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Its truly a moment of wonder when the Northern Lights tip-toe shyly onto the sky before blowing into a true show of color, growing, dancing and twisting and making the world stop for a moment.
The Polar Night
As the sun sets for the last time for the next few months, Svalbard is left in complete darkness. Perpetual night is a novelty in itself, but also offers the perfect conditions of spotting the Northern Lights.
Whether you will be venturing on a glacier hike with your professional guide or dog-sledding, you will love every moment of it. Being out and about also mean that your chances at spotting the Lights increase.
Following the night at the Trapper’s Cabin, which is also home to over 100 dogs, you will get close and personal to these friendly furry fellows who will be eager to take you on a sledding adventure.
"From the moment we landed in Svalbard we have been taken care of by the wonderful staff and everything from the activities, the food and culminating in seeing the lights has been wonderful. Highly recommend!"
This four-night adventure will take you to the small island of Svalbard. The journey will begin in the small town of Longyearbyen on Svalbard, which will await with heaps of glittering snow against a black backdrop. In the evening, dinner is served in a traditional Trapper’s Cabin. Stay up exchanging stories of the old hunting days while keeping an eye out for the Northern Lights. And with Svalbard’s location well above the Arctic Circle, the chances of spotting them are higher than in any other place. The next day you will befriend the dogs who will eagerly take you on a sledding trip around the wilderness of Svalbard. With nothing around, but pure silence and hopefully a dancing aurora up in the sky, nothing else will matter in this magical setting. Next, enjoy the great outdoors with a snowshoeing trip around the valleys near Longyearbyen.
NEED TO KNOW
|GROUP SIZE||12 people|
|FLIGHTS||For more information on flights from the UK please refer to the Trip Details section.|
|VISA||UK, EU & US not required|
Arrival in Longyearbyen. Once there, you will be transferred to your hotel. You will have a couple of hours to explore the small town before it’s time to go to the Trappers’ Station. Enjoy a candelight dinner and the locals’ stories while waiting up for the Northern Lights. Shared accommodation in the basic Trappers’ Station.
After breakfast, you will be meeting the dogs and harnessing them for a dogsledding trip around Bolter Valley. Away from the town and with less light pollution, the chances of spotting the Northern Lights are very high. You will return back to Longyearbyen and Basecamp Hotel for the evening.
Spend your day hiking up the glaciers around Longyearbyen. The route will be determined based on weather, but being out and about will offer the perfect conditions of spotting the Northern Lights. The trip will hopefully culminate with a hot drink under the mesmerizing sky.
Morning at your leisure in Longyearbyen before being transferred to the airport for the flight back to Oslo, and then onwards back home.
A selection of our accommodation, which is subject to availability, however alternatives are always of a similar price, grade and location.
Right in the heart of Longyearbyen, the Basecamp Hotel is what one would call the base of a modern-day trapper. Driftwood, sealskin, maps and pictures decorate the spaces, giving it a cosy charm like no other.
This basic shared wooden teepee will give you a glance at how the old trappers used to live, away in the wilderness and guarded by Alaskan Huskies. Stay up late sharing stories while waiting for the Aurora.
WHERE YOU'RE GOING
There is no other place you’d like to find yourself in during the Polar Night. With a population of a little over 2,000 people, Longyearbyen is the largest town of Svalbard. Located in the heart of Spitsbergen, it is the perfect place to set base on your quest for the Northern Lights.
But it is so much more than that. With little snow-dusted streets, colorful houses contrasting with the darkness around and a sleepy quietness about it, there is every guarantee that you will fall in love with this place.
"Alongside standard luggage, we highly recommend you bring an additional smaller bag/rucksack and transfer essential items into it for the overnight stay at the Trappers' Station as the regular luggage will remain at Basecamp Hotel for the night."
Oana - Untravelled Paths
Well above the Arctic Circle, Svalbard can observe pretty extreme temperatures. Ensure you are properly equipped with layers, waterproof gear, and warm gloves, hat and scarf.
As you will most likely need an overnight here, we recommend booking a hotel near the Central Train Station and using the public transport to get around.
Aurora Borealis App
There are various apps which monitor the Aurora Borealis. We provide the best for you, it is surprisingly accurate so it will let you know in advance if the lights are going to appear.
Scandinavia is expensive and Norway is no exception. It's best to acknowledge this and avoid comparing the value of everything to what you'd receive back home.
As a tour operator we are not able to offer inclusive flights as part of our experiences however we are more than happy to help you find the most appropriate incoming and outgoing flights for you. All the listed airports fly directly in and out of Longyearbyen with multiple different airlines to choose from. We highly recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
Please note that for this experience you will need to get two sets of flights - international to and from Oslo, and domestic between Oslo and Longyearbyen.
In order to be fully covered on your trip should anything happen, we suggest getting an insurance before you travel. We recommend True Traveller, designed especially for adventure travel, who will be able to tailor an insurance package based on your needs. You can find out more here.
Our prices are based on people sharing, for solo travellers who would prefer a private room the price per person will include a solo occupancy fee.
If you wish we can also organise extra nights at either end of your trip for you.
Book your trip in a few easy steps.
Once you’ve chosen the dates you’d like to travel on using our availability calendar all you need to do is head over to the booking page and fill in the enquiry form.
BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS
We will get back to you answering any questions you might have and confirming availability. If all is good, we can hold the places for you for 48 hours while you book your flights. Please note that this stage does not represent a guarantee of the booking.
Once you have made your necessary arrangements, we will send you a booking form you will need to fill in with your details and any other relevant information.
PAY FOR YOUR TRIP
As you fill in the booking form, you will also be asked to make the payment through a secure link; if you are travelling in less than 8 weeks, the payment will be paid in full, otherwise only a 35% deposit will be taken.
Shortly after you pay, you will receive a confirmation invoice, followed by a personalised itinerary and digital booklet. All you need to do now is write the dates in your diary, prepare your packing list and look forward to your next adventure!
Please note deposit is non-refundable. The balance will only be refundable if you cancel with more than 8 weeks in advance. More information about the cancellation policy can be found in our Terms & Conditions. We highly suggest getting insurance before you travel to avoid any problems. Our personal recommendation is using True Traveller.
The currency in Svalbard is the Norwegian Krone.
The easiest option is to head to a cash machine once you’ve landed in Norway to withdraw funds.
If you’re set on getting your money organised before you travel, head to an exchange bureau in the UK when the krone is readily available. You can also purchase currency online and collect it from your local post office or even have it delivered straight to your door. Ordering currency online with the Post Office is commission-free and available for next day delivery. Obviously the more you buy the better rate you’ll receive.
Most major credit and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are accepted throughout Norway and Svalbard. Paying by card is the norm, so you will easily be able to pay for transport tickets, at bars and restaurants using your card.
As a general rule, you’ll be able to have a good lunch for around £35 a head and will pay around £50 a head for a nice evening meal. We reckon around £400 for lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks for two people is plenty. Please note that these are rough estimates and you can always choose
Tipping in Norway is by no means compulsory, however it is common to tip in restaurants and cafés about 10-20%. If paying by card and want to tip, you will be able to type in the total amount. If not, simply type in the amount on the screen. It is also commonplace to round up fares in a taxi.
You will be visiting Svalbard during the Polar Night. With the absence of solar light, you should be expecting temperatures of -16 degrees Celsius on average so do come prepared!
You can always contact the UTP team on +44 207 101 4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Before you travel, you will also receive a personalised itinerary with the contact details of the local manager in Romania should there be any problems. Your guide will be on hand throughout the trip as well, so you're in safe hands.
Our digital booklet, which you will receive before travel, contains all the information you need about optional activities. Simply drop us an email letting us know what you'd like to do during your trip, and we'll take care of the rest. Please note that the payment for the optional activities will be taken locally in cash.
You will need to come prepared for very cold temperatures! We would recommend bringing some good waterproof shoes, a warm hat and some gloves to keep yourself warm. Some clients prefer to wear waterproof trousers or a ski suit to protect them from the snow and ice; however aside from technical wear, layering your clothes is just as effective. We have listed some of the essentials below:
• Waterproof jacket;
• Waterproof trousers;
• Waterproof shoes;
• Pair of gloves
• A warm Hat
• A scarf or windproof buff;
• Two pairs of socks, one thin, one thick;
• Indoor shoes as is customary to take off your shoes indoors
As it is a natural phenomenon, Northern Lights sightings are never guaranteed. However, you will be out and about quite a lot on this trip in order to maximise your chances of spotting the Lights. With clear skies and a little bit of luck, you might just witness them in their full-blown splendor.
As far as humans go, crime is pretty much non-existent in Svalbard. The biggest threat is represented by the polar bears. While wandering around Longyearbyen, you must keep within the town limits. Going into the wilderness without a guide equipped with the proper gear is strictly forbidden. All of the excursions outside the town limits are with a professional guide appropriately equipped, so you're in good hands.
You should also be careful when moving around as the darkness can make it hard to spot icy bits or icicles hanging from the buildings.
The hike is of moderate difficulty, so a moderate level of fitness is required. The route will be determined based on weather and snow conditions and you will be fitted with the appropriate gear accordingly. Just keep in mind that you will be out and about for approximately five hours in the cold, Arctic weather, so dress appropriately!