Fabulous Northern Lights over Buknesfjord, seen from the Andoy Friluftssenter

Arctic Lights & Whales

5 days
from
£1,999
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 14 reviews >
Trip code: 
CNC
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Short Breaks
Activity:
Winter
Group size:
5–14
Min age:
16

Discover the Islands in Northern Norway

'Spectacular' is no overstatement for the Vesteralen Islands in Northern Norway. The 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. Crucially, thanks to the Gulf Stream, winters here are relatively mild.

Our base in Buksnesfjord is perfectly located to explore the beauty of this landscape by day and its skyscape by night. Needless to say, this far north the Aurora is rarely troubled by light pollution and displays, though never guaranteed, can be extraordinary.

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, including whale watching and research centre visit
  • Group normally 5 to 14, 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:
074 340 4587
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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

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 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 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, 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:
074 340 4587
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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 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:
074 340 4587
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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.

Expert Blog Entries

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All too often the first couple of months of a year are scarred by broken resolutions and shattered fitness aspiration

  • Reviewed March 2019
    Liz and Alastair Bradshaw

    Fantastic!

    Such a brilliant trip! We went hoping, but not expecting, to see the Northern Lights; we did and they were amazing. But the trip is so much more than seeing them. The scenery is stunning and the itinerary allows you to really get a taste of the area. The activities were varied- ice fishing, visiting the space centre, whale watching, open campfires, lots of stops to photo the views and local wildlife whilst in the minibus, a dip in the hot tub, a trip to a local gift shop that makes and sells their own goods, as well as time to do your own thing. Nigel, his wife Ingvild and team at Andøy Friluftssenter are the most welcoming of hosts. The accommodation is excellent and the food was amazing, most of which was sourced or produced locally. Nothing was too much trouble. Their knowledge of the area and enthusiasm for what they do was first class. Having our last evening meal together in the ‘lavvo’ was a perfect way to end a glorious few days in a very beautiful part of the world. Can’t recommend highly enough- thank you!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    See above!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was fab! (Part from his choice of football team...!!!) As above- an exceptional host. Made you feel very welcome. Great knowledge and nothing was too much trouble.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not really!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Exodus communication was great, thank you for good organisation.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    JENNIFER SCHWARZ

    Lofoten in winter

    Do you want to stay in a comfortable cabin with glorious views from the back terrace? Do you want to see amazing sunrises and sunsets in beautiful locations? Then this trip is for you. We had to do some serious hunting of the light in unexpectedly dramatic weather conditions for the time of year but this just added to the experience. Photographer Stig and support Stevan found us gaps in the weather and glorious locations especially secret ones unknown to all but the locals. Both photographers gave generously of their time and expertise to ensure that we all came away with some amazing images. Thank you both for a memorable time. Add to that Mother Nature was kind to us and gave us a fabulous display one night.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching a truly remarkable Norther Lights display seemingly bursting above us and all around us, spiralling round the mountain and reflecting in the water at our feet then sending shimmering curtains of light across the view eliciting oohs and ahs from everyone. And the best bit---it was just our group in the location---we had it to ourselves.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As well as being a great photographer himself, Stig is a very patient and willing teacher and ready to share his expertise with everyone. He knows the area well so can take people to the best locations. He gave generously of his time, up early and to bed late to ensure everyone had the best experience. This is the second time I have been with Stig and would very happily go with him again as well as strongly recommend him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel with an open mind, accept the things you cannot change (like the weather!) and embrace all that the location has to offer including local industry (mainly fishing) as well as scenery which changes all the time. Watching the light drawing veils across the mountains from our cosy cabin was just such a pleasure.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Would I go again/ recommend it---of course!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Jackie Freshfield

    Lights, Camera, Action!

    Caveat: I have given this trip a 3-star rating but that's because it is very much weather dependent (Northern Lights and Landscape Photography) and we had appalling, freak weather conditions, and I came home disappointed that we didn't have more opportunities for lights/photography. However, we had one superb day of sunshine and an amazing Northern Lights show with excellent photographic opportunities, and if I was reviewing this trip just on that one day, it would be 5 stars as the light show was INCREDIBLE! The Lofoten Islands are remote and beautiful but it's a long way to go for a short duration (6 days in total with 2 full days of travel bookending 4 days in the Lofoten Islands). We had mixed fortunes on the weather front – we traded a beautiful first day of stunning blue skies and an AMAZING Northern Lights show for 3 days of utterly filthy weather, which was a shame, particularly as there is really nothing you can do when you have 48 hours of rain/hail/gales/sleet etc. Stig did his best to find alternative things for us to photograph in 'interesting' conditions but it was a rather tough gig for him. However, the light show we DID see was just incredible and I feel priviledged and lucky to have witnessed it.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Northern LIghts show on our first full day in the Lofoten Islands was simply incredible, better than I thought possible. We were wowed by swathes of irridescent green and purple lights shimmering across an inky sky full of twinkling stars and a blood red moon. Even better, we captured it in camera thanks to excellent tuition and tips from Stig and Steven. Unforgettable!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Stig Brondbo is an excellent leader; very helpful, patient, enthusiastic and fun. His passion for the natural world and for photography shines through and his patience with us rather more amateur photographers was very welcome. It must have been very stressful to have 8 people on the trip desperate to see the Northern LIghts and to be faced with a terrible weather forecast; but Stig did his best to find 'filler' stuff for us to do. However, I think we wasted the only 'good' day we had with faffing about with food shopping when we could have been enjoying the amazing landscapes instead, and perhaps Stig could have directed the timings on that day that a little better. However, the lights came out that night and we were just about ready for them, and he and his colleague Steven were hugely helpful to us on the photographic front. I have photos to treasure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Weather-dependent trips are fraught with the danger of disappointment, so keep a positive attitude even when it is chucking it down, and if possible bring stuff to do in down time, and hope for good cabin mates (I give them 5*!). If photographing the Northern Lights bring the widest possible lens (I hired a Sigma ART 14mm which was superb) and a heavy-ish tripod. If staying self-catering then bring a few staples (eg pasta, pesto, salt, pepper, porridge) as it's not cheap in Norway! We stayed at Sakrisoy Rorbuer which was the perfect location, as well as warm, comfy and well-equipped, plus gorgeous views from the balcony (one of our party sat on the balcony photographing the Northern Lights for 2 hours!) . Bring hand-warmers for inside your second pair of gloves; they last for ages and I found them essential items. Pray for good weather!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Lofoten Islands are remote. Two plane journeys and a 3-hour ferry away. It's a long way to go for a short trip which is so weather dependent, and the return journey – after 3 foul-weather days – was not great, taking 17 hours as flights were delayed and we missed a connection, and should have been on the earlier flight from Bodo as we hung around there for 5 hours in total. If you are considering a Northern Lights trip then read the journey times carefully!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Cathriona Lawlor

    Hunting the Light

    We travelled to the Lofotens for a photography holiday to capture the northern lights and the beauty of the islands. I really enjoyed this trip; the Lofotens are beautifully scenic. We weren't hugely lucky with the weather, but the company was great and this more than made up for the storm and the wind.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This was definitely seeing the Northern Lights on the first night of the trip, it was amazing; we were treated to a fabulous show. Also, a chance trip out to the balcony resulted in a fly-by of local eagles, which was a surprise treat. I was also really lucky with my cabin-mates; we were very well matched, which meant that no matter what the weather or delays, we could still share a laugh, joke and good conversation.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Stig and Steven went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that we got the most out of this trip. Unfortunately, the weather did not co-operate and we were caught in one of the strongest storms to hit the area in years. This made the leaders' job even harder as they tried to maximise our opportunities to get out and about during breaks in the weather. It was my birthday on the trip and I received a beautiful, hand-made cake from Stig, which was promptly devoured! This was a lovely surprise and I definitely think it should be encouraged for all birthday travellers...

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    LOTS of layers. Hand/foot/pocket warmers and one cabin mate had USB-rechargable hand warmers, of which I was very jealous. A sturdy tripod in case you're treated to the same winds we were... As the trip was self-catering, some thought beforehand could be spent thinking of the food situation/cooking etc. Nothing is cheap in Norway.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were delayed on the Bodo - Oslo part of the trip and as a result, I missed my additionally-booked return flight to Dublin. Due to the fact that Exodus does not book flights from Ireland, this meant that the cost and problem of re-booking this flight was solely up to me. Whilst I appreciate that the delay was not Exodus's fault, the exacting timings for this trip meant that I felt that I had to go with Exodus flights and book add-on flights myself. Delays happen very often during travel and this situation was very frustrating for me at the end of what was already a very long day of travel. This will unfortunately have to be factored into any future trip with Exodus, as I did not feel supported or particularly valued as a customer coming from Ireland. They just weren't interested in those not travelling from the UK.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Anne Bonham

    Simply wonderful

    Best light show I have ever seen with the Northern lights not dissappointing us, getting better each night of the 4 nights that we were there. Highly recommend this trip and though Northern lights are the main attraction, the rest of the trip has much to offer which felt like the bonus. -Orca and Sperm whales; beautiful and serene scenery;wonderful hosts and terrific fresh food; comfortable accomodation and ideally placed to see the lights from; catching a fish with a simple rod; walks in wonderful snow. The trip felt longer than the 5 days with wonderful sunrises, sunsets and the northern lights ensuring that every part of the day had something different to offer. And there were a lot of daylight hours! This is by far the best chance of seeing the elusive northern lights which was well worth waiting for. And though seeing them is never guaranteed, you would be very unlucky to see none over the 5 days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    flashing, shimmering and expanding rich green northern lights dancing in the night sky

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An expat with the accent to prove it settled in Norway with his norwegian famiy, and together focussing on providing an all round high stndard of care and service to their customers. Very good and wonderful traditional local cooking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mini bus got cold particularly around the feet so be prepared with good socks, shoes and clothes. Phone cameras will not capture the Northern lights but any basic camera with a selection of settings will get something , even if grainy. And you will want a photo to capture the experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip did not dissappoint. And being Norway was of a high standard.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Anne Bonham

    Simply wonderful

    Best light show I have ever seen with the Northern lights not dissappointing us, getting better each night of the 4 nights that we were there. Highly recommend this trip and though Northern lights are the main attraction, the rest of the trip has much to offer which felt like the bonus. -Orca and Sperm whales; beautiful and serene scenery;wonderful hosts and terrific fresh food; comfortable accomodation and ideally placed to see the lights from; catching a fish with a simple rod; walks in wonderful snow. The trip felt longer than the 5 days with wonderful sunrises, sunsets and the northern lights ensuring that every part of the day had something different to offer. And there were a lot of daylight hours! This is by far the best chance of seeing the elusive northern lights which was well worth waiting for. And though seeing them is never guaranteed, you would be very unlucky to see none over the 5 days.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    flashing, shimmering and expanding rich green northern lights dancing in the night sky

    What did you think of your group leader?

    An expat with the accent to prove it settled in Norway with his norwegian famiy, and together focussing on providing an all round high stndard of care and service to their customers. Very good and wonderful traditional local cooking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mini bus got cold particularly around the feet so be prepared with good socks, shoes and clothes. Phone cameras will not capture the Northern lights but any basic camera with a selection of settings will get something , even if grainy. And you will want a photo to capture the experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip did not dissappoint. And being Norway was of a high standard.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Duncan Magrath

    Great trip to see Northern Lights

    We had a wonderful holiday, and cannot recommend Andy Friluftssenter enough. Nigel and Ingvild went out of their way to make us feel welcome and ensure that we had a good time. If you are searching for the Northern Lights, you need to accept that nature will not always play ball and so it is important that you enjoy the rest of your time here and treat the Northern Lights as a bonus rather than the only reason for coming. We had heavy cloud cover and snow for three days, but for our last night the cloud disappeared and we saw the Northern Lights. We had a bright full moon, without which they probably would have been even more spectacular. Even if we had not seen them, we would have had a great few days, with the wonderful views and lovely food. My wife is a coeliac, and the gluten free bread and rolls they baked were delicious, and they also coped with a lactose intolerant guest. All food is local with each night a different meal. Cod, Char and Moose pie were delicious and then on the last night venison cooked in front of us on an open fire in a Lavvo, while we popped in and out looking at the lights. We had a different activity in each day, a trip to the Andoya research centre, where we learnt about the Northern Lights, and had great fun in a simulated space mission. On the second day, we had a visit to a reindeer farm to meet the jolliest of Sami farmers, and learnt about her traditions and met the reindeer. On the third day we went ice fishing on a lake, and cooked what we caught on an open fire. Each day was different and thoroughly enjoyable, and was much more fun and interesting than I had expected. We went in early March, and despite being in the artic circle, it was not too cold, apparently due to the Gulf Stream. So pack lots of thin layers, and ski gear is fine. There is no light pollution (other than the moon) so there is no need to go driving long distances to search for the Lights, you literally do walk outside and look upwards. If you want to take photos though, you must have a tripod. We thought that a four night trip was going to be one night too long, but in fact it was perfect, the variety of activities meant every day was different, and of course there is a better chance of seeing the Northern Lights. In our case if it had been a three night trip, we would have missed them. So overall an excellent trip, we had good company, excellent hosts, and of course we were fortunate to see the Northern Lights. Easy for us to say now, but we really would have enjoyed it if we hadn't seen the lights.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The last night was very special. Wonderful food cooked in the Lavvo, dashing in and out to look at the changing Northern Lights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nigel was excellent. Went out of his way to ensure we had as enjoyable a holiday as possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to have a wonderful time, even if you don't see the lights. Pack as if going on a ski trip.
  • Reviewed February 2016
    Christine Gau

    Amazing lights

    With Northern Lights you are always cautious, and I went knowing that we may not get them, but we we very lucky and had lights on each of the 4 nights. So if that happens don't expect any rest. The location of Andoy Friluftssenter is great, you have options of either staying close to your cabin and nipping back in side during a beak in the lights, or a couple of places down on the waterside with no more that a 10 min walk giving you plenty of options, and then if on one of Paul's groups as we were the ability to go further afield in the minibus. The days are filled, as well so don't think this will a restful break. The Andoy Friluftssenter is great, the location, the cabins, the host and the food. A great weekend.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the Northern Lights, they are magical and you do need to remember at some point to put down your camera and watch what is happening around you, as at times for us is was a full 360 degree view.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul is passionate about getting you in the right spot so not for the fainthearted as he works tirelessly to get all of you there.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure that you know your camera, and are confident that you can make changes to the settings in the dark. Wrap up warm - you can be out there for a long time so layers are important.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A great long weekend, packed with activities so that even if the lights don't appear you will still have things to do.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Please note this review refers to the Photographic Special departure with Paul Goldstein. This has a slightly different itinerary to the regular trips, which Paul does not lead.

  • Reviewed February 2016
    Joanne Hart

    Northern de-Lights

    This trip ticked every box and exceeded my expectations and I think I can say the same for the whole of the group... The accommodation, food (in particular the Moose Pie), location, hosts (Nigel & Ingvild) and hospitality were all top notch. We crammed so much into 4 days - it felt like I'd been away for at least a week. The main purpose of the trip was to photograph the Northern Lights and boy, did they deliver? Yes, they did.... 4 nights on the trot for hours at a time - I felt truly blessed to be there!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Northern Lights of course!! And seeing a shooting star on my birthday...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Well, what can you say about Paul Goldstein? He certainly worked hard making sure we all had lots of photo opportunities and make the most of the lights

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you like photography, the cold and northern lights then book it!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Did I mention the Moose Pie?

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Please note this review refers to the Photographic Special departure with Paul Goldstein. This has a slightly different itinerary to the regular trips, which Paul does not lead.

  • Reviewed February 2016
    Alison Bowditch

    Northern Lights with Paul Goldstein

    Andoy is spectacularly beautiful and we were incredibly lucky to see the lights every night - how brilliant was that!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I don't know that I had any inspirational moments but I loved the silence and the feeling of remoteness PLUS the whale trip with five sightings in between blizzards was wonderful

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul's passion is boundless and his obsession for ensuring his group squeeze the hell out of both their shutters and the potential he finds in a range of situations is legend. He's clearly a disciple of Rabbi Ben Hei Hei who said "According to the pain is the gain" - be prepared to work as hard as he does - put in the effort and graft so that by the end of your time with Paul you are a better photographer - you'll see your work and technique improve.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    On the photography side - us poor Nikon users or heaven forbid Fuji or Sony or worse still mirrorless will be pilloried and belittled because [according to the oracle] only Canon know how to make cameras. So be prepared to stick up for your brand but more importantly make sure you know how your camera works and if you don't then bring your manual. Bring a polariser too in case you get to go on the whale safari. On the clothing side - I feel the cold and even though I had all the right gear my hands were frozen - Paul gave me some of those hand warmers which really helped

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Please note this review refers to the Photographic Special departure with Paul Goldstein. This has a slightly different itinerary to the regular trips, which Paul does not lead.

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 074 340 4587