Experience winter above the Arctic Circle in style as you travel around the wilds of Norway on this two-week luxury tour. Mix rugged adventures, like dogsledding, with stays in unique accommodations like glass igloos and the world's first "snowhotel." Other memorable experiences include ice fishing, snowmobile tours, whale watching, snowshoeing in the Lyngen Alps, and even snorkeling with orcas.

Highlights

  • Stay in a luxurious hotel made of ice in Norway's far north
  • Hunt for the northern lights and visit Indigenous villages
  • Enjoy Arctic activities like dogsledding, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and more
  • Go whale watching and snorkel with orcas in Arctic waters

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 & Seafood Lunch, Optional Northern Lights Tour Kirkenes
Day 4 Sámi Experience, Kirkenes Home Visit Kirkenes
Day 5 Arctic Dream Overnight Cruise: Kirkenes to Tromsø Havila
Day 6 Arrive in Tromsø, Winter Sea Kayaking Tromsø
Day 7 Overnight Snowmobile & Glass Igloo Adventure Tromsø
Day 8 Snowmobile to Tromsø, Orca Snorkeling Tour Tromsø
Day 9 Transfer to Lyngen, Ski the Lyngen Alps & Igloo Stay Lyngen
Day 10 Snowshoeing in the Lyngen Alps Lyngen
Day 11 Whale Watching Adventure Lyngen
Day 12 Ice Fishing Experience  Lyngen
Day 13 Transfer to Tromsø, Northern Lights Cruise Tromsø
Day 14 Depart Tromsø  

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! The adventure begins in Kirkenes, a village in the Arctic Circle near the Russian border. Though a small town, Kirkenes is popular for various activities, including witnessing the northern lights (aurora borealis), reindeer safaris, and dogsledding. Speaking of which, upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel via dogsled. That's right, as you step off the plane onto the airstrip, you'll be greeted by a team of friendly and energetic huskies and an expert musher for the thrilling journey across the Arctic 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
Spend the day exploring the tundra with help from your new friends
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, 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 & Seafood Lunch, Optional Northern Lights Tour

King Crab Safari
You can't catch a dinner like this back home

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: Sámi Experience, Kirkenes Home Visit

The Indigenous Sámi people enjoy a long-standing and symbiotic relationship with reindeer

Today, you'll learn about the EU's only Indigenous people, the Sámi. A local Sámi artist will meet you at the Snowhotel in the morning for a private cultural excursion to see the Sámi's nomadic way of life. You'll quickly learn they have a deep, symbiotic relationship with reindeer, as they've herded these animals for centuries. As such, you'll visit a reindeer pen and hand-feed these animals their favorite tundra snacks: lichens. Afterward, meet up with more tribespeople at a Sámi tent. There, by the campfire, you'll hear tales of local folklore culminating with a performance of joik—the Sámi art of singing.

The cultural exchanges continue when you return to town and are welcomed into a home by friendly locals. It's a great opportunity to witness the diversity of this vast region, which is nestled in the border triangle of Norway, Russia, and Finland. This has resulted in a melting pot of cultures, with residents blending Norwegian, Russian, Finnish, and Sámi influences. Your gracious hosts will also reveal fascinating tidbits about life in the far north, such as how to endure the polar nights and what they like to do in their leisure time.

Day 5: Arctic Dream Overnight Cruise: Kirkenes to Tromsø

Keep an eye out for Northern Lights starting in October
The winter months are the perfect time to spot the aurora borealis in Norway
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 6: Arrive in Tromsø, Winter Sea Kayaking

Winter View of Tromsø atop the Cable Car
There are impressive views from the platform atop Mount Storsteinen in Tromsø

Welcome to Tromsø, the largest city in northern Norway and 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. That translates to a robust music, film, and nightlife culture.

When you arrive, you'll check into the Scandic Ishavshotel. Known as the "Paris of the North," 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 in winter and the midnight sun in summer. Additionally, the hotel is a convenient hub for activities like whale watching or a midnight concert at the Ishavskatedralen Church.

Regarding activities, after checking in, you'll enjoy one of the best as you head to the waterfront for a kayak ride. 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.

Day 7: Overnight Snowmobile & Glass Igloo Adventure

Aurora Hut Overnight with Daytime Snowmobile Adventure
Hop on a snowmobile for a ride across the tundra outside Tromsø

This morning, you'll leave your hotel and venture into the wilds around Tromsø for an overnight adventure. Accompanied by a guide, you'll hop on a snowmobile for a ride across the frozen wilderness alongside frozen fjords. After spending the daylight hours exploring the tundra countryside, you'll arrive in the evening at a truly one-of-a-kind glamping locale.

You'll overnight in an AuroraHut igloo, a modern mountain hut designed for two people. With a cozy double bed, it also features 180-degree views through its panoramic windows. And the luxury theme continues even in this remote spot, as after checking in, you can take the edge off the day's ride with a nice long sauna session. Then, after a leisurely dinner service, retire to your igloo and fall asleep amid views of the northern lights out the windows.

Day 8: Snowmobile to Tromsø, Orca Snorkeling Tour

Swim with orcas in their natural environment
Plan your trip to Norway
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Breakfast will be served early in the AuroraHut lounge, followed by check out. Then, get back on the snowmobile for another thrilling ride as you make your way back to Tromsø. There, you'll check back into Scandic Ishavshotel, but your day is far from over—another very special adventure activity awaits.

Head to the port and board a boat for the cruise over to the town of Skjervøy. There's a waterfront base here, which will serve as your point of embarkation to snorkel with orcas. That's right, upon arrival, you'll meet the team, receive a safety briefing and hop in a drysuit to keep you safe in the Arctic waters. Then it's time to dive in.

As you make your way to the orcas' feeding ground, you'll first hear underwater calls and whistles, which are how these majestic animals communicate with one another. Then you'll see them cruising around the deep, and you'll be meters away, enjoying the show as they swim past. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Tromsø.

Day 9: 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 10: Snowshoeing in the Lyngen Alps

Snow sports in the Lyngen Alps
Enjoy great views of Lyngen on a cross-country snowshoe adventure

Rest up this morning and gather your energy 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 m) 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 nearby Restaurant Solvind, where a three-course dinner of elevated local dishes is served within an airy wood-and-glass dining room.

Day 11: Whale Watching Adventure

A humpback whale breaches the ocean's surface
It's another early start as you return to the waterfront this morning and board a fast RIB (Zodiac-style) boat for a whale watching tour. Over the course of the day, you'll zip around the fjords on a safari to spot the resident marine life. It's the best time to see whales, too, as the season is from Nov-Jan. The most common whale species here are humpbacks, but there are also chances of seeing fin whales, orcas, 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 another evening of aurora-spotting and stargazing in your igloo.

Day 12: Ice Fishing Experience

Ice fishing in Norway is all about patience... and admiring the scenic beauty
In the morning, meet a fisherman guide and transfer by snowmobile to the top of the Lyngen peninsula. Here, the Arctic chill freezes the water to form the perfect conditions for cod and haddock fishing. At a remote locale, your guide will show you how to drill holes in the ice. Then, after preparing your fishing pole and gear, you'll take a seat, drop a line, and hope for a catch. You'll keep warm throughout the day with the assistance of reindeer furs, hot drinks, and a bonfire—perfect to cook anything you hook on your line. At the end of the afternoon, you'll transfer back to your igloo accommodation.

Day 13: Transfer to Tromsø, Northern Lights Cruise

You'll have prime views of Tromsø from your harborside hotel (photo courtesy of Scandic Ishavshotel)

Depart Lyngen after breakfast for the transfer by private vehicle back to Tromsø and the Scandic Ishavshotel. Then, you can spend the rest of the day warm and cozy as you relax and enjoy the hotel amenities. If you haven't done so already, consider a cable car ride up Mount Storsteinen. Its viewing platform at 1,381 feet (421 m) above sea level is a great place to snap panoramic photos of Tromsø and the surrounding scenery.

Later in the afternoon, you'll board a swanky catamaran 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 catered by a local restaurant in Tromsø. 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 northern lights. It's a fittingly gorgeous end to this memorable Arctic adventure.

Day 14: Depart Tromsø

Farewell, Norway

It's been the Arctic adventure of a lifetime—now, you'll return to warmer climes. In the morning, a driver will transfer you to the airport in Tromsø, where you'll catch your flight home. Ha det!

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Map

Map of Luxury Northern Lights Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 14 Days
Map of Luxury Northern Lights Adventure in Norway's Arctic - 14 Days