Northern Lights in Norway

RCGS: Norway Arctic Lights & Whales with Jill Heinerth

  • ON OFFER

Save up to $500 on small group & self-guided adventures to 100+ countries. Click here to learn more.

5 days
from
$3,449 USD
incl. taxes
Loading...
Winter
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
CNCR
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks
Activity:
Winter
Group size:
5–14
Min age:
16

An adventure travel legends are made of...

Inspired by the very first Arctic explorers, journey to the far reaches of Norway’s northern tip led by RCGS Explorer-in-Residence, filmmaker, photographer and world-renowned underwater explorer, Jill Heinerth. A veteran of over thirty years of exploration, Jill has made TV series for PBS, National Geographic and the BBC. On this exclusive RCGS departure, you’ll have the opportunity to hone in on your photography skills with tips and tricks from Heinerth herself all while exploring the Arctic wonders of the Vesteralen Islands.

The otherworldly archipelago sits within the Arctic Circle and offers an intoxicating cocktail of fjords and mountains all teeming with wildlife, from soaring eagles to sea otters and reindeer. Venture out to the more remote islands and visit local fishing villages, then try your hand at ice fishing. Bring science to life during a visit to the Andoya Space Center – which regularly launches rockets to study the aurora – and attempt your own mission simulation. Suit up in arctic oversuits and head out on a whale watching excursion in search of Humpbacks, Fin, and Killer Whales. Watch a dazzling light display in the sky as the Northern Lights dance above you in the evenings. As your adventure comes to an end, you’ll enjoy a traditional meal around a roaring fire – a fitting goodbye to this remote region.

Highlights

  • Visit the Andoya Space Center and learn about the Aurora Borealis.

  • Search for Humpbacks, Fin and Killer Whales.
  • Try your hand at ice fishing at Lake Kringelvann.
  • Explore the Norwegian Arctic with RCGS Explorer-in-Residence, filmmaker and world-renowned underwater explorer, Jill Heinerth.

Key information

  • 4 nights in wilderness cabins or Aurora guesthouse with shared facilities 
  • 3 days exploration of the island, including whale watching and research centre visit
  • Group normally 5 to 14, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Countries visited: Norway

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners included
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Airport transfers
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Single accommodation - available on request
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Buksnesfjord
to
Buksnesfjord
  • Day 1

    Start Buksnesfjord

    We meet at the Friluftssenter on Buksnesfjord for a warm welcome before settling in to our accommodation and heading to the restaurant for dinner.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Morning exploration of local area on foot; trip to the nearby valley for outdoor lunch and ice fishing on Lake Kringelvann.

    Weather in the Vesteralen is unpredictable, and we may well re order some of the activities to better suit the conditions, however we often start our trips by exploring our immediate surroundings. The Friluftssenter enjoys a fanstastic location, just 50m/164ft from the shores of Buksnesfjord with views over the surrounding mountains. Our main focus today will be nearby Lake Kringelvann which sits a few kilometres from our accommodation in an impressive valley. This area is home to moose, reindeers and many species of bird. The lake itself can be reached on foot or in an adapted trailer pulled along by Nigel on his quad bike.

    The track is easy to follow for those that wish and winds through the forest and down to the shores of the lake itself, at the head of the valley. We can head out onto the lake, try some ice fishing or explore the valley a little further, trying to spot wild moose amongst the trees. Lunch is taken outdoors by a fire and consists of a simple but satisfying soup with locally made bread. Should the ice fishing go well there may be an arctic char or two to add to the grill!

    In the evening, a professional photographer joins the group to share some photography tricks! 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Tour of Andoy passing through fishing villages on the arctic coast, including northern Europe's longest beach and to the world's largest Northern Lights research base.

    Though our base on Buksnesfjord is spectacular, it is well worth exploring these islands further. Today we take to the bus and drive across the main bridge to the next island, Andoya. This island is home to some of Norway's most beautiful beaches including northern Europe's longest, by the village of Bleik. We will also see the fishing village of Nordmela, one of those at the heart of the island's fishing industry. If conditions are with us we may see seals and eagles from the road.

    Our journey includes a stop at the dramatically named Andoya Space Center which launches rockets regularly to study the Aurora. On arrival we watch a short film on the science behind the Aurora and the work done on Andoya to study it. Then we take part of a guided tour round the visitor centre where we see the telemetry station, the science centre and range control, and get a unique insight in how northern light research is done at the centre.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Drive to Andenes for whale watching; return to Friluftssenter for free time before the evening meal in the lavvo.

    We have introduced a whale watching excursion this year, and for our last full day we drive up to Andenes at the northern tip of the Island. Here we are issued with Arctic oversuits and get ready to board the boat. In winter these waters play host to Humpbacks, Fin and Killer Whales and the whale centre itself has plenty of information and displays to complement the trip. This excursion in particular may be changed to another day if conditions dictate.

    We will take a packed lunch to eat once back on dry land, after which we transfer back to the Friluftssenter for free time to explore and enjoy further photographic opportunities, as Nigel fires up the outdoor hot tub for those that wish.

    Larger groups will have to split into two 'shifts' for the hot tub. Other options include a short walk to a small frozen lake just behind the Friluftssenter. The lake feels totally secluded as it is surrounded on 3 sides by steep slopes and a walkway has been installed to allow easy access. Alternatively the shores of the fjord are just over the road, and worth exploring to enjoy the views across and behind it.

    For our final night we head up to the Friluftssenter's Lavvo for a traditional meal around a roaring fire, a fitting end to our time in the Arctic.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Evenes.

    Our trip ends at Evenes Airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Norway

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Norway

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals are included, and the food here is excellent, particularly the freshly caught salmon and char, to say nothing of the legendary moose pie. Our meal in the lavvo will contain traditional Norwegian dishes including reindeer.

Nigel, Ingvild and the team will always do their best to cater for dietary needs, please ensure you inform us prior to travel.

Weather

Winters in the Vesteralen Islands are much milder than those of inland northern Norway on the same latitude, thanks to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. As such winter temperatures are usually between -2 to -10°C/28 to 14°F in winter. Daylight hours are scarce in January, rising steadily through February and into March, where there is around five hours of daylight. Even in January, however, it is not pitch black, instead there are hours of what the locals call 'blue light' meaning it is perfectly possible to be outdoors for several hours per day.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is not active, however be prepared to walk over uneven terrain and encounter changing, sometimes powerful weather. Exploration is done mainly on foot by bus and boat, and to take full advantage of the magnificent landscape a reasonable level of fitness is advised.
The weather is of course unpredictable, and this far north storms are possible. As such the running order of the itinerary remains flexible to allow us to make the best use of our time and conditions. In particular the whale watching excursion may be moved, or in some cases cancelled in the case of poor conditions. In this situation other activities would be offered. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Andoy Friluftssenter

Built and run by Ingvild and Nigel Turrell, the Friluftssenter enjoys a wonderful location just 25 metres from the shore of Buksnesfjord, surrounded by rugged mountains and forests. It consists of one main building with the lounge and restaurant, the Aurora Guesthouse and a number of smaller wilderness cabins.

The Aurora Guesthouse has 5 rooms and a lounge and shares 2 bathrooms. The wilderness cabins are a similar set up on a smaller scale, with one twin room and bunk bed room (used for single occupancy), sharing one bathroom and a small lounge. Exodus groups are split across the Aurora Guesthouse and the cabins. All are a few minutes’ walk from the main building.

Above them is the Friluftssenter's Lavvo, a traditionally styled Sami teepee with a roaring open fire, where we enjoy our last meal.

A limited number of single rooms are available, please enquire for details.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

Trips you might also like

Arctic Lights & Whales

15 reviews
Fabulous Northern Lights over Buknesfjord, seen from the Andoy Friluftssenter
  • ON OFFER

Natural beauty in the Arctic Circle

Winter
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
5 Days from $3,099 USD
Guided (Incl. Taxes)
View More Details

Wild Finland

4 reviews
  • ON OFFER

A week in the magical Finnish wilderness searching for Brown bears 

Wildlife
Suitable for:
Age 18+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
6 Days from $2,749 USD
Guided (Incl. Taxes)
View More Details

Iceland Northern Lights

44 reviews
  • ON OFFER

See Iceland's best sights in one weekend

Winter
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
5 Days from $2,099 USD
Guided (Incl. Taxes)
View More Details