North Norway cruise, Aurora Boreali, whales & ice hotel

“Truly the highlights of Northern Norway in winter: an ice hotel, a Sami camp, fjords and fjord-life, and a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights.”


Tromsø | Alta | Northern Lights Cathedral | Islands of Finnmark Country | Kautokeino | Visit a Sami camp | Spend a night in an ice hotel

Description of North Norway cruise, Aurora Boreali, whales & ice hotel

Tromsø sits in a lacy network of islands in Finnmark County, northern Norway. The city itself is sophisticated and interesting, and its surrounding countryside is very beautiful. This cruise takes you around Tromsø’s islands during the wintry months. This region, with its settled weather, is a particularly good place to see the northern lights.

Off the boat, you’ll explore some of the islands by whizzing over in a Zodiac and setting off along the shore on foot. There are nights spent off the boat, too. You can visit a Sami village and spend the night in a traditional lavvu dwelling. In Alta, you’ll spend the night in an ice hotel, so bring your bed socks.

You don’t need to go on shore to enjoy some of the best features of this trip – wildlife, and even the elusive aurora, might be seen from the boat. White-tailed eagles soar overhead as you cruise, and you could spot orca and humpback whales, which come to Tromsø’s fjords to feed on herring shoals in winter. You might find yourself rushing out on deck in the night to see the Northern Lights.

Travelling in late January means that you’ll get a short amount of daylight, drawn-out dawns, and long nights perfect for enhancing your chances of catching some sky action. The itinerary is flexible so you can go where the night sky is clearest.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

There are few more environmentaly sustainable ways to build a hotel than from water! The raw material is widely available and at the end of the season the hotel infrastructure is 100% recyclable! Any 'normal, construction can be highly detrimental to the environment, with quarrying and transporting the materials to the building site. The ice hotel avoids all of these environmental costs.

The ship we use is small, carrying just 50 passengers, reducing any impact we may have on the environment. We keeping cruising to a minimum covering just a short distance over the 4 days, minimising emissions.

We always travel in small groups, for the good of the environment and our guests alike. As modern explorers, we want our guests to experience a lot and to encourage your curiosity, while at the same time treading carefully and acting respectfully. Once back home, we hope that our travellers become worthy ambassadors of the Polar Regions, spreading the word of these magnificent and vulnerable areas. A deeper awareness hopefully leads to a broader and more sincere interest, leading to an everyday lifestyle that supports nature conservation worldwide.

As an office we send all our communications by email (unless otherwise requested) keeping our paper usage to a bare minimum and reducing postal van emissions too. We share kitchen facilities with several other companies reducing out environmental impact greatly. Additionally we incentivise our staff to walk or cycle to work.

The Impacts of this Trip

The ice hotel is entirely built by some twenty local tradesmen and artists, providing a great source of employment at a traditionally quiet time of year. Additionally the hotel employs a similar number or people for more than three months in winter when other seasonal work is almost non-existent. This helps prevent some of the local community migrating to other parts of Norway of beyond in search of work.

We are welcomed into the Sami community. By spending a day with the Sami people we are learning a great deal about the culture whilst helping to contribute to their income, thus helping to preserve their traditional way of life. By making sure we behave appropriately whilst visiting th Sami, and by paying a little for their hospitality, we ebsure that we wil be welcomed back each time we visit; a mutually beneficial relationship!

Our small ship is probably the only cruise ship visiting at this time of year, providing a little employment and income for the communities that get few visitors in the depths of winter.


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