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Northern Lights Tours & Trips in North America

Imagine gazing into the twinkling night sky and witnessing the spectacular neon phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis from the grounds of North America. With 27 Northern Lights adventures lasting from 4 days to 20 days, you're sure to find the right trip for you. Click here to see all northern lights tours .

27 Northern Lights tour packages in North America with 110 reviews

Aurora Borealis Adventure from Vancouver Tour

  • Northern Lights
  • Christmas & New Year

Aurora Borealis Adventure from Vancouver

I had a wonderful time and the tour company was very well organized and friendly. I would definitely use them again.

Yukon Northern Lights Holiday Premium Tour Tour

Yukon Northern Lights Holiday Premium Tour

  • 10% deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Canadian Rockies & Northern Lights Tour

Canadian Rockies & Northern Lights

the trip overall was good but a few things to be aware of: The Edmonton Sky shuttle has not been in service since 2020! You must take a taxi. The guide was surprised that we were told to schedule extras through her and by the time the trip started, much of what we wanted was already booked out. You must book the extras yourself. Neither intrepid nor tour radar does this. this was unclear in all the communications. you can't talk to a tour radar person. on line chat is fine if you are not in a hurry for answers. That aside, the guide was knowledgeable, pleasant, and worked hard to give all tour participants an extraordinary time.

Hiking, Wildlife, Hot Springs and Northern Lights in the Yukon with Air from Vancouver Tour

Hiking, Wildlife, Hot Springs and Northern Lights in the Yukon with Air from Vancouver

Best of Yukon & Alaska (from/to Anchorage) Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Best of Yukon & Alaska (from/to Anchorage)

Best of Yukon & Alaska ( from/to Whitehorse) Tour

Best of Yukon & Alaska ( from/to Whitehorse)

Yukon Winter Dream | Active Winter Adventure Tour

Yukon Winter Dream | Active Winter Adventure

Although I was not able to talk to a live person at Tourradar, I was able to receive texts. Until I saw Ruben waiting at the airport, there was a skeptical part in me wondering if this trip was real. Some parts of this adventure was not easy. Snowmobiling and Dog Sled Driving does take some stamina and good health. I requested gluten free but did not have this option. I would have liked the option for organic food and massage and spa options too. I did enjoy snowmobiling, dogsledding, Aurora viewing, Takhini Hot Springs and Wildlife preserves. I was concerned over the waivers I signed prior to snowmobiling and dogsledding.

Alaska\'s Iditarod with Fairbanks Tour

Alaska's Iditarod with Fairbanks

Arctic Tundra & Dawson City | Naturally Wild Tour

  • Sightseeing

Arctic Tundra & Dawson City | Naturally Wild

The Golden Peninsula of Ungava Tour

The Golden Peninsula of Ungava

Northern Lights and Winter Nights - Photo Adventure Tour

Northern Lights and Winter Nights - Photo Adventure

I would like to commend PJ - he really did work so hard. He wanted to give us the

Alaska Northern Lights and Snowshoe Tour Northbound Tour

  • Hiking & Trekking

Alaska Northern Lights and Snowshoe Tour Northbound

Alaska\'s Northern Lights  (Fairbanks, AK to Anchorage, AK) Tour

Alaska's Northern Lights (Fairbanks, AK to Anchorage, AK)

Northern Lights (from Iceland) Tour

Northern Lights (from Iceland)

Yellowknife Aurora Hunting Winter Getaway Tour

Yellowknife Aurora Hunting Winter Getaway

What people love about northern lights tours in north america.

Great tour. Enjoyed our time in the Yukon and had fun on nights even with no Aurora. Great guides and very helpful
the trip overall was good but a few things to be aware of: The Edmonton Sky shuttle has not been in service since 2020! You must take a taxi. The guide was surprised that we were told to schedule extras through her and by the time the trip started, much of what we wanted was already booked out. You must book the extras yourself. Neither intrepid nor tour radar does this. this was unclear in all the communications. you can't talk to a tour radar person. on line chat is fine if you are not in a hurry for answers. That aside, the guide was knowledgeable, pleasant, and worked hard to give all tour participants an extraordinary time.
The whole experience was magical! Who gets to dog sled, ice fish, snowmobile, take an airplane ride over the Yukon, go to the Yukon Wild Animal Park, get an intimate tour to learn the history of Whitehorse, go to the hot springs & see the wonder of the Northern Lights. The guides are top notch and the drivers are very knowledgeable so if you have questions just ask them. I used Yelp to figure out the best places to eat and it was spot on. All in all an experience I will treasure forever. Someone said, "Travel Is the Only Thing You Buy That Makes You Richer". So true!

Destinations

Travel styles.

  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in February 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in January 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in March 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in April 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in October 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in November 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in December 2024/2025
  • 10 Amazing Northern Lights Tours & Trips 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Trips For Single Travellers 2024/2025
  • 10 Romantic Northern Lights Getaways For Couples 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours For Seniors 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in September 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Northern Lights Tours in August 2024/2025

International Versions

  • Deutsch: Nordamerika Polarlichter Reise Rundreisen
  • Français: Amérique du Nord : Circuits aurores boréales 2024/2025
  • Español: Aurora Boreal Circuitos en América del Norte
  • Nederlands: Noorderlicht Rondreizen in Noord-Amerika

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Iceland Bíldshöfði 20 110 Reykjavík +354 578 20 80 View Map

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Northern Lights Tour Packages

Venture to the northern hemisphere to hunt for the aurora borealis and see this breathtaking natural phenomenon first hand. Your northern lights tour package with Nordic Visitor comes with accommodation, activities and transport included.

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Witness the aurora borealis dancing above you and explore jaw-dropping landscapes in the Land of Fire and Ice.

Why choose northern lights tours in Iceland?

  • Chase the lights on guided excursions from Reykjavík
  • Stay at remote lodges with dark skies for aurora viewing
  • Discover natural wonders like glaciers and ice caves
  • Bathe in hot springs surrounded by wintry scenery

Golden Circle Classic - Winter

Golden circle, blue lagoon & northern lights, northern lights circle tour.

Level 2 (Classic)

Winter Highlights & Northern Lights

Ice cave & glacier lagoon.

Level 2 (Moderate)

Hunt for the aurora borealis in Norway and admire the dramatic mountains, coastline and islands of the north.

Why go aurora-hunting in Norway?

  • Marvel at the lights on an aurora coastal cruise
  • Embark on a dog sledding northern lights safari
  • Enjoy guided aurora excursions from Tromsø
  • Stay at the extraordinary Kirkenes Snow Hotel

Northern Lights by Train and Cruise

Tromsø, flåm & the fjords, best of northern norway classic - 71° north cape, northern lights & cruise, northern lights norway classic.

Experience snowy scenery, Sami culture and winter activities in Finnish or Swedish Lapland on a northern lights adventure.

Why chase the northern lights in Lapland?

  • Enjoy an enchanting aurora tour by snowmobile
  • Gaze up at the northern lights from a cosy glass igloo
  • Stay in a room made of ice at the legendary ICEHOTEL
  • Witness the aurora dancing above Abisko National Park

Best of Lapland - Guaranteed Departure

December 18, 2024, classic lapland adventure & icehotel, lapland adventure - aurora sky station & icehotel.

Journey to a remote land and seek out the northern lights in Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago at the edge of the world.

Why look for the northern lights in Svalbard?

  • Experience the mesmerising light of the polar night
  • Visit the world’s northernmost town, Longyearbyen
  • Go on thrilling dog sledding and snowmobiling tours
  • See polar bears and seals in the wild

Best of Svalbard Winter - Express

Best of svalbard winter - classic, need any help so far get in touch with us.

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About Your Northern Lights Vacation

Discover the magic of the aurora borealis* on an unforgettable northern lights tour. Explore beautiful destinations in the Nordics on an itinerary that local travel experts have meticulously organised for you.

When you book a northern lights tour package with Nordic Visitor, you get:

• An authentic travel experience planned by an established and trusted agency • A dedicated travel consultant to organise your tour • All relevant bookings for your chosen package • A detailed online personal itinerary • Handpicked accommodation for a relaxing stay • 24/7 emergency phone support for peace of mind

Nordic Visitor has made it easy to start planning your winter tour. Simply follow these steps:

1. Pick your favourite Nordic Visitor tour 2. Confirm your package 3. Check your confirmation email 4. Book your flights 5. Get ready for your trip

*Please note, the northern lights are a natural occurrence and sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Why choose Nordic Visitor

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Book With Confidence

Secure your trip your way with Nordic Visitor. Book a tour with as little as 10% deposit. With a 20% deposit or more, you will receive our cancellation insurance free of charge. You can also pay the full price right away to guarantee today’s exchange rate. Terms & conditions apply.

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Trusted local travel experts

Established in 2002, Nordic Visitor is a highly rated tour agency in Northern Europe. Our travel experts create authentic journeys filled with the best activities and destinations. They are locally based and add their in-depth knowledge to all northern lights itineraries.

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Great reviews

Nordic Visitor is dedicated to the best service quality, and this is reflected year after year when Tripadvisor awards us with their Certificate of Excellence. We also take great pride in our customer feedback: 97% of our travellers say they would recommend us to friends and family.

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Stress-free experience

Our travel consultants will plan and book your trip on your behalf. You’ll receive a personalised itinerary with your accommodation and activities all arranged for you. That way you can leave all the practicalities to someone else, while you relax and look forward to your northern lights adventure.

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Flexible tour options

The Nordic Visitor travel team has designed our northern lights packages to include the very best routes and experiences. However, if you’d like to add extra nights, attractions or destinations, your personal travel consultant will happily tailor your northern lights package.

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You are in good hands

Should you encounter any unexpected weather or events during your tour, don’t worry. Nordic Visitor will be there for you throughout your trip. We will take care of reworking your itinerary while keeping you safe and informed. You’ll also have access to our 24/7 emergency helpline for peace of mind.

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Full financial protection

With Nordic Visitor, you have peace of mind knowing your tour arrangements with us are 100% financially protected. Your payments are safeguarded as we comply with European Union laws on Package Travel regulations. This guarantees you a refund in the unlikely event of insolvency.

NORTHERN LIGHTS TOUR REVIEWS

Here’s what our wonderful customers liked about their northern lights experiences.

Larus made the whole experience of organising the holiday very enjoyable.  We are not seasoned travellers but... read more

Larus made the whole experience of organising the holiday very enjoyable.  We are not seasoned travellers but this experience has given me no doubt in using Nordic Visitor again to book a holiday in the future to another Nordic destination.

Kim Singapore

Overall an amazing experience, accommodation were excellent, transfers and check-in were smooth. Will certainly use... read more

Overall an amazing experience, accommodation were excellent, transfers and check-in were smooth. Will certainly use Nordic Visitor again for future vacations.

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Northern Lights Vacation Highlights

Picture yourself in a stunning winter landscape in the northern hemisphere. You’re wrapped up warm and the world’s greatest light show is about to begin. Opt for a Nordic Visitor northern lights tour, and you could…

  • Take a guided tour from Reykjavík to hunt for the northern lights in Iceland
  • Explore ice caves on a guided glacier hike in Vatnajökull , home to Europe’s largest glacier
  • Venture to the remote Westfjords to chase the aurora and try snowshoeing
  • Go dog sledding and snowmobiling in Tromsø , Norway, or Longyearbyen , Svalbard
  • Discover charming fishing villages, mountains and marine wildlife in the Lofoten Islands
  • Sample Norwegian delicacies in Kirkenes , such as red king crab, Arctic char and cloudberries
  • Join an unforgettable snowmobiling , dog sledding or snowshoeing aurora safari in Lapland
  • Visit the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park for dinner with a view of the northern lights
  • Stay in an ice hotel or glass igloo, such as the ICEHOTEL , SnowCastle or SnowHotel

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NORTHERN LIGHTS TOURS

For tips on viewing the northern lights, read on. We’ve answered the most commonly asked questions about Nordic aurora borealis tours here to help you make your dream trip a reality.

Alternatively, find out how to make a booking , have a look at our FAQs , or learn about our Book With Confidence travel plan.

1. ARE THE NORDICS SAFE TO TRAVEL TO?

Yes, the Nordics are widely regarded as safe for visitors. Actually, the Nordic nations – Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland – continually rank among the top 10 safest places in the world . This is because they have low crime rates, good standards of healthcare, and excellent road safety.

2. WHAT ARE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are a natural phenomenon. You can see them illuminating the sky when charged particles from solar flares collide with atoms in the Earth’s atmosphere, near the North Pole. This collision creates varied shapes and colours that ripple, flash or glow in the sky.

3. WHAT MONTHS CAN YOU SEE THE AURORA BOREALIS?

You have the best chance of spotting the aurora borealis in the winter months – October to April. To make out the colours of the aurora, you need dark winter nights. In the summer, daylight hours are so long that you’ll find the sky is too bright to see the glowing lights.

As it is a natural occurrence, spotting the northern lights is not guaranteed. But you can increase your chances of witnessing them by visiting the Arctic Circle in winter.

4. WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

As you need a dark sky to distinguish the aurora, the best time to see the northern lights is at night. The peak hours tend to be between 11 PM and 2 AM, which is why your guided tour will likely depart after 9 PM.

You could also stay at a hotel with an aurora wake-up service. The staff will let you know if the lights come out late in the night, so you don’t have to stay up waiting for them!

The best time of year to see the northern lights is winter, between October and April. This is when Nordic nights are the longest and darkest, which means you have higher chances of catching sight of the aurora.

Winter is a great time to visit the Nordics for other reasons too. Check out these guides to the top winter activities you can enjoy:

Things to do in Norway in winter

Things to do in Iceland in winter

Things to do in Lapland in winter

5. WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

You can see the aurora borealis at high northern latitudes, especially around the Arctic Circle, as this is where solar activity is strongest. That’s why the Nordic region is the best place to see the northern lights. Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Svalbard all lie within or near the Arctic Circle.

In fact, Iceland and the northern regions of Norway, Sweden and Finland are located within the “aurora zone”. Also known as the “northern lights belt”, this is a latitudinal band between 65-72°N where high auroral frequency and intensity occurs. Visit this zone for the best chance of seeing the aurora.

Learn more about where and when to see the northern lights with these expert guides:

Best times and places to see the northern lights in Europe

Best times and places to see the northern lights in Iceland

Best times and places to see the northern lights in Norway

6. WHERE CAN YOU SEE THE AURORA BOREALIS IN SCANDINAVIA?

Norway, Sweden and Denmark are the countries that make up Scandinavia. If you want to go to Scandinavia to hunt for the aurora borealis, your best bet is to visit the northern parts of this region – Swedish Lapland and Northern Norway. It is unlikely you’ll see the aurora in Denmark.

You can witness the northern lights in the neighbouring Nordic nations of Finland and Iceland too. Although these countries aren’t technically part of Scandinavia, they have many similarities and also happen to be great places to catch the aurora borealis!

Lapland – an area covering northern Sweden and Finland – is a fantastic destination for aurora chasing. You could head to Rovaniemi and Kemi in Finnish Lapland, or Abisko National Park near Kiruna in Swedish Lapland.

Or visit Northern Norway for your aurora borealis tour. Take your pick from Norwegian destinations such as Tromsø, Svalbard, Kirkenes, the Lofoten Islands and Nordkapp (North Cape).

Alternatively, go in search of the aurora borealis in Iceland. With its wide open skies and location near the Arctic Circle, you could see the lights from anywhere in the country. For your best chances though, head away from towns with street lights so you can spot the colours more easily.

In Scandinavia you could seek out the aurora borealis in the countryside or on the coast. Plus, not only can you enjoy northern lights tours, but also bucket list activities like dog sledding, snowmobiling, and staying in an ice hotel.

Discover more reasons to visit Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland on our ultimate Scandinavia guide .

7. HOW TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

To see the aurora borealis, you need to be in a northern country on a clear, dark night, away from artificial lights. Although the aurora don’t show up on demand, these top tips will give you the best chances of witnessing them.

Firstly, make sure you visit northern regions close to the Arctic Circle. Iceland, Northern Norway, Svalbard and Lapland are the best destinations to see the northern lights in Europe.

Secondly, time your aurora borealis tour for the European winter. The long, dark nights will help you spot the colours lighting up the sky.

Thirdly, avoid light pollution found in built-up areas. This means heading into the countryside where there is less artificial light compared to towns and cities. You could spend some days out in remote areas, or opt for guided evening tours from your city base instead.

Another thing you can do for northern light viewings is check the weather and aurora forecast . Although you can’t do this very far in advance, during your trip you’ll be able to find out if the evening will be clear of cloud or rain and if solar activity will be strong.

You’d also increase your chances of seeing the aurora borealis by taking a guided tour. A local expert would accompany you and take you to all the best spots, sharing their insider knowledge with you.

Read our article on how to see the northern lights for more viewing tips.

8. HOW LONG DO THE NORTHERN LIGHTS LAST?

When the aurora borealis are treating you to their glorious light show, you might find they glow for a few minutes. The lights can show up several times in one night, or last for a couple of hours in one go.

There is no rule as to how long the aurora borealis last, of course, as they are a natural occurrence. If you see them for yourself, no doubt you’ll cherish every second of their beautiful magic.

9. HOW DO YOU PHOTOGRAPH THE AURORA BOREALIS?

The northern lights can be tricky to capture on camera, but with some preparation and the right equipment you can do it. Here are some top tips for photographing the northern lights:

  • Use an SLR camera with manual focus
  • Bring a tripod as you’ll need to do a long exposure shot
  • Get a remote shutter release so you don’t have to touch the camera at all
  • Use a slow shutter speed of between 15 and 30 seconds

For more tips on photographing the aurora, see our northern lights travel guide .

10. WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR TO SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS?

It can get rather cold in the Nordic winter, especially if there’s a cool wind. The last thing you want is to feel the chill while you hunt for the aurora borealis at night. That’s why it’s important you pack the right clothing before your trip.

Many northern lights tours will provide you with thermal suits to help you stay warm while you’re out chasing the aurora. It’s also recommended that you wear warm layers underneath.

Here is an essential packing list:

  • Insulated jacket and trousers (windproof and waterproof)
  • Thermal wool underlayers
  • Warm hat, gloves and scarf
  • Warm and sturdy boots

Get more packing advice by reading our experts’ tips and tricks on dressing for northern lights viewing .

11. CAN I CHOOSE THE ARRIVAL DATE?

Yes, you can select your chosen arrival date online when reserving your Nordic Visitor tour. For northern lights packages, the arrival dates are between October and April as this is the aurora viewing season.

12. CAN I EXTEND MY TOUR BY A DAY OR TWO?

Absolutely! If you’d like to spend more time in a particular destination, you can request this when booking your tour online. Your dedicated travel consultant will get in touch to confirm the extra days with you.

If you are taking a small group tour, you can add extra nights to the start or end of your trip. This is because the group tour itself is fixed as you will be exploring with fellow visitors on a fixed itinerary.

13. WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY FLIGHT TICKETS?

You should book your flights once your Nordic Visitor package is confirmed. We recommend you check flights beforehand to find appropriate dates and prices, but only purchase them after your travel consultant has secured your northern lights tour.

Your Nordic Visitor consultant will send you a confirmation email with all the details you need to buy suitable flights.

14. WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR MY TRIP?

The weather is somewhat unpredictable in the Nordics, no matter the time of year you visit. In winter you should always come prepared for cold temperatures, which means bringing warm clothing. Here are the essential items that we recommend you pack for your trip:

  • Warm jumpers or fleeces
  • Waterproof and thermal jackets
  • Gloves, scarves and hats
  • Insulated, waterproof boots
  • Thermal underlayers
  • Waterproof trousers

For more detailed information on what to pack for your Nordic tour, read our travel guides for Iceland , Norway and Lapland .

Get in touch with us to start planning your trip or for more advice on how to see the aurora borealis. Our travel experts will be delighted to arrange an unforgettable northern lights tour for you.

Our main phone number is +354 578 20 80

How about a live chat with one of our local travel experts

Blog Articles

How to see the northern lights: viewing tips, best times & places to see the northern lights in europe, best times and places to see the northern lights in iceland, a little something about the northern lights.

Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.

here to help

Northern Lights Holiday Packages 2023-2024

14 min read.

Ready to catch the Northern Lights? If you are planning to go to Northern Norway to chase Aurora, you may want to include a few other activities in your trip. In this article we are going to give you a rundown on what a Northern Lights holiday package could look like in Kirkenes and Tromsø. We’ll start by telling you a bit about each of these nordic cities.

Choose the City For Your Vacation

Tromsø is regarded as one of the best places in the world to catch the Northern Lights and this Arctic Capital offers the best of both worlds – a vibrant city life and Arctic nature just outside the city. Here you can easily combine a Northern Lights chase with other activities such as dog sledding tours , snowmobiling, reindeer sledding, whale watching and different cruises – including Northern Lights cruises. You can also spend a magical night in the snowhotel, Tromsø Ice domes, or take the Fjellheisen cable car.

This city is dubbed "The Paris of the North", and whether you want to experience different festivals, enjoy a bustling nightlife or venture out on an Arctic adventure there is something for everyone.

Kirkenes offers stunning, raw, and diverse Arctic landscapes consisting of tundra, dense forests, beautiful mountains, and thousands of lakes. This is a smaller city and does not offer the same vibrant city and nightlife as Tromsø. Kirkenes is the perfect spot if you just want to immerse yourself in the Arctic nature excursions.

This city offers both husky and snowmobile evening tours where you can catch the Northern Lights should appear during your tour. You can also chill on a comfortable bus escorting you to your ultimate date with the Green Lady.

In Kirkenes, you can also spend a night in the winter wonderland Snowhotel Kirkenes – which is open all year round. This hotel is also the starting point for different tours like husky sledding, king crab fishing, and Northern Lights trips. Curious about ice hotels in Norway ? Read more here!

Quick Northern Lights Packing List

Warm coat (or even better, a thermal suit),

Scarf, hat, gloves and warm winter boots.

Lip Balm/chapstick

Note: on the organized tours warm clothes will be included, but it could be wise to bring warm clothes for when you want to do some exploring on your own.

Popular Northern Lights Tours

Hunting the northern lights by bus.

The Northern Lights is perhaps the most beautiful natural phenomenon you will ever have the opportunity of seeing, and Kirkenes is one of the best places to do so.

Hunting Northern Lights by Husky

Nature covered by snow, a team of strong huskies in front, and a beautiful star-studded sky above. If you are lucky, maybe the northern lights will make an appearance?

Snowmobile Hunting the Northern Lights

Learn how to drive a snowmobile with the chance of catching the magical Aurora sky dancing above

Northern Lights Vacation in Tromsø

Tromsø has a lot to offer and how you choose to spend your days is up to you. The following is just an example of what 5 days in Tromsø could look like.

Day 1: Familiarize yourself with the city and see what it has to offer. Visit the Arctic Cathedral or take the Fjellheisen cable car to the top of Storsteinen Mountain and have lunch or dinner at Fjellstua Cafe. If you are at the top of the mountain in the evening you might even see Aurora – in any case you’ll get an amazing view of the city at 420 m above sea level.

Day 2 : Go on a silent whale watching safari. This tour has a 8 am departure in order to take advantage of the few hours of daylight Tromsø has during winter. On this trip you can enjoy the magnificent winter landscape as you look for the majestic humpback and killer whales. During the tour, you can buy something to drink and eat in the onboard restaurant. This tour lasts about 7 hours and you’ll return to the city at 3 pm. Season: The exact season varies year to year, but is usually between November and January

Prices: From 1 490,00.

Day 3: Start the day by checking out some of the spots you haven’t seen yet – maybe pay the Polar Museum a visit or go shopping in Storgata. In the evening you can go on a Northern Lights tour – choose between boat, bus, minibus or camp visit. There are also husky, snowmobile and reindeer tours with evening departures, opening up for the possibility to see the Green Diva should she decide to make an appearance. However, If seeing the Northern Lights is your main goal you might want to choose a tour where the main focus is finding the lights.

Season: November to March Prices: From 950 NOK

northern lights tour 2023

Day 4: Ice Domes and Reindeer Visit

Treat yourself to a guided tour of the magical winter wonderland Tromsø Ice Domes . A comfortable coach will depart from the city centre every day at 10.30 am and transport you to the beautiful Tamok Valley. This ice hotel – the Tromsø Ice Domes – is rebuilt every year for the winter season. The different sections of the hotel will have new ice carvings and art every time it’s built ensuring a new experience each year. There is also a small group of reindeer at the Tromsø Ice Domes you can pay a visit while you are there. During this tour you will get a light lunch and try a drink made from local berries. You can also buy hot and cold drinks at the Ice Domes.

Season: December 10 – March 31.

Prices: from 975 NOK

Day 5: Go on a husky or snowmobile morning tour . For these tours you will be picked up in Tromsø city centre at 9 or 11 am and transported to the Camp Tamok Wilderness Centre. You will get some safety instructions and guidelines before you get to drive your own team of huskies or your own snowmobile. After the adventure you will return to camp, and get a nice warm meal by the fire before returning to Tromsø in the afternoon.The total duration for these tours is 6-7 hours Season : 15. November – 31. March

Prices : from 1945 NOK

Top 3 hotels in Tromsø:

Thon Hotel Polar is a great choice in the mid-range price area. It’s situated just 100 m from Storgata, the main shopping street, Thon Hotel Polar offers comfortable rooms with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and a large buffet breakfast

northern lights tour 2023

Scandic Ishavshotel is right by the quayside in Tromsø with a view of Tromsø Harbor. This hotel is a 4 minute walk from The Polar Museum and is in close proximity to everything the city has to offer. This hotel has previously won the award for the county's best hotel breakfast.

northern lights tour 2023

Clarion Hotel The Edge. If you are looking for a bit of a luxurious feel, Clarion Hotel The Edge is an excellent choice. This hotel is very central, located at the Tromsø Harbor, and features a sky bar and rooftop terrace on the 11th-floor overlooking the Arctic Cathedral.

Top 3 Restaurants in Tromsø

Bardus, Mathallen and Smak offer traditional Nordic food with a modern twist.

Burgr, “ the coolest burger place in town”, has loads of delicious burgers on the menu.

Pastafabrikken offers a huge selection of nice pasta dishes.

Popular Northern Lights Activities in Tromsø

Overnight northern lights & whale watching safari.

Get 25% discount on 2024 / 2025 season if you book before April 30th Join us for an unforgettable overnight adventure cruise! Venture out in search of orcas, humpbacks, and other majestic sea creatures as we journey through the Arctic fjords, far from city lights.

Northern Lights Visit - Incl. Transport

Join us at our wilderness center Camp Tamok which offers a great setting for Northern Lights observation.

Northern Lights Vacation in Kirkenes

Kirkenes is a small city conveniently located in the Arctic circle. If you are here for five days you can have a relaxing vacation and have plenty of time to combine your Northern Lights holiday with several other authentic Northern Norwegian activities.

Here is an example of a 5 Day itinerary in Kirkenes:

Day 1: Chase the Northern Lights by snowmobile! On this trip you will get the chance to drive your own snowmobile into the Arctic wilderness to chase Aurora Borealis. Guided by an expert driver you will head into the remote, dark areas around Kirkenes to increase your chances of seeing the lights. Two people will share one snowmobile, one being the passenger and one being the driver – there are plenty of options to switch places along the way.

northern lights tour 2023

Day 2: Pay a visit to the Snowhotel Kirkenes 365! This magical winter kingdom is the first ice hotel to stay open all year round. The tour called Snowhotel Kirkenes 365 Visit is one of many options to see the hotel, and for this trip you will be picked up in Kirkenes at 09:30 or 13:00. Upon arrival you will get a two hour guided tour and hear all about Snowhotel 365 and the surrounding area. At the site there is a husky and reindeer park where you can visit over 180 huskies and puppies and watch the reindeer walk around peacefully. Season: All year Prices : From 300 NOK for an entrance tickets 800 NOK for a guided tour

Day 3: Andersgrotta is Kirkenes ’ largest bomb shelter, built in 1941 and is one of the most significant historic attractions in Kirkenes. Here you learn about the life of civilians during world war II. A viewing of a documentary film based on archives and new recording is also included in this tour, allowing you to experience the atmosphere during wartime.

Season: All year

Prices: From 1 200,00

If you want to soak up another piece of Aurora, you can go on a Northern Lights husky tour in the evening. The tour will start at 9 pm at Snowhotel Kirkenes, Sandnesdalen, a transfer from Thon and Scandic hotels are included. Guided by a seasoned musher you will travel by dog sled far into the Arctic wilderness to search for the lights. The only sound you will hear as you go is the sound of the snow under the sledge, the dogs breathing, and the Arctic wind. Season: 1. December – 15. April Prices: from 2500 NOK

Day 4: Go on a King Crab safari! Kirkenes is known as the King Crab City! During winter you can go out on a snowmobile sled to the fjord ice to catch your own dinner. This trip starts from Snowhotel Kirkenes, and you will be picked up from the Thon and Scandic hotel at 9.30 in the morning. You will spend the day helping the crew pull the crab pots up from the Barents sea, before heading back to the Snowhotel Restaurant. Here you will have the chance to taste your freshly caught crab Northern Norwegian style – with bread, butter, mayonnaise and lemon. This crab is the biggest, freshest and most delicious shellfish you will ever taste.

Season: 01. December – 30. April. Prices: from 2300 NOK

northern lights tour 2023

Day 5: Try Ice Fishing! Ice fishing is another authentic Kirkenes experience picking you up from Kirkenes city centre at 1pm. A seasoned fisherman guide will drill a hole in the ice before you sink your line into the water and wait for the catch to bite. The most common catch is cod, but you might be able to catch other types of fish too. The tour lasts 3 hours, and once you (hopefully) have pulled the biggest catch on land, you will be transported back to your hotel in Kirkenes.

Season: 10. January – 30. April

Prices: From 2000 NOK

Hot tip: if you want a unique start to your Arctic adventure, Snowhotel Kirkenes offers one of the most unique airport transfers in the world – by dog sled! If you are planning to visit the Kirkenes Snowhotel, a team of huskies could be waiting for you when you step off the plane. This transfer is available at various times during the winter season.

Top 3 hotels in Kirkenes

Scandic Kirkenes – A nice and central hotel who previously won the award for the best breakfast in the county. This hotel has an ideal location and if you are going on a tour, a lot of them will include a transfer from this making things as easy as can be for you.

northern lights tour 2023

Thon Hotel Kirkenes – Thon Hotel Kirkenes is located on the shore of Bøkfjorden, about 5 minutes’ walk from Andersgrotta Museum, tne World War II bomb shelter. A lot of the tours include a transfer from this hotel, which is very practical.

northern lights tour 2023

Barents Hotel – This hotel is centrally located in the town of Kirkenes on Bøkfjorden. ​​Each of the rooms is simply decorated in bright or neutral tones and the guest lounge has a breakfast area for you to enjoy.

Top 3 Restaurants in Kirkenes

Surf & Turf Restaurant – Serves anything from fish soup to steaks, pasta and whale. Ritz – A pizza restaurant offering pizza, snacks and desserts. Shang Hai restaurant – A great selection of Chinese cuisine.

Popular Northern Lights Activities in Kirkenes

Snowhotel kirkenes - entrance ticket.

While in Kirkenes you should absolutely visit the winter wonderland of Snowhotel 365. From 2019 we are the first hotel completely made of snow and ice to be open 365 days a year!

Snowhotel Visit incl. Dinner

Enjoy unique atmosphere and arctic cuisine in secluded wilderness. You will not only get a meal. You get a story.

Snowhotel Visit incl. Tansfer

Enter a real life winter wonderland, all seasons of the year. While in Kirkenes you should absolutely visit the Snowhotel 365.

Weekend Getaway in Tromsø

Just visiting for a weekend? Tromsø is a great place for a weekend getaway as you can take part in a lot of different things in just a few days.The city and nature are in close proximity to each other, making it possible to customize the weekend of your dreams.

The following is an example of what a weekend in Tromsø could look like.

Day 1: Get to know Tromsø. Walk around the city and do some shopping or sightseeing (The Arctic Cathedral and the Polar Museum are good choices) You can also take Fjellheisen up to the mountain ledge Storsteinen and enjoy a nice view of Tromsø city.

northern lights tour 2023

Day 2-3 If you are in Tromsø for just a couple of days, you may want to check out one of the Tromsø Northern Lights Packages. The Full Day Package let’s you spend an entire day at Camp Tamok and includes one morning activity and one afternoon activity of your choice. Choose between dog sledding, snowmobiling or reindeer sledding. For the afternoon activity you can also choose to go on the Northern Lights Visit activity. There are also overnight packages where you could spend the weekend doing an evening activity one day and a morning activity the next day before heading back home.The different packages are explained in more detail in the section “Northern Lights Package Tour in Tromsø”.

Weekend Getaway in Kirkenes

Going on an Arctic Adventure in Kirkenes? This is what a weekend in Kirkenes could look like.

Day 1: Go on a Northern Lights Chase by Husky ! If you want to combine an old Northern Norwegian tradition with an Aurora chase, this trip is the perfect choice. This tour has a 9 pm pick up from downtown Kirkenes and you will return around midnight. On this trip you will be escorted deep into the Arctic wilderness guided by an experienced guide as you chase the Green Diva. The huskies need no incentive to pull the sled – these dogs live and breathe to run! If you are lucky the Northern Lights will be dancing all evening.

Season 01. December – 15. April

Price: From 2500 NOK

northern lights tour 2023

Day 2: Visit the Kirkenes Snowhotel! Treat yourself to a visit and dinner in the winter kingdom. The Snowhotel Kirkenes 365 Visit & Dinne r tour includes a tour of the hotel and a 3 course dinner at Låven Restaurant. See the 14 stunning ice suites with different ice carvings and sculptures and have a drink in the ice bar. You also get to visit the husky and reindeer farm and greet and play with the dogs and puppies.

Prices from: 1 200,00 NOK

northern lights tour 2023

Day 3: Go on a morning snowmobile safari. This 2-hour adventure is a great and unforgettable experience allowing you to explore the magical landscape above the Arctic Circle. You can choose between three starting times: 9.30 am, 1 pm or 3 pm – transfer from and back to Kirkenes are all included.

If you are an adrenaline and action buff this is the perfect opportunity for an adventurous experience. Before turning the engine on, your guide will give you a practical demonstration and driving instructions. There will be two people per snowmobile – one as the driver and one as the passenger, with plenty of chances to switch places along the way.

Note: All the organized tours in Kirkenes and Tromsø will provide you with warm clothes for the day. (A thermal suit and warm boots).

Want to know more? Read more Northern Lights Articles here

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Tailored Package Tour – Full Day Package in Tromsø

If you want to combine more than one adventure, you have the option to create your own tailored full day package. Upon booking you can choose your first activity starting at 09 am (you have your pick of dog sledding, reindeer sledding, snowmobiling or a combination tour including snowshoes, Tromsø Ice Domes and a reindeer herd visit. You will be picked up in Tromsø city centre in the morning and brought to the wilderness centre Camp Tamok, which is a 75 minute drive trom Tromsø.

This camp is the start and end point for a lot of activities during winter. When tailoring your package you also have the option to include a Tromsø Ice Domes visit for 200 NOK per person.

After the first activity you will relax at the camp (approximately from 2:30 – 6:30 pm) You will get a hot meal in a traditional North Norwegian setting around the open fire in a reindeer herder’s tent.

Your second activity starts at 6.30 pm. When booking the tour you choose between dog sledding, snowmobiling, reindeer sledding or Northern Lights Visit. Please note that the activities you can choose between are subject to availability on your chosen dates). When the activity is completed you will return to Tromsø – the aim is to be back in the city by midnight. Ready for a Northern Lights adventure in Norway? Book here.

Season: 15 November – 31 March Included: Transfers: English-speaking guide: Winter overall suit, boots, mittens, hat, (helmet) Hot meal and hot drinks Prices: From 3490 NOK Per Person

northern lights tour 2023

Camp Tamok is our wilderness centre located in an area with optimal conditions for experiencing the Northern Lights. Although Camp Tamok is located only a 75-minute drive from downtown Tromsø, it is in a different and drier climate zone, with clear inland mountain weather. The dry climate generates many cloud-free night skies in winter, as well as during summer

Tailored Package Tour – Overnight stay 1 night/2 days

This overnight package includes an evening adventure, an overnight stay and a morning activity the following day. You will be picked up in the centre of Tromsø outside the Magic Ice Bar in Kaigata 4 at 4.30 pm. From there you will be transported to Camp Tamok for your evening activity at 5 pm. On your first day you’ll choose between Northern Lights Visit, dog sledding, snowmobiling or reindeer sledding. After the activity you’ll spend the night at the accommodation of your choice; Aurora Chalet or Char Cabin.

The next morning you’ll enjoy a nice breakfast before you set off on your second adventure (dog sledding, snowmobiling or reindeer sledding) at 10.30 am. You will return to Tromsø around 4 pm. Book easily here .

Season: 15 November – 31 March

Prices: From 4290 NOK

northern lights tour 2023

Tromsø Ice Domes Overnight Stay – Including a Northern Lights Trip

75 minutes outside of Tromsø city centre, in the Tamok Valley, you’ll find Tromsø’s very own ice hotel – Tromsø Ice Domes. For the Tromsø Ice Domes Overnight package you get picked up in the centre of Tromsø at 5 pm and brought to the Ice Domes, where you will get a guided tour of the hotel. In the evening the guide will take you on a Snowshoeing and Northern Lights trip. During this adventure the guide will also prepare a three-course dinner on an open fire in the wilderness.

After a cool night in a magical bed made of ice you’ll have a nice breakfast at 9 am before setting off on the next adventure. At 11 am you’ll take part in a dog sledding tour in the Arctic wilderness where you get the chance to drive your own team of huskies. After completion of the tour you will be served a hot meal outside around the open fire. Departure back to the city is set to 2 pm and you’ll be back in the city around 3.30 pm. Ready to visit a magic winter wonderland? Book easily here .

T he Tromsø Ice Domes are rebuilt every year for the winter season and each part of the hotel will have different ice carvings and ice sculptures inspired by local culture and history, The Northern Lights and local wildlife. The themes and art differ every time the hotel is built so each year is a new experience.

Put Together Your Own Northern Lights Holiday Package

You don't need to choose one of the holiday packages in order to tailor the trip to your wishes. You can pick activities and put them together any way you want. Here is a couple of examples of how.

Go for a Northern Lights Evening at Camp Tamok, the wilderness centre outside Tromsø. This tour starts with a presentation about Aurora Borealis and some tips on how to photograph this natural phenomenon, before you gather around the fire for a warm meal and a chat. If the sky is clear, the guides will take you on a short hike around the camp and find the best spots for photographing the lights.

If the sky is cloudy and there is no sign of Aurora, you will get to relax by the campfire and listen to stories about the light phenomenon and life behind the polar circle, from folklore to history.

northern lights tour 2023

It is possible to spend the night at the camp and pick another activity, like a dog sledding tour, the next day. Here the guides start off by providing you with safety instructions and information about how to mush your own husky team. There will be two people per sled so half the trip you will be in charge of steering the sled and the rest of the time you can kick back and relax in the back as the dogs lead the way.

Once the husky safari is completed, you will get a hot meal around the campfire before heading back to Tromsø.

Combine a Northern Lights Evening trip with a Sami culture and Reindeer Sledding tour. Spend the night in rustic accomodation at Camp Tamok.

Start off with the Northern Lights evening and spend a relaxing night at the wilderness Cabin. The next morning you can go for a Reindeer Sledding Daytime Tour. Sit back, relax and join the scenery. Get up and help pull the sled when needed – the perfect activity if you feel energetic and want to contribute.

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September, 2023: Northern Lights and Geology of Iceland

Iceland | september 10 - 15, 2023.

Iceland is a place of many wonders, including the dazzling Aurora Borealis.  Explore Iceland with Sirius Travel and you will enjoy access to our astronomer and geologist guides who bring their understanding of the natural phenomena to share with you as you search for the elusive aurora and visit amazing geologic sites. The dates for this 6-day trip were carefully selected to optimize your chances to view the aurora under dark and clear skies. Packing suggestions for a trip to Iceland can be found here.

Activity Level:

Trip Highlights

This year’s report:  Wow.  We had no fewer than FOUR clear nights with the aurora blazing overhead!  Solar Max is definitely producing!

On this tour you will visit Iceland’s most iconic sites including waterfalls such as the colossal Gullfoss, the enchanting Seljalandsfoss, and the breathtaking Skogafoss. We will explore Thingvellir National Park and walk through the valley where the tectonic plates are drifting apart, tracing the steps of Iceland’s early settlers where brutal Viking-age justice was carried out and the Althingi parliament was founded.  You will watch in awe as the geyser Strokkur launches boiling water into the air in the Geyser geothermal area.  You will behold the striking basalt columns, supernatural black sand, and immense sea stacks of Reynisfjara on the south coast’s black sand beaches. Included in the itinerary are visits to two impressive hot spring spas.  First, the newly opened but already well-known Sky Lagoon which opens out over the North Atlantic and, later in the tour, an afternoon luxuriating in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon. Starting and ending in Reykjavik, you will have time to explore this unique and friendly northern capital from our centrally located hotel within easy walking distance of the majority of popular sights.

Pricing and Terms

Detailed itinerary, sunday, september 10, 2023, lunar phase: waning crescent (d).

Dsc 0623

Travelers will be met at the airport in Reykjavik and transferred to the hotel where they will connect with other travelers. Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure in Reykjavik or resting in your hotel room.  Welcome Dinner in the evening.

Evening opportunity to view Northern Lights if weather permits.  Overnight Reykjavik.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Lunar phase: waning crescent (b).

Aurora Over Hallgrimskirkja Square

Today you will enjoy a City tour of Reykjavik’s top attractions.  Included on the tour will be The old Höfði house (where the summit between the Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbatsjov took place in 1986), the Harpa concert hall (2013 winner of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award), the City Centre, Hallgrímskirkja church  (whose design was inspired by basalt lava columns), the viewing platform at Perlan (whose glass dome provides a 360° view over Reykjavík), and Bessastaðir (the official residence of the President of Iceland).  Following the city tour we will stop off to experience Flyover Iceland followed by a soak in Reykjavik’s newly opened Sky Lagoon.

Evening opportunity to view Northern Lights if weather permits. Overnight Reykjavik.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Lunar phase: waning crescent (b, d).

Img 5811

After breakfast, you will take a full day tour of some of the best known natural phenomena surrounding Reykjavik. From spouting geysers, massive tumbling waterfalls, and ancient volcanoes, this excursion will introduce you to the world-renowned pristine natural beauty in the heart of Iceland’s Southern Region, stopping at some of Iceland’s most iconic sites.

Þingvellir National Park is an attraction of great historical, geological and cultural significance. Located in a rift valley where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet, the UNESCO designated world heritage site is also the birthplace of the Althing—Iceland’s parliament founded in 930 AD—where the nation’s most powerful leaders would meet to decide on legislation and carry out brutal Viking-age justice.  The tour continues across an area of picturesque scenery to the mighty Gullfoss waterfall. Once there, you can take several paths around the two tiers of cascading water to explore several vantage points.

Next, you will visit the home of “The Great Geysir”, a geysir that is the actual origin of the word “geysir”, and is an area with bubbling mud pools, hissing steam vents, and colorful algae deposits. Although Geysir itself has become dormant, there is great excitement when Strokkur geysir blasts boiling water high up into the air every 3-7 minutes!

After visiting the Golden Circle highlights you will stop at Friðheimar greenhouse, a geothermally heated operation that demonstrates how Icelanders are now able to grow fresh vegetables in their harsh environment. They also have many Icelandic horses that you will be able to see close up as well as very creative tomato-based refreshments.

You will wrap up this very full day with a stop at The Commonwealth Farm.  This is a site of interest to see how people lived in Iceland until as recently as the 1970’s! The reconstructed farm   is   based   on   the excavated farmhouse Stöng from the Commonwealth Era in Iceland and   provides   visitors   with an opportunity   to   study the   buildings   of Icelandic ancestors   and   learn   about   their   background   and   daily   life .  The excavated farm Stöng is  believed to have   been   destroyed   in the   Hekla   eruption   in the year   1104.

Overnight near Hella in a great dark-sky location so that if wether permits, our chances to see the northern lights is optimized!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Lunar phase: waning crescent (b,d).

Img 6057

After breakfast, you will stop at a stable close to the hotel and enjoy a visit with some of Iceland’s famous horses and enjoy a short demonstration of the unique gaits that make these horses distinct.  Following the show, you will travel along Iceland’s southern coast through lush farmlands with the rugged mountains, glaciers (including famous Eyjafjallajökull), and volcanoes of the interior on one side and the Atlantic ocean on the other.

You will stop to see Seljalandsfoss waterfall, whose water originates under Eyjafjallajökull’s glacier, cascading from the highlands.  Visitors to Seljalandsfoss can walk behind the falls into a small cave if the weather is warm and there is no ice. You will also visit Skógafoss, one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland and familiar for its many on-screen appearances in popular movies/videos.  Just outside the town of Vík í Mýrdal (or just Vík to the locals), you will visit the soaring basalt rock formation known as Reynisdrangar and the black sand beach of Reynisfjara.

Before returning to your hotel you will see the LAVA exhibit in Hella that includes an impressive live demonstration of lava and its characteristics.

Evening opportunity to view Northern Lights if weather permits. Overnight near Hella.

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Lunar phase: new moon (b, d).

Pxl 20210930 155318113.mp Original 2

After breakfast and the hotel checkout you will visit the Seltún geothermal area, one of the most striking landscapes in Iceland. Steam dominates a view filled with volcanic vents, fumaroles, mud pots, and boiling hot springs. The surrounding hills are painted in earthy colors of golden brown, red, pink, blue, yellow, white and grey.  Following Seltún you will make a short stop at the Hellisheiði geothermal power plant to see the technology behind harnessing geothermal energy.  The plant, which provides Reykjavik with most of its electricity and hot water, is also piloting an innovative direct air capture project that captures 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year and injects it into the ground, where it literally turns to stone.

After lunch, you will visit the Blue Lagoon and relax in its remarkable waters. The Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions and considered by many to be an intrinsic part of the Iceland experience. Breathtaking scenery, ultra modern facilities, and an impressive track record in healing are why the Blue Lagoon draws visitors from all corners of the world to return time and time again.

On your return to Reykjavik you will enjoy a farewell dinner and an evening opportunity to view Northern Lights if weather permits. Overnight Reykjavik.

Friday, September 15, 2023

Lunar phase: waxing crescent (b).

After breakfast you will check out of the hotel and have several hours to do some last minute shopping before the afternoon transfer to the airport. Transfers to the airport will be provided on this day.

  • Astronomer / Scientist guides
  • Professional bilingual guide
  • All ground transportation
  • 4-star accommodations
  • Airport transfers on 9/10 and 9/15  (other dates are not included)
  • Meals (as described in itinerary)
  • Lectures: Astronomy/science talks throughout the tour.
  • Sky Lagoon entrance fee
  • Blue Lagoon entrance fee
  • Flyover Iceland admission
  • Perlan observation deck
  • LAVA Center museum entrance
  • Hellisheiði power plant entrance
  • Friðheimar greenhouse
  • Horse demonstration entrance fee
  • Park entrance fees

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Alchoholic beverages (unless specifically included)
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Activities or services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance

Other Information

Trip cancellation, health, and accident insurance is recommended but not required. It can save you money if you are forced to cancel or alter your trip. We recommend TravelGuard trip insurance ( www.travelguard.com ) and we recommend that all travelers purchase their insurance within 7 days of their initial reservation to take advantage of any pre-existing condition clause.

Immunizations and Health

Precautions should always be taken seriously and pre-trip education on what to eat or to avoid should be planned. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747) or via the  CDC website .

Health Restrictions

It is every traveler’s responsibility to consider all appropriate medical advice regarding whether or not they are fit to take this trip prior to booking their reservation. We recommend that all interested travelers check with their healthcare provider before signing on.  COVID-19: Sirius Travel passengers will be required to comply with all Icelandic recommendations and requirements in place at the time of travel. The latest Icelandic regulations may be reviewed on their official website here: https://www.covid.is/english

Age Restrictions

Children 11 and older are welcome on this tour but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they are under 18. Please note that most countries have very strict entry/exit requirements for minors (under the age of 18 years old), especially minors traveling with only one parent.  Please review the requirements before choosing to travel with a minor.

Room Sharing

If you are traveling alone, you may save quite a bit of money by opting to share a room. We will match solo travelers of the same gender so that they can share a double occupancy room with two beds. We will do our best to match travelers but if we cannot find a match for you then you will be required to pay the single occupancy price.

Historical weather prospects in Iceland: Statistically, the chance of clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy skies is at least 40% throughout September.  The weather is usually dry (average precipitation is 67mm) and the average temperature is 7.4°C (45.3°F) but it can go as high as 10-15°C (50-59°F).  Wind is frequently the main issue and wind/rain gear is essential.  If you don’t block the wind it will feel very cold.

What to Wear

We recommend bringing warm clothes and being prepared for everything, the weather is very unpredictable and it can rain, be sunny and windy, sometimes at the same time. Layers are the key as you want to be able to strip off clothes when it is warm and put them back on when it gets colder. Links here are the same as those on our “ packing suggestions ” page and are Amazon affiliate links.

  • Hiking boots – You will be traveling around the country and walking outside.  You need good waterproof hiking shoes that will keep you warm.
  • Base layer – Warm layers under the clothes might be the best thing you bring to Iceland. We recommend wearing long wool or thermal underwear, you can buy it in outdoor clothing stores in Iceland.
  • Fleece or wool – An Icelandic wool sweater or fleece is a must. Icelandic wool sweaters can be bought all over the country in local stores.
  • Parka or water and windproof jacket – Usually you don’t need a parka in September but, if you have space in your suitcase, why not bring it? A water and windproof jacket over the wool/fleece sweater is essential.
  • Water and windproof pants  – It is windy in Iceland and it rains so bring the pants.
  • Hats , gloves and warm socks – Bring at least two sets of everything, a lighter pair and a thick one as well. Consider the wind which can get through a single knit layer easily. Again, if you need to upgrade while in Iceland, there are stores that carry these items everywhere.
  • Swimsuit – You are going to want to relax in the warm swimming pools or hot springs after a long day outside. It is possible to rent a swimsuit at the spas if you forget yours.

Reserve Your Spot on the September, 2023 Lights & Geology of Iceland Trip

To secure your space at this time, a completed reservation form (below) with payment/deposit on completion of the form is required. You will be forwarded to a page where you may make an online payment via Stripe. Fields marked with an * are required.

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Home > Expeditions > Northern Lights Explorer

Northern Lights Explorer

Usd $ 24,295.00, from usd $ 21,865.50 /pp save 10%*.

Plus Air Credit of USD $1,500 / AUD $2,200 / GBP £1,100 pp*

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  • Health & Safety

Shorter days in the high latitudes means darkening evening skies, so on this voyage we stay close to the coastlines of the Arctic Circle, skirting around the Norwegian and Greenland seas, and exploring remote islands and villages of the region. As night falls, we look skywards hoping to catch the magic of the northern lights. This spectacular natural phenomenon offers a surreal light display as vibrant hues of blue, green, pink and violet dance across the night sky. Places located near the Arctic Circle such as northern Norway, Iceland and Greenland, are some of the best places in the world to witness this stunning light show.

• Sail in a region renowned for its dazzling display of Aurora borealis

• Just south of the Arctic Circle, explore Vega Island, an important centre for the production of eider duck down and a UNESCO World Heritage Site

• Attempt to land on Jan Mayen, home to Mount Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcanic in the world

• Discover the world’s largest fjord system at Greenland’s Scoresbysund, an unbeatable place to photograph dazzling icebergs

• Iceland’s remote Westfjords offer hikes among splendid scenery where you will barely see another soul

northern lights tour 2023

Officially certified proof of vaccination and booster will be required ahead of travel and we will require that it be emailed to Aurora no later than 15 days prior to departure.

Aurora Expeditions does not require passengers to undergo tests for COVID-19 prior to embarkation or during the voyage. We do not conduct routine COVID-19 testing unless required by the relevant authorities. However, passengers who report symptoms of COVID-19 to the medical team during a voyage will be tested.

Northern Lights, Lofoton, Norway © Unsplash

Captured at Nordvestfjord & Eskimobugt on 13Aug, 2019 by Matt Horspool @Etchd Photography.

Coloured Houses, Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland © Michael Baynes

The beautiful city Reine at Lofoten islands © Unsplash

Lofoten islands, Norway © Unsplash

Giant icebergs along the coastline of East Greenland before sunrise © Shutterstock

In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.

Day 1 Arrive in Kirkenes

Having made your way to Kirkenes, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket.  

The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense. 

Accommodation: Thon Hotel Kirkenes (or similar)

Day 2 Embarkation Day

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. 

After a leisurely breakfast, check-out of your room before commencing an excursion of Kirkenes and surrounds. Transfer to the pier for embarkation in the late afternoon, when you will have time to settle into your cabin before attending our mandatory safety briefings, and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail.

This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, friendly expedition team and crew at the Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.

Day 3–6 Norwegian Coast

Over the next few days we explore parts of Norway’s remarkable 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) coastline. Starting in North Cape, in the very north of the country, we make our way south, stopping in the Lofoten Islands and visiting mesmerising Mount Torghatten, famous for the hole through its centre.

The spectacular northern lights is a natural phenomenon that is most commonly seen in the sky above the Arctic Circle, between late autumn and early spring. As we are near North Cape in northern Norway, keep a close watch in hope of witnessing this dazzling spectacle in the night sky. The North Cape is located at a latitude of 71° 10´ 21 and is Europe’s northernmost point. Here we enjoy a short walk, visit the North Cape Hall and perhaps sample some local treats.

Enjoy a Zodiac cruise through spectacular Trollfjord, a gorge flanked by steep mountains and so narrow that it can only be accessed by small ships. In the Lofoten Islands, voted by National Geographic as one the of the most beautiful destinations in the world, we stroll through picturesque villages dotted with red and white fishers’ huts, surrounded by soaring granite peaks. Visit the Lofoten Seafood Center and learn about the impressive cod fisheries and perhaps sample some local seafood.

Crossing south of the Arctic Circle, we visit the Vega archipelago, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. Vega Island is fantastic for birdwatching and here eider ducks are the main attraction, where they are raised for their down, which at one point accounted for one third of the islanders’ income. The islanders still make houses for the birds to nest in and in return, the ducks provide valuable down when they and their chicks leave the nests to continue their lives at sea. The archipelago reflects a traditional way of life that has not changed for more than 1,500 years. On nearby Torget Island, we plan to land and hike to Torghatten, a fascinating rock formation with an equally interesting legend describing the hole in the mountain as having been created by a troll’s arrow.

Day 7 At Sea

Enjoy the crossing to Jan Mayen, accompanied by seabirds as we search for whales. Enjoy informative talks from our team of experts, get to know your fellow expeditioners, stay active in the gym or treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre. Remember to look to the skies at night and hope for sightings of the northern lights.

Day 8 Jan Mayen

The approach to Jan Mayen is spectacular. The huge Beerenberg volcano is the world’s northernmost active volcano, last erupting in 1985. The northern part of the island is a great place to look for whales and dolphins, and contains impressive glaciers, some of which reach the sea. If the weather is friendly, we will try to land at Kvalrossbukta, a relatively sheltered bay on the island’s west coast. This is one of the landings used to supply the Norwegian weather station at Olonkinbyen, a settlement situated on the eastern side of the island. We hope to land in front of the station at Olonkinbyen, so as to visit before embarking on a three-hour hike (weather permitting) back across the island to where the Greg Mortimer will be waiting for us in Kvalrossbukta, and our trusty Zodiacs will transport us back to the ship.

Day 9 At Sea

Our series of onboard lectures continue as sail towards the wild coast of East Greenland. You will learn about sea ice, glaciers, the unique geology found in East Greenland and daring tales of European exploration. We are also in the prime zone to view the northern lights, so glance up to the skies and you might just see more than shimmering stars.

Days 10–13 East Greenland

In the coming days, a host of choices are available to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. The members of our experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor our voyage to suit the day-to-day conditions. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and any opportunities for wildlife encounters. We generally attempt up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day, including cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales feeding near the surface.

Be prepared to experience ice – and lots of it! East Greenland contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks soaring up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet), and glaciers birthing gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system, combine to create breathtaking scenes.

The tundra landscape is home to musk oxen, arctic hares and reindeer. Throughout the area there are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and the cabins of present-day Inuit hunters. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community has an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs and provides the opportunity to meet the friendly locals.

Explore Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers flow into this fjord, the birthplace of hundreds of majestic Greenland icebergs. It is a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund lie Kong Oskar and Kaiser Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and the surrounding mountains offering protection from strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from musk oxen and arctic foxes to mountain hares, and even reindeer, near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds, including the glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.

We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration, located within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, we marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions.

We stretch our legs on hikes across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Inuit. We may see musk oxen, arctic hares and reindeer grazing. The maze of calm, interconnecting waterways in this area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking. We will see ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice.

Day 14 At Sea

Crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, search for whale blows and photograph the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present arctic winds. The dark night skies promise more opportunities to experience the northern lights.

Days 15–18 Iceland

Over the coming days, we explore the Westfjords region, which features outstanding landscapes with jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer, table-top mountains that plunge into the sea, and pristine north Atlantic vegetation. The region features attractive towns such as as Isafjordur, the famous Dynjandi waterfall, and spectacular fjords that are ideal for kayaking, hiking and birdwatching. 

In genuine expeditionary style, we keep our itinerary flexible to allow for spontaneity. We plan to visit Hornstrandir peninsula, one of Iceland’s remotest and most pristine regions, which is filled with deep and dramatic fjords, towering bird cliffs, stunning natural beauty and opportunities for wildlife encounters. Enjoy the bountiful silence and magnificent landscapes seen by the few adventurers that make their way here. In Húsavik, we hope to have magical encounters with the many whales that visit this part of Iceland, known as the country’s whale-watching capital.

Day 19 Disembark in Reykjavik

During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as you continue your onward journey. Transfer to Keflavik airport or to your centrally located hotel.

Note : We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as we may experience delays at the conclusion of the voyage.

  • Transfer from airport to hotel on arrival Day 1
  • One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, on Day 1
  • Tour of Kirkenes and transfer to ship Day 2
  • Transfer from pier to airport or hotel on Day 22
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Captain’s Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation)
  • One 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
  • International or domestic flights – unless specified in itinerary
  • Transfers – unless specified in itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals – unless specified in the itinerary
  • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges
  • All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), gratuities, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges

Included Activities

Bird watching

Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations

Near shore cruises

Photography

Polar plunge

Trips ashore

Whale and mammal spotting

Zodiac cruises

Add-on Activities

Sea kayaking.

From USD $ 1,190.00 /pp

Sea Kayaking Vacations One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica, the Arctic and beyond. Sea kayaking holidays in …

Sea Kayaking Vacations

One of the most exhilarating ways to experience antarctica, the arctic and beyond..

Sea kayaking holidays in the humbling wilderness of  Antarctica , the Arctic , and some of the world’s most biodiverse regions, are guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes,  absorbing the majestic scenery as it unfolds before you. 

In Antarctica, keep your camera on-hand for unforgettable encounters with penguins, seals and whales, and occasionally leopard seals or orcas. In the Arctic, prepare to  paddle under nesting bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around large iceberg. 

Led by experienced guides , you and your small group of like-minded adventurers will paddle between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Paddling is one of the best ways to access and intimately explore the beautiful coastlines we visit and therefore make the most of your time in the wild and remote destinations we visit . 

‘Getting out amongst it’ is our philosophy, and that is exactly what we do. Weather permitting, the sea kayaking activity is normally available anytime the other expeditioners go out. Rather than travelling large distances, our aim is to ensure you see as much as possible. We paddle between 5 to 15 kilometres (2 to 4 hours) per outing, often taking a snack and a flask of hot chocolate to enjoy on our excursion.

Each small group of kayakers (up to 10 per guide) will have their own intimate exploration of the small hidden bays and coasts that are inaccessible to Zodiacs. Of course, we also make time for your own shore excursions and wildlife encounters.

The elements play an important role in our sea kayaking program. It is important that you have an adventurous attitude and understand that the weather can impact our kayaking time.

What about beginners up to the challenge?

You should be fit enough to paddle for up to three hours and climb between moving Zodiacs on the water. Regular exercise is recommended, because the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the experience. The more paddles you can do before the trip, the better. We recommend at least three outings prior to your voyage.

Polar regions

During summer the air temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula, Greenland and Spitsbergen are generally above freezing but can range from -4°C to +5°C / 24.8°F to 41°F. The water temperature in the polar regions is close to freezing and winds sweep off the glaciers, making paddling a chilling experience. In South Georgia, there are stronger winds and swells than in Antarctica. Scotland, Iceland, Norwegian coasts are warmer with water temperatures of around 12 °C/ 53.6°F.

Temperate regions

The northern waters are warmer than the polar regions but water temperatures of around 12 °C/ 53.6°F mean you may opt to wear your paddle jacket on a warm, sunny day or our dry suits on a cool day. Surf landings are not likely, but you must be capable of paddling in a small swell or wind chop, with winds up to 20 knots. With that being said, we will not paddle if wind conditions are too strong and there is no sheltered area for paddling.

Tropical regions

In Costa Rica and Panama, April is the end of the dry season. The shoulder season begins in May, bringing increased humidity. Afternoon rain showers are possible in May with temperatures ranging from 26-36 °C (80- 96 °F). Winds are generally light at this time of year. The water temperature ranges from 27 -29 °C. Surf landings are not likely, but be prepared to paddle in a small swell or wind chop, with winds up to 15 knots. Again, we will not paddle if wind conditions are too strong and there is no sheltered area for paddling.

The Sea Kayaking activity is available for an additional surcharge and includes guided excursions and kayaking equipment. Fares for this activity start from US$900, AU$1,250, £460 or €550. 

Prices are indicative only and are variable. They are calculated based on the days of voyage, ability to carry out the activity and exchange rates.

Top reasons to choose a Sea Kayaking holiday

See wildlife unobtrusively.

Kayaking is one of the best ways to spot rare wildlife, from penguins to puffins.

Better access

Access intimate bays and coves that bigger crafts can't reach.​

Knowledgeable guides

Our experienced sea kayak guides will help bring your chosen destination to life.

Become an expert

Hone your kayaking skills and gain a hobby for life!

Make friends

Become lifelong friends with your small group of like-minded adventurers.

Stay fit on your holiday

Being active every day on your holiday means you don't have to feel guilty about being spoilt by our expert chefs!

Enhance your experience

Add another layer to your once-in-a-lifetime holiday and make the most out of your time in some of the most remote places on earth.

Have the time of your life exploring some of the wildest places on earth from the water.

Kayaking in Scotland

Sea Kayaking in Scotland

northern lights tour 2023

Sea Kayaking in Antarctica

Two People Kayaking in Spitsbergen, Svalbard; Al Bakker 1

Sea Kayaking in Norway

northern lights tour 2023

Sea Kayaking in Greenland

northern lights tour 2023

Sea Kayaking in the Arctic

Kayaking in Baffin Island, Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada; The Wilderness Adventure Company

Sea Kayaking in Canada

Sea kayaking vacation faqs.

Our guide to paddler ratio is 1:10 and we provide an accompanying safety Zodiac. There are 26 places available in Antarctica and tropical voyages, 20 in temperate regions, South Georgia and all Arctic trips except in Franz Josef Land where the maximum is 16 kayakers.

Kayakers must be 14 or over.

Sea kayaking is offered in place of regular shore excursions. We aim to paddle as often as possible. Depending on the voyage, we generally aim to paddle twice per day.

We will give you a drybag for extra clothing, binoculars and anything that needs to be kept dry. You should also carry a water bottle. We recommend bringing a waterproof camera or phone, or ensuring you have a good quality waterproof case.

If the weather changes during our outing we will head back to the ship and perhaps join a shore excursion. The ship’s captain, expedition leader and kayak guide always maintain close contact to ensure a safe paddling experience. We do not attempt to paddle too far away from the ship. The emphasis is on experiencing the destination rather than travelling long distances.

The kayaks are made with a hard plastic and are easily paddled in swell and conducting shore landings, and through small patches of brash ice. We manoeuvre around the larger ice chunks and floes.

Kayaking in the poles offers a unique wildlife viewing experience. In Antarctica, we have many opportunities to encounter penguins, seals and whales, and occasionally we may even spot leopard seals or orcas. In the Arctic, we’ll paddle under nesting bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around large icebergs, however we maintain a safe distance from polar bears and walruses. Our guides carry rifles and flare guns in the Arctic to ensure your safety against polar bears.

Kayakers in wild temperate regions will have a unique wildlife experience, with possible encounters with seals and basking sharks. You will have the opportunity to view some of the largest sea bird colonies in the northern hemisphere.

The superb wildlife-viewing opportunities are endless in th e astonishingly biodiverse nature reserves we visit. Kayaks offer a unique opportunity to view marine and land mammals, coral reefs, tropical fish, sea birds and an astonishing range of rainforest birds. We will bring our snorkelling gear with us during our paddles and take advantage of any opportunities to view marine life up close.

In the unlikely event of a capsize, your experienced guide will assist by righting the kayak, stabilising it then pumping it out. Paddlers will re-enter with the guide’s help, or with a support Zodiac. With drysuits and warm clothing underneath you will be comfortable in cold water for up to half an hour. Note that the kayaks have separate compartments with bulkheads, which means they will float after a capsize.

No. Each kayaking place is for one person only. Passengers are unable to share a kayaking place as we customise the kayaks and dry suits for each individual kayaker at the beginning of each voyage.

Around Iceland Self Drive

From: Keflavik, Iceland To: Keflavik, Iceland Discover Iceland on a self-drive journey, taking in breathtaking fjords, lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and icebergs while

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

Daily from May to September

Iceland Complete

From: Reykjavik, Iceland To: Reykjavik, Iceland Discover the world’s largest lava mass in Cross Eldhruan and later continue to the birthplace of

10 DAYS / 9 NIGHTS

Selected dates May-Sep

Norway in a Nutshell

Start: Oslo End: Bergen Enjoy one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys and then explore picturesque Bergen at your own pace.

6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS

Departs Daily

Taste of Reykjavik (Post-Voyage)

You won’t regret spending time exploring Reykjavik and its surrounds. Discover cosmopolitan Reykjavik on a walking tour, and treat yourself

3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS

Taste of Reykjavik (Pre-Voyage)

Repeat passenger.

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We welcome solo travellers

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Want to book flights and accommodation with us or simply want some additional information? Click the button below and fill out the form, our expedition experts are more than happy to help.

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*Terms & Conditions apply. Valid on select ship voyages only. Offer is valid on new bookings only aboard the  Greg Mortimer  or  Sylvia Earle which must be booked and deposited by March 31, 2024. Promotion is subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is only available in conjunction with the back to back voyage discount or the loyalty program offer, and not available with any other offer. The promotion can be withdrawn at any time and is not redeemable for cash. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. To confirm your booking, a completed booking form and non-refundable deposit of $2,500 pp in the booking currency is required within 7 days of reserved berth/s. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please see full terms and conditions .

^Terms & Conditions apply. Additional 5% discount valid on both voyages but two voyages must connect back to back in terms of dates to be eligible. Offer is valid on new bookings only aboard the  Greg Mortimer  or  Sylvia Earle . Promotions are subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is only available in conjunction with early bird voyage discount or the loyalty program offer, and not available with any other offer. The offer can be withdrawn at any time and are not redeemable for cash. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. Please see full  terms and conditions .

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Aurora Highlights Independent

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Aurora Village Ivalo

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  • Best Seller

5 days - Aurora Glass Cabin | Snow Hotel | Northern Lights - Kirkenes to Ivalo

Visit one of the northernmost inhabited areas in the world and experience a unique Sami culture, amazing scenery and exhilarating winter activities with this short highlights tour. Spend a night in the magical Kirkenes Snow Hotel and try your hand at dog-sledding, arctic king crab fishing and reindeer sledding. If conditions are right —be dazzled by the northern lights, preferably on the night you are sleeping in an Aurora Glass Cabin in Northern Finland.

This tour can also be done in reverse, starting in Ivalo. Read a testimonial of this from March 2023.

Highlights include

  • Catch some Arctic King Crab and sit with others to enjoy the feast afterwards by the fire
  • Dress warmly and go Aurora Borealis hunting by Reindeer Sled
  • Stay in two unique Northern hotels, Aurora Village and the Gamme Cabins or a snow room in Kirkenes

Please note that all our itineraries, inclusions, dates and prices displayed on this website may change at any time. If you book an itinerary today and have this confirmed it will be the itinerary that is delivered to you. However, the online itinerary on our website may change in the meantime.

As a Certified B Corporation, 50 Degrees North has designed this tour using handpicked local hoteliers and suppliers who share our ethos of delivering services and activities of high social and environmental standards.

The CO2-e per person per day of all tours is carefully measured following each season. We fully offset all emissions of our tours on your behalf, and we constantly look at ways to reduce emissions where possible.

Transportation

  • Bus transfers between Kirkenes and Ivalo
  • All hotel accommodation in shared double/twin room with private facilities, single supplement available
  • 3 nights in an Aurora Glass Cabin, breakfast and dinner included
  • Kirkenes Stay: Gamme cabins or a snow room option incl. dinner
  • Daily breakfast
  • Included Activities: Arctic King Crab Safari, Husky safari (2 hrs), Snow mobile safari, Reindeer Farm Visit and Aurora Hunting by car
  • Outdoor clothing for winter activities/safaris (winter boots, balaclavas, woollen socks, mittens, overalls, tube scarf) at the Aurora Cabins
  • Sparkling piccolo bottle, water bottle, tea, coffee and sweets as complimentary arrival treats in your room at Aurora Cabins
  • Toboggans, sleds, sliders, ice-skates, cross-country skis, kick-sledges and outdoor games are available complimentary at the Aurora Glass Cabin.
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fees

Not Included

Flights, meals other than specified, winter clothing (thermal overall & boots) for the entire stay, items of personal nature, beverages, additional activities such as icefishing, horse riding or overnight safaris .

Please note that additional nights can be added either in Kirkenes or Ivalo.

If you would prefer a private transfer between Kirkenes and Ivalo, we can do this for an additional cost.

A Norwegian coastal cruise between Kirkenes and Tromsø can be added where possible.

Day 1 - Arrive into Kirkenes port, transfer to the Snowhotel with a Arctic King Crab Safari

Arrive in Kirkenes and transfer to the snow hotel. Today you will join an Arctic King Crab Safari - a very popular highlight for our travellers north.

The Arctic King Crab is a sought after delicacy and you will learn how to catch, prepare and eat them. Your guide takes you out and you can lend a hand in sawing through the ice before your guide attempts to land you a few of these massive crustaceans. Enjoy the day's catch for lunch seated by a cosy fire in a small local farmhouse by the lake. You will travel to the lake by snowmobile sleigh.

This evening, you can either stay in one of the warm Gamme cabins or sleep in one of the cold snow rooms at the Snowhotel.

Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is like a small treasure. The rooms are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable night in the somewhat extreme conditions. The pictures look like you are sleeping on ice, but that would be too cold and too hard for your back. The beds are framed with ice blocks and the beds have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag graded for -35 degrees celcius. However, snow is a very good insulator, so even when it's -35 degrees outside, the Snowhotel remains a stable -4 degrees.

Upon entering the gates of the Snowhotel, you will receive a welcome drink at the snowbar, made from berries collected from surrounding hills. It will then be time to make the ‘coolest’ hotel check-in around!

Accommodation

northern lights tour 2023

Day 2 - Transfer to Aurora Village Resort and settle into your Aurora Glass Cabin

Transfer by shuttle bus door to door from Kirkenes to Ivalo (3.4 - 4 hrs). Check in to your Aurora Glass Cabin where you will be spending the next two nights!

Dinner at the hotel then get ready for your night under the stars - and hopefully the Northern Lights.

Finnish Aurora Glass Cabins provides 'one-of-a kind' opportunities to admire the Northern Lights and millions of stars in the crystal clear sky while enjoying a comfortable room temperature. Built with a massive special thermal glass window facing sky wards, the temperature inside the cabin always stays at a normal level. It also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, hence keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C.

Day 3 - Husky Safari and then Aurora Hunting by car in the evening

After breakfast, get ready for today's husky safari - an unforgettable journey through breathtaking winter scenery.

On arrival to the husky farm we will provide you with a warm outer thermal suit, gloves and hat and then we will present your very own husky team. You will be given a lesson on how to drive the sledge and how to observe important hand signals given by your leader.

Each team consists of about six dogs, you, the driver, and your passenger, who is comfortably seated in the wooden sledge. The driver and the passenger can change places during the safari.

In the evening, join a Northern Lights search. After some research on the weather forecast, your guides will take a car and drive it to places where the sky is most clear and the probability of seeing the Northern Lights is highest. Your experienced guide, a professional Aurora Hunter has some interesting stories to tell as you drink hot drinks and snacks along the way.

Day 4 - Snowmobile adventure, then a Reindeer Safari with local farm visit

Rise and shine - get ready for adventures after breakfast. Driving through the arctic winter forests across the frozen river while admiring the beauty of the Lappish nature your guide leads your way on an exciting snowmobile safari. Keep your camera with you! There are a couple of stops for taking amazing photos and chatting with your guide about life in Lapland.

This afternoon, you will drive to a reindeer farm in the fell region of Saariselkä to enjoy a calm 45-minute ride in a sleigh pulled by a reindeer, followed by hot drinks and stories about reindeer herding.

Day 5 - Depart to Ivalo airport for your flight onwards

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Ivalo airport.

Price per person, twin share. Please note: the two different accommodation options available in Kirkenes (either the Snowroom or Gamme Cabins) vary slightly in price.

Important Information

Please note that this tour can also be run in reserve, starting in Ivalo.

SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL:

Your glass igloo hosts in Ivalo were the first accommodation in Northern Lapland to receive the Green Key award, the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Some examples of how they carry this out include offering recycling facilities in all cabins and no longer offering plastic bottles in accommodations, along with protecting the diversity of the surrounding nature, i.e., bird house and insect hotels. Hiking, biking, and skiing tracks are direct from the hotel and as such they encourage low carbon activities such as snowshoeing and toboggans.

northern lights tour 2023

Kirkenes Winter Experience

5 days - Snowhotel stay easily combined with Norwegian Coastal voyage

Aurora Village, Ivalo

Aurora Highlights Reverse Independent

5 days - Aurora Glass Cabin | Snow Hotel | Northern Lights - Ivalo to Kirkenes

Asaf Kliger

Lapland Highlights Escorted

11 days - Escorted small group - visiting Norway, Sweden and Finland | ICEHOTEL & Glass Igloos

  • 2025 Dates Now Available - 12 travellers only

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Travel Safe

Travel insurance and safety.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. The safety of our travellers, staff and operators is a major priority of 50 Degrees North. With an operational office in Norway, 50 Degrees North has access to an up-to-the-minute flow of information regarding the countries we work in. We are also in regular contact with the various operators we use. Their in-depth knowledge and understanding of their various areas is vital.

Practical information about Scandinavian Hotels

  • Hotel rooms in Scandinavia are normally furnished with twin beds, which can be moved together to form a double bed or placed separately. Please note that single rooms are generally smaller than doubles, and are often equipped with a shower instead of a bath. Purpose-built triple or family rooms are likewise unusual in Scandinavian hotels. Whilst it is possible for 3 persons to share a room, this will normally be a double room with an extra bed, with correspondingly less space to move about in.
  • It is also unusual to have a porter at hotels to carry your luggage.
  • There is free wi-fi in many hotels in Scandinavia.
  • Unexpectedly, all forms of Scandinavian accommodation rarely provide tea and coffee facilities in their rooms. If you are lucky, a kettle will be supplied but nothing else. Please ask at reception for some provisions when you arrive or just carry a small selection from home.
  • Please also note that in Scandinavia - in particular, during winter - the included lunch will often be a hearty warm soup with bread.
  • More remote hotels in Lapland will offer dinner at an additional cost. In some spots, there will be limited choices else where. Generally, you get a very nice home-cooked Scandinavian dinner. However, you may sometimes find only one or two choices only for your main course.
  • In Scandinavia, it is normal for washing and laundry facilities to be in the basement. If you are staying in apartment type accommodation, check downstairs or ask for assistance.

Twin beds in Scandinavia

Practical budgeting information before your departure to Norway

Practical budgeting information before your departure to norway:, budget surprises:.

Norway has a few items that typically surprise travellers when visiting Norway for the first time. Alcohol and luxury items are heavily taxed and therefore prices are higher than you would expect. On the other hand, necessities such as bread and milk, are taxed low and therefore are great value.

Alcohol import allowance into Norway:

We recommend that you bring all the alcohol you’re allowed to bring into the country when you arrive. There are many lovely parks and balconies where you can enjoy your duty free. However, be sure not to bring more than you’re allowed!

As of May 2014, the allowances according to Visit Norway are:

Alcoholic beverages: Minimum age: 18/ 20*

1 litre of beverages with more than 22% up to and including 60% alcohol per volume as well as 1½ litre with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume or three litres with more than 2.5% up to and including 22% alcohol per volume and 2 litres of beer with more than 2.5 % or other beverages with more than 2.5% up to and including 4.7% alcohol per volume. This means that you may for example bring with you five litres of beer provided you do not have any other alcoholic beverages with you.

*For importing alcoholic beverages with more than 22% alcohol per volume the minimum age is 20.

It’s illegal to bring extra alcohol into Norway and can end up costing you. Another thing you should bring and not buy in Norway is razor blades. Good razor blades in Norway are expensive.

Practical Information for travelling and packing for Scandinavian Winter

Recommended scandinavian winter tour packing list:.

  • Warm wind and water proof jacket and trousers large enough to fit thick woollen jumper/clothing underneath
  • Rain trousers – waterproof and breathable material
  • Warm windproof cap/hat
  • Warm gloves or mittens. Mittens where all fingers except the thumb are together are often warmer than gloves.
  • Windproof gloves or mittens, which you can pull over the warm gloves
  • 2 pairs of long woollen underwear (Merino wool in a few different thicknesses is perfect)
  • 1-2 warm woollen jumper(s), or one jumper and a warm fleece
  • Woollen or fleece trousers
  • 2-3 pairs of warm woollen socks
  • Warm & sturdy footwear with good grip
  • Clothes for indoors, i.e. a shirt, T-shirts and jeans or cotton trousers
  • Back pack for day trips (approx. 30 litre)
  • Light footwear/trainers (mainly for indoors)
  • Sun screen & Lip salve (the sun reflects off the snow and the air is dry)
  • Hand warmers
  • Nordic Grip anti-slip soles for walking on ice
  • Personal medication
  • Water bottle - thermo, or include a cover to keep warm (or you can stick it into a warm sock)
  • Travel documents (including insurance)
  • Note book and pencil
  • Camera, memory cards and charger
  • Chargers for other gadgets
  • Extra batteries for your cameras as they are used fast in cold conditions.

Walking on Ice advice

General information about staying at the Kirkenes Snowhotel

Practical information about the kirkenes snowhotel., how is the snowhotel built.

First the Kirkenes Snowhotel engineers produce a lot of snow with water, cold air and snow-machines. Then they inflate a large balloon and cover this with snow. When this balloon is totally compacted with 2 metres of snow, they then deflate the balloon and remove it, leaving a circular room. For the corridors, they construct wooden frames and also cover them in snow before removing them.

When is the Snowhotel open?

Kirkenes Showhotel opens each year around 20 December and closes on the 20 April.

How cold is it inside the Snowhotel?

The temperature inside is a constant minus 4 degrees Celsius.

What do you sleep on inside the Snowhotel?

There are 20 bedrooms with normal mattresses. On top of the mattress is an extra thermal insulation layer. You are also provided a sleeping bag made for extreme expeditions, rated for minus 30 degrees celsius. Most guests however, find that it can get too hot inside the sleeping bag.

In the marketing pictures, it looks like the beds are made of ice! However, they have cleverly placed ice-blocks around the beds to create the illusion of an ice-bed! Sleeping directly on ice would be a bit drastic and not very comfortable.

How is the lighting in the rooms?

Every room is decorated differently which is why there  is also  different lighting used to create a different atmosphere. The lights are LED which gives off very little heat. For security reasons the lights are not switched off. We advise using eye covers to sleep if a small amount of light bothers you.

Do you have bathrooms and showers?

There have nice bathrooms, showers and a sauna in the building next to the Snowhotel. So you have to leave your sleeping bag for a few minutes. Brrr....

Who usually books a night at the Snowhotel?

It is usually couples. Average age is around 45, however their oldest guest has been 92 years old! Each year, the Kirkenes Snowhotel sees marriage proposals being made and of course, in such a beautiful place,  weddings for many happy couples take place.

Is the Snowhotel safe?

Yes. The Snowhotel is constructed to the calculations and standards made by a Finnish professor of snow building. The Snowhotel is still standing a month after they close for the season, even with the warmer weather!

Who should not sleep at the Snowhotel?

People with claustrophobia have had trouble sleeping in the Snowhotel. There is also a minimum age of 7 years to stay in the snowhotel. There is a warm lobby available in case people may feel uncomfortable during their night’s stay.

Northern Lights Tours & Holidays

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Self drive tours mean the places in which you seek the northern lights, and the amount of time you search for them, are entirely up to you, allowing you to maximise your chances of capturing this amazing phenomenon.

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Vacation Packages in Iceland

Self drive tours in iceland, tour calendar, nature tours in iceland, adventure tours in iceland, cheap bus tours in iceland, top tour destinations in iceland, verified customer reviews.

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Amit Bokade

Amit Bokade

Was really a lovely experience booking a trip from Guide to Iceland. Team were super responsive and answered queries within a short period of time. Also, they were super supportive to make ad-hoc adjustments, as per my travel plans. For anyone planning to explore Iceland and its beauty without having much a hassle and smooth process, would definitely recommend it to others.

David Hansen

David Hansen

Everything was taken care of! All we had to do is show up and start enjoying our time in Iceland.

Carlos Felipe Castro Moya

Carlos Felipe Castro Moya

I loved the way you treated us customers, and of course every trip you planned for us!

LeeTing Lau

LeeTing Lau

Incredible 2d1n roadtrip with Troll. Our beautiful and capable tour guide never fail to surprises us with stunning scenes (& some extra scenes too!!). it was very pleasant travelling with Troll overall.

What are the Northern Lights?

The northern lights, otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis, are phenomena that occur at high latitudes when solar particles ionise as they enter the earth's atmosphere, appearing in the night sky in the form of waving ribbons of colour. These ‘ribbons’ have captivated their viewers for centuries, bringing about defying awe and unspeakable mystery.

The northern lights are, in fact, occurring throughout the year, yet it is only during the dark winter nights that they become visible to the human eye. This is, naturally, what makes northern light hunting one of the most popular winter activities in Iceland. You can partake in numerous tours that take you to the best northern lights spotting locations, such as an affordable Northern Lights Bus Tour that takes you far away from the city's light-pollution, or a Northern Lights Boat Cruise that allows you to witness the auroras out on the open sea. Outside of Scandinavia, it is only possible to go northern light hunting in such places as Alaska, northern Canada and Siberia. 

Modern scientific understanding of the northern lights did not mature until the 1880's when researchers discovered their connection to solar activity. Further study, seventy years later, would deepen this revelation, with new breakthroughs made in the knowledge that electrons and protons travel to earth on a ‘solar wind’. Today, research is ongoing into the northern lights as we further our understanding of deep space and our connection to it.

The northern lights have long been known to the Scandinavian people, inspiring some of the greatest and longstanding tales to have ever come out of Norse Mythology.

One of the most prominent of these relates to Ragnarök, a great future battle that, as foretold, will see the world submerged in water, and a significant number of the Gods dead, including the likes of Odin, Thor and Loki. After the events of Ragnarök, it is said that the world will be born anew, strengthening the ancient themes of birth, death and rebirth.

To prepare for this battle, Odin, the Chieftain of Asgard, would summon his most prized warriors, the Valkyries, female battle-maidens who rode on horseback carrying spears and shields. Ancient stories would surmise that the northern lights were a reflection of this Valkyrian armour.

Another widely spoken about interpretation is that the aurora was the ‘Bifrost Bridge’, a rainbow walkway that led deceased warriors into the glorious, glowing halls of Valhalla.

To the Icelandic Vikings, the aurora was a phenomenon to be celebrated, a popular trend that has continued to this day with countless Northern Lights tours taking place across the land of Ice and Fire. Neighbouring Scandinavians, however, were less than trustful.

Many Norse people, such as the indigenous Finno-Ugric people, the Sámi, felt that the lights were to be feared. Believing these dancing green, red and yellow light waves to be the souls of the dead, the Sámi were careful to never show any sign of disrespect towards the lights, be that whistling beneath them, singing, talking or even waving them to them.

It is said, that those who fail to heed these warnings will be pulled up into the sky, forever trapped among these nocturnal spirits. Due to this slumbering myth, it is thought that some Sámi people, even today, will not go outside when the northern lights dance above.

It is perhaps the Finnish who have the most beautiful allegory for the auroras, believing them to be created by the arctic fox, an animal that just so happens to be Iceland’s only native mammal. The Finnish name for the aurora translates to “Fire Fox”, a direct reference to the ethereal fox that would dash so quickly across the night sky that his tail would brush against the mountains, thus causing a vast and colourful outburst of sparks.

Still, another interpretation of the Arctic fox story differs somewhat, and provides some justification on the part of an ancient people as to why the lights only appeared in winter; instead of sparks, the fox’ tail was thought to have kicked up snowflakes into the air which then caught the light of the moon.

When it comes down to the folklore of Iceland particularly, it was believed that the northern lights helped to soothe the pain of childbirth, though women who had yet to give birth were warned not to look at them directly, in fear that the child would be born cross-eyed.

During your visit in Iceland, you have the option of seeing the northern lights on your own. But should you want to view them from the best spots, far away from the light-pollution of human settlements, you would be well advised to take a northern lights tour, in which a knowledgeable guide tells you all there is to know about this fantastic phenomenon.

Frequently asked questions

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Alaska's Northern Lights

About this tour.

Take a snowy peek into Alaska. Visit the friendly local towns of the last frontier and bond with energetic sled dogs. Experience a winter glacier cruise among drifting icebergs and playful otters. Spend one night at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, taking in unparalleled views of Denali and the Alaskan Range. Glimpse into the past at Musk Ox Farm. Search for the northern lights in Fairbanks’ star-filled sky. Step into another time at the Antique Auto Museum, where vintage cars sit between timely artifacts and fashionable designer dresses. Travel via Alaska Railroad, take in a landscape of natural beauty, and connect with a deeply rooted heritage.

Your Tour Includes

  • 3 Handpicked Accommodations

Included Highlights

  • Northern Light Excursions
  • Winter Glacier Cruise
  • Prince William Sound

Your Tour at a Glance

6 Breakfasts

4 - Very Active

Travel Style

Explorations

Customize Your Tour

Optional Excursions

Starting at $300.00

Activity Level

  • Level This Tour

For specific details about this tour's activity level and other info to know before you book your trip, click here.

Extension Style

Travel styles, highlights and inclusions.

Must-See Inclusions:

Enjoy a scenic ride from Talkeetna to Fairbanks via Alaska railroad.

Peruse antique cars and glamorous fashions of the past at the Antique Auto Museum.

Pass by floating glaciers and playful otters on a winter glacier cruise in Prince William Sound.

Cultural Experiences:

Search for the northern lights in Fairbanks’ star-filled sky.

Hop in a sled and experience dog mushing like a local.

Visit Musk Ox Farm and learn about the sustainable domestication project.

Culinary Inclusions:

Enjoy a taste of wild Alaskan salmon.

Learn all about the Iditarod as you dine on the property of a legendary racing kennel.

  • Alaska Railroad
  • Dog Mushing

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* With Insurance Purchased

  • *No Hassle Refunds
  • Traveling Well Safety
  • No booking fee, *no change fees
  • Top Rated Travel Protection

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Getting Prepared

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Pre and Post Night Stay

Unique Experience

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Enhance Your Trip

  • Tour Extensions

Hotel-Hilton Anchorage

See the vast beauty of Alaska from a bird’s-eye-view. Board a plane and soar over the breathtaking landscapes of Denali – North America’s tallest peak. Take in spectacular views including the face of Denali, a dramatic gorge, and sweeping ice-falls that you can’t find by foot. Most visitors bring a camera and a memory card with lots of space to capture the experience forever. Enjoy the live commentary on board with headsets to hear the guide clearly. Small-group tour ensures a more personalized experience.

Make like a true Alaskan adventurer as you set off to cross the Arctic Circle. As you travel by air, just east of the gates of the Arctic National Park, view the rugged Brooks Mountain Range and tundra landscape. In Coldfoot, learn about the traditional people that continue to sustain their lifestyle and culture in the Yukon River Valley. Finally, achieve the mark of a true explorer as you cross the Arctic Circle and receive an official Arctic Circle Adventure Certificate.

Accommodations

Arrive earlier.

Pre Night: Hilton Anchorage From $125 per night

Hilton Anchorage

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Northern Lights in Russia: Arctic Winter Magic

Duration 12 days

Price from AUD $4,666 ? Currency Conversion Converted from USD based on the latest exchange rate. Final amount and payment will be in USD. Final conversion rate is determined by your bank.

Trip Style Cultural, Northern Lights

Time of year Dec - March

Home / Moscow Tours / Northern Lights in Russia: Arctic Winter Magic

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Russian winter turns cities a dazzlingly photogenic white, and reveal the true beauty of the Kola Peninsula, whose Arctic skies are often graced with the mythical Aurora Borealis.

Russian winters are harsh yet extraordinarily beautiful, and it’s the lands above the Arctic Circle where winter's transformational effects are most keenly felt. The Kola Peninsula is home to people and animals who not only survive but thrive despite the chilling temperatures. Ending in the 'capital' of the Arctic Circle, Murmansk, this Northern Lights tour shows you two sides to life in the Russian Winter, from the grandiose cities of Moscow and St Petersburg to the polar landscapes of the remote Kola Peninsula.

Northern Lights in Russia tour highlights: 

  • Moscow City Tour: Begin your journey in Russia’s mighty capital discovering Moscow's highlights. Start with a guided exploration of the Kremlin in its finest winter decorations, before heading underground to discover the famous Moscow Metro system and its lavishly decorated subterranean stations
  • Armed with the knowledge of an expert guide, uncover some of the most esteemed treasures among the 3 million works of art in St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum
  • Hovercraft Ride: Visit the small rural settlement of Kizhi Island, today an enchanting open-air museum with over 80 original wooden structures from the 14th to 17th  centuries. In the middle of Lake Obega, Kizhi is only accessible in winter via a hovercraft able to navigate the icy, aquatic terrain
  • Polar Nights and Astral Lights: Crossing into the Kola Peninsula, you'll spend four nights above the Polar Circle where the chance to experience the Northern Lights in all their splendour is a tantalising prospect each evening
  • Visit one of the Kola Peninsula’s largest indigenous Saami settlements. Learn about their ancient  culture, customs and cuisines and try your hand at essential Saami skills like reindeer lassoing and husky sledding

On this trip to see the northern lights in Russia, we begin in Moscow, where the city’s monuments, parks and churches are transformed into a scene from a winter fairy tale, all icing sugar snow and shimmering lights. Next, we head north to Saint Petersburg, where you can enjoy world-class attractions like the Hermitage at a leisurely pace, free of the tourist crowds typical of the summer months.

Forging closer to Arctic Circle, we’ll stop to admire the Ruskeala Mountain Park, spending a day absorbing the park's natural beauty, including shimmering waterfalls and the amazing, 100m deep Marble Canyon. During winter evenings, the canyon is illuminated by a dream-like display of multi-coloured lights. Next, we'll navigate the icy waters of Lake Onega on a day trip to historic Kizhi Island.

Finally, we’ll cross into the Polar North, arriving in the Kola Peninsula by train. Discover the customs of the indigenous Saami and traverse their snowy lands in sleds pulled by huskies and reindeer. Finally, we reach Murmansk, the largest city in the Kola Peninsula. While there’s the possibility to observe Aurora Borealis throughout our time in the Kola, Murmansk and the surrounding area is regarded as one of the best places in the world to experience the psychedelic light display in all its awe-inspiring glory.

This tour perfectly encapsulates the charm, allure and beauty of both urban and rural Russia in winter. From the cities to the mountains to the Arctic Circle, you'll witness magical sights and scenes that can only be experienced in the season of ice, snow and amazing astral projections that light up the darkest winter nights in unforgettable fashion.

Accomodation

Cultural, Northern Lights

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Type of tour

12 days / 11 nights

min 2 people

Private tour

northern lights tour 2023

Itinerary View map

Day 1 welcome to moscow.

Arrive in Moscow and transfer to your centrally located hotel. Get your first taste of life in the Russian metropolis, exploring the city at your leisure.

Day 2 Moscow: Red Square, Kremlin and Armoury Chamber

Our first acquaintance with Moscow starts with a walking tour of the historical city centre. Almost every building in the historical centre of Moscow is associated with different events and celebrated personalities of Russian history and culture.

You will see and hear the stories of the most popular places in the city: Red Square , the hub of Russia, with its fantastic "stone flower"- St. Basil Cathedral , one of the symbols of Moscow; fancy Manezhnaya Square with the Zero Kilometer, a starting point for all Moscow roads;  Alexander’s Garden  with the eternal flame, a WW2 memorial, where you might watch a change of guards. These are places that make Moscow one of the most beautiful cities in Russia.

Have a delicious lunch in one of the multiple downtown cafes or restaurants and continue the day with a tour of the  Kremlin grounds and Armoury Chamber . The Kremlin used to be a fortress then the residence of the Russian Tsars.

After the Revolution of 1917, the USSR Government moved in it. Now it is the seat of the Russian President and a unique cultural museum complex that consists of palaces, cathedrals and museums.

You will tour the grounds of the Kremlin and visit its strikingly beautiful cathedrals full of ancient frescoes and icons, such as Assumption Cathedral  where Russian tsars and emperors were crowned; Archangel Cathedral  - the burial vault of the Russian tsars until 18th centuries; and  Annunciation Cathedral , a home church for the royalty. 

You will get to meet the 2 prominent Russian tsars in person:  the Tsar Bell and the Tsar Cannon , the biggest in the world. Kremlin will surely reveal you some mysteries of the Russian state and soul.  

While touring the Kremlin you will also visit Armoury Chamber, famous for the Tsar's regalia such as jewellery crowns, orbs and sceptres, clothing of the Russian tsars and tsarinas, royal carriages, collection of arms and armour, gifts to the Russian Tsars from various countries of the West and the East, and the illustrious collection of Faberge Easter eggs.

Take your time to relax as we prepare something special as an option* for this evening. Head out for an unforgettable night at the opera or the Russian ballet at the iconic Bolshoi Theatre.

Day 3 Moscow: Panoramic tour, Metro and Tretyakov Gallery

Today, we explore Moscow further on a car tour of the city, giving you a sense of the city’s sheer size, and an impression of how Moscow has changed throughout the ages. Visit the starkly contrasting Theatre Square to see the stunning Bolshoi Theatre. Stroll along Tverskaya Street , the city’s main boulevard and home to the landmark Yeleseyevskiy Grocery Store , a former palace turned luxury providore.

We’ll also explore Boulevard Ring, where Russian nobles built their exquisite 18th and 19th-century mansions, and Kutuzoyskiy Avenue with its Triumphal Arch . Pass by the legendary Gorky Park and the White House before a stop at the architecturally stunning Novodevichy Convent , and the observation platform at Sparrow Hills , for a bird’s eye view over this staggering megalopolis.

Next, we visit the 19th century Tretyakov State Gallery , the world’s foremost depository of Russian fine art, containing over 130,000 exhibits, with work by Rublev, Kandinsky, Repin, and many others.

***The tour of Tretyakov Gallery can be changed to a tour of Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts upon request.

We will also explore the Moscow Metro . Opened in 1935, this striking feat of engineering is one of the largest and oldest underground railway systems in the world. Its grand stations are remarkably beautiful and have become tourist attractions in their own right. 

Day 4 St Petersburg city tour

In the morning, after breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the train station, where you board a fast train Sapsan , which will take you for a 4h journey to your next destination St Petersburg – also known as the cultural capital of Russia. On arrival to St Petersburg, you will be met by a driver and transferred to your centrally located hotel.

Your second half of the day starts with meeting your professional and friendly St. Petersburg guide in the lobby of your hotel to enjoy a walking city tour of St. Petersburg with picturesque stops in most popular places and by most spectacular sights.

At this time of year, the city is at its most beautiful. The streets are relaxed and uncrowded, the iconic Neva River becomes a wilderness of ice, and the city’s gilded monuments glow against a backdrop of the winter sky and bare trees covered in crystalline frost.

Stroll along the Nevsky Prospect - the main street of St. Petersburg, cross the Anichkov Bridge and admire the Anichkov Palace. Walk along the banks of Fontanka and Moika Rivers, stop at the Kazan Cathedral and St Isaac's Cathedral , visit the Palace Square and Senate Square with the Bronze Horseman monument to Peter the Great, walk inside of the Church on the Spilled Blood and be amazed by its architecture.

During the tour, you will also visit the Peter and Paul Fortress and its Cathedral - a burial place of Russian emperors from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and his family. 

As an option* for this evening, we invite you to enjoy the traditional Russian dance performance in Nikolaevsky Palace.

Day 5 St Petersburg: day trip to Pushkin and Pavlovsk

Experience the extravagance of the Imperial rulers on an excursion to the suburban estates of the Romanov Tsars. Tsarskoe Selo ( Tsar’s village ) is now part of the nearby town of Pushkin and is one of Saint Petersburg’s finest attractions. Amid exquisite parks and gardens, you’ll find the baroque Catherine Palace , a dazzling testament to Catherine’s love of luxury and royal excess.

Envision Catherine strolling with her beloved dogs through acres of private gardens, where remarkable structures like the Marble Bridge, the Dutch Admiralty and the Creaking Pagoda were constructed for her amusement. We also explore the stately neoclassical Alexander Palace, whose tumultuous history paints a fascinating portrait of the Romanov family and the replica of the world-renowned Amber Room .

You will also visit Pavlovsk Palace and Park , the summer palace of Emperor Paul I, commissioned by his mother Catherine the Great. The palace borders with a park of 600 hectares in area, which is one of the largest landscape parks in Europe.

If there’s one must-do in St Petersburg in winter, it’s a traditional troika ride! Perhaps the quintessential image of the Russian winter, a troika is a sled-like carriage drawn by three horses harnessed side-by-side. Be swept up in the magical winter scenery, passing beautiful wooded areas and meandering streams.

As an option* for this evening, we invite you to experience:

An evening of Russian classical music at one of St. Petersburg’s beautiful palaces. Take a seat in the magnificent Hall of the Palace, then, lose yourself in much-loved works by Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and others, played by one of the world-class orchestras of St Petersburg. Before the raising of the curtains, enjoy an interesting pre-concert tour of the palace's halls and a glass of sparkling wine.

Day 6 St Petersburg: The State Hermitage Museum

On our last day in St Petersburg, we pay a visit to its most lauded attraction. The State Hermitage Museum houses some 3 million masterpieces, spread across six magnificent historic buildings, including the splendid Winter Palace . Here you’ll feast your eyes on Rembrandts, Leonardos and Michelangelos, and get an up-close look at some of the world’s most important archaeological finds.

After lunch at a café in the Hermitage, you can seek to discover more of the museum at your own pace or head elsewhere.

As an option* for today, enjoy a tour (audio-guide) of the recently opened Faberge Museum , a private collection of over 4,000 Faberge Eggs and other bejewelled objects of desire, elegantly displayed inside the stunning Shuvalov Palace.    

In the evening, we transfer from to the Ladozhsky railway station for the train bound to Petrozavodsk – the capital of Karelia, a scenic mid-sized town built along a bay on vast Lake Onega.

Day 7 Karelia: Ruskeala Park and Kinerma village

Your local guide will meet you at the Petrozavodsk train station, for a tasty hot breakfast at one of the city cafes. After a short tour of Petrozavodsk , you will embark on a scenic, several-hour-journey to the Ruskeala Mountain Park . Unique for its waterfalls and varicoloured marble quarries, the quarry pits were once mined to provide building material for the royal palaces.

The park is now protected and one of the most spectacular natural sites in the Karelia region. Its most famous attraction is the 100m high, 450m wide Marble Canyon, which is filled with crystal clear water from underground springs. In winter, the canyon is illuminated with multi-coloured lights – a truly unforgettable scene.

The return journey will take us back to Petrozavodsk. En route, we will stop at Kinerma village , which in 2016 was named the most beautiful village in Russia. We’ll be met by a local resident for a personalised tour around the village, made up of late 19th century houses and a wooden chapel to the Virgin Mary erected in the 17th century. Afterwards, we’ll be invited to dinner in a traditional Karelian house.

Closer to evening, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Petrozavodsk.

Day 8 Karelia: Kizhi Island

Today we visit the Kizhi Island in the centre of Lake Onega. Getting here in winter requires a ride on a hovercraft. Only a small rural settlement remains on Kizhi, and the island has become an open-air museum with over 80 historical wooden structures, some dating to the 14th century.

After returning to Petrozavodsk, it’s time to get ready for our overnight train, which will take us above the Arctic Circle.

Day 9 Kola Peninsula: Murmansk city tour

We have now crossed the northern polar circle and at arrived in Murmansk, the northernmost city in Russia, with a population of around 300,000 people, by far the largest city above the Arctic Circle. An important Russian naval base, Murmansk served as a port for the Arctic convoys during WWII.

After hotel check-in and lunch, we embark on the Murmansk city sightseeing trip, and a tour of the world’s first nuclear icebreaker ship, Lenin .

Spend your free evening discovering the surprisingly vibrant nightlife in this quirky Russian outpost. With any luck, the Northern Lights will make an appearance, we will go hunt this beautiful phenomenon.

Day 10 Kola Peninsula: Saami village and husky dog sledding

Head to one of the largest Saami settlements in the Kola Peninsula, where many traditional dwellings are still in use. The settlement was built around important grazing land for the Saami’s precious reindeers, who are surprisingly affectionate and enjoy being stroked and fed by visitors. Also look out for wildlife in the surrounding countryside, including polar foxes, hares and hunting birds.

You’ll get the chance to learn about the ancient Saami culture and be invited to play traditional games, test your lasso throwing skills and reindeer sledding abilities, and maybe even try on some traditional Saami clothing. The locals will put on an authentic lunch spread including fish soup, berry pie and herbal tea, after which you’ll be given the opportunity to purchase handicrafts.

After lunch, we head to a Siberian husky farm . Here, you’ll learn the wonderful story behind the evolution of this iconic northern breed, and spend time getting to know the charming resident dogs here as well as their reindeer stablemates. Take an exhilarating sled ride through the starkly beautiful winter forests with the Husky team.

In the evening, we get back into the hotel where we’ll spend the remainder of the evening.

Day 11 Kola Peninsula: Snow village and snowmobiling at Khibiny Mountains

We start our day with the chance to carve it up on a snowmobile safari in the Khibiny Mountains , making our way down the valleys for a sensational view of the mountain ranges. This experience doesn’t require any special skills or physical abilities. After a safety brief, you will truly feel yourself “in the saddle” and will be able to enjoy the stunning winter landscapes and tranquillity of the mountains.

Next destination is the Snow Village , an ambitious tourism project that has been running since 2008. The Snow Village has been painstakingly constructed almost entirely out of ice and snow and features ornately decorated buildings, sculptures and labyrinthine tunnels with intricately patterned rooms, walls and corridors. This enchanting place is the work of true artists and a chance to open your imagination to the magical spirit of winter.

Day 12 Departure from Murmansk

After breakfast, it’s time to check out of our Murmansk hotel. You’ll be transferred to the airport to catch a flight back to either Moscow or on to your next destination.

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3* hotels in Moscow, St Petersburg, Petrozavodsk and Murmansk

Breakfasts in the hotels, some lunches (download the detailed itinerary for more information)

Airport and train station transfers

All transportation, according to the itinerary

Local licensed English-speaking tour guides in each region

Professional drivers

All excursions, including entry fees

1 night of Northern Lights hunt

Train tickets

Russian tourist visa support document

Travel insurance

Russian visa and visa fees. *Russian visa can be arranged by 56th Parallel for an additional cost (for Australian citizens only). Apply for concierge visa service here .

Moscow to Murmansk

*Private tour, price is per person, based on min 2 people

Testimonials

Andrew Cherrett Australia

Everything was effortless and planned perfectly!

The hotels were great and the locations perfect! (the igloo hotel could do with some work, but the location made up for it). We tried lots of Russian food and restaurants, all were fantastic.

From our very first meeting your support & help has been amazing, I couldn’t ask for anything more & will recommend you to anyone thinking of visiting Russia. Additionally, the guides & drivers were fantastic, very helpful & perfect representation of Russia. Please pass this on to them & the companies.

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Why travel to Russia with 56th Parallel?

northern lights tour 2023

Destination Specialists

Our team offers over 18 years of experience travelling and planning travel in Russia. Delivering outstanding travel experiences in Russia’s capitals and in some of the most stunning & remote locations takes experience, special access and the right connections. We make sure that all the fine details are handled perfectly so you can enjoy your Russia travel experience.

northern lights tour 2023

Group & Private Tours

The choice to join a small group on a guaranteed departure or chose to travel on your own dates with your own mates. Each destination we travel to in Russia offers an option between private tours and small group tours. Please note: on our adventure tours in remote destinations, we mostly run group tours to keep the cost down.

northern lights tour 2023

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56th Parallel is a fully licensed, insured and accredited travel provider.

northern lights tour 2023

From AUD $4,666

Day 1: Welcome to Moscow

Day 2: moscow: red square, kremlin and armoury chamber, day 3: moscow: panoramic tour, metro and tretyakov gallery, day 4: st petersburg city tour, day 5: st petersburg: day trip to pushkin and pavlovsk, day 6: st petersburg: the state hermitage museum, day 7: karelia: ruskeala park and kinerma village, day 8: karelia: kizhi island, day 9: kola peninsula: murmansk city tour, day 10: kola peninsula: saami village and husky dog sledding, day 11: kola peninsula: snow village and snowmobiling at khibiny mountains, day 12: departure from murmansk, not included, start planning your tour.

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northern lights tour 2023

Top places to watch the Northern Lights in Russia

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Did you know that Russia is one of the eight countries in the world, where you can view the northern lights? If you have always dreamt of admiring this mesmerizing spectacle, here are the top 5 destinations in Russia to do this. A trip to Russia in winter is a challenging but unforgettable experience which will bring lots of insights into the local lifestyle and will allow seeing Russia from a different perspective.

01 Murmansk

northern lights tour 2023

The region of Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula is located in the far north-west of Russia, near Finland. With a population of 300,000, this is the world’s biggest city beyond the Arctic Circle, which makes it an outstanding location, where you can enjoy nature, yet have all the city amenities near you.

Although it is possible to see the Northern Lights from Murmansk, for better chances, you may consider a small village called Teriberka Just 120 kilometres away from the city. A conspicuous fact about winter in Murmansk is that it is mild, while the average temperature goes 10-15 Celsius below zero.

The Aurora show, however, is not only limited to the winter period, meaning you can plan your trip for mid-September to mid-April.

Since the Northern Lights is unlikely to be predicted, as it depends on the magnetic activity of the Sun, make sure to have enough time to try your luck and stay in the area for several days. While waiting for Aurora, you can experience other entertainment activities, such as skiing or dog sledging in the Murmansk area.

02 Arkhangelsk region

northern lights tour 2023

Arkhangelsk is another large city in the Arctic Circle. It is nowadays a modern city with an important historical centre and unique wooden architecture. The flight from Moscow to Arkhangelsk takes about two hours, a journey by train – about 22 hours, with an outstanding view on Russian winter.

When looking for the brighter sky, it is worth going further from the populated area, for example, consider Severodvinsk. The lights there differ by special green shade and flicker. The Aurora Borealis can last as short as 10 minutes or can go on for several days, there is no way of predicting its duration in advance.

While waiting for the sky to start the spectacle, you can visit the open-air museum of wooden architecture “Malye Korely”.

northern lights tour 2023

Kirovsk is located near the Khibiny Mountains on the Kola Peninsula, where many tourists go for a skiing trip. The recommended resorts to check out are Kukisvumchorr, Bolshoi Vudyavr and Kolasportland.

Beware that the climate there is more severe. The higher you go, however, the clearer and brighter the sky becomes, leaving you with more chances to see the Aurora. Your hike up will be rewarded with thousands of seemingly dancing lights in the sky.

04 Naryan-Mar

northern lights tour 2023

Another outstanding location for a great Aurora experience is the polar Naryan-Mar. It is the capital of the Nenets Autonomous District famous for reindeer farms, fishing and oil. While watching the Northern Lights there, one can immerse into local myths, legends, and indigenous lore, as well as experience a journey through Russia’s heartland.

The best period to observe the Lights is from November to March. The colours of the phenomena in this region are exceptional, and the flicker adds to the magic. The flight to Naryan-Mar from Moscow will take about three hours.

northern lights tour 2023

This destination is recommended only to the most persistent and experienced travellers, as the region is famous for the coldest weather in the world. Temperatures there can drop down to minus 60 degrees Celsius!

It is quite probable to see the Northern Lights near the regional capital — the city of Yakutsk. The sky here looks like a lavender-green star-encrusted veil. The flights from Moscow to Yakutsk take 6.5 hours.

northern lights tour 2023

General tips to prepare for a Northern Lights trip:

  • Arrange a transport: If you want to go further from a city and see the Aurora from a local settlement, you will need to book a tour in advance to transport you into the wilder parts.
  • Get ready to take pictures: If you aspire to capture this natural magic, you will need a tripod and a camera with manual mode settings. For better results, make sure you learn about ISO and shutter speed.
  • Get Warm: The weather in winter in Russia corresponds to all the stereotypes, so once in the Arctic Circles you should prepare many layers of clothing. As hunting for northern lights takes some time, make sure you wear wool socks, gloves, scarf or even thermal clothing.

Best conditions: make sure to escape the city lights and look for dark skies. Before going on a hunt, check the weather forecast for a cloudless sky. Also check the information on the solar flares, as solar activity forecasts

  • Top 10 places for a day trip from Moscow read
  • Banya: Russian steam bath read
  • Best spots in Moscow for photo maniacs read
  • 7 Top Things to Do in Karelia Region read
  • Russian Souvenir: what to bring home from a trip to Russia read
  • Christmas Festival in Moscow read
  • Mountain Elbrus read
  • 1. Murmansk
  • 2. Arkhangelsk region
  • 4. Naryan-Mar

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I traveled beyond the Arctic Circle to see the Northern Lights. Here are 4 things to know before you go.

  • I traveled north of the Arctic Circle to a tiny village in Finland for a chance to see the northern lights.
  • I booked a tour as far north as I could afford for the best chance of seeing the colorful auroras.
  • The location made viewing the northern lights easier, but they were different than I expected.

Insider Today

In February, I finally checked off one of my top bucket list items — seeing the aurora borealis, better known as the northern lights.

The auroras occur when charged solar particles from the sun interact with the Earth's upper atmosphere, resulting in an array of colorful lights beaming from the planet's poles. They occur year-round but can only be seen in winter months during the long polar nights.

I journeyed all the way to Finland's northernmost municipality, Utsjoki, about 280 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The trek required two plane rides from New York to Ivalo, Finland, via Helsinki, plus a two-hour drive deep into the snow-covered Lapland.

The secluded village is home to Aurora Holidays , the tour company I used for my trip. I paid about $2,000 total, which included guides, full room and board, a village tour, reindeer feeding, a king crab fishing trip in Norway, and dog sledding — though prices have increased since I booked. Flights on Finnair were another $1,000.

Aurora Holidays boasts a 100% success rate over five years of seeing the auroras thanks to a lack of light pollution in the northern location — and, fortunately, the streak continued on my trip.

Here are four things to know when planning a trip to see the aurora lights and why I recommend getting as far north as possible to maximize your chances — even if it means facing bone-chilling temperatures and relying on a little bit of luck.

Location, location, location

While recent environmental phenomena have made the northern lights visible in places as far south as England and Denmark, the aurora borealis are best viewed within the Article Circle.

The far north is hard to reach, though, and popular viewing spots like Fairbanks, Alaska, Tromsø, Norway, and Canada's Northwest Territories sit below the 66° 34' N latitude that defines the region.

Plus, these often-crowded tourist destinations have light pollution that requires people to venture out of the city into darker areas to see the lights.

Utsjoki, however, is so remote that it offers complete darkness during the long polar nights. Even better, my accommodation was perfectly situated facing north across Lapland — meaning I could see the auroras from my cabin porch.

"A lot of people don't know that for the highest possibilities to see the lights, location matters," Aurora Holiday's owner, Tiina Salonen, told me during the tour. "The rule of thumb is that the further north you travel, the less [solar] activity you need to have lights in the sky."

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Other places within the Arctic Circle, like Abisko National Park in Sweden or Ilulissat, Greenland, are also good viewing spots.

Pack for below-zero temperatures

During my trip, the temperature reached -8°F, which is even colder than what I experienced in Antarctica . Fortunately, my previous polar expedition taught me how to pack.

I opted for a merino wool base layer from REI, which I prefer due to its moisture-wicking abilities . I also wore a fleece pullover and a Kathmandu puffer as my mid-layers and a 600-fill jacket as my shell. I also wore snow pants, ski gloves, wool socks, a fleece buff, a beanie, and hiking boots.

All of that combined, I was easily warm enough to stand outside under the lights. I also recommend bringing hand and foot warmers if you plan to do other winter activities like snowshoeing or snowmobiling.

One thing to remember about going to extremely remote places like northern Lapland is how far you are away from a proper hospital — the closest to Utsjoki being a few hour's drive, according to Tiina. Wearing the right clothes to prevent frost bite or illness is important, but it wouldn't hurt to get travel insurance , too — just in case.

The vibrant colors that appear in photos are not what humans see

Not every color of the northern auroras is visible to the naked eye. During my trip, I could clearly see streaks of green and white, but the intensity and array of colors were more vivid in photos taken on my iPhone.

Tiina explained this is because cameras can take in more light than a human's nighttime vision can, therefore allowing it to capture otherwise invisible colors, like pink, red, and purple.

I'll admit that the auroras were much fainter than I expected, but that didn't take away from the beauty. Nevertheless, some people may be disappointed it isn't the extravagant Disney-like display social media sometimes makes it seem.

Seeing the lights takes a little bit of luck

During my six-day, five-night tour in Utsjoki, we only saw the auroras once — which is the reality of lights chasing, and why I booked a longer vacation to better my odds of seeing them.

That night was perfectly clear, and the solar activity was relatively strong, allowing the beautiful green beams to dance across the sky. The other nights, however, were too cloudy to see anything.

"The lights are there, but if it is super cloudy — we can't, of course, see them," Tiina told me. I noticed this when I was further south in Ivalo before and after the tour in Utsjoki. I couldn't see the auroras either night I was there due to the clouds, even though the online tracker said they were out.

Sometimes tour companies like Tiina's can drive around to find pockets where the auroras are visible, but it's not always possible — which makes seeing the lights a roll of the dice and why I now warn people to manage their expectations before booking a trip.

"Even here in Utsjoki, we cannot guarantee the lights — after all, it is a natural phenomenon, and Mother Nature is in charge," Tiina said.

Watch: What upstate New York looks like after record winter storm

northern lights tour 2023

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Pink green and blue Northern Lights over the snow-covered  Kirkjufell Mountain,  Iceland.

Unpredictable and awe-inspiringly beautiful, the Northern Lights are nature’s most dazzling display.

Our Northern Lights trips take you to some of the world’s best locations for witnessing this spectacular event. Whether it’s heading to Iceland’s remote Lake Myvatn, cruising among Greenland’s glaciers, watching the lights dance across the Canadian Rockies  or travelling by dogsled into Finland’s northern wilds, Northern Lights tours with Intrepid give you the best seats in the house for one of this galaxy’s most stunning natural performances.

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Where can you see the Northern Lights?

Northern lights travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are at their peak from late September to late March.

Where can I see the Northern Lights?

The best places to see the Northern Lights are all located in the “Auroral zone” – an area that stretches around the Northern Hemisphere at a latitude of about 66 to 69 degrees north – including parts of:

What causes the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with elements in our atmosphere (such as nitrogen and oxygen), creating brightly coloured dancing displays of light.

Am I guaranteed to see the Northern Lights?

While Northern Light displays can never be guaranteed, as they are a natural phenomenon, our local leaders do their best to ensure you get to see nature’s greatest spectacle.

Can the Northern Lights be predicted?

Yes, the Northern Lights can be predicted to some extent.

The activity level of the Northern Lights depends on many things (of which some are predictable and some are somewhat random), including sunspots, coronal holes, solar flares and geomagnetic activity.

If you’re not an astronomer, your best bet is to check the local Aurora forecast – a KP-index number of 3 or higher means you have a good chance of seeing the Lights.

Can I see the Northern Lights with the naked eye?

Yes, you can see the Northern Lights with the naked eye. Humans can most easily see the green and white of the lights at night. A camera, however, does not have the same limitations as the human eye, so the colours may appear brighter and more brilliant in photos.

Can I photograph the Northern Lights?

Of course! There is no magic recipe for capturing the Northern Lights. Still, you’ll want to set your camera on a tripod and ensure it has a manual mode functionality, so you can adjust the aperture and shutter speed to capture the spectacular display best.

Are Intrepid trips accessible for travellers with disabilities?

We are committed to making travel widely  accessible , regardless of ability or disability. We do our best to help you see the world, regardless of physical or mental limitations. 

We are always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them toward the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

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2023-24 CBS Sports All-America teams: College basketball's best and most talented players

The cbs sports experts select our annual college basketball all-america teams.

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The five CBS Sports First Team All-Americans come from five different conferences. What's most interesting about them is that only one of the five players was a no-doubt First Teamer in the preseason five months ago.

That's obviously Zach Edey.

Purdue's 7-foot-4 center, the reigning and soon-to-be two-time CBS Sports National Player of the Year, was expected to be the sport's best player before this season began, and he's been the sport's best player by a sizable margin. He's joined on the First Team by Houston's Jamal Shead, North Carolina's RJ Davis, UConn's Tristen Newton and Tennessee's Dalton Knecht, the last of whom is the biggest surprise relative to preseason expectations.

Knecht, who transferred to UT after two years at Northern Colorado that followed two years of junior college, wasn't even on CBS Sports' list of the top 100 And 1 college basketball players last October. His emergence from a relatively unknown mid-major scorer to the SEC Player of the Year and likely lottery pick in the 2024 NBA Draft is a wild story that'll be told many times between now and when he's selected by a franchise in June.

2023-24 CBS Sports All-America First Team

Zach edey | purdue  | center | 7-4 | senior .

The most obvious of picks since ... Edey did the same thing last season. Yes, Purdue has the rare guy who is both the best player in the sport and a multi-time First Team honoree. That is a dying species over the past 10 years in men's college basketball. A consensus pick for this honor, Edey leads the country in scoring (25.0 ppg) and is the first player to do that and make a Final Four since Oscar Robertson in 1960. Edey also averages 12.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and shoots 62.4% from the field. He's now one of four players ever to average 30-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in the NCAA Tournament after four games, joining three fellow legends: Wilt Chamberlain ( Kansas , 1957), Jerry West ( West Virginia , 1959) and Elvin Hayes ( Houston , 1968). That's not the only legendary company he keeps. In totaling more than 900 points and 450 rebounds this season, Edey became the first player to do that since Larry Bird in 1978-79. Purdue is 33-4 and will play in its third Final Four this weekend. Without Edey, it doesn't come close. His greatness is undersold, if anything.  — Matt Norlander

Dalton Knecht | Tennessee | Guard | 6-6 | Fifth year

Along with Edey, Knecht was our only other consensus choice to First Team All-America. He ignited Tennessee's offense and became one of the best players Rick Barnes has coached in more than four decades in the business. Knecht finished eighth nationally in scoring (21.7 ppg) and turned himself into a viable lottery pick after transferring last offseason from Northern Colorado . He was the biggest reason Tennessee's run to the Elite Eight as a No. 2 seed (its best showing under Barnes), where it ultimately lost to Edey and Purdue to end its season at 27-9. Knecht also averaged 39.7% from beyond the arc and hauled in 4.9 rebounds per night. He was the best transfer in the country; over the next few weeks, every coaching staff at a power-conference program will be trying to find "the next Dalton Knecht." Good luck with that.  — MN

RJ Davis | North Carolina | Guard | 6-0 | Senior 

Although top-seeded UNC's season ended in the Sweet 16 against Alabama , and Davis had one of his worst games in that spot, there's no denying the impact he had on the Tar Heels during his senior season. It was fellow/former All-American Armando Bacot who was anticipated to be UNC's MVP, but Davis stepped up in a lead guard role and brought Carolina back to relevance one year removed from its historic miss of the NCAAs after being ranked No. 1 in the preseason. He averaged 21.2 points (39.8% from 3-point range), 3.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists on a 29-win team. Crucially, the 6-footer was unafraid and willing to take big shots in big moments — and often made the right plays down the stretch of many games. Davis was the catalyst for an ACC championship season. The question is: With one year of eligibility left, does he opt to come back for a fifth year?  — MN

Jamal Shead | Houston | Guard | 6-1 | Senior

A cruel twist on one of the toughest players in the sport. Shead's twisted ankle late in the first half of Houston's Sweet 16 loss to Duke was the event that halted the Cougars' hopes of making their second Final Four in the past four tournaments. Regarded as one of the elite man-to-man defenders in the sport, Shead was a bulwark on the perimeter for the toughest defensive team in the country. He averaged 12.0 points, 6.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 2.2 steals. Houston (32-5) was led by Shead's ethos. His passing ability was also too often overlooked. Shead's 40.2 assist rate was fifth-highest in the country, according to KenPom.com. Kelvin Sampson has coached First Team All-American guards in back-to-back seasons. A year ago, it was Marcus Sasser. This season, Shead.  — MN

Tristen Newton  |  UConn  | Guard | 6-5 | Graduate

There's no way we're listing a First Team All-America and not including someone from the best team in the country — and that is still playing for the national championship. Newton didn't come to this late, either. Within the first few weeks of the season, Newton's leadership and stats backed up the case that he was UConn's most important player. He's also the Huskies' most dangerous threat for a triple-double (and with three, is the school's all-time leader). Newton averaged 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.1 assists: the only guy in the sport to average at least 15/6/6. Though surrounded by future first round picks ( Stephon Castle , Donovan Clingan ), Connecticut's modus operandi starts with Newton. He played on a Final Four stage a year ago and will bring his understated swagger to that spotlighted floor this weekend. It would be no surprise if the 35-win Huskies won two more games, and in doing so, Newton added to his trophy case with a Most Outstanding Player honor.  — MN

2023-24 CBS Sports All-America second team

Terrence shannon jr. , | illinois | guard | 6-6 | fifth year .

Shannon finished second in scoring in the Big Ten this season with 23.0 points per game, behind only Player of the Year Zach Edey. He served as the catalyst for a top-five Illinois offense that powered the program to its first Elite Eight since 2005.  — Kyle Boone

Mark Sears | Alabama | Guard | 6-1 Senior

Alabama had the highest-scoring offense in college basketball this season, and Sears was the straw that stirred the drink in Tuscaloosa. He averaged 21.5 points, 4.1 boards and 4.1 assists per game while hitting a career-best 43.4% from 3-point range.  — KB

Tyler Kolek | Marquette | Guard | 6-3 | Senior

Kolek led college basketball in assists per game this season and assist rate in a career year when he flourished as the No. 1 playmaking option for Marquette's high-octane offense. He finished the year with career-highs in scoring (15.3 PPG), assists (7.7 APG) and rebounds (4.9 RPG) on a per-game basis.  — KB

Jaedon LeDee | San Diego State | Forward | 6-9 | Senior

In a deep and loaded Mountain West this season, LeDee stood out as the league's best talent and stepped up to the plate when the lights were brightest. He finished as the leader in the MWC in points by nearly four per game and turned in 58 points and 17 boards in SDSU's first two tourney wins before getting bounced by UConn.  — KB

Kyle Filipowski | Duke | Center | 7-0 | Sophomore

Duke's best team of the young Jon Scheyer era was a credit to the development and star turn of Filipowski. The sophomore big improved significantly as a shooter, shot-blocker and passer, all while taking on a bigger role within the Blue Devils system. He finished top-10 in points, rebounds and blocks per game among all ACC players and was consistently Duke's most reliable weapon.  — KB

2023-24 CBS Sports All-America third team

Daron holmes ii , dayton | forward | 6-10 | junior .

Holmes carried Dayton to the second round of the NCAA Tournament by averaging 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game. The dynamic forward has been a star for three seasons but took it to the next level as a junior.  — David Cobb

Hunter Dickinson | Kansas | Center  | 7-2 | Senior

After three standout seasons at Michigan , Dickinson averaged 17.9 points and 10.9 rebounds as one of the nation's top impact transfers at Kansas. He gave the Jayhawks an element of interior play they lacked in 2022-23.  — DC

Baylor Scheierman | Creighton | Guard | 6-7 | Senior

Scheierman shined as a shot-maker for Creighton in his second with the program after spending three years at South Dakota State . His well-rounded offensive game propelled the Bluejays to the Sweet 16.  — DC

Caleb Love | Arizona | Guard | 6-4 | Senior

Love enjoyed a renaissance at Arizona, upping his shooting percentage to 50.2% and scoring average to 18 per game after transferring in from North Carolina. He led the Wildcats to a Pac-12 title and Sweet 16 appearance.  — DC   

Donovan Clingan | UConn | Center | 7-2 | Sophomore

Clingan was at his best in big postseason moments, producing 22 points and 16 rebounds in the Big East Tournament title game. He also finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in UConn's Elite Eight win over Illinois. -- DC

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