ALL OF THE ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES LISTED BELOW ARE INCLUDED IN THE HOLIDAY PRICE
- Transfers: return airport transfers
- Accommodation: 2 nights at the Scandic Ishavshotel, 2 nights at the Sommarøy Arctic Hotel
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
- Activities: guided RIB boat trip, Aurora hunt by minibus, guided walk on Sommarøy, guided Northern Lights trip to the islands Aurora Camp (order subject to change)
- Fully qualified guides and instructors during activities
Autumnal Aurora displays equal those of winter, particularly when you view them from somewhere such as Sommarøy. On this island in Northern Norway, the lights can suddenly appear from behind the mountains before reaching out and dancing above the sea. A strong Aurora can even cast a reflection on the water’s surface, giving you two displays for the price of one.
Your holiday begins in the city of Tromsø, which is often referred to as the ‘Capital of the Arctic’. Tromsø is no sleepy town; it is a vibrant hive of activity and offers many attractions. There are some seriously good eateries, a thriving cafe and shopping culture as well as the world’s most northerly aquarium and the imposing Arctic Cathedral which dominates the city skyline.
Tromsø is predominantly built on a large island linked to the mainland, and the city’s boundaries are marked by the fjords and mountains which surround it, meaning that the wilderness is always within easy reach. During your stay, you’ll have time to explore the city and will be treated to a thrilling RIB wildlife tour. The boat will travel just off Tromsø where the views will have you reaching for your camera. There is a rich marine life in this area, including seals and various seabirds.
As most Aurora hunters know, city lights do not allow for the best Northern Lights viewing and so we have also included a dedicated Aurora hunt by minibus on your second night in town. Your expert local guide will lead the chase using the latest weather forecasts and solar activity readings to determine your route.
From Tromso, you continue to the island of Sommarøy where a mix of white sandy beaches (think tropical bays but with less heat), charming fisherman’s cottages and rugged hills and mountains await you. The bright colours of the buildings tone wonderfully with the vibrant colours of autumn.
Sommarøy is about getting away from it all so your time here will be spent at a relaxed pace. You’ll enjoy a guided walk on the island and a visit to an Aurora Camp on your first night here. There will also be some free time for you to soak up your surroundings and hunt for the Aurora on your second day. Famed for its Northern Lights displays, you don’t have to venture far to witness the lights here if conditions are favourable.
In short, this autumn break gives you the chance to take in a cosmopolitan Arctic city and the wonderfully peaceful island of Sommaroy, whilst enjoying some carefully chosen activities and dedicated Aurora hunts.
*Please note: for all activities, there will be a short walk to the pick-up points. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts for details.
Image credits: Sommarøy Arctic Hotel & Tromsø Adventure
Arrival and Welcome
Today you will arrive in Tromsø, where a taxi will be waiting to take you to your hotel. This is a lively, cosmopolitan city with a vibrant mix of restaurants and shops as well as fascinating attractions such as the Polar Museum to enjoy. We would highly recommend an early arrival (or we can help you arrange an extended stay at the start or end of your holiday) in order to maximise your time here. Our travel experts have spent many a happy day exploring Tromsø and will be happy to make recommendations.Included Meals: None
RIB Boat Trip and Minibus Hunt for the Northern Lights
After breakfast at your hotel, you will join your local guide for a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) wildlife tour which will explore the islands around Tromsø. RIBS are designed to move fast, so this is an adventurous boat tour out to sea. Once out at sea, you will be afforded with breath-taking views back to the city and the surrounding fjords.
Your boat ride will stay close to Tromsø. There is an abundance of wildlife in this area, including seabirds and seals so keep your camera close. You will stop at one of the nearby islands* where you can walk around and enjoy the stunning nature. There will also be time for hot drinks and snacks.
Following the tour, you will return to the city for the remainder of the afternoon. As darkness falls you will embark on your first Aurora hunt. The minibus used provides the mobility required to escape the city lights and to outrun any localised cloud cover. Your guide will use their knowledge along with the latest solar activity and weather forecasts to determine the best route for your search. You will be out searching for approximately five hours.
As a natural phenomenon, the Northern Lights can appear at any time creating a wonderful sense of anticipation (which is all part of the fun). You’ll keep your eyes fixed on the skies as you explore the region with the mountains silhouetted around you. Hopefully, your efforts will be rewarded.
*Please note, the RIB safari destinations will be dependant on availability and weather conditions.Included Meals: Breakfast
Guided Walk of Sommarøy and Aurora Camp
Following breakfast, you will leave Tromsø and make for the small island of Sommarøy. It is not often that the transfer is part of the highlights but the drive to Sommarøy is breathtaking, showcasing the mountain and fjord landscape which is highlighted with autumn colours.
Sommarøy has strong fishing traditions and the village is often a hive of activity as vessels make their way in and out of the small harbour. The beaches are strangely reminiscent of more tropical climes with white sands and crystal-clear water; it is only the cooler temperatures and the colourful fishermen’s cottages which give their location away.
You will enjoy a leisurely guided walk of the island today, enjoying the friendly welcome provided by this small fishing community. Your guide will give you an insight into life on the island both past and present.
This evening you will enjoy dinner before setting off with your guide to an Aurora camp which offers views out across the water. It is from here that you can sometimes witness the most spectacular Aurora displays as the lights can appear from above the mountains and stretch out overhead, reflecting in the sea in front of you.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today you will have the opportunity to explore at your leisure. The value of having free time in Sommarøy should not be underestimated and it has the ability to really make you relax and unwind. There are a number of ways in which to maximise your time here and perhaps one of the most highly recommended options is to walk to the top of Hillesøy Mountain, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding area. The most difficult part of the hike is coming down, not because of the terrain, but because it is hard to take your eyes away from the view.
Alternatively, a simple stroll along the white sandy beaches is a fantastic way in which to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. With only a small number of inhabitants, the pace is slower than you are likely to experience and is something to be savoured.
Dinner will be enjoyed at the hotel restaurant this evening.Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Following breakfast will be transferred to the airport* having witnessed a slice of the Norwegian coast and hopefully the Northern Lights. If you still have a thirst for the hunt, then you can extend your stay in Tromsø and we can arrange additional activities for you. Please speak to one of our Travel Experts for a quotation.
*Please note: the return airport transfer from Sommarøy is scheduled to depart at 9 am. For any departures outside this time, a private transfer supplement will apply.Included Meals: Breakfast
Included in price
Personalise this tour
Northern Lights cruise
Departing from the harbour area of Tromsø, you will set out across the water via catamaran in search of the Northern Lights. The boat is charmingly comfortable with a viewing deck and a heated lounge for you to enjoy as you set off slowly across the water. There is no artificial light pollution on the water and regardless of whether the Northern Lights do appear you will still be able to enjoy Tromsø from a wonderful new perspective and you will be able to see the illuminated Arctic Cathedral and Tromsø bridge. A typical Northern Norwegian fish dinner, complete with dessert and hot drinks, is included. Warm clothing is provided, but be sure to still wear plenty of layers.
This excursion is available from October onwards and is available as an option for those wanting to extend their stay in Tromsø. Your host’s knowledge about the city and its surroundings, as well as their many year's experience of the Northern Lights, will make for a very memorable evening.
Available: from 1st October
Northern Lights husky hike
You will be transferred to a local husky farm, where you will be introduced to its many furry residents. Following that, you will take some of the dogs for a walk, wandering through the outdoors and admiring the surrounding nature. Be prepared, as the Northern Lights might make an appearance at any time!
You will reach a campfire where you can sit and wait for a display. A traditional Sámi meal will be served inside a comfy tent, and you will have a chance to watch short films - one about the Northern Lights, the other about how the huskies from this farm have participated in the 1000-mile Iditarod, the longest dogsledding race on earth.
Duration: approximately 5 hours
Available: from 23rd October until 30 November
The Tromsø Villmarkssenter (Tromsø Wilderness Centre) is an adventure group that invests a lot of time in training huskies for dogsledding. Getting puppies ready to work in a racing team is essential work and this activity gives you a close-up look at the process. Spend time with the puppies as they are taken through the various steps to becoming seasoned racing dogs – a must for canine-lovers! Lunch is included.
Available: 1st September until 31st October
Image credit: Tromsø Adventure
Visit a husky centre outside of Tromsø and meet the sled dogs which are synonymous with the Arctic. A tour of the centre will introduce you to the lives of the mushers and their dogs both historically and during the present day. You will be given an insight into dogsledding and how it has become an important part of the Arctic culture. This will include a film from Iditarod, the world’s greatest sled race, where the owner actually participated in 2006 and won “most inspirational musher” award.Read more about this activity
Obviously, no visit to the husky centre would be complete without meeting the dogs themselves and on arrival, you will no doubt be greeted with a chorus of barks. They will be eager to meet you and there are usually puppies as well so have your camera ready. You can cuddle as many of the dogs as you want during this 3-hour tour and you will leave with a greater knowledge of their lives north of the Arctic Circle.
Departure transfers will take place at 2.30pm from the Radisson Blu Hotel. Hot drinks and biscuits are included.
Availability: every day from 1st September until 31st October
Minimum numbers: 2 people
Duration: 3 hours
Northern Lights Adventure with Tesla
You’ll be picked up in central Tromsø by your own exclusive Tesla Model X with certified driver and guide. What better way to search for one of nature’s greatest wonders than in a zero-emission, eco-friendly and environmentally clean car equipped with a glass roof.
You will be given an introductory talk where you’ll receive your warm suits for the night, followed by a short lesson in Northern Lights forecasting and photography. You’ll then have a brief introduction to our Tesla Model X. This powerful performance car can cruise the winter conditions with ease, taking you to locations out of the light pollution and on the road to the Northern Lights.Read more about this activity
Our professional guides know the area well and will explain the science and history behind the Aurora so you get the true insider knowledge. They’ll also help you with your camera settings so you can capture the adventures of the night.
You’ll enjoy a meal at one of our favourite local restaurants as well as drinks and snacks throughout the evening.
With so many ways to try and see the Aurora in Tromsø, the Tesla tour gives you the option to have a more private and environmentally-friendly experience of the magical display.
Availability: 15th September – 31st March
Price: to be confirmed
Image Credit: Pukka Travel
Guided daytime walk
Explore more of Sommarøy’s sights and learn about its fascinating history with this walking tour in the company of an expert guide.
You’ll visit some of the island’s highlights, including the local museum, church, park and local store whilst learning facts about the area. You can also ask the guide any questions you may have.
Duration: 1 hour
Credit: Royston Bok
RIB tour to Hekking Lighthouse
Visit one of the oldest lighthouses in Norway when you travel via RIB to the north side of Senja to see Hekking Lighthouse. For years, it has been an important signpost for ships coming into Tromsø which you will appreciate as you approach it on the RIB. Once you reach the lighthouse, you will have time to step off the boat and explore the area.
Duration: 2 hours (approx. one hour at the lighthouse)
Unwind after a day exploring the Arctic in one of the onsite Jacuzzi facilities. Just outside, there is also the hotel lagoon where guests can cool down.
Duration: you can rent the indoor Jacuzzi for one hour or the outdoor Jacuzzi for two hours and where you will have it to yourself (up to 8 people).
Price: £202 (total) per booking
Dates & Prices
Price Comparison Guarantee
Next season’s pre-sale dates and prices
To secure your holiday for next season, you can make a pre-sale booking and fix the price of your trip at the pre-sale price displayed below. Simply by paying an initial deposit of £50pp, you will protect yourself from any package price increases. The departure dates and itineraries remain preliminary and we will contact you when the final dates and itineraries are confirmed, you will then have 14 days to decide if you would like to go ahead. A further deposit payment will be due at the time of us confirming the trip details to you. If you decide not to travel, we will refund your full deposit payment. We reserve the right to charge supplements where there are significant changes to an itinerary or increases in flight costs. Any non-package rates remain subject to change.
|Departure dates between|
Tue 01 Sep 2020Enquire
Sat 31 Oct 2020
Sun 01 Nov 2020Enquire
Mon 30 Nov 2020
For our full booking terms and conditions please click here
Holiday group size (approximate)
Minimum 2 people; maximum 15 people (approximately)
We always try to provide an approximation of the group size you can expect to be with for the duration of each of our holidays. It may be that you are joined by others for parts of your holiday (such as transfers and particular activities) but the above number reflects those you can normally expect to be with from beginning to end. If group size is something which is particularly important to you, please speak to our Travel Experts and they can suggest the best holidays for you.
Tailor-made holiday group sizes will vary for all activities as will the group size for any additional activities you book.
Minimum numbers required for a holiday to operate
Some of our holidays require a minimum number of participants to operate (as listed in the ‘Group Size’ section). If your holiday departure has not yet reached the minimum number, you will be told at the time of booking. In the unlikely event that your chosen date is not guaranteed by nine weeks before your scheduled departure date, we will contact you to discuss the available options as per our booking conditions.
Minimum and maximum age
If a specific minimum age applies to this holiday, it can be found in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page.
Unless otherwise stated in the Key Facts box on the holiday Overview page, the minimum age for participation in an Aurora Zone holiday is typically 12 years old (there may be younger children in some destinations who have booked with other companies). If an adult-only environment is important to you, then please contact our Travel Experts and they will advise on the best dates and destinations for you. If you are looking for a holiday designed specifically for families then please see our sister company www.activitiesabroad.com.
The order of activities is always subject to change and guests will be provided with their final itinerary upon arrival. The trip dossier is standard to the holiday and does not account for any amends, additions or personalisation to an itinerary. Clients should refer to their booking documents for this information.
The order of activities listed in this agenda is provided for guidance only, your final itinerary will be provided on arrival.
Medical History and Advice
We want our holidays to be accessible as they can be and will do our best to accommodate any special requests and requirements where possible. We have a wide range of holidays and destinations and so our travel experts will help find the best holiday for you.
In order to give us the best possible chance to do this, we ask that if you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday or has any special requirements, that you tell us at the time of enquiry or booking. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops after your booking has been confirmed. You may need to provide a doctor’s note and proof of insurance in some cases as the health and safety of our clients is absolutely paramount.
In providing this information you are allowing us to work with our expert local partners to ensure that your whole party can enjoy the holiday. By letting us know in advance we can discreetly work with you to adapt any part of the holiday which may potentially be challenging. Being able to prepare for this in advance makes an incredible difference to what we can offer and minimises any impact on your party and the rest of the group.
Unfortunately, if you choose not to share this information with us in advance then it may limit some or all of the itinerary you have booked, and we cannot be held accountable for any additional costs or missed activities resulting from this.
Insurance is not included in your holiday, but it is a pre-requisite to travelling with us. You will need to ensure that you have cover for all the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday.
It is extremely important that you take out a suitable travel insurance policy at the time of booking. Plans do sometimes change, and you will need this policy should you need to cancel your holiday.
If you are struggling to find a suitable policy then details of our preferred provider, who will cover you for all the activities we offer, can be found on our website by clicking here. Please note that this policy is available to EU residents under the age of 75 only.
Booking Activities Locally
Additional activities can be booked locally in almost all our destinations. However, as per our booking conditions, we cannot be held responsible for any injury or loss incurred through participation in activities which are booked at your destination outside of our holiday itinerary (see our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for further details).
When arranging any such activity please always ensure that safety is your primary concern.
In some of our destinations, you can borrow or hire equipment for use in your free time. You do so entirely at your own risk. You must ensure that you are properly prepared, have the necessary equipment and knowledge (maps, etc) and ensure that where applicable, you follow marked routes. We recommend discussing your plans with the local teams who will be able to advise on the most suitable options for you.
Always let the reception/guide know where you are planning to go and take a torch and mobile phone (with the hotel/guide’s phone number stored). It is also a good idea to leave your contact number and the time you expect to return to the hotel should the hotel need to contact you.
The UK Foreign Office Advice
Our clients’ safety is at the centre of everything we do, and our operations team continually assesses and monitors the destinations we feature. We carry out thorough risk assessments and work closely with all of our suppliers to continually follow best practice. For up to date travel advice the UK government offers its Travel Aware website as well as the advice detailed below.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice
We receive all updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) with regards to travel advice and we always ensure that we follow this advice in our operations. The FCO issues travel advisories for countries based on a very wide range of factors. They may provide notification about things as simple as a football match and crowds, or they may go so far as to advise against all travel to a region. We ask all our clients to refer to the relevant Travel Advice by Country for the destinations they are visiting in order to make an informed decision on the safety of the destination based on the details provided. It also provides vital information regarding entry requirements, embassy information, local laws and customs as well as specific safety and health. Guests should take responsibility for keeping themselves up to date with this advice. Please also ensure that, if you are transiting through another country, you have read the advice and meet the entry requirements for that destination too.
The FCO travel advice is applicable to British Passport Holders. Most governments will issue their own travel advice for a region and, if you are not a UK resident then you can find some helpful links below:
Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau http://voyage.gc.ca/
The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english.html
If the FCO deems that there is an unacceptable level of risk for UK citizens then, together with the government, they may issue an advisory against all travel to a region or country. If such an advisory is published, then we will act accordingly, and this may require the cancellation, curtailment or amendment of a holiday itinerary. These decisions are made on the basis of ensuring our clients’ safety and will affect all clients on the holiday, regardless of their nationality.
If one of our local experts suggests an amendment due to a situation which develops locally then we may also take the decision to amend an itinerary appropriately.
If we have to cancel your holiday prior to departure you will be offered the option of an alternative trip (where any price difference will either be refunded to or covered by you) or a full refund of the monies paid.
If we have to curtail a holiday, then you will be refunded for any costs for the elements we have been unable to deliver, where we have been able to secure a refund from our suppliers. If we must reroute a holiday, then any basis for refund is determined on a case by case basis and dependent on whether the central holiday experience was provided or not.
Brexit information for British Passport holders
We have no reason to believe that our holidays will be impacted after Brexit and so it is business as usual for us. The European Commission has stated that no aircraft will be grounded, even if no deal is reached between the EU and the UK.
However, the Foreign Office is advising people take the following steps so please review this information and take any necessary action.
The relevant points include:
- check your passport
- get travel insurance which covers your healthcare
If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.
Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. Any extra months on an adult passport will not count towards the validity requirement, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel.
You will also need to double-check your travel insurance as after Brexit there is no guarantee your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be accepted.
Flight schedule changes and connecting transportation
On your documentation, we will confirm your flight schedule. Sometimes the flight number, routing and timings might change prior to your departure. If the change is classed as a significant change then we will contact you to discuss this. Please see our booking conditions for details.
Flight schedule changes can impact on your pre and post-holiday travel arrangements if these have been booked separately to your holiday. We strongly recommend that you do not book transport (such as trains or transfers), car parking or non-connecting flights to the departure point for your holiday until you have received your final confirmed travel times when your final travel documents are issued. We are not responsible for the effect of any schedule change on your pre or post travel arrangements. We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible or non-refundable tickets to avoid cancellation and penalty charges.
Booking your own flights - cancellation disclaimer
If you have chosen to book your own flights, then you will need to wait until we confirm to you that the holiday departure has met the minimum numbers required to run (if applicable to your chosen holiday). Once the holiday is guaranteed to run, you will be informed and you can then make your arrangements.
If transfers are included in your holiday, please ensure that any potential flights will be met by our standard transfers (speak to one of our Travel Experts for advice) otherwise private transfer supplements may be applicable. Once your flights are booked, please send us a copy of your detailed flight itinerary.
Please be aware that most tickets are non-refundable in the case of cancellation. For this reason, we strongly advise you check the rules of the ticket and check the limitations of your cancellation insurance before booking. We cannot be held liable, in the unlikely eventuality that we should be forced to cancel or amend your trip, for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made.
Terms and Conditions
Our full booking terms and conditions can be found on our website: https://www.theaurorazone.com/booking-conditions
The Aurora in Sommarøy: we didn’t have to travel far from the hotel, the location was beautiful and offers unobstructed views, the warm cabin made our wait for the aurora more enjoyable. Our guide Halvard was a great company to have with a lot of stories to share.
Want to thank you and your team for the great arrangement in the hotels and the activities.