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.
This was an epic trip ! My family and I traveled to Arctic (m/v Plancius) between August 29th and Sept 5th 2018 and indeed it was a great trip. Definitely the wildlife, beautiful glaciers, flora and the landscapes made the trip wonderful but this went to the next level because of the expedition crew /guides and the captain. All of them were exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced, they were always on a look out if they can spot wildlife to show us. Secondly, Plancius was comfortable with good food and people behind it need special mention and nothing was less than perfect. Thanks to the management and kitchen crew for making our trip enjoyable. I have an Arctic hangover, so looking forward to travel again with fantastic ship and crew. Finally thanks to the expedition crew - Lynn , Sandra, Gerard, Isabelle, Shelly, Irene, Laurence and Johanna for making the trip worthwhile.
My wife and I have long wanted to photograph polar bears. Val had been several years ago with One Ocean, to see a total eclipse of the sun, but had with her only a small point and shoot, which proved to be totally inadequate for the task. Now she is a competent photographer with a good camera, and she captured some great images. I have photographed bear before, but never these magnificent white guys. We wish the trip had dedicated more time to the ice pack, where the bears are. You gave us great naturalists, superb photography resource people (we LOVE Daisy) and an excellent crew. Thanks for a terrific experience.
A fantastic 10 day trip around Svalbard. Great weather and wonderful memories. The expedition guides were all brilliant, kept us safe and sound, well informed and were flexible to ensure we had the best experience possible with the weather conditions (including a run to the pack ice) The crew onboard MS Plancius were also excellent, friendly, always smiling and the food was hearty and there was lots of it. We will happily go on another trip with Oceanwide and for sure we'll recommend you to all our friends.
Es war eine perfekte Reise. Unsere Erwartungen wurden erfüllt bzw. übertroffen. Die Crew, die Guides, die mitreisenden Passagiere, das Wetter- es hat alles gepasst. Wir hatten unvergessliche Tage auf der MS Plancius, die Planung der Route entsprechend den Wetterbedingungen hätte nicht besser sein können. Der Recherchefjord war der krönende Abschluss der Reise. Das Essen war super, der Service hat gepasst, alles zu unserer Zufriedenheit. Wir werden noch lange von den Erlebnissen dieser Reise zehren, manchmal fehlen einem noch die Worte, es war überwältigend.