Humpbacks and Huskies Under the Aurora in Norway

Sail, kayak and husky sled around the fjords in search of whales and the northern lights

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Trip Ref #10429

Humpbacks and Huskies Under the Aurora in Norway

Sail, kayak and husky sled around the fjords in search of whales and the northern lights

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

Norway

ANNUAL LEAVE

3 days off work

SEASON

Nov-Jan

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Tromsø Airport, Norway

ACCOMMODATION

Comfort

Hotel

OVERALL RATING

4.3

Based on 8 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Easy

This is an easy trip for anyone with basic fitness levels, but come prepared for the sub-zero temperatures

Set sail on a silent boat into the fjords, eyes open for Norway’s famous winter residents, the orca and humpback whale

Drive a husky pack through the alpine tundra and paddle the wintry waters of the Arctic Capital

Bed down in a sleek, waterfront hotel which has a rooftop bar and some of the best views in Tromsø

Featured as one of the ‘Best Northern Lights Tours’ by The Times

Day 1

Arrive in Tromsø and sail beneath the aurora

Northern Lights Watching

3.5hrs

Head to your hotel in Tromsø, settle into your luxurious base and take a stroll around the city if you have time. This evening you’ll wrap up for your first aurora chase, heading out on a catamaran into the fjords surrounding Tromsø. Undoubtedly one of the most unique and comfortable ways to witness the northern lights, your skipper and crew will navigate the Arctic waters far from any light pollution whilst you watch the skies and, fingers-crossed, see plenty of aurora action.

Day 2

Whale watching

Wildlife Watching

7-8hrs

After breakfast you’ll hit the water again, keeping your eyes peeled for your next natural wonder. Every year, from November to January, humpback whales and orcas gather in the Norwegian fjords to feast on herring during the rough winter months. You'll hop aboard a special hybrid-electric boat, which is silent to minimise disturbance to the whales. There are multiple decks with plenty of space to get a great view, and if you're incredibly lucky, you may even see a humpback whale breaching.

Day 3

Kayak the fjords, chase the lights

Kayaking

2-3hrs

Northern Lights Watching

6-8hrs

Head back out into the fjords - this time by kayak. Your host will kit you out with everything you need for winter kayaking in the calm waters around Tromsø. Keep a lookout for more Arctic wildlife, such as eagles and seals. Warm up back in Tromsø and in the early evening, grab your camera and chase the northern lights by road, venturing out to the spots with the highest chance to witness the aurora borealis dance in the sky above. You'll have a warm meal and tell stories around the bonfire before tucking back up in the hotel in the early hours after an amazing evening.

Day 4

Dog sledding and goodbye Tromsø

Dog Sledding

1.5hrs

Tuck into a final breakfast before heading over to Tisnes, on the other side of the fjord from Tromsø. On arrival at the kennels, you’ll meet your team of Alaskan huskies while your guide talks you through how to mush. You'll ride in a two-person sled, taking it in turns to 'drive'. After around 90 minutes of exploring you’ll be invited into a Sami lavvu (similar to a tipi) to warm up around the fire and enjoy your host's famous chocolate cake with a hot cup of coffee.

In the afternoon your host will drop you off in the centre of Tromsø, where you can take a taxi or shuttle bus back to the airport in time for your flight home.

Included

Guides

Local, English speaking guides, skipper and mushers

Accommodation

3 nights in a 4-star hotel in Tromso

Meals

3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transfers

All transfers between your hotel and each activity

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Travel to and from the start point

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Breakfast in the hotel is a large buffet using a wide range of produce from the local area, with choices of cereal, fruit, cheese and meats, pastries, toast, hot cooked options, juices, tea and coffee.

During the activities, the food provided is home-cooked by a local chef and prepared that day. Expect fresh fish soups from the day's catch, a light picnic, warm drinks while kayaking and a warm meal on the northern lights trip. While meals are served on the northern lights sailing on Day 1 and land-based aurora hunt on Day 3, you may want a light dinner at the hotel beforehand as the meals are served rather late (dependent on the conditions for the night).

Lunch is not included on the whale safari on Day 2. Please budget 150 NOK (£13) for a packed lunch, or 500 NOK (£42) for a 2-course meal on board the boat. Dinner on Day 2 is not included, so you can venture out into Tromsø or enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Vegetarian, vegan and other dietary requirements can be catered for, please request this on your passenger information form after booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Tromsø

You’ll be staying at the Clarion Hotel The Edge, a sleek, ultra-modern 4-star hotel in a high-rise location overlooking Tromsø's waterfront. There is an amazing view over both the harbour and the mountains from the only rooftop bar in Tromsø. A breakfast buffet is served in the hotel's trendy international restaurant.

You'll stay in same-sex twin-share rooms as standard. Couples can request a double room at no extra charge. Solo travellers wanting their own room can upgrade to a private room, see further details below.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Clarion Hotel The Edge, Tromsø

Any time on Day 1 (but arrive before 20:00 if you want to do the aurora sailing that evening)

Ends

Clarion Hotel The Edge, Tromsø

13:00 on Day 4

Transfers

Airport transfers are not included. You can book any flight to Tromsø arriving on Day 1 and easily get to your hotel via a 10-minute taxi or regular shuttle bus from the airport to downtown Tromsø. The easiest way to get from the airport to the hotel is to take a taxi, which costs about 250 NOK (£20/€24/$29). There are taxis waiting right outside the arrival hall. There is also a shuttle bus running several times per hour for NOK 100 (£8/€10/$12) each way. You will meet your local guides and fellow adventurers in the host's lounge on the first evening, located in central Tromsø.

On Day 4 after your dog sledding experience, you will be dropped back off in central Tromso at 1pm. If you are flying back on day 4, please book your return flight to depart from 4pm onwards.

Travel options

There are regular direct and indirect flights to Tromsø from major airports across the UK and Europe.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

Kit List

BAGS

  • A main luggage bag or suitcase
  • A small day pack (20-30 litres)

CLOTHES

  • Base layers: thermal leggings and a long-sleeved top
  • First layers: tracksuit bottoms or hiking trousers, a warm jumper and a soft shell jacket e.g. a fleece or a down jacket (or both if you feel the cold)
  • Top layers - an outer weatherproof jacket and trousers e.g. ski or all-weather hiking clothing
  • Winter hiking boots
  • A hat that covers your ears
  • Scarf or neck gaiter
  • Insulated or Gore-tex gloves
  • Wool socks

OTHER

  • Camera (and a tripod if you'd like)
  • Spare batteries or power pack - the cold means that devices run out much quicker than normal
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Personal items
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle (x1 litre)

Optional Private Room Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room Upgrade

- Ellie(January 2023)

The best experience ever! The whale watching was unreal - wildlife everywhere. We saw orcas, humpacks, eagles, reindeer and a moose! And of course the huskies who are so well loved and cared for. Every part of the trip was incredible. The guides were all so knowledgeable, friendly and helpful, the food was delicious and the equipment was top notch. You really need those suits in the cold! The group was also brilliant. We had 7 solo travellers, a couple and then a family and everyone got on really well. I'm already planning my next visit to Tromso!

- Helen(January 2023)

Wow - where to begin. I wasn't really sure what I was expecting from this adventure but it exceeded anything I was imagining. Tromso itself is an extraordinary beautiful place. The whale watching was beyond amazing, the scenery along the fjords to reach the whales is breathtaking, and we were so lucky with the whales we saw. The kayaking and Northern light chasing were organised by incredibly friendly and welcoming hosts who try to inject as much fun as possible. Watching the northern lights from a frozen wonderland and eating marshmallows around the campfire was magical. But my highlight was the dog sledding - it was just extraordinary. Sledding along the beautiful mountain with a pack of beautiful dogs is something I won't forget in a hurry. I would recommend this trip to anyone and we were so incredibly lucky to have a great group of people to share it with.

- Helen(January 2023)

Outstanding but overpriced

Overall I had a wonderful experience visiting Tromso, what an outstanding part of the world and am sure to return in the future.

Very lucky to have landed a great bunch of fellow travellers making up our group of 12 All guides we met along the journey were very knowledgeable and professional and a pleasure to meet cannot fault that in any way.

Having not experienced a 'planned group trip' up till now I wasn't sure of what to expect but I did think there'd have been more of an overall guide figure/ focal point during our time in Tromso.

The hotel was very central and close to all meeting points however as a 4 star hotel I did expect more as this is essentially increasing the overall package cost.

As this is a new tour to MBA definitely feel there are aspects that have room to improve. Including flights this is an expensive experience for 4 days and feel you could have had an equally good experience for cheaper booking the activities and accommodation separately.

The Dog Sledding was by far my highlight of the trip, exceeding expectations. A good 90 minutes both driving and passenger alternating with your buddy, fantastic views of the fjords and mountains, and of course the fluffies! 115 Alaskan Huskies whats not to love. Warmed up after our ride in the Sami Luvvu with coffee & cake and a great overview from Helga the owner of Arctic Adventures, so passionate about her business and experiences shared

Both aurora chases on the catamaran and bus were great, unfortunately saw nothing on the catamaran but clearly that's outwith human control the mini bus chase however blew expectations out of the water what a show we got. Linda our guide was great took the time with everyone to set phones/cameras up to capture the lights, also taking her own pictures which she later shared with the group.

Whale and Orca watching on day 2, as much as it was a fantastic experience it wasn't as personable as a group dimanic as expected. Brim explorer hybrid-electric vessel was impressive but very busy, 90 pax and for such a long day it did feel very cramped and when it came to observing the whales and orcas you were fighting for a viewing spot. Speaking with the vessel reps Sam and Aline they had advised the ribs and smaller vessels we were seeing left from a harbour 3 hours drive from Tromso and the experience of being that much closer to the water and less crowded was much more what I'd expected of this expedition.

Great morning Kayaking in the fjords about 30 minutes drive from Tromso, two man kayaks which was fine for me not having much experience but do think there were some who would have preferred single seats. Both instructors were great very chatty and informative about the area.

Overall had a great time but would definitely do research on overall cost of these packages before booking another in the futute

- Mark(January 2023)

A fantastic trip which we'd highly recommend. Sustainability conscious and we created memories which will last a lifetime.

- Rowena(January 2023)

Overall enjoyed the trip and all the guides were fantastic. With flights this was a £2000 trip for me and on the whole feel underwhelmed with the service from MBA. If had known what the tour would have been like I wouldn't have booked the trip with MBA.

I was expecting a group tour but we were given the meeting place and times for each day so no pick up and drop off at the hotel which would have been preferred.

I feel it needs to be much clearer in the holiday description that the whale watching boat tour, although should never take it for granted to see these, is on a boat with 90 other people resulting in standing behind multiple people to get a view when the whales appeared. The boat is extremely comfortable though and the crew were very entertaining and enthusiastic about marine wildlife. On checking into this tour we were asked for tickets and the crew were unaware of the group from MBA and only on showing the joining instructions email we were then let on, this was a little frustrating.

Hotel is in a great location but is a very average 4* hotel. I'm aware hotels in NO are expensive but with the number of hotels/Airbnb within the city centre I do feel there would be cheaper alternative which is to the same standard.

The meals advertised isn't what you get, we got no lunch on the day stated we would and the evening meals are more snacks so lunch and evening meals needs to be factored into the cost of the holiday.

To stress that the activities were great, the guides were all great it's just the overall cost of the holiday was too much when can book it individually and pay a lot cheaper as there's not much advantage to booking this as a group tour.

- Samantha(January 2023)

n/a

- meredithe(January 2023)

Definitely worth the money.

- Sarah-Anne(November 2022)

Overall, this was a really good trip. We managed to pack in a lot in the few days and there was strong aurora activity every day so all of the Northern Lights activities were really successful. It was good having the local providers base and they provided us with all the cold weather equipment we needed. The kayaking was probably a highlight for me as at that time of year, it is essentially a permanent sunrise/sunset during the few hours of daylight so the views of the orange sky and snow-capped mountains were incredible. The Northern Lights minibus chase also includes photography which is great as you can be in the moment and not worry about trying to capture it yourself. In terms of improvements, the communication of the details such as meeting places could have been better- we had to request this and then the email with those details was sent instead to our emergency contacts by mistake so we all had to contact our ICE contacts to get the information forwarded on. I also think that maybe the activities need to get moved around a bit as going out sailing until 1am on the first night and then needing to be on a boat at around 7:30am the next day is a pretty intense start.

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 45kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

The kayaking is an easy paddle through the calm waters of the fjords, tailored to the average fitness level of the group and conditions on the day. You won't need any fitness for sailing and dog sledding. Temperatures will be low, so pack warm layers and prepare mentally for the cold. Your host provides special winter clothing for each of the activities.

The northern lights start appearing above the Arctic Circle from the end of August until the end of March. The strongest lights can be seen when the seasons are changing, during September and March, however, October to February are also excellent times to see them. They are unpredictable and can be seen at any time from 18:00 to 06:00, with the most ‘popular’ viewing time between 20:00 and 02:00.

Absolutely. Our host uses a local outfit called Arctic Adventure Tours who have a lot of experience looking after the huskies and running a sledding business in the local area. The dog's welfare has been and always will be their top priority.

The breed they work with is a polar type of dog called the Alaskan Husky. They have over 100 Alaskan Huskies living at their kennel in Tromsø. At the core of their business is the love for their dogs, who they consider part of the family. You can read an extensive run-through of all things to do with Alaskan Huskies and how our host looks after them on their Animal Welfare Policy page.

While we can never guarantee that you'll see the spectacular northern lights, if you're travelling from November to January there is an 88% success rate.

Yes! Tromsø is a fantastic Arctic destination and there's a whole host of other adventures that you can enjoy if you have a little more time, such as reindeer sledding - just ask your host for more information.

Aside from the humpbacks and orcas stealing the show, you will likely spot eagles soaring overhead in search of prey and large flocks of migratory seabirds, along with seals and dolphins.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Arctic weather can be unpredictable, but Tromsø is a ‘mild’ Arctic destination due to its position next to the Gulf Stream which brings warmer air to the north.

The average winter temperature in Tromsø is around -4°C, though if you travel inland it can get as low as -25°C. The weather can be very changeable so you should be prepared for all eventualities! The snow tends to arrive in December.

Anything you're not using can be safely left in your room at the hotel.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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