Fabulous Northern Lights over Buknesfjord, seen from the Andoy Friluftssenter

Arctic Lights & Whales Photographic Special

5 days
from
£2,149
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Trip code: 
CNCS
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks
Activity:
Winter
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–15

No list of superlatives is enough to do justice to the Vesteralen Islands. Located in the north of Norway, the five islands that make up this archipelago sit within the Arctic Circle but, thanks to the Gulf Stream, enjoy relatively mild winters. Here there is an intoxicating mix of fjords and mountains all teeming with wildlife, from the free-roaming moose to the reindeer herds of the local Sami people. There are some fantastic opportunities for photography here, during daylight and twilight hours alike and as night falls the stage sets for the mythical aurora borealis, a relatively regular companion to the people this far north. In the company of our expert guide Paul Goldstein we will seek out the best this unique area has to offer. Trips with Paul are not for the faint-hearted - he will push everybody to maximise the relatively short space of time here.

Highlights

  • Great location for Northern Lights
  • Dramatic Arctic Scenery
  • Whale watching and other fantastic wildlife - moose, seals, sea eagles

Key information

  • 4 nights in wilderness cabins or Aurora guesthouse with shared facilities 
  • 3 days exploration of the island
  • Group normally 6 to 18, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 4 dinners included
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Flights from London (if booking inc. flights)
  • Airport transfers
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation - available on request
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Evenes via Oslo, transfer to Andoy (approx. 3 hrs).

    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
  • Days 2-4

    Exploration of the islands

    Flexibility is key here to capitalise on conditions and the expertise of our local guide. Based on the island of Andoya, the northernmost island in the Vesteralen archipelago. Here jagged peaks and crystal clear waters combine with vast areas of fens, all sparsely populated and home to elk, arctic foxes and many species of bird, as well as the reindeer herds of the Sami people. The location is perfect for observing the Northern Lights, as the area sits on the aurora borealis oval. Days are spent exploring this beautifully harsh landscape, strapping on snowshoes or just trekking in the wilderness if we are feeling adventurous, and our evenings are dedicated to searching out the best spots to experience the mythical dancing lights. Our local partners know every inch of this area and we may well be following the lights for some time. In some cases we may not need to go far, as our base is remote, with little light pollution and often an ideal location to see the night sky light up.

    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.
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 in winter. Daylight hours are scarce in January, rising steadily through February and into March where there is around 5 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 a number of hours per day.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is not active, though on occasion we will be venturing off the main paths and tracks in order to gain the best vantage point. The focus is photography but a sense of adventure and reasonable fitness is key to adapt to the conditions and make the most of our stay.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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 bunkbed 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.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936