Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Celebration Days (and Nights)

Can you think of a better way to celebrate a major life event than underneath the Aurora Borealis?


Whether it is a family gathering, a romantic honeymoon or a significant birthday, standing on a frozen lake watching a coal-black Arctic sky ablaze with shimmering light will put the gloss on any memorable occasion.

With a huge variety of specialist accommodation and an increasingly diverse range of Aurora hunting activities, we can ensure that your trip is one to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Excellent honeymoon!! We had the best time, the experiences we had were incredible! Such a beautiful place, with lovely people. The landscape was stunning, and the northern lights were the cherry on top!

Harriniva - Best of the Northern Lights Holiday - Bethan Lewis - January 2020 


Additional Info

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    Significant Birthdays

    This is how to really, really wow your partner.

    “For your birthday, we are heading north to hunt for the Northern Lights. We are going dog sledding and snowmobiling during the day and chasing the Aurora by night.”

    We can add that extra something to any of our holiday itineraries. How about sipping champagne whilst travelling across the frozen tundra in a heated Aurora sleigh? What about lying in bed under a glass-domed window, enjoying a slice (or two) of birthday cake and watching the night sky come alive with dancing lights? Who needs candles?

    The magic is out there and just waiting to be shared. Simply discuss your special birthday requirements with our Aurora experts and make that significant birthday celebration an unforgettable one.

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    Marriage Proposals

    People are coming up with more and more imaginative ways to propose but can there be a more romantic way of doing it than underneath the Northern Lights?

    We will be delighted to arrange a private proposal during an activity for just you and your partner. Your qualified guide will take you by snowmobile, snowshoes, car (you decide) to an isolated spot and, with any luck, catch that wonderful 'bended knee' moment with a Northern Lights backdrop.

    It would be a pretty hard-hearted partner who could refuse such a ridiculously romantic gesture.

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    Arctic and Aurora hunting honeymoons have become an increasingly popular choice.

    There is all manner of romantic accommodation available from snug log cabins to heated Aurora Domes with huge windows facing towards the northern skyline. There are the bragging rights, right there.

    “How did you spend your honeymoon?”

    “In bed, watching the Aurora Borealis thanks.”


    It is not all about the night skies either. During the day you can drive a team of dogs through the silent winter wilderness, thrill to the exhilaration of a snowmobile safari or relax on a gentle reindeer sleigh ride.

    Quite simply, winter landscapes lend themselves to romance and provide an environment that will create the kind of memories you will be discussing together years later.

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    Group and Family Gatherings

    In the wake of the Covid restrictions on group gatherings, we have never been more aware of the importance of friends and family.

    Hunting for the Northern Lights with a group of friends or your extended family is a fabulous way to make up for lost time. We can provide private accommodation and activities for just your immediate group and tailor itineraries to suit your specific needs.

    We understand fully that young children, teenagers, adults and grandparents may not be able to do the same activities and will shape your programme accordingly. These things sometimes take a bit longer to organise, but it is worth the effort to ensure that everybody gets the experience they deserve and desire.

    There can be all manner of little extras too. From a group meal in a wilderness cabin to a surprise birthday cake at dinner or bottle of champagne in an Aurora Dome or log cabin, there is always something that can make your group holiday unforgettable.

    Best of all, of course, would be a picture of your extended family or group of close friends all happily smiling underneath the Northern Lights. It can be arranged but, as ever, we will need a bit of help from Mother Nature!

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Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Travel Partners Zone

Friday, 30 April 2021

At The Aurora Zone, we love working with Travel Partners from all over the world. If you would like to apply to work with us, then please click here to answer some simple questions and one of our team will be in touch very soon.

We are also members of AITO and ABTA and adhere to their code of conduct and guidelines.  Finally, we are also fully ATOL protected.

If you already work with us, then please click here to access our resource library. We have some stock images to use (please take note of any image credits), some videos and also some PDF pages for our most popular holidays.  If there is anything else you think would be useful to assist in your sales please do not hesitate to get in touch by our designated priority agent email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call on +44 (0) 1670 330 733. We highly value our travel partners and always prioritise these emails and calls.


If you would like any specialised training, then we would be happy to provide this either via video link or to arrange a visit to your offices.  We would also be thrilled to host any joint events for prospective clients again either in person at your offices or online. Please just get in touch and we will discuss the options in more detail.

Our team are experts on the Northern Lights and we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have. If you would like to get a general understanding of the Northern Lights (it really is fascinating!) then please click here to read our introduction to the Northern Lights. We go into more depth about the Aurora Borealis and what causes it on our Science of the Northern Lights page including answering questions like where or when is best to see the Northern Lights.  We also have some information about myths and legends behind the Aurora which many people find fascinating which can be read by clicking here.


You can read more about our unique Northern Lights hunting Formula and why your clients should choose one of our holidays.

We also have a great section on our website about preparing for your holiday which will hold some useful information for clients and also our frequently asked questions which covers everything from how fit you have to be to do an activity through to what kind of plug adaptor you need to take with you.

If your clients have any questions not covered here then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our customer service team on 01670 330 733 (option 2) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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Ali Mclean

Rare Red Auroras

Written by
Tuesday, 03 November 2020

Rare Red Aurora in Finnish Lapland

“Fires over which a tribe of dwarfs, half the length of a canoe paddle and so strong they caught whales with their hands, boiled blubber.”

“Rare, red Auroras”. It sounds like something Michael Palin’s Pontius Pilate might have struggled with in Monty Python’s Life of Brian. However, for our ancestors, red Auroras were nothing to laugh at, for they were almost universally perceived as portents of doom.

Mark McFaul

View our winter trips for 2020/21

Written by
Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, Northern Europe has remained one of the regions with the lowest levels of infection rates in the world. This is in part due to the very low population density rate in Lapland (in some areas people are outnumbered by reindeer 10 to 1!) but also due to their exceptional attention to detail regarding measures to control the spread of the disease.

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    Travel in safety

    Our local partners have worked very closely with the epidemiology consultants at Rovaniemi hospital in Lapland to get the best possible tailored advice for their specific activities and accommodation types.  They have created forensic plans for all aspects of your holiday including: cleaning and sanitation of public areas, cleaning and sanitation of equipment, advice and support on social distancing and, strategies to limit group sizes at meal times and during activities.

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    Tried and tested measures

    Whilst the infection rates have been low this does not mean the local residents are taking the threat of COVID-19 any less seriously than in other places. In typically Nordic fashion they have simply adapted their existing meticulous health and safety plans to include the recommended measures.  Domestic Travel between the Scandinavian countries has been open since the summer and the accommodation’s methods are tried and tested to ensure guests are kept as safe as possible during their holiday.

    They have worked so hard to create a safe holiday environment and we cannot wait for you to experience their warmth and hospitality in Lapland.

    Image Credits: Antti Pietikainen

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Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Give yourself something to look forward to

Due to entry restrictions currently in place for some countries, we recommend delaying travel to certain destinations and, instead, planning a really special holiday to look forward to during winter 2021/22. 

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    How do I reserve my holiday?

    We would ask for a reduced deposit to hold your place on the tour and will then contact you when the rates and departure dates are fully confirmed. At this point, you can either confirm your booking and top up your deposit amount or, you cancel and receive a full refund. We would also confirm your flights and any additional stopovers or extensions you may wish to add to your holiday.

    Our Travel Experts are always happy to talk about the destinations and itineraries and to help you plan your dream holiday

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    Travel with confidence

    We are constantly monitoring the border restrictions and, should your chosen destinations open up for this season, we will contact you to ask if you would like to bring your booking forward.

    If you have any questions regarding our trips across Finnish Lapland, Swedish Lapland and Northern Norway, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Travel Experts.

    Image Credits: Antti Pietikainen

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Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Aurora Accommodation

Thursday, 08 October 2020

Enjoy the warmth and comfort of your bed while staring up at the night sky. These incredible structures are an innovative way to give you more of a chance of seeing the Aurora and a guaranteed night to remember.

Additional Info

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Mark McFaul

Travel Advice

Written by
Wednesday, 16 September 2020

View our Coronavirus travel advice and frequently asked questions, here.

Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Travel Advice

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Future bookings and holidays

All our destinations are open to fully vaccinated travellers. We are constantly monitoring the advice provided by the UK Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as the guidance provided by the governments in the destinations we feature. We will keep our clients updated with any changes to specific entry requirements. 

Finland update

We are in contact with the Communications team of Visit Finland that aligns with the Finnish Embassy and Foreign ministry and they have provided the following, 'Travelling to and in Finland is safe - everyday life runs normally and we warmly welcome travellers to Finland'.

Frequently asked questions 


If a country requires testing at the border which takes up to a few hours to return results, then we would not cancel your holiday in this instance. Instead, we would work with the local partners to ensure you had everything you need to be comfortable including snacks and meals etc.  If you were required to quarantine for any longer than a few hours, we would cancel your holiday and offer either re-booking or a refund.


If the FCDO advice changes to advising against all but essential travel then we will cancel your holiday and assist you with rebooking to an alternative date, a different destination or issue you with a full refund.


If you are booked onto a trip that we must cancel, then we will get in touch with you immediately.  If we are forced to cancel your holiday, then there will be several options available to you:

1 – Consider an alternative destination

As we have such a fantastic network of partners across Scandinavia, we will do everything we can to propose alternative holiday options for you to consider.  If you do decide to go for one of these options, we will transfer the money you have already paid us to your new booking and, if it is cheaper, refund you the difference. If it is more expensive you will need to top this amount up to match the new price.

2 – Postpone your holiday

We think it is more important than ever to have something special to look forward to as the world hopefully gets back to “normal”.  If we are forced to cancel your holiday, then we will work with our local partners on your behalf to minimise any increase in costs to your holiday price and if they do increase or we are forced to make any changes to the holiday package which you don’t like – you can cancel and receive a full refund.

3 – A full refund

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your cancellation we may request that you contact your Travel Insurance company in the first instance. Should that claim be unsuccessful then we will refund you in full. We will advise you of the relevant processing times at that stage.


This will depend on when your booking was made and the specific terms relating to your holiday and flight booking if applicable.  The Artisan Travel Company are happy to postpone all transferable and flexible elements of your trip to either an alternative holiday or departure date. For any non-transferable elements, we will do our best to minimise these costs but unfortunately, these decisions are normally out of our hands. Naturally, we promise to do our best to negotiate on your behalf.

Another option would be to transfer your booking to another passenger (subject to terms and conditions and introduced by yourselves) and we can normally facilitate this until 10 days prior to departure.   

Finally, depending on the reason you no longer wish to travel, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance.


Your first port of call would be your travel insurance policy. Like with any other illness or accident which would prevent you from going on your holiday as planned this is the very reason for travel insurance policies.  Please check your policy to ensure that you would be covered in this instance. If you do not have travel insurance (please be aware it is a prerequisite to travelling with us) or it fails to cover you, we will negotiate with our local partners to offer you re-booking for an alternative date or a refund, but there will likely be some substantial unrecoverable costs, so it is much better to have comprehensive travel insurance than to rely on this option.


The Artisan Travel Company is based in the UK, and we take all our guidance from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office ​(FCDO) and other UK government bodies. Depending on whether you have booked a flight inclusive or land-only package your contract with us either starts at your UK departure airport (if we have booked your flights) or, if you have booked a land only package, the agreed meeting point in the destination country (usually an airport).   

If no national UK border restrictions are preventing us from operating the holiday (i.e., unless the ​FCDO advise against all but essential travel to Finland, Sweden, Iceland or Norway) OR the destination government prevent all arrivals from the UK then we will continue to run the holiday as planned. For anyone who is prevented from joining the trip as planned due to medical reasons or government advice changing from a country other than the UK or the destination of your holiday, then this cancellation by you would be dealt with as per our booking terms and conditions. As such, any loss would need to be reclaimed from your travel insurance policy so please check the wording carefully and ensure you are satisfied with the level of cover.  


Travel insurance has always been a prerequisite for travelling with us and investing in a comprehensive travel insurance policy should be the first thing you do after booking your holiday. If you, or any member of your party, are diagnosed with COVID whilst you are on holiday then you need to be satisfied that your insurance policy will cover any medical costs incurred including testing, self-isolation and treatment. We would also suggest choosing a policy which would allow you to claim for any elements of the holiday you were not able to take part in.

Further advice for UK travellers

Though we endeavour to inform our customers of any significant changes, this is a fast-moving situation and therefore we also ask for our travellers to keep up-to-date with the relevant travel advice.

Here are some useful links:

UK health authorities:

FCDO travel advice:

The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website:

The NHS website:


Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns, then please do not hesitate to contact our customer service team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01670 785 785.

Joanna Robertson

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!

Ashleigh McNair-Templeton

Norway webinar

Monday, 24 August 2020

Norway and the Northern Lights webinar registration

Date: September 10th, 2020 at 7:30 pm (GMT)

The world of travel is slowly opening up and Norway is looking forward to welcoming our guests when the time is right; we are delighted to be hosting this Norway and Tromsø webinar in eager anticipation of that moment. Whether you are looking to book a break this winter or to reserve a place for 2021, this webinar will provide an insight into what is on offer so you can book your perfect trip.

With our panel of experts from the travel and tourism industry in Tromsø, we will cover what you can expect when you arrive in Norway, how they are dealing with Covid-19 and the measures they have in place to ensure the safety of our guests. The Artisan Travel Company is a fully bonded, licensed tour operator and with the opportunity to ask our expert team any additional questions during a Q&A session, you will be able to book your trip with confidence and peace of mind.

Focussing on The Aurora Zone, a part of The Artisan Travel Company, this webinar will explore four fantastic trips that highlight the beauty of ‘The Capital of the Arctic’, Tromsø and the fantastic activities that take place in the surrounding wilderness.

On our 3-night Tromsø, Northern Lights City Break, for example, you will spend time in Tromsø’s cultural centre and also head out of the city into the heart of the Aurora Zone, for two dedicated Aurora hunts. With the option to personalise your trip by adding additional activities, such as dog sledding or snowmobiling, this short break combines the best of city life along with some natural wonders.

Our guest speakers include a hotel manager and two local activity providers. Along with our own Northern Lights guide and photographer, who will also share his expertise in how to hunt for the Northern Lights and how to catch them on film. He will also talk about the science behind this natural phenomenon.

With 10% off all bookings, using a code that will be provided during the webinar, guests can start planning their Norway break, safe in the knowledge that every aspect of their trip is taken care of.

The itinerary

19:30 - Start

19:30 - 19:35 - Introduction to The Artisan Travel Company: Ali McLean, Director and founder of The Artisan Travel Company

19:35 - 19:45 - Highlights of Tromsø: Mats Fredriksen, Lost in Norway

19:45 - 19:50 - Guest speaker: Ida Romsøe, Hotel Manager, The Clarion Hotel The Edge

19:50 - 19:55 - Guest speaker: Øystein Prytz, Head of Digital Marketing, Tromsø Villmarksenter

19:55 - 20:00 - Guest speaker: Alice Heijbel, Key Account Manager, Pukka Travel

20:00 - 20:15 - An introduction to the Northern Lights: Matt Robinson, The Aurora Zone and Northern Lights guide and photographer

20:15 - 20:30 - Q&A session

20:30 - Finish

The team

Alistair McLean - Director and founder of The Artisan Travel Company

As part of The Artisan Travel Company, Ali created The Aurora Zone, the original and only dedicated Northern Lights tour operator. Ali is extremely proud of the tours we offer in Tromsø and that so many of our clients have witnessed the Aurora during their trips there with us. 

Mats Fredriksen - CEO, Lost in Norway

Your host for the evening, Mats, is our local supplier in Norway. Having worked with Mats for many years, he is very well-placed to talk about the region, working with The Aurora Zone and the experiences we offer in Norway.

Matt Robinson - The Aurora Zone and Northern Lights guide, photographer and astronomer

Currently living in Senja, Norway, Matt has travelled extensively with The Artisan Travel Company and is always happy to share his knowledge and science behind the Northern Lights with our guests. Matt is also a keen astronomer and photographer and will share some of his fantastic images with us during the webinar.

Welcoming our guest speakers

Ida Romsøe - Hotel Manager, Clarion Hotel The Edge

Situated right in the centre of Tromsø, just by the water, from where you can enjoy great views of the city's stunning architecture, the Clarion Hotel The Edge was built with an environmental classification A and aspires to be as eco-friendly as possible. A passionate hotel manager, Ida is responsible for all hotel operations, leisure FIT and groups. She has worked in Nordic Choice Hotels since she was 16 years old and been at Clarion Hotel The Edge for almost 2 years. Ida will provide an insight into the measures the hotel is taking during Covid-19 and how they are making guests feel safe and comfortable.

Øystein Prytz - Head of Digital Marketing, Tromsø Villmarkssenter

Tromsø Villmarkssenter enjoys an idyllic wilderness location around 20km from the city centre on the island of Kvaløya. Established over 30 years ago they are one of the most experienced and passionate dog sledding companies we have the pleasure of working with. Originally set up by Tove Sørensen the day to day running of the centre has now passed to her son and his wonderful team.  Given the wonderful location of the Villmarkssenter It has an awesome record of Northern Lights viewing and we have had many happy clients enjoy displays here during their holidays.  Over several years Øystein has worked in almost all parts of this family-run company and there is nothing he doesn’t know about their fantastic products and strong family heritage.

Alice Heijbel - Key Account Manager, Pukka Travel

Our guest speaker from Pukka Travel, Alice, will talk us through the many activity options available to our clients on the trips we offer, from a Polar Fjord cruise or Northern Lights sailing to hunting the Northern Lights by minibus.

The time

Thursday, 10 September 2020 at 7:30 pm BST

This event will take place on Zoom and is free to access: CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR PLACE and receive the joining details.

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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