may 17-27, 2017

$4,950 (per person, based on double occupancy)

The main aim of this expedition is to sail to the Bowhead Whales, which keep along the ice edge in the Greenland Sea. We will follow the routes of the 17th century whalers, who nearly exterminated the Atlantic population in the 18th century. This century we have indications that the Bowhead Whale populations are recovering all over the Arctic. The course of the expedition will be much dictated by the sea ­ice and fjord ice.


Day 1 -  Svalbard Museum - Longyearbyen

We arrive in Longyearbyen and embark our vessel s/v Noorderlicht late afternoon After arriving in Longyearbyen, the ‘capital’ (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration. In the evening we sail, setting course for Trygghamna where we will see the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Pomor hunting station, which we will visit the next morning. 

Day 2 - Arctic Fox - Alkhornet - Svalbard Reindeer

We will walk from Tryghamna to Alkhornet Today we will explore Svolvær and eastern part of Lofoten; Laukvik, Raftsundet, Digermulen etc. A key feature are the impressive flakes where row after row of cod hang to dry. Located in an area comprising sea, derelict houses, fishing docks and sea birds, this is a very rich area for photography. Following dinner we leave for an evening to midnight road trip on north side of the Austvåg Island to photograph the sunset in some of the beautiful bays and inlets. 

Day 3 and 4 - Puffin - 14th of July Glacier - Magdalenafjord

In the morning we sail into Kongsfjord to the 14th of July Glacier where we cruise in zodiacs. Not far from the glacier we will visit a breeding site for Brünnich’s Guillemot, Auk and Puffin, which in this time of the year begin to prospect their breeding places. Alternatively we may sail into Magdalena Fjord one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities.

Day 5, 6 and 7 - At Sea - Whale spotting around Spitsbergen - Bowhead Whale

At sea sailing from 80 N to 76 N along and in the outer fringes of the ice edge looking for Bowhead Whales, Harp Seals, Hooded Seals, Polar Bears and migrating seabirds like Little Auks, Brünnichs Guillemots, and Kittiwakes. 

Day 8 - At Sea - Northern Bottlenose Whale

At sea enroute to Bell Sund At open sea with good chances for Northern Bottlenose Whales.

Day 9 and 10 - Bell Sund - Recherchefjord - Glacier Fridtjofbreen

We will walk in the footsteps of the old hunters and see remains of their huts Bell Sund is a fjord system with two major branches (Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord) and a side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow islandofAkseløya that blocks Van Mijenfjordalmostcompletely.  In Fridtjofhamna, the calving glacier Fridtjofbreen is surrounded by picturesque mountains. The rich wildlife of the area has attracted hunters throughout several centuries – we will walk in their footsteps and see remains of their huts – for example, at Ahlstrandhalvøya. Recherchefjord is one of the places in Spitsbergen with the highest concentration of historical sites, dating back to 17th century whalers. We see often Polar Bears and we have also seen Beluga (white whales) in this area. Much is depending on the fjord –ice how far we can sail into these fjords. 

Day 11 - Departure

Our last day. We disembark the vessel in Longearbyen in the morning Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.

history of the vessel:

The ‘Noorderlicht’ was originally built in 1910 in Flensburg, Germany as a three ­masted schooner. For most of her existence she served as a light­ vessel on the Baltic. In 1991 the present owners purchased the hull and rerigged and refitted her thoroughly, under the rules of “Register Holland”. Perfect for expedition cruising among small islands The ‘Noorderlicht’ now has a well­ balanced two­ masted schooner rig and is capable of sailing the seven seas, and is therefor well suited for expedition cruising among small islands and offer good open deck viewing areas, also when under sail. The 2 inflatable rubber crafts (zodiacs) enable landing and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise inaccessible areas. The qualified captains have a great experience of the oceans. Together with the rest of the crew, they will do everything possible to ensure that you have a wonderful and unforgettable journey. 

The ‘Noorderlicht’ provides accommodation for 20 travelers in comfortable twin cabins. All cabins have upper and lower berths, a cupboard and wash basin with hot and cold water. Shared shower (4) and toilet (5) facilities are conveniently located. Instead of portholes, the cabins have frosted glass in the ceiling, where the play of daylight shines into the cabins.

PRICE: $4,950

  • Per person in double occupancy room

price includes

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary

  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea

  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff

  • All transport

  • Free use of snow shoes

  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen

  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

  • AECO fees and governmental taxes

  • Comprehensive pre­departure material

  • Professional photography instructors Chris Marquardt and Tim Vollmer

price does not include

  • International airfare to and from Svalbard
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • What is not mentioned as included


tour overview:

  • Dates: Jun 18-26, 2016
  • Price: $4,950 (per person, based on double occupancy)
  • Region: Svalbard, Arctic Circle
  • Education: field instruction, class instruction and one-on-one critiques
  • Points of interest: Longyearbyen, Tryghamna, Alkhornet,July Glacier, Magdalenafjord, Bell Sund, Recherchefjord, Glacier Fridtjofbreen

Photography instructor: Tim Vollmer

Photography instructor: Chris Marquardt

Photography instructor: Chris Marquardt

I’ve had a lot of teachers over the years, and Chris belongs at the top of the list.
— Hank Shiffman
Tim has everything. He has the knowledge, the eye, the patience. He is an amazing photographer, one of the best I know. A great person and professional photographer. Highly recommended him - he is just amazing.
— Sharon Hahn