Spend 10 days chasing the northern lights across northern Norway on this luxurious, action-packed itinerary. Your adventure starts above the Arctic Circle in Kirkenes for dogsledding, king crab fishing, and nighttime photography tours from your base at the world's first ice hotel. Then, after an overnight stay on a luxury cruise ship, you'll enjoy more winter activities around Tromsø, including skiing the Lyngen Alps, whale watching, and watching the skies from a luxurious glass igloo.


  • Overnight in luxurious ice hotels and igloos in Arctic Norway
  • Enjoy dogsled rides and fish for king crabs in Kirkenes
  • Go snowshoeing and skiing in the Lyngen Alps
  • Spot orcas and humpbacks on whale watching tours

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Kirkenes, Husky Taxi & Northern Lights Tour Kirkenes
Day 2 Guided Arctic Dogsled Tour Kirkenes
Day 3 King Crab Safari, Evening Northern Lights Spotting Kirkenes
Day 4 The Arctic Dream Cruise: Kirkenes to Tromsø Havila
Day 5 Arrive in Tromsø, Optional Activities Tromsø
Day 6 Transfer to Lyngen, Ski the Lyngen Alps & Igloo Stay Lyngen
Day 7 Snowshoeing in the Lyngen Alps Lyngen
Day 8 Winter Whale Watching Adventure Lyngen
Day 9 Transfer to Tromsø, Sea Kayaking & Aurora Dinner Cruise Tromsø
Day 10 Tromsø City Tour, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Kirkenes, Husky Taxi & Northern Lights Tour

Bed down in a real-life ice hotel in Kirkenes (photo courtesy of Snowhotel)

Welcome to Norway! This 10-day Scandinavian sojourn will take you to the famous Arctic Circle. In this winter wonderland, activities like ice fishing, snowshoeing, kayaking on frozen fjords, and even dogsledding are common outdoor pursuits. See for yourself when you arrive in Kirkenes, a small village near the Russian border. As you step off the plane, you'll be greeted by a team of friendly and energetic huskies and an expert musher for the thrilling journey across the tundra straight to your accommodation (you can't get this taxi service in New York!).

Your lodging in Kirkenes is an equally incomparable experience, as you'll be staying at the Snowhotel. That's not false advertising—this is the first hotel in the world made entirely of snow and ice. It features double and family rooms in a nippy 22°F (-4°C) climate, though you'll keep warm with the help of proper clothing and thermal sleeping bags. You can also beat the chill with a long session in the sauna. And while the hotel features a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, you can also head to the ice bar and enjoy a nightcap sipped from an ice shot glass.

After settling in, embark on an evening hunt to spot the famed aurora borealis or northern lights. This spellbinding phenomenon only occurs at the Earth's poles, which is why the Arctic Circle is an ideal place to spot it. It's a three-hour excursion that begins when you meet an expert guide for the transfer to the wilderness outside of town. Here, free of light pollution, you'll be well-positioned to spot the iridescent ribbons of light dancing across the sky (you might want to brush up on your night photography skills beforehand).

Day 2: Guided Arctic Dogsled Tour

Privately Guided Husky Safari
Meet your canine team and take a ride through the Arctic wilderness
Yesterday, you got a taste of the fun dogsledding offers—now you can spend half a day enjoying this canine mode of transport. In the morning, you'll transfer to a kennel near Kirkenes and meet your drivers for the day. Then, along with an expert guide and musher, you'll hop on a private sled and hit the trail for a ride around towering mountains and across the snowy tundra. Over four hours, you'll create indelible memories in the company of these remarkable dogs as you all race against the backdrop of Kirkenes' wild and remote landscapes. 

Day 3: King Crab Safari, Evening Northern Lights Spotting

King Crab Safari
Catch your lunch on the Arctic fishing trip of a lifetime

Travelers flock from all over to enjoy another wild Arctic activity: a "king crab safari." Kirkenes is located on the shores of the Barents Sea, which is a breeding ground for this famous crustacean. In the morning, your local fisherman guide will pick you up at the hotel for the 15-minute journey to a waterside camp. There, you'll change into the appropriate attire and hop on a snowmobile for a ride across the frozen fjord in search of crab pots.

As you go, you'll periodically stop to recover the traps, which, if fate has smiled upon you, are filled with king crabs. These make for a delectable seafood lunch, and the next part of the tour involves learning the art of cooking the crabs. The preparation occurs in a local restaurant, and once the main course is ready, you'll sit down and enjoy the sumptuous crab meat served the Norwegian way: with butter, lemon, and a frosty glass of beer.

After the meal, you'll return to town and have the rest of the afternoon free. Then, you'll have the option to cap your third day in Norway with another private expedition to spot the aurora borealis. Once again, your expert guide will follow the forecast and lead you to the best viewing areas, which could take you near the Russian border, west into the Finnish expanse, or south into the Pasvik Valley.

Day 4: The Arctic Dream Cruise: Kirkenes to Tromsø

Keep an eye out for Northern Lights starting in October
Keep an eye out for northern lights from the deck of your cruise ship
Get ready for the Arctic adventure of a lifetime! After breakfast, you'll transfer to the port in Kirkenes and board a luxury cruise liner for an overnight voyage to Tromsø. The journey will take you up and around the top of Norway, continuing south along rugged coastline, glassy fjords, and colorful port towns like Vardø, Båtsfjord, and Berlevåg. During the day, you can relax on deck and marvel at the Arctic scenery as it passes you by, while after dinner, you'll want to gaze up at the aurora borealis, likely to be lighting up the night sky.

Day 5: Arrive in Tromsø, Optional Activities

You'll have prime views of Tromsø from your harborside hotel (photo courtesy of Scandic Ishavshotel)
Plan your trip to Norway
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Welcome to Tromsø! Known as the "Gateway to the Arctic," this far-flung city may lie north of the Arctic Circle, but it doesn't lack culture and activities. Out of some 65,000 residents, there's a large student population here. That translates to a robust music, film, and nightlife culture. 

When you arrive, you'll check into the Scandic Ishavshotel. This award-winning waterfront hotel sits right on Tromsø's quayside, a short walk to city attractions like the Polar Museum. The modern and spacious rooms and suites are well appointed, with many featuring fjord views—great vantage points to spy the northern lights. Additionally, the hotel is a convenient hub for activities like whale watching or a midnight concert at the iconic Arctic Cathedral.

After checking in, you'll have the rest of the day to discover Tromsø's highlights on your own. Perhaps start with a cable car ride up Mount Storsteinen. Its viewing platform is a great place to snap panoramic photos of Tromsø and the surrounding scenery. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 6: Transfer to Lyngen, Ski the Lyngen Alps & Igloo Stay

Hit the slopes in Lyngen for the best skiing in the Arctic, then retire to a glass igloo (photo courtesy of Lyngen North)

Journey east from Tromsø this morning on a two-hour transfer to Lyngen. This dazzling region in Troms County is famous for its Arctic landscapes, which include dramatic fjords and the soaring Lyngen Alps. You'll arrive at these impressive peaks in the morning for a full day spent carving the slopes on a private ski trip. No need to worry about logistics, as you'll be accompanied by an Arctic guide who knows the perfect spots to take you depending on your skill level.

After about six hours of mountain fun, you'll hang up your skies and transfer to the nearby Lyngen North, where you'll settle into a luxury glass igloo nestled on the shores of the Lyngenfjord. Your cozy hut features wraparound glass windows to marvel at the Nordic sky once the sun goes down, and if you're lucky, you'll be treated to a dazzling show of the northern lights overhead. Kick back with a cup of hot tea and enjoy the scenery from the comfort of your double bed.

Day 7: Snowshoeing in the Lyngen Alps

Marvel at prime views of the Lyngen Alps on a snowshoe excursion

Gather your energy this morning because, around 10 am, you'll meet a guide for a half-day snowshoe adventure around the Lyngen Alps. First, you'll grab your attire and gear for the day, then head outdoors for a demonstration of how to attach the snowshoes. Trekking poles in hand, you'll then commence the journey, which follows an easy 1-mile (1.5 km) route you can complete at your own leisurely pace. There's no need to rush, as you'll want to you'll want to savor every bit of the ruggedly beautiful Lyngen scenery.

Afterward, return to Lyngen North, where you'll have the rest of the afternoon and evening free to put your feet up before heading over the the nearby Restaurant Solvind, where a three-course dinner of elevated local dishes is served within a soaring wood-and-glass dining room.

Day 8: Winter Whale Watching Adventure

Spot orcas and humpbacks from the deck of an environmentally friendly ship
It's an early start as you return to the waterfront this morning and board a ship for a whale watching tour. Over the course of the day, you'll cruise around the fjords on a safari to spot the resident marine life. It's the best time to see whales, too, as the season here runs from November through January. The most common whale species in these waters are humpbacks and orcas, but there are also chances of seeing fin whales and possibly harbor porpoises. And don't worry—the tour company conducts responsible and safe whale watching, aiming never to disturb the animals.
After the cruise, you'll step back on dry land, where your driver will be waiting to take you on the scenic transfer back to Lyngen North for your last evening of aurora-spotting and stargazing in your igloo.

Day 9: Transfer to Tromsø, Sea Kayaking & Aurora Dinner Cruise

Time for a kayak ride on icy fjords

Enjoy a hearty camp breakfast, then get back on the road for the return trip to Tromsø. After checking back into the Scandic Ishavshotel, bundle up and head to the waterfront for an icy kayaking excursion. Tromsø is nestled amid many islands and fjords, and paddling around the glassy Arctic waters is a memorable way to experience them. This half-day excursion begins when you put on a drysuit and hop in your kayak. Then, paddle out to the sounds and islands surrounding Tromsø. Feel the fresh Arctic breeze and watch for wildlife like white-tailed sea eagles and curious seals and otters.

After some downtime back at your hotel, be ready around 7 pm to board a luxurious sailing yacht for a combined dinner/northern lights cruise. Take a seat in the ship's elegant dining room, where you can start the meal with a craft beer or select wine while admiring the scenery from the panoramic windows. Then, enjoy a delicious dinner that includes local specialties like a hearty reindeer stew (or veggie soup). As you eat, the captain will keep an eye out for the aurora borealis, and when they give the word, you can head to the deck to capture more photos of the sublime natural phenomenon. 

Day 10: Tromsø City Tour, Depart

Spend one last morning exploring Tromsø, the "Paris of the North"

For your last morning in Norway, explore Tromsø at your own pace. Walk down the city's historic streets, marveling at its rich culture and beautiful architecture, which includes wooden houses dating as far back as 1789. Or, meet up with a local guide and set off on a three-hour, organized tour of Tromsø. With an expert leading the way, you'll view relics and buildings dating to medieval times. You'll also learn about the city's famous fishing culture, established during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Later, at the scheduled time, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to the airport in time to catch your connecting flight home. Ha det!

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Map of Luxury Northern Lights Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 10 Days
Map of Luxury Northern Lights Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 10 Days