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Sail, Hike and Chase the Northern Lights

Journey into the Arctic Circle for an action-packed long 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 long weekend exploring fjords and hunting the incredible aurora borealis

DURATION
3 nights
LOCATION
Norway
ANNUAL LEAVE
1 day off work
SEASON
Oct – Mar
GROUP SIZE
Up to 12 people
MEETING POINT
Tromsø Airport, Norway
ACCOMMODATION
Comfort

Hotel

OVERALL RATING

4.8

Based on 57 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 adventure in the Arctic Circle, 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

Bed down in a sleek, Nordic hotel on the waterfront and enjoy some of the best views in Tromsø from its rooftop bar

Day 1

The adventure begins

Check in, and explore Tromsø if you have time – stroll around the small town, have a coffee at a cosy café and take a moment to breathe in the fresh Arctic air. If you arrive early, you are welcome to pop into your host's Base Camp for a hot drink and get some recommendations for exploring locally. In the evening, head to Base Camp to meet the rest of your team, learn about the adventure ahead and have a quick workshop about the northern lights. 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, you can 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
Night Reindeer Sledding & Sami Camp Dinner: 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 Sledding & Sami Experience: 10:00-14:00

Included

Guides

Local, certified guides and skipper

Accommodation

3 nights in a 4-star hotel in Tromso

Meals

3 breakfasts and 2 lunches

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 days catch, a light picnic and warm drinks while hiking and a warm meal on the minibus Northern Lights trip. While we serve food on both evening tours, we recommend you eat a light dinner beforehand as the meals are served very 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 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. Additional nights in Tromso can also be booked through your host - please enquire with your host for prices.

Upgrades

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

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Host's Base Camp, central Tromsø

21:00

Ends

Clarion Hotel The Edge, 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
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Additional Northern Lights Minibus Chase, From...

Payable Before Departure

Additional Northern Lights Minibus Chase, From...

Per Person

Daytime Reindeer Sledding & Sami Experience, From...

Payable Before Departure

Daytime Reindeer Sledding & Sami Experience, From...

Per Person

Dog Sledding (4 hours)

Payable Before Departure

Dog Sledding (4 hours)

Per Person

Night Reindeer Sledding & Sami Camp Dinner. From...

Payable Before Departure

Night Reindeer Sledding & Sami Camp Dinner. From...

Per Person

Samantha M.
Norweigian Delights

I loved this adventure, the place was amazing and so much to do in the town and explore. The scenery was incredible, definitely make sure you take a camera! I look back at my photo's and want to do it all again. The guides were so friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable, I really enjoyed their company and great to learn so much about the Norwegian culture.

Anne S.
no northern lights but amazing nevertheless

The staff were absolutely brilliant and were it not for them and their ingenuity in the face of unfavourable weather conditions this score would be much lower.

As it was the night sail turned out as a great opportunity to learn more about sailing. The snowshoeing was excellent and I caught a whopping fish on the day sailing. Even though we did not see the northern lights on the bus chase the staff made it nevertheless an experience with a fire pit, marshmallows roasting on the fire and a meal cooked under the stars.

The illusive Northern Lights would have made this a five but not within the control of MBA or Pukka

Sarah

This was a brilliant trip and Jenka and the rest of the team were fun and knowledgeable guides . We had a good group dynamic and were lucky enough to see the northern lights. The activities were all very enjoyable, including our meal by the campfire near the Finnish border! Tromso is a nice town to explore and the surrounding landscape is stunning.

Jo

This trip far exceeded our expectations. Our local host (& other members of the team) were excellent. We were very lucky with the weather, which made the hike & sailing experiences even more special. We saw fabulous northern lights and reindeer in the wild. Tromso is an interesting town and we had no problem finding things to do in between the experiences. We went on the optional dog sledding tour which was a blast - the dogs were very friendly and well looked after. Our group was a mixture of single travellers, a married couple and siblings; aged from 20-60 years. We'd recommend the trip to everyone!

Claire

Good trip overall, lovely guide who still kept the trip fun even in our extreme weather! Saw northern lights a couple of times which was great.

Izzy

Absolutely amazing trip which I would recommend to anyone who has a passion for the outdoors. I went as a solo traveller, and I felt so at home. Amazing local hosts that made the weekend flow effortlessly. Great food and warm drinks always available and being in a small group made the holiday personable. Awesome trip, I already want to go back!

Nikki

Fantastic, well organised trip with amazing hosts and people! What an adventure! Highly recommend it!

Sian

Fabulous trip. Well organised , brilliant local hosts and great activities with a lovely group of people. Lucky enough to see the northern lights twice and stayed on an extra day to go Dog Sledding which I definitely recommend. If you want a lot of adventure over a few days this is a perfect trip.

Ioanna

This was an incredible trip with amazing hosts and very organised! If you are looking for an adventure I would highly recommend!

James

A wonderful few days away. Some great, knowledgable and enthusiastic local guides admirably guided us through the various trips. Challenging weather at times - but to be expected! A great group of people on the trip as well.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

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 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. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

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.

Due to the nature of the destination and the design of this trip there won't be one main tour guide throughout but you'll be supported by your host's team in Tromso and there will be individual specialist guides/staff for each of the excursions. Your host's 'basecamp' is located 200m (a 3-minute walk) from Clarion Hotel The Edge - you'll meet there to head off on your excursions (and you'll be sent a handy pre-departure document with a reminder of the meeting times for each day).

There is a minimum number of participants required for the activities and excursions on this trip to be offered on a private basis. This means that if your departure date is a smaller group, you may be joined by people who haven't booked through the Much Better Adventures website for some of the activities and excursions. This ensures that your host is able to offer all of the activities. But rest assured, anyone joining you is in search of an active, outdoors adventure, just as you are!

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 70% 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 for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

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 always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

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

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

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