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Noorderlicht Arctic Cruises

Explore the Arctic close up on this intimate and adventurous sailing cruise

A polar cruise on board the Noorderlicht

5 Reviews

The beautiful 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 bought the hull and re-rigged and refitted her thoroughly under the Holland Ship Register’s strict rules.

Noorderlicht is now a well-balanced two-masted schooner rig that’s capable of sailing anywhere in the world and is, therefore, the perfect expedition vessel for exploring small islands. Her open decks provide excellent views all around, even when she’s under sail.

Offering an intimate and exclusive experience, Noorderlicht provides accommodation for only 20 polar explorers in small but comfortable twin cabins. All cabins have upper and lower berths, a storage locker, and a washbasin with hot and cold water. Shared shower and toilet facilities are conveniently located throughout the passenger deck. All cabins have a small hatch in the ceiling that varies in size, except cabin 6 which has a small, locked porthole in the ceiling but ventilation slots in the door. On occasion - and depending on the weather - the crew will open all hatches when passengers are ashore to allow fresh air ventilation of the whole lower deck.

Her qualified captains have a great experience of the polar oceans. Together with the rest of the crew, they will do everything possible to ensure that you have a wonderful and unforgettable journey. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises, and your crew can and will change the itinerary to suit the conditions and give you the best possible chance to experience the most intense wildlife and nature experiences in the arctic and antarctic. A willingness to compromise on luxury facilities is a basic requirement on board a historic traditional sailing vessel - this is true exploration!

Noorderlicht’s routes are designed to maximize your shore experiences. Weather, sea nd ice conditions permitting, you will have a land excursion every day. These will take between three and six hours and will be over untracked areas. You’ll have ample time to explore the unique wildlife, flora, geology, and human history of each area.

Pictures and Deck Plans of the Noorderlicht

Noorderlicht deck plan

Cabin Categories on board the Noorderlicht

Twin Shared Inside
  • 1 upper / lower berth
  • Shared shower & toilet
  • Wash basin
  • Storage space
  • Frosted glass in the cabin ceilings provides some daylight into the cabins
  • All cabins have shared shower & toilet facilities
  • s/v Noorderlicht has 4 showers and 5 toilets onboard which are conveniently located



Max occupancy:


More about this cabin

Amenities on board the Noorderlicht




Observation Deck

zodiac fleet

Zodiac Fleet

Noorderlicht's take on sustainable traveling

Foremost among our sustainability goals are actively reducing the impact and emission of our vessels, investing in new technology, and continuously improving our existing resources. We have also installed a new low-emission engine in our veteran vessel, Ortelius. This engine complies with all the latest environmental legislation. Another of our important commitments to sustainability is our use of low-sulfur marine gas oil (LSMGO), which has a sulfur content of less than 0.1 percent.\n\nWe limit onboard waste production by recycling as often as we can as well as banning single-use plastics. This ship does not use straws, plastic cups, or any individually wrapped butter, yogurt, and jam. This vessel has a water treatment system and desalination system that uses reverse osmosis, allowing us to eliminate the use of plastic water bottles on board. Rather, guests receive a reusable water bottle they can refill on the vessel. Bathrooms are equipped with biodegradable shampoo and soap in recycled packing, further limiting our use of plastics.

More info about the Noorderlicht

Small Ship (<121 Guests)
Ice Class 1C
46 m
Crew members
Gross tonnage
300 Tons
Cruising speed
6 knots
Year built

Food & Drinks on board the Noorderlicht

The cook serves three delicious international meals per day, to be enjoyed as a group in the mess room.

Reviews of Noorderlicht

Joes van Dooren


Als je eenmaal het Noorse virus te pakken hebt raak je het nooit meer kwijt . Andermaal heb ik met volle teugen genoten van deze prachtige Walvis / Orka Safari , aan boord van zeilschip, De Noorderlicht . Tot ziens , Joes. (Copied from Oceanwide Expeditions)

Stephan Oberteufer


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. (Copied from Oceanwide Expeditions)

Max Delang


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! (Copied from Oceanwide Expeditions)

Sylvie Wesser


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. (Copied from Oceanwide Expeditions)

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