Sail, Hike and Chase the Northern Lights

Journey into the Arctic Circle for an action-packed weekend exploring fjords and hunting the incredible Aurora Borealis

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Trip Ref #9945

Sail, Hike and Chase the Northern Lights

Journey into the Arctic Circle for an action-packed weekend exploring fjords and hunting the incredible Aurora Borealis

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

Norway

ANNUAL LEAVE

1 day off work

SEASON

Sep, Nov—Mar

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Tromsø Airport, Norway

ACCOMMODATION

Classic

Hotel

OVERALL RATING

4.8

Based on 47 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Easy

No experience needed, just the ability to hike over relatively steep terrain for a few hours at a time.

Experience a magical long weekend in the Arctic Circle that's designed to maximise your chances of seeing the Aurora in all its glory

Hike into the mountains, explore Tromsø and relax on the deck of a modern catamaran beneath a star-filled sky

Spot eagles and seals and fish for your lunch in the clearest, cleanest water imaginable

Day 1

The adventure begins

Check-in, and hopefully have some time to explore the town. You are welcome to pop into Base Camp earlier for a hot drink and to get some recommendations for exploring locally. Hopefully you'll have a few hours to stroll around the small town, have a coffee at some of the cozy cafés and take a moment to breathe in the fresh air - we are in the Arctic!

In the evening head to Base Camp to meet the rest of your team and learn about the adventure ahead and have a quick workshop about the Northern Lights. Then at 21:30 you'll get wrapped up, board a comfortable, modern catamaran and head out into the wilderness far from any light pollution, for your first chance to witness the legendary Aurora Borealis.

Day 2

Hike the Fjords and enjoy a night in Tromsø

Return to the wilderness, this time on a snowshoe trek into the mountains in search of the perfect viewing point over the fjords. Stop for a picnic and a hot drink in a suitably scenic location, then head back to Tromsø where you’ll be free to relax or explore the town. A trip up the cable car is a must for some spectacular, panoramic views of the surrounding islands, mountains and fjords. In the evening explore the many local bars and restaurants. Alternatively, to really make the most of your time, your host can book these optional extras for you on request:

Additional Northern Lights Minibus Chase: 18:00-01:00
Reindeer Camp Dinner & Chance to see Northern Lights: 18:00-22:00

Day 3

Sail the fjords, chase the lights

Jump back on the catamaran and spend the morning discovering the thriving winter wildlife found around the fjord, including seabirds, eagles and seals. Drop a hook for lunch at a favourite local fishing spot and relax in the warm salon, sail the boat or practice Arctic navigation as your host whips up a tasty lunch. In the evening, grab your camera and chase the northern lights. Hopefully, you’ll capture some winners of your own, but professional pictures taken over your trip will be yours afterwards as well.

Day 4

Say your goodbyes or keep exploring

Check out after breakfast ready to return to reality. For keen explorers looking to max out your time, you can also squeeze in any of these optional extra trips to complete the Arctic experience. Your host can book these for you on request:

Dog Sledding: 09:00-13:00, 11:00-15:00 & 13:00-17:00
Daytime Reindeer & Sami Experience: 10:00-14:00

Included

Guides

Local, certified guides and skipper

Accommodation

3 nights in a local hotel

Meals

3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners

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 · Single bed

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Single bed

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Hotel · Single bed

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Breakfast in the hotel is a large buffet with choices of cereals, 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 days catch, a light picnic and warm drinks while hiking and a warm meal on the minibus Northern Lights trip. While we serve meals on both evening tours, you may want a light dinner beforehand as the meals are served rather late (dependent on the conditions for the night).

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

What is the accommodation like?

Tromsø

You’ll be staying in a single room in the modern and popular Smart Hotel in central Tromsø. Highly rated by customers, the rooms are compact and it's the best pick for budget yet comfortable accommodation. An extensive buffet breakfast is served in the downstairs cafe, which also serves light bites through the rest of the day.

Travellers are given a single room as standard. However double rooms for couples are available on request for those wanting to share - please just ask your host the time of booking. Please note twin rooms are not available at this hotel. So if you are booking with a friend please confirm whether you want single or double rooms at the time of booking.

Upgrades

For those looking to upgrade and have a bit more comfort during their trip we can also highly recommend Clarion Hotel The Edge. Thanks to its interesting architecture this hotel certainly stands out on the skyline of Tromsø. There is an amazing view over both the harbour and the mountains, with the only rooftop bar existing in Tromsø. No single rooms are available, but doubles or twin rooms are available: see Optional Extras for prices.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Host's Base Camp, central Tromsø

21:00

Ends

Smart Hotel, central Tromsø

Catch any flight

Transfers

Start Point: You can book any flight to Tromsø and easily get to your hotel to check-in via a 10-minute taxi or regular shuttle bus. The best way to get from the airport to the hotel is to take a taxi and the price for this is about 250 NOK. There are taxi cars waiting right outside the arrival hall. There is also a shuttle bus running several times per hour and the price is around NOK 100 per way. You will meet your local guides and fellow adventurers at the hosts lounge on the first evening located in central Tromsø. It is just a 10 minute walk from the hotel to the host's base.

End of Trip: The final day is free for you to do as you please and return home on any flight which suits you.

Travel options

There are regular direct and indriect 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

Bag

  • A small bag (hand luggage size) for your time onboard the boat
  • A small day pack

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
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Trainers
  • 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)
  • Personal toiletries
  • Swimming costume
  • Hand lotion & lip balm
  • Spikes for hiking boots (can be purchased in Tromsø)
  • Spare batteries or power pack - the cold means that devices run out much quicker than normal

Hotel Upgrade - Double or Twin Room (single rooms unavailable)

Payable Before Departure

Hotel Upgrade - Double or Twin Room (single rooms unavailable)

Additional Northern Lights Minibus Chase from

Payable Before Departure

Additional Northern Lights Minibus Chase from

Per Person

Dog Sledding (4 hours)

Payable Before Departure

Dog Sledding (4 hours)

Per Person

Reindeer Camp Dinner & Chance of Northern Lights (evening) from

Payable Before Departure

Reindeer Camp Dinner & Chance of Northern Lights (evening) from

Per Person

Reindeer & Sami Experience (daytime) from

Payable Before Departure

Reindeer & Sami Experience (daytime) from

Per Person

Smart Hotel - Double Room

Payable Before Departure

Smart Hotel - Double Room

Per Night

Smart Hotel - Single Room

Payable Before Departure

Smart Hotel - Single Room

Per Night

- Charlie(January 2023)

Great adventure. Well organised and thought out. Thank you.

- Hannah(December 2022)

Absolutely amazing trip, beautiful scenery, knowledgeable guides, quality equipment and delicious food.

- Rebecca(December 2022)

Incredible experience, would recommend to anyone. Such thoughtful and interesting guides and amazing experiences that I couldn't have done by myself. So lucky to see the Northern Lights every day of the trip. Loved the day time experiences too. I recommend booking a great restaurant for dinner in advance for your night off.

On our free evening we took the guides recommendation and went up to the lake above Tromso with rented ice skates. We skated on a frozen lake under the Northern Lights. It was unbelievable. After a day out on the water catching cod and a bonfire ahead of us, the day couldn't have gone any better!

- Alicia(December 2022)

BRILLIANT TRIP - book it! The hotel was good and the team organising the activities were incredible. Lovely guides, base camp was a real bonus and great kit provided to keep you warm! Highly recommend

- Ingeborg(December 2022)

This was a really fun trip, but don't book it without the husky sledding! That was the highlight for me :) we saw some great Northern lights and all in all, I really loved Norway.

- Dearbhla(November 2022)

Really well organised trip. Very helpful and friendly guides with a fantastic Itinerary!

- Emilia(November 2022)

An amazing long weekend in Tromso. An adventure I’ll never forget! Thanks so much to the incredible local hosts and for making it so wonderful. Five stars!

- Melsey(March 2022)

An unforgettable experience with great beauty!

- Harriet(February 2022)

This has to be one of the best trips we have been on! Loved every minute. Highlights included seeing dolphins when out sailing, and the mini bus chase. We were lucky enough to see the most amazing show of the northern lights whilst sat around a campfire on the beach! All the guides out on the excursions, and the staff at base camp were brilliant and couldn’t do enough for you. We had Bruno for a few excursions and he is the best, so accommodating, knowledgable and has such a positive energy! The team make sure you are warm and provide snow suits, boots etc on all excursions. We also did dog sledding which was very good. Would 100% recommend this trip, we want to go back already!

- Jack(February 2022)

Brilliant trip, the team was great and Tromsø was beautiful. Hotel was spartan but had a good breakfast available and the base camp was well equipped. The whole team at the base camp were wonderful and very welcoming.

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 76kg 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 hiking is an easy to moderate walk in the hills, tailored to the average fitness level of the group and conditions on the day. Including a scenic drive through the fjords, the whole trip will be about 5 hours.

No snowshoe experience is necessary - they are simply large rackets or paddles attached at your boots that make it easier to walk without sinking.

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.

While we can never guarantee that you'll see the spectacular Northern Lights, if you're travelling from September to March the host has 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, including dog sledding and reindeer sledding - just ask your host for more information.

You will likely spot eagles soaring overhead in search of prey and large flocks of migratory seabirds, along with seals, dolphins, and if you're very very lucky - whales.

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.

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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