4 nights north of the Arctic Circle in the untouched, unknown and unbelievable Vesteralen Archipelago with its 'Frozen Planet' Wildlife: Whales off Shore, Moose on Shore and Birds overhead. And searching for the Northern Lights with a top notch guide every night of your stay.
the mountainous islands of the Vesteralen Archipelago with villages huddled between mountains and fjords, lies bang in the middle of the Aurora Zone south of Tromso where your chances of seeing the Northern Lights are just about as good as they get. On top of that the Gulf Stream Drift bathes the coastline with a warmth carried from Mexico (sic) giving almost balmy nights during which you'll (if the auguries are good) see and bear witness to the Northern Lights. And during the day you get to mush your own pack of Huskies, spot Whales in the Norwegian Sea, Lasso Reindeer in their corral and be up Close and Personal with Moose.
Bjorn Utsol, several time contestant in the 8 dog (500km) and 16 dog (1000km) Finnmarkslopet the world’s most northerly endurance dog race. Laila & Arild Inga, indigenous Sami reindeer herders & Laila in her own right as a Joik chanteuse. Robert Novak, a multi lingual former Special forces soldier turned guide and aurora photographer who know the islands like the back of his camera. And flamed haired Greta, Espen & Siv Marit who'll make you feel at home as only locals can.
Sitting in the embrace of Langoya’s mountains, the Sortland has a functional exterior and a somewhat retro 60’s public area interior: all mottled white slate tiles, white painted brick work with slatted vertical blinds and tube down lighters. There is a large breakfast room with glazing on two sides and seating on two levels broken up into comfort zones. The 46 twin rooms all have private WC/Shower and were all renovated in 2010 and, whilst on the small side, are magnified by being painted a muted white, set off by natural wooden flooring and brown rugs. There is a ‘library room’, lined with books and manuscripts by local boy made good Lars Saaby Christensen, which also serves as a bar and a la carte dining room and a small lounge area in reception with a small stock of soft drinks, beer, sweets and snacks for sale and coffee on tap for free.
fly from London Heathrow 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle via Oslo to Evenes in Northern Norway, gateway to the Vesteralen Archipelago. Private transfer to Sortland on Langoya for 4 nights at the Sortland Hotel. Check in, welcome drink & 2 course supper. Hunt for the Aurora wherever they might be.
transfer to Andenes for a guided tour of the Whale Centre before boarding M.S. Reine and sailing out into the Norwegian Sea. Here your skipper will be particularly looking out for Humpbacks ‘flipping’ their fan tails and sky hopping Orcas with their characteristic white markings feeding off the migrating herring. Return along the western coast of Andoy stopping as often as you want for photo stops. Supper at the hotel before a SECOND Aurora Night Hunt.
after breakfast your guide takes you to Bjorn and Hilde Utsol’s clapboard home where they keep a small pack of cross bred Alaskan and Siberian huskies. In their guest Lavvu, Hilde talks through mushing techniques, fortifies you with hot coffee and introduces you to the dogs. After helping rein up yours to a traditional larch wood sled, mush in the surrounding snow layered countryside returning to the lavvu for lunch. Supper at the hotel before a THIRD Aurora Night Hunt.
a bit of a breather day:have breakfast slightly later than normal after which our man Robert takes you for a hike to the top of Steiraheia overlooking Sortlandssundet. On the way, stop for some restoratve hot chocolate and grilled sausages in a mountain hut around an open fire and once at the mountain's summit record your accomplishment Hilary & Tensing style. Valedictory supper before your FOURTH and final Northern Lights hunt.
after breakfast drive to Laila and Arild Inga’s home and their guest larch wood Lavvu beneath they keep calves and sick animals. Have lunch round an open fire whilst Laila tells of her family history, Sami culture and reindeer husbandry before rounding off with several Joiks (Sami song poems). Transfer to Evenes airport in the late afternoon for your return flight via Oslo to London Heathrow.
Return flights from London Heathrow via Oslo to Evenes in Arctic Norway All airport departure taxes and passenger service charges Pay on board Cabin Service with complimentary beverages Airport/hotel return transfers in Arctic Norway 4 nights accommodation at the Sortland Hotel Lodging in twin room(s) with private WC/shower Exclusive room complimentary of His & Her Juniper AURORA soap Welcome drink 4 Buffet breakfasts,4 light lunches & 4 suppers 3 Wildlife Safaris as per itinerary (whale spotting, husky mushing & Sami Reindeer Herder's Experience) Mountain hiking safari (easy & light) AURORA HUNTS EVERY NIGHT (4) OF STAY (minimum 2 hour search) Locally qualified guide (s) for the duration of stay
Jan 28, Feb 4, 11, 18 & 25, 2016 Prices from £1595*
Guide prices are in part based on our mid-level contract air fares which are veriable in real time unlike our ground supplier contract costs which are generally fixed. We don’t do fancy lead in prices and the time you confirm your booking always use the lowest air fare available. This may mean the confirmed price of your holiday being slightly less or more than the guide price in which case a proportionate reduction-supplement will apply. Carpe Diem = the earlier you book the better, especially for public & school holidays.