Arctic travel and Northern Lights specialists, Off the Map Travel, introduced a program of new and updated experiences for guests interested in experiencing the Northern Lights, culture, adventure, and food of the Arctic region.
New winter experiences include:
Arctic Animals and Aurora (October 10-November 15): Travelers will follow the Northern Lights – and animals – across Norway and Sweden. First guests will embark on a whale-watching boat trip in Norway, complete with on-board marine biologist and hydrophone to listen to the whales. Following, is a trip to Polar Park, the world’s most northern wildlife park to spot brown bears, wolves, foxes, lynxes, moose, reindeer, muskox, and red deer. Optional addition is Wolf Kiss where guests meet socialized wolves face-to-face in a controlled and safe wildlife experience.
The Aurora Bubble Sled (December 2016-March 2017): Guests (families or couples) get pulled into the Arctic wilderness by a snowmobile in the comfort of a heated transparent bubble. Complete with bean bags, guests can look up through the bubble and enjoy the Northern Lights. An option to include an additional stay in Tromso, in northern Norway, to round off a true Arctic adventure is possible.
Arctic Ice Adventure (December 2016-March 2017): On this new tour, guests learn how to build – and stay in – an igloo; explore ice caves, ice-fish for dinner; and enjoy stories of the Artic. This can be combined with other Arctic experiences across northern Sweden and Norway to complete the Arctic adventure.
Taste of the Arctic (December 2016-March 2017): Guests will enjoy a four-course banquet of local delicacies cooked over an open fire, served in an igloo. Popular dishes include reindeer meat and smoked reindeer heart with lingonberry compote; whitefish roe; black crowberry slush; fried arctic char with almond potato; smoked reindeer roast with juniper butter and flat bread; Aurora panna cotta served with cloudberries; and coffee with local cheese. This can be added to any Arctic tour across the Arctic Europe region.
VIP Aurora Borealis Tour (December 2016-March 2017): Tailor-made for each guest and offers dogsled driving, ice fishing, ice carving, reindeer sledding, snowshoe trekking, a snowmobile safari, a private Sami reindeer experience, and a private behind-the-scenes tour at the world famous ICEHOTEL. To extend the VIP experience, guests can add a trip to Norway and the world’s first Wolf Lodge.
Sami Arctic Experience (December 2016-March 2017): Travelers will trek across the Arctic looking for the Northern Lights in the fashion of the Sami people of Lapland. Guests will try reindeer herding, search for the majestic Northern Lights; eat traditional Sami food; go for an Arctic walk in nuvtthaga (traditional Sami shoes); visit Sami communities and families; and stay in a traditional Sami lavvu tepee.
ICEHOTEL 365 (December 21, 2016, June 21, 2017 and December 21, 2017): Guests venture to the Arctic twice: The first trip on the shortest day of the year, December 21, when the sun doesn’t break the horizon and dog sledding and arctic activities are possible; the second occurs during the Midnight Sun on the longest day of the year, June 21, with 24 hours of sunshine allowing full-day walks and cycling. Both trips include a night in an art suite made entirely from ice.
Updated winter experiences include:
The Aurora Festival (January 12-15, 2017): Aurora experts, space physicists and guests from around the world come to Björkliden and Abisko for the Aurora Festival, which celebrates the Northern Lights and allows participants to join in a range of experiments and activities leading to a better understanding of the science and research around the Northern Lights. Guests can add a pre-festival tour to Lulea, Sweden or Sortland, Norway.
Northern Lights for the Soul (March 20-25, 2017): Completed revamped, the Northern Lights for the Soul experience invites guests to experience the spiritual side of the Aurora Borealis through a mindfulness journey led by European masters using the Northern Lights, yoga and meditation to gain confidence and a greater sense of self-worth. The new retreat is based at the luxury Malangen Resort in Tromso, Norway. To continue the wellness experience, guests can go to the Aurora Spa in Kiruna and join a Sami experience in northern Norway.
The Grand Aurora (March 17-27, 2017): The ultimate Scandinavian Northern Lights adventure includes Northern Lights hunts from a luxury catamaran, an igloo, a traditional Swedish lavvu, a Finnish kota, and from mountaintops. The guided itinerary includes meeting native Sami reindeer herders, enjoying meals prepared by top Swedish and Finnish chefs, dogsledding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and visiting the original ICEHOTEL with a helicopter transfer over one of Europe’s last wilderness areas.