 1636 on the adjacent "Deenseiland". By this time, the whale population was already declining significantly, which meant that the activities of the "Harlingertraankokerij" had already ended after 10 years. The remains of the blubber ovens, associated buildings and some graves from the whaling era are still visible.
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. Bearded seals often lie to rest on the broken ice floes, and near the glacier we may find breeding colonies of black-billed guillemots, kittiwakes and puffins.

These fjords in particular feature the historical heritage of the English. In the early years of whaling, the English and the Dutch made an agreement in which they divided the whaling areas among themselves. The English obtained the right to hunt south of the Magdalenafjord and the Dutch were granted control over the northwestern corner of Spitsbergen.

We may be able to organize a landing on the Blomstrandhalvoya peninsula, where the remains of a marble mine can be seen at Ny London. From this location we also have a beautiful view of the Tre Kroner, the three iconic mountain peaks that shine through the ice cap. Alternatively, in bad weather conditions, we can visit the former mining town of Ny Alesund. Ny Alesund is the world's most northerly settlement and today a renowned polar research center.

Day 7/8 : Russian mining town: 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. Depending on the availability of a berth in Barentsburg, we will sail towards the Russian mining settlement where we will arrive towards the end of the afternoon. 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.

The name Barentsburg was given in 1924 by the Dutch Spitsbergen Company to the then Dutch mining settlement. In 1926 the mining town was taken over by the Russians, after which it grew into a town of miners with more than 1000 inhabitants. Today there are still about 400 people of mainly Russian or Ukrainian descent. Since the mine has not been profitable for a long time, the focus has shifted more and more to tourism.

Day 9: Russian coal mine
In the morning we take a short walk through Barentsburg where the expedition leader will show you the sights of the mining town. From the dock where our ship is moored, we will first have to climb some 140 wooden steps before we enter the main street. Here we will see that the Soviet period has left its mark. There is a life-size bust of Lenin in the middle of the town and modernist Soviet buildings.

Furthermore you can find the world's most Northerly brewery and find the Pomor museum. When everyone is safely 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. Here we find a piece of Dutch history in the form of the former Dutch mine in Rijpsburg. It was expanded by the Dutch in 1920 with cabins for coal mining. Because the coastal waters here are very shallow, the Dutch found out that shipping coal here was very difficult. In 1921 it was therefore decided to transfer the activities to Barentsburg.

Here we will visit an old hut from the 1900 and the foundations of the removed huts. Since August 31st 1920, there has also been a monument to Queen Wilhelmina in the form of a large stone pyramid. Weather permitting, we will spend the rest of the day sailing back to Longyearbyen. Upon arrival in the Arctic town, you may enjoy some free time to buy the last souvenirs or simply take a walk to soak up all the impressions of the week. Around dinner time you are expected back on board where the crew has a last surprise in store for you. The rest of the evening you can enjoy your last night with the crew and your fellow travellers.

Day 11: Goodbye 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. We hope that we have been able to show you the variety and beauty of Spitsbergen and that you enjoyed an unforgettable experience on board the Noorderlicht.

RULES AND TRADITIONS
TERMS OF PARTICIPATION
Both men and women are welcome! Minimum age – 12 years (with parents), or 18 years (solely). Previous experience is not required. At the beginning of the trip our instructors will give you an orientation, lectures, practical classes, which are vital to effective communication with the crew.
VOYAGE
It is designed to be a sail training voyage on board the tall ship Noorderlicht. During the trip you will attend the program "Competent Crew" according to the International Yacht Training standards.
DUTIES
Trainees are scheduled for navigation and general service duties on board, they are also involved in shipboard and sail works. Shipboard and sail works are needed when maneuvering or whether changes. Our help is crucial for the best crew operations. All hands on deck are very important when abrupt change of weather.

By the way, all activities on board are voluntary. You can choose and rotate within the range of duties there. We want you to feel comfortable on board our ship.
DISCIPLINE
We are a team. There is a schedule on board, and we are required to follow directions from the captain, officers and instructors. If we are supportive and we are on the same wavelength, thus our trip seems to be comfortable for everyone.

A dry law is applied on board. According to sea rules, alcohol consumption is allowed at the beginning and the end of our trip (at the port of Longyearbyen) only. You are welcome to visit local bars during landings, but we kindly ask you to be back on board and ready to take up duties.
SAFETY ON BOARD
All participants must provide 1 PCR test (made within 24 hours after departure) and 1 PCR test upon arrival according to the regulations of Norway (as from the 26-th of January 2022). We guarantee 100% vaccinated crew and staff. Your health is the most important for us!
MEAL, ACCOMODATION, EQUIPMENT
We provide breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. All the trainees live in two person cabins or private ones.

Before setting out on a trip, participants will be informed about equipment requirements.
PRICE
Cabin Standard – 3650 € / 4100 $
(a bed in a shared two-person small cabin)

Cabin Plus – 3800 € / 4270 $
(a bed in a shared two-person large cabin)

Private cabin – 6200 € / 7000 $
(a bed in your own private cabin)
Booking and payment
50 % – within 3 days after booking
50 % – 2 month before the start of the voyage

Cancel and refund
Cancellation of the trip more than 2 months before the selected trip results in reimbursement or rebooking the trip with required extra payment (depending on the price of the new selected trip). If you cancel the booking less than 2 months before the trip, we will charge you the whole amount of the payment you made. In case you have someone willing to replace you on the trip, we will fully reimburse your payment.
INCLUDED
— Ship accommodation
— Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
— "Competent Crew" training course
— First aid on board
— Medical insurance
— Visa assistance (an invitation from the ship with itinerary and insurance details included)

NOT INCLUDED
— The flight to Longyearbyen
— Visa fees
USEFUL INFORMATION
FLIGHTS
There are no direct flights to Svalbard so you will have to travel to Oslo (Norway) and then take a short flight to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard.
VISA
No visa is required to travel to Svalbard, but you will need a Schengen visa to travel to Norway.
TERMS & CONDITIONS REGARDING COVID-19
As from the 2-nd of March there are no restrictions to travel to Svalbard.

The entry regulations are subject to change, but we are monitoring the situation daily and will inform you of any changes as soon as possible.

This site contains all the necessary information on the travel restrictions in effect for travel to Svalbard due to COVID-19.
Apply for the voyage
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info@maritime-practice.com


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Photo credits: wyldeswan.com, Maria Podtyazhkina