Northern Lights and whale watching vacation in Norway

“Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the Vesteralen Islands are a fantastic winter destination, promising Arctic landscapes, Northern Lights and whales.”


Arctic scenery | wildlife | Buksnesfjord | Lake Kringelvann | ice fishing | spot moose | explore Andoya Island | Bleik beach | Nordmela fishing village | Andoya Space Center | Andennes | full day whale watching cruise | hot tub | dinner in a traditional lavvo

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this vacation or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

Toll free 1-866-821-6866 Calling from outside the US?


Check dates, prices & availability

13 Feb 2020
US $3099
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Feb 2020 departure
12 Mar 2020
US $3099
excluding flights
8 spaces left
Click here to enquire about or book the 12 Mar 2020 departure
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Northern Lights and whale watching vacation in Norway

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.


Accommodation & meals:
We spend the 4 nights at Andoy Friluftssenter which was built by its owners, Nigel and Ingvild, on land that has been in Ingvild’s family for generations. The aim was to create something inspired from nature and making use of the resources available. The buildings all have a layer of turf on the roof, to increase insulation, and the construction was done in compliance with Norway’s stringent regulations on insulation. Half of the property is heated by geothermal heating which is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly and water is supplied from a well that is specifically drilled for this purpose. In recent years, the Andoy Friluftssenter was certified as an Eco-Lighthouse – a national certification within Norway for businesses who wish to document their environmental performance and social responsibility. This thereby demonstrates their efforts in meeting the stringent requirements in matters of waste, energy, transport and the work environment.

Additionally, the Andoy Friluftssenter provides employment opportunities for this remote part of Northern Norway and helps to promote other activities in the area, improving the economy of the local community. For all the meals, most of the ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible.

On this short trip, we will stop by the Andoya Space Center which is a research center responsible for launching rockets into the atmosphere to study the northern lights and other atmospheric activity. Clients get a guided tour to see how northern light studies are done. We also take a whale watching excursion up in the northern tip of the island. There will be local guides who will give a briefing on the history of whales in the area and explain how whale watching has replaced whaling, allowing populations to recover. This thereby helps to raise awareness of the conservation issues on whales.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. The leaders will give a briefing on Responsible Tourism issues to help clients understand how they can help reduce their impact and maximise the benefits to the local community from our visit.

Water is a really important issue and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. Wherever possible we provide safe alternative sources of water to buying single use plastic bottles. This may be through large water containers, or encourage our passengers to filter, sterilise or purify water. We encourage all our passengers to come prepared with a reusable water bottle especially in destinations like Norway where tap water is drinkable. Occasionally, the leader takes flasks full of hot juice and hot water (for tea or hot chocolate) to provide clients during the activity.

Group Size:
This is a small group tour, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home where we work towards reducing our carbon footprint in our offices through energy conservation measures, recycling policies and the promotion of cycling and walking as a means for our staff to commute. Our head office has become a plastic-free zone with the use of plastic bottles being banned in our head office and we distributed reusable water bottles and tote bags to every staff member. We also support a large number of community and environmental projects in different parts of the world and try to give something back to the places we visit.

Popular similar vacations

Fjords walking vacation in Norway

Fjords walking vacation in Norway

Discover a world etched with beauty

From US $3579 - US $3649 8 days excluding flights

Lofoten Islands self guided cycling vacation, Norway

Lofoten Islands self guided cycling vacation, Norway

Lofoten, biking in unique and beatiful scenery

From NKr 14950 8 days excluding flights

Lofoten Islands summer photography vacation, Norway

Lofoten Islands summer photography vacation, Norway

Midnight Sun Photography in Norway's lovely Lofoten Islands

From £3150 9 days excluding flights

Self guided cycling vacation in Norway, Sunnhordland fjords

Self guided cycling vacation in Norway, Sunnhordland fjords

Experience the amazing Fjords south of Bergen - Norway

From NKr 10750 7 days excluding flights

Convert currencies