Mark McFaul

Mark McFaul

Coronavirus Travel Advice

Written by Mark McFaul
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

View our Coronavirus travel advice here.

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Mark McFaul

View our holidays to Arctic Europe

Written by Mark McFaul
Friday, 11 September 2020

Click here to view all of our holidays to Arctic Europe.

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Mark McFaul

RESIZED IMG 1202 14 Credit Filippo Dias

After several months of waiting, the 24-hour daylight of the ‘Midnight Sun’ has said goodbye for another year. Last week the news that Aurora hunters everywhere had been waiting for finally arrived – the 2020/21 Northern Lights season has begun!

Mark McFaul

Why Book With Us?

Written by Mark McFaul
Friday, 21 August 2020

Why book with us?

The simple answer is – peace of mind.

At the Artisan Travel Company, we pride ourselves on our knowledge of our holidays and destinations. We have a wealth of expertise and staff members who are always on hand to offer guidance and first-hand advice throughout.

“We are a well-travelled family; having stayed in many places around the world. Without doubt this is one of the best holidays we have had; and we cannot speak highly enough of the experience. The overriding word to describe this holiday is "QUALITY". From our first phone call with Andy; through to the bookings and arrangements done by you; the flights; airport arrival; transportation; hotel and activities; all faultless and of the highest quality. Regarding the Wilderness Hotel; its location; service; food; quality of room; amenities; organisation of the activities; again, all faultless and of the highest quality. We will also be giving it the highest recommendation on TripAdvisor; as well as your company and your service……. In summary, the hotel is outstanding; and the whole trip was one of the best. Thank you to the Wilderness Hotel; Andy; you and your company for everything.”

M Wilde, January 2020

From helping you to choose the perfect holiday and selecting any personalise options, to promptly answering any pre-departure questions and quickly rectifying problems in the unlikely event that things do not go to plan; customer service is at the heart of everything we do.

“Thank you so very much Emma for all of that very useful information. 

Both yourself and Graham have done so much to help us with our holiday, to answer our questions and to provide much appreciated tips that will enable us to make the most of our few days in Finland.”

D Jones, March 2020

When you book with a fully bonded and reputable licensed tour operator such as The Artisan Travel Company, you have considerably more financial protection and professional assistance included that would not be in place should you choose to book your package independently.

“I want to thank you for being there and taking my calls and speaking honestly to us. So glad we dealt with a company such as you, where we feel like talking to friends, rather than an anonymous call centre.”

L Bradley, July 2020

As 2020 has shown us, unexpected and unavoidable things can happen before departure and if this is the case then our team will do everything possible to rearrange your holiday should it be cancelled by us or our local partners. If it is not possible to rearrange your holiday, then you will receive a full refund*. If for any reason your holiday has to be cut short, rearranged, or curtailed then we will arrange this for you all without extra cost or any undue stress**.

“The holiday and your service were excellent and we would happily book again with you as it was exactly what we were looking for. I can't praise Garry (our guide) enough. He tailored the days to meet our needs, was knowledgeable and excellent with our son. One highlight was being taken to a traditional Canarian restaurant on the final day. The service of your company was also excellent, especially the communication in the lead up to the holiday and with all the issues surrounding COVID. A difficult situation handled very well by everyone we spoke with which has shown your company in a great light. All staff we dealt with responded quickly to any questions. It felt like staff genuinely cared that we enjoyed our holiday - not something we have experienced with other larger tour operators. We would happily book with your company again.”

J Bulmer, August 2020

Both our head office and local teams are also on hand while you are away and our operations team are available 24 hours a day to assist you. We genuinely care about our guests and are exceptionally proud of the holidays and destinations we feature. We want you to have the best experience possible and will do everything in our power to make sure that happens. The vast majority of the time that is exactly what happens but in the extremely unlikely event that you do face any issues, having the support of an expert team like ours can prove invaluable.

“I would especially like to thank whoever was on duty on the evening of the Thursday 20th December. We were caught up in the Gatwick drone incident. We had long waits in both Ivalo and Helsinki airports but a member of your staff took time to organise our flights home the following day……. We very much appreciated your help.”

S Brown, December 2018

The details:

Travel insurance is a pre-requisite to travelling with The Artisan Travel Company. Insurance is not included in any of our holidays so please see the Insurance section of the website for details.

**All claims for delays, curtailment and cancellation must be presented to your insurer in the first instance. If we are forced to cancel your holiday due to unforeseen circumstances outside our own or, our local partners' control and you then provide evidence that you are unable to claim this back from your insurance company we will reimburse you*. If you cancel your holiday and have elected not to buy an insurance policy with suitable cover then regrettably you will forfeit the cost of the itinerary, if we are able to provide it, in full in accordance with our booking terms and conditions.  

*In some cases, we may request that you consider accepting a credit note as a method of temporarily ensuring your money remains fully protected whilst allowing us a chance to reclaim money held by airlines and local partners. We are working very hard to get the balance right between both our guests and our long term small, independent local partners. As this situation is completely out of everyone’s control, we are asking guests, where they are able, to be patient and allow these businesses a small amount of leniency to return money held by them. If this does apply to you then our customer service team will discuss this with you.

  • If we are forced to make any unavoidable changes to your holiday after you have already departed, then these additional/alternative accommodation and meal arrangements will be made by us or the relevant airline (subject to availability) at a property of our or the airline's choosing. A reasonable provision will be made for meals.
  • Occasionally when dealing with delayed or cancelled flights, we or the airline reserve the right to make alternative travel arrangements when deemed necessary. This may include an alternative route or a different mode of transport to get you where you need to be.
  • Where long flight delays impact upon your holiday duration we regret that we are unable to offer any refund. The accommodation will be held for your delayed arrival and not re-sold and our local partners will attempt to rearrange the order of activities so you are still able to take part in as many as possible. We strongly recommend you ensure your personal travel insurance covers you should a flight delay impact on the duration of your holiday.
  • If your holiday is rescheduled prior to departure, then any increase in the holiday cost will be payable by you or a refund of the difference will be given if the price is lower.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the above to any travel arrangements booked independently.
  • If you have already booked a holiday and decide you no longer wish to travel whilst ourselves and our local partners are able to provide the itinerary in full, this would be deemed as disinclination to travel and our standard booking terms and conditions would apply.

Mark McFaul

Kenny Gray Nellim AuroraZoneMoments 5

Although many people consider February to be one of the worst months of the year, here at The Aurora Zone we tend to disagree! The UK might be cold, wet and a little bit miserable but February in the Arctic Circle is a different matter! Whether it's the chance to try your hand at mushing, explore stunning snow-covered wildernesses or go in search of the Northern Lights, there is plenty to keep you entertained!

Mark McFaul

Since graduating from the University of Lincoln in 2009, Niall has been lucky enough to have visited many places considered bucket-list worthy. From backpacking across South America to spending a year living “down under” in Australia.

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Mark McFaul

#AuroraZoneMoments - January's winner revealed!

Written by Mark McFaul
Wednesday, 12 February 2020

John Macinnes Apukka 19 AuroraZoneMoments

For most of us January can be a tough month, Christmas has been and gone and the British weather leaves us wanting to wrap up and avoid the cold, wet weather outside. However, January in the Arctic is a different matter! Snow-topped trees, reindeer and the Northern Lights have all combined to make sure that January was another excellent month for our #AuroraZoneMoments competition!

Mark McFaul

Chloe Shipsides Muotka 19 AuroraZoneMoments

Although December didn’t provide the white Christmas that many of us in the UK were perhaps hoping for, we are pleased to say that Lapland didn’t not disappoint on that front. In fact, the snow-covered landscapes of Finnish and Swedish Lapland helped make December another brilliant month for our #AuroraZoneMoments competition!

Mark McFaul

 Inari wilderness hotel area RESIZED blofg

We’ve got some exciting news! We’ve teamed up with the fantastic Anthropologie to offer you the chance to win the ultimate Christmas gift; a Northern Lights holiday to Inari, Finnish Lapland with us, the original Northern Lights holiday experts – plus a £500 voucher to spend at Anthropologie!

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Get an expert opinion

The Aurora Zone was born from a desire to share Mother Nature’s greatest wonder with our clients. We’ve explored the destinations, researched the science, and fallen in love with the Scandinavian way of life. It’s our mission to pass this knowledge on to you, providing you with the very best chance of experiencing the magic for yourself on your Northern Lights holiday.

  • Specialist

    Aurora knowledge and experience

    Unique holidays, in the very best destinations

    Expert guides – exceptional local knowledge

    Advice and guidance every step of the way

  • Comprehensive

    We include more in our holidays than any other Aurora operator

    Price Comparison guarantee

    No ‘from’ prices, everything you see is included in the price

    No hidden extras

  • Independent

    Proudly Independent

    The original and still the only dedicated UK Northern Lights tour operator

    Personal, hands-on service

    Fair and sustainable work ethos

  • Trusted

    100% ATOL and ABTA protection

    Providing peace of mind


    Responsible relationships

    Over 16 years’ experience