This was the most amazing trip of a lifetime. My wife and I felt so privileged to visit Greenland and experience such a pristine wilderness. The expedition staff were extremely professional and all so knowledgeable about their area of expertise. They all took safety very seriously which is what you want with big bears, very cold water and large icebergs! The scenery in this part of the world is breathtaking and a photographers dream! The amenities on the boat were good. We had a very comfortable cabin with twin beds and windows and our own bathroom. The deck 5 lounge was good place to see the passing views and have a tea or coffee. Deck 7 was the place to be on fine days to view the icebergs and be spoilt with a hot chocolate from the staff. The hotel staff were great especially Gabor and Charlotte who really tried with making sure I had gluten free food. We really appreciated the professionalism and caring of the volunteer doctor on board whose paid job is a professor in emergency medicine (thank you!) if you want to go on an amazing trip, pick this company.
This trip with s/v Noorderlicht was the third and last activity on my extensive stay in Svalbard. The bar naturally was already set high after exploring the northern archipelago on a small motorship and a stay at Nordenskiöld Lodge. My experience on the sailing vessel Noorderlicht was second to none. On this historic vessel one can feel the spirit of the early explorers. On one occasion the winds were in our favour to set up the sails to sail a whole leg without the engine, opening up the ears just for the sounds of winds, waves and birds. The trip was expedition style, making and adjusting plans to prevailing wind and weather conditions. Expedition leader Sarah and Captain Floris did a great job. We always had good sailing conditions and visited stunning places ashore, staying away from unpleasant winds in parts of the region. At this time of the year the lights are spectacular for the sun stays low on the horizon the whole day and the twilights are intense and lengthy. Naturally there is some limitations to space and comfort on a vessel like that. The interior was cosy and the hosting of the Dutch crew was outstanding. With all the fellow travellers we had a very enjoyable week.
Even though it was the first time for me on a sailing vessel I felt very comfortable from the beginning. The crew with our captain Floris was friendly and helpful all the time and really passionate sailors. Beside the weather that was great during the whole trip and the low standing sun that shined a beautiful warm light on the incredible landscape, our expedition leader Sarah really made this trip perfect. With her outstanding knowledge about Svalbard and her open and friendly way she led us to the best places to see and understood to keep us safe and in good hands all the time. It was a fantastic experience and for sure I will come back again. Thanks a lot to the crew of Noorderlicht and Sarah!
Our journey with the ''Noorderlicht'' to Spitsbergen was magnificent! Not only the magnificent landscape of Spitsbergen in a clear blue sky, but also the way how this trip was arranged was outstanding. Due to bad weather forecast in the southern fjords, captain Floris made a wise decision to sail an alternative route. This resulted in gorgeous anchor places and landings at beautiful places that were all different each day. Sarah - our trip leader - showed these beautiful places, was very attentive, social, knowledgeable and kept the group together in order to take care of our security. She also showed the effects of rubbish (e.g. fishing nets and ropes) on the beach which endanger wildlife and which lead to spontanuous beach clean-up actions. Shipmates Mick and Martijn did a good job in every aspect with a lot of humor. Next to that, we gained more than a kilo in weight during this week, because of the delicious meals made by Gabrielle. Amazing (for us vegetarian) meals came out that small kitchen! We highly recomment this trip and this crew to whoever is thinking of making a journey to Spitsbergen!
The voyage with Noorderlicht 16 – 23 Sep. was magnificent. I deeply enjoyed the majestic arctic landscape, and was greatly impressed by the efforts of the crew and the very able expedition leader Sarah. The Noorderlicht is a historical sailing ship with a cosy interior. It takes only 15 passengers, which makes for a personal and friendly mood during the expedition. When weather conditions allow it, sails are used, and the passengers who like to help, may assist in sailing the vessel. During the week we had nice sunny weather and visited several spots, each beautiful in a very different way, where we made landings by zodiac, followed by quiet walks (2-3 hours, with ample opportunity to watch nature and take pictures). A nice contrast was the visit of industrial ghost town Pyramiden. Social highlights were the camp fire on the beach and the festive dinner on the last evening (the food, cooked by Gabriella, was overall delicious, just the right kind of comforting dishes when one comes in from the cold). I felt very well, thanks to the attentive crew, my kind fellow passengers and the excellent leading of the expedition , and will certainly return for a trip in summer!
The trip with Noorderlicht in September 2018 was an amazing and a great experience. Due to weather and wind situations we had to change the route, which was the best we could have done! We had 6 great days in Central-Spitsbergen with sunshine and blue sky every day! Even Northern Lights we could spot during the night and during the day we had great warm “sunset-light” the whole day. We went on different hikes, explored the fascinating ghost town Pyramiden and had a beautiful bonfire at the beach. During the last landing some even went for a “refreshing” polar plunge. We also managed to sail on some days, a great experience to sail without any noise through that beautiful arctic landscape between glaciers, rough mountains and fresh snow powdered valleys. Expeditionsleader Sarah, Capitan Floris and the Noorderlicht-crew arranged a comfortable stay for us on the cozy Noorderlicht. Thank you for this great week in Svalbard.
I came to the Arctic because I'm worried about global warming and feel I only have a superficial knowledge of what is happening to pack ice and what that looks like in relation to the eco-system. My research into sustainable tourism to visit pack ice and polar bears in Svalbard led me to Oceanwide and I'm so pleased it did as they went above and beyond all the statutory wildlife viewing requirements with their investment into eco-tourism including everything from a reusable bottle on arrival to a special electric boat motor on Plancius, in order to be the least obtrusive icebreaker in the Arctic. The ashore walks were very carefully arranged for the safety of the wildlife and the guests and when we had to sail all the way to 82.46 degrees just to reach the pack ice, the significance of finding polar bears 150 miles from the nearest land to stay on the ice resonated with everyone. This is a really important trip to make if you're in the same position I was and I would highly recommend Oceanwide's tour programme to North Spitsbergen as the experience of sailing among pack ice was truly unique and honestly as exciting as seeing a polar bear. I hope to see it again one day.
If you ever wanted to know how it felt when the first settlers or whalers set foot on the remote, cold, rugged shores of what must be referred to as the classic Ultimate Thule you have to join a ship as the Noorderlicht. With an extraordinary experienced and warm crew and guide you get to explore waters and landings round Spitsbergen: an almost primal and pristine wilderness where humpback whales accompany your morning coffee and a wandering polar bear catches the first rays of the sun. Polar foxes rummage alongside the shoreline in the shade of a massive gletscher. And hear your heart beat, really beat, on top of a hill overlooking green waters and marble blue ice fields. Floris, Robert, Mick, Gabriella and Sarah, thank you for plotting the right course, setting sail, providing the food and taking care of a bunch of people by teaching them about the beauty and vulnerability of a place like Spitsbergen.
My wife and I were on the Plancius Spitsbergen trip leaving August 29th. This was our first expedition cruise so we were a bit apprehensive. However the Plancius proved to be a very comfortable ship, the cabin was more spacious than we expected, although we didn't spend much time in it! The crew were excellent, always cheerful and polite. The food was also varied and appetising and served with a smile. The expedition leader Lynn and the other guides were very knowledgeable and organised a full programme of shore excursions and lectures. The Captain and Lynn together decided to go as far north as it took to find the pack-ice and we were rewarded with fabulous polar bear encounters. Pushing through the ice made us feel like real explorers! As well as the polar bears we saw whales, walruses, dolphins, seals, fox, reindeer. and numerous bird species. Overall this was an amazing experience.
Alles in allem eine interessante Reise, wenn ich mir auch mehrere Tiersichtungen gewünscht hätte. Die Umweltprobleme wurden gut vermittelt, sowie auch andere Themen zu Tieren, Biologie, Geologie und Glaciologie duch kompetente Fachleute. Sicher eine Reise, die zum Denken und Handeln anregt.
I would like to thank you all for this very well organized trip. Special thanks to hotel manager Zsuzsanna, who was always kind and ready to help. She and her team had no problem to customise the meal menu according to our vegan diet. I really admire the Capatin's skills and appreciate his willingness to get us as close as possible to almost unreachable locations just to have bether view to enjoy the scenery or animals. Sailing through icebergs at Austfona and through frozen sea at Pack ice looking for polar bears was definitely outstanding, extraordinary and special. The trip was wery well organized and every member of the crew and guides did their best to give the best experinces from Arctic. We were watching walruses wery closely for app 2 hours. That was quite amazing - even for the guides. We saw polar bears several times and watching the King of Arctic in his natural environment, how he is moving, swimming and sometime just laying on the ground was one of the most emotional experience in my life. So thank you you all for this opportunity.