Schooner “Noorderlicht” is a vivid example of a reconstructed and modernized historical vessel that has found original application in the modern world.
105-year-old schooner for the romantics of the North
This sailboat annually carries out Arctic cruises, and for the winter it becomes a unique hotel in the ice. The ship has a 105-year history and attracts true connoisseurs of historical sailboats, as well as romantics of the Arctic latitudes who want to make an unforgettable voyage under the sails in the waters of the Arctic or in winter to live on a ship bound in the ice of the fjords.
The 46.2-meter schooner Noorderlicht has a history of a century. While many other historical ships after the completion of their operation expected absolute oblivion or the maximum role of the exhibit in the historical maritime museum, this sailboat, like the legendary Phoenix, has repeatedly been revived and is still used for its main purpose, dissecting the sea.
Schooner with a century of history
The Noorderlicht sailing yacht was built at one of the German shipyards in the early 20th century and originally had a different name – Flensburg. The mast of the vessel was painted red and complemented by signal lights, which allowed this sailing yacht to serve as a kind of floating beacon. Often this sailboat was also used as a pilot ship, but it all depended on the experience of a 15-person shift crew on board. The yacht went in harsh conditions, and the work of the sailors was very difficult: they often received frostbite during the watch.
Historic sailing yacht Noorderlicht
During 1940-41, the schooner was partially reconstructed and modernized. Overhaul was carried out on it, as well as a new cabin and a steam engine were installed, after which the ship began to be used for transportation of goods. In the early 60s, the schooner was decommissioned and returned to the home port in Germany, where it was turned into a floating hotel for workers.
Historic schooner “Noorderlicht”
The fate of this unique ship could turn out to be as unprepossessing as that of the majority of other ships that have worked out their term if they had not become interested in one German yacht club. The yacht was bought by him and once again went through modernization, becoming the new symbol of the club. But as a result of disagreements between the members of the yacht club regarding the invested funds and property rights in 1991, it was decided to sell it to resolve the conflict.
100 year old sailing yacht Noorderlicht
The new owner of the schooner was a travel company, which once again ordered the repair of the ship with a complete transformation of its appearance. New masts were installed, the entire deck cover was replaced, and the schooner received a new name – “Noorderlicht”, which seemed to mark the transition of the sailboat to a new era, to the next take-off on a wave of popularity.
“Northern Lights” in the Arctic
For a long time, the schooner plowing the Arctic waters continues his journey in such a harsh region, based in the harbor of Svalbard, and is exclusively in the northern regions all year round. She cuts the open sea of the North Atlantic and periodically visits the waters of the Arctic Ocean.
Arctic Schooner Hotel Noorderlicht
At the end of May, when the ice of the fjords is melting, the sailboat sets off on a journey to the Arctic. In the summer, Noorderlicht makes transitions between the islands of the archipelago, cruising within the Svalbard and Lofoten Islands, and in the fall leaves for the coast of Norway. Towards the beginning of December, the sailboat is parked in one of the fjords, turning into a kind of hotel-ship, bound by ice, which can only be reached by dog sledding.
Arctic Cruises on Noorderlicht
Schooner “Noorderlicht” is ideal for traveling anywhere in the world. She does not have an ice class, but is able to withstand ice. The narrow hull provides smooth sailing. Guests of the schooner can be accommodated in 10 double cabins. The cozy wardroom serves as a lounge and dining room.