Norway’s North Cape: The Northern Lights Tour
ESCORTED – 6 GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Saariselkä | Inari | Karasjok | Honningsväg
North Cape | Alta | Tromsø
Departures: Jan 13, 20, & 27, Feb 10, 17, & 24, 2019
SMALL GROUP TOUR: Chase the Northern Lights all the way to one of the most northerly points of mainland Europe! Travel through the uppermost reaches of Finland and Norway with a special winter expedition to the North Cape Plateau. Along the way, choose from optional tours in the area including husky sledding, snowmobiling, and much more.
Day 01: Arrive Saariselkä
Arrive in Saariselkä today and transfer on your own* to your hotel for check in. Today is free to explore Saariselkä, part of the Inari municipality and home to a number of fells (mountains), which many flock to in the winter for its seclusion and variety of outdoor activities.
In the evening meet your small group and tour leader, enjoying a welcome drink together. Accommodations tonight are at a four-star hotel near the town center.
Santa’s Tunturi Hotel*
NOTE: Ivalo Airport is roughly 30 minutes from tour hotel in Saariselkä. Private transfer options are available; please see optional transfer pricing below tour itinerary. *Feb 17 departure may use Holiday Club Hotel Saariselkä as space at Santa’s Tunturi Hotel is limited.
Day 02: Saariselkä
Today after breakfast you’ll have some leisure time to enjoy a number of optional excursions. Choose from a variety of winter safaris—reindeer farms, husky sledding, snowmobiling, and more.
In the evening, we’ll embark on a Northern Lights safari by sleigh! Climb aboard the sledge pulled by snowmobile and spot the aurora high above you as you relax. We’ll travel to the nearby fell district in the hopes of viewing the exceptional scenery under a clear sky and the Northern Lights.
Santa’s Tunturi Hotel
Day 03: Saariselkä – Inari – Karasjok
Breakfast is at your hotel this morning before you depart by private coach via Inari, where we stop to visit the SIIDA Sámi Museum.
Continue on to the west after your museum visit, crossing the border into Norway and arriving in the Sámi capital of Karasjok. The city is home to the Sámi Parliament of Norway, the Sámediggi: a representative body which acts as an institution of cultural autonomy with 7 constituencies that cover all of Norway.
Accommodations tonight are within Karasjok city.
Day 04: Karasjok – Honningsväg – North Cape Expedition
Early this morning after buffet breakfast we’ll depart Karasjok for the North Cape*, located on a small island right on the coast. Drive through the North Cape tunnel connecting the mainland to Magerøya Island and enjoy the scenic view from the tip of Norway, where a large globe statue marks the edge of the land.
Travel back towards Honningsväg after your North Cape expedition, where you’ll enjoy dinner and a stay overnight.
*North Cape expedition subject to weather conditions.
Day 05: Honningsväg – Alta – Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel (Optional)
Wake this morning to a delicious Scandinavian breakfast, and then depart Honningsväg by way of the Porsangerfjord bound for Alta.
This bustling cultural center, known as the ‘Northern Lights City of Norway’, is an extraordinary mix of natural phenomena and man-made treasures. Alta covers a fair amount of human history: 7,000-year-old petroglyphs reside here in a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site, and the city was home to the 1980s Sámi court case relating to the nearby Sámi town Máze (Northern Sámi; Norwegian: ‘Masi’).
In the afternoon set out with your small group to tour the Alta Museum—located about three miles from the city center and close to the largest of five open-air petroglyph sites in the region. After the tour, the remainder of the day is free to further explore Alta on your own, or to visit the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel.
Accommodations tonight are at your four-star hotel. Alternatively, you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade to a night in the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel!
Scandic Alta/upgrade to Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel
NOTE: Tonight you’ll have the option to stay overnight in the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, a fabulous and unique hotel made from pure ice and snow about 12 miles from Norway’s northern city of Alta. The entire hotel—from the exterior and interior to the rooms, beds, and glasses at the Icebar—is made from ice, and hosts a variety of enchanting features such as the ice chapel and ice gallery. You’ll stay in a Snow Igloo room, enjoying a morning sauna and breakfast buffet with a complimentary return transfer to Alta. Price: $390 p.p. twin/$364 p.p. single. Rate includes reduction for unused hotel in Alta.
Day 06: Alta – Tromsø – Northern Lights Safari (Kvaløya Island)
After breakfast this morning we’ll travel along the northern fjord system toward Tromsø, the starting point of many prior North Pole expeditions. Once you reach Tromsø, free time is available to explore the city or rest before you head out for an evening Northern Lights Safari on Kvaløya Island, which includes a light dinner.
Accommodations in Tromsø are in a city-center four-star hotel.
Clarion Hotel The Edge
Day 07: Tromsø – Reindeer Safari (Optional)
Following breakfast you’ll have an entire day free in Tromsø to explore the city, engage in optional safaris or tours, and enjoy the atmosphere of this prime Northern Lights location. The iconic Arctic Cathedral holds court in the middle of this urban city nearly 225 miles above the Arctic Circle, and though the weather may be cold this time of year, it’s usually milder here than in other Arctic locations due to the Gulf Stream.
Overnight tonight in your four-star hotel.
Clarion Hotel The Edge
NOTE: Today’s optional excursion sees you joining a Sámi guide and experiencing the joy of reindeer sledding through Tromsø’s wilderness! You’ll enjoy both the local culture and the magic of the local wildlife as you travel through the forest with a guide who is part of an authentic Sámi reindeer herding family. Encounter lasso throwing, sightseeing in the Sámi camp, Sámi cuisine, storytelling and the traditional Sámi song (joik), a display of cultural artifacts, and of course the main event: reindeer sledding! Warm clothes, hot meal, hot drink, and transfers are included. See below for complete details. Price: $329 p.p. (min. 2 persons).
Day 08: Depart Tromsø
After breakfast this morning, you’ll transfer to the airport on your own and depart Tromsø.
- Fully-escorted, 8-day tour program with English-speaking guide days 1-7 (Jan 20 & Feb 10 departures have bi-lingual tour guides, English & Spanish or Portuguese)
- 7 nights’ accommodations in superior hotels with (1) welcome drink, 7 breakfasts, 2 half-board dinners and 1 light dinner in standard rooms with private facilities
- 3 Northern Lights Safari excursions
- Entrances and activities as mentioned in the program
- Transportation by first-class modern coach for transfers and sightseeing per program
- Road tolls and local taxes
NOTE: Price does not include arrival or departure transfers, flights, optional tours, porter service, travel insurance, and meals/services/items not mentioned in the itinerary above.
Optional services available for pre-booking: Arrival transfer with private car/driver (Ivalo Airport to Saariselkä): about $98 p.p. double/twin. Rate is lower with more than 2 people; please contact us for more information.
2019 STARTING PRICES | GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Departure Dates and Information
|All departures are guaranteed and in USD. Departure is a 20-person max small group, land-only tour. Tour space is not guaranteed until booked and confirmed. All tours are guided in English (Jan 20 & Feb 10 departures are bi-lingual; English & Spanish or Portuguese).||
2019 Optional Excursions
All available excursions not outlined in the itinerary above are listed below by location.
Alta – Overnight at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel
Norway’s largest and the world’s northernmost ice hotel is situated in Sorrisniva, about 25 minutes from Alta airport. The igloo hotel is one of a kind, and its impressive 2,000 m² structure is made entirely from snow and ice every year and offers guests a unique experience. Explore the contrast between staying in the cold, while a cozy sleeping bag keeps you nice and warm during the night! The perfect place for the adventure seeker as well as the ones longing for calmness and serenity. Reindeer leather sleeping pads and ultra-warm sleeping bags are provided in each Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel guest room. With a constant temperature between -4 and -7 °C, guests are encouraged to bring their own thermal under garments. A modern service building is located next door and features showers, changing rooms and a luggage storage room. Accommodation rates include return regular transfers from Scandic Alta to Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel.
Details: Overnight, +$390 p.p. twin/double; overnight, +$364 p.p. single.
Alta – Snowmobile Safari
Learn to maneuver a snowmobile through breathtaking scenery, no experience required! We’ll pick you up in the center of Alta and transfer you to Sorrisniva Hotel (20 minutes), where you’ll be outfitted with warm clothes (thermal suit, shoes, helmet, and gloves) as well as knowledge on security and how to handle your vehicle. Drive your vehicle through the Arctic terrain and explore the old trade route toward Karasjok, spotting signs of wildlife and enjoying the quick pace of the snowmobile, and then head back to Sorrisniva for a tour of the fabulous Igloo Hotel! Enjoy a warming ‘ice’ drink before you’re transferred back to Alta. Note: we recommend wearing warm thermo/wool underwear under the thermal suit. Valid driver license is required.
Details: 2.5 hours, +$414 p.p., 2-person minimum.
Alta – Husky Safari
You’ll have the opportunity to meet the huskies of northern Norway on this short husky safari, 5 minutes outside Sorrisniva! Experienced guides share their passion for and knowledge of their dogs as well as the special community they are part of. They illustrate the life among mushers, and give you hands-on experience with the dogs in a peaceful surrounding. Then you’ll set off on an exciting run through the forest sharing the sled with a partner, your husky companions churning up snow as you travel together! You’ll stop and swap places en route. When you arrive back at the kennel, you’ll be served a hot beverage while the guide shares the history of the race. Transfer to and from Alta city center, warm thermal suits, shoes, and instructions on how to drive the dog sled as well as coffee/tea/homemade cake are all included.
Details: 2.5 hours, +$255 p.p., 2-person minimum.
Saariselkä – Snowmobile Safari to a Reindeer Farm
Visit a local reindeer farm by snowmobile. At the farm, the Sámi host will welcome you and introduce you to the reindeer husbandry and Lapland’s indigenous culture that evolves around the reindeer. During the visit, you will learn how to throw ‘suopunki’, the Lappish lasso used to catch a reindeer, and to ride the reindeer sleigh. Before returning, you will have a coffee break and learn more about Lappish culture and reindeer. Note: all drivers must have a full driving license which is valid in Europe. All safaris include pick-up/drop-off at your hotel, a thermal outfit, and guide services in English. Snowmobile safaris include snowmobile shared by two guests taking turns driving (driver must be 18+ years with valid driver’s license). Snowmobile safaris are subject to change due to weather conditions, and operator reserves the right to change tour/pricing/duration without prior notice.
Details: 3 hours, +$242 p.p.
Saariselkä – Husky Safari
The barking of enthusiastic dogs welcomes you from the minute you reach this lively husky farm! Before departing on your journey, you’ll be given instructions on how to control the sleds, which you will ride in pairs. Passengers may swap places at the halfway point. The head musher will talk about the life and training of these Arctic animals and you will also have the chance to take some great photos. Hot drink is provided by a campfire. Note: The departure point may change according to weather conditions. All safaris include pick-up/drop-off at your hotel, a thermal outfit, and guide services in English.
Details: 3 hours, +$268 p.p.
Tromsø – Snowmobile Safari
Meet us at the Scandic Ishavhotel for a truly spectacular wilderness adventure! You’ll be transferred from Tromsø to the wilderness center of Camp Tamok, we provide you with all the warm clothes and shoes necessary. We begin the adventure with a thorough safety introduction and practical demonstration—no prior knowledge is needed to drive the snowmobile. You will be driving in pairs, one driver and one passenger on each snowmobile, with the opportunity to switch places during the trip. We’ll embark upon a tour that will bring you past scenic mountains and through the dramatic snow-covered Finn valley, starting at 250m above sea level and climbing up to 900m. The trail has a distance of 15 km each way (30 km in total) and you’ll be on the snowmobile for between 2-2.5 hours. Due to the dramatic topography, a reduced speed is maintained during parts of the tour. The top point of the trail is the ice-covered lake Finn, where you can speed up and get your adrenaline pumping. If time and weather permit, you can try out ice fishing on this lake. At the end of the trip, you will be served a hot meal and coffee in a cozy dining lavvu (Sami tent), surrounding the bonfire. Tour includes transportation by bus/minibus, hot meal (vegetarian food can be provided if we are told at time of booking), insulated body suit, boots, gloves, headwear and helmet, as well as an English-speaking guide.
Details: 7 hours including transfers, +$315 p.p., 2-person minimum.
Tromsø – Husky Safari
A unique and thrilling excursion with Alaskan huskies in the north Norway wilderness! Get a taste of the mushing life: this day tour on Kvaløya, one of Norway’s largest islands, includes stunning views of the mountains surrounding Tromsø as well as the Balsfjord and Malangen peninsula. You’ll befriend a team of huskies (and meet 300 of their closest canine friends!) and spend about 45-60 minutes riding in the sled, driven by professional mushers. Afterwards you’ll enjoy a hearty, hot meal of bidos (reindeer stew with broth and vegetables), a Sámi staple. Transfer from Tromsø (pick up/drop off at Radisson Blu Hotel), professional musher guide, outdoor clothing, and hot meal included.
Details: 4 hours, +$329 p.p., 2-person minimum.
Tromsø – Reindeer Safari
Join a Sámi guide and experience the joy of reindeer sledding through Tromsø’s wilderness! This is the oldest form of transport in the north, and an ancient part of Sámi culture. This cultural adventure includes reindeer sledding, lasso-throwing, and storytelling about Sámi culture and history. People of all ages can participate on this adventure, perfect for families. The reindeers await your arrival at Camp Tamok. You will be picked up in the city center of Tromsø (outside the Scandic Ishavshotel by the harbor) and brought to the camp by bus, and will receive comfortable outdoor clothing and shoes to keep warm during your stay. A Sámi guide will meet and greet you upon arrival, and bring you to the reindeers, eager to pull your sleigh. You will be driving in pairs with one reindeer pulling each sleigh. So make yourself comfortable, sit back, and enjoy the magical scenery! Daytime trips give you an amazing view of the wild mountains in the area, and evening trips in the period of November – March will give you a good opportunity to experience the Northern Lights. After the sledding, you will head back to a warm and cozy lavvu (Sámi tent) where there will be a bonfire to keep you warm—a perfect setting to learn more about the Sámi people and their culture. You will also try lasso-throwing, the method by which the Sámi people still catch their reindeers when they are rounded up for marking. And of course, you will get to feed the reindeers—how awesome is that? Before heading back to Tromsø, you’ll get a lovely hot meal in our dining lavvu (vegetarian food can be provided if we are told at time of booking). Warm clothes (insulated body suit, boots, gloves, headwear, and headlamp), hot meal, English-speaking guide, and transfers are included; evening trips give you the chance to see the Northern Lights.
Details: 7 hours including transfers, +$306 p.p., 2-person minimum.