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

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17 Jan 2019
US $ 2945
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07 Feb 2019
US $ 2945
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07 Mar 2019
US $ 2945
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16 Jan 2020
US $ 3095
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06 Feb 2020
US $ 3095
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05 Mar 2020
US $ 3095
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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

Responsible tourism: Northern Lights and whale watching vacation in Norway

Accommodation and Meals:
You will spend 8 nights in locally run hotels, all in good locations and some with sustainability certification. Our properties in Flam and Bergen are members of the Eco-Lighthouse (Miljøfyrtårn), Norway's most widely used certification system for businesses that want to measure their environmental efforts and demonstrate social responsibility.
The hotels use locally produced ingredients wherever possible for breakfast and picnic meals- this is usually a combination of fresh bread, cheeses, meats, fruit and vegetables. Where meals are provided, the food will often be typical of the region; however we do encourage clients to use authentic, small restaurants and cafes as well. Your guide will be able to recommend or take you to some traditional Scandinavian restaurants, selling elm, reindeer and fresh fish.
The tap water in Norway and Sweden is very safe to drink and strongly discourage people from buying any bottled water. Usually hotels will be happy to fill thermos flask with tea, coffee or hot blackcurrant juice sometimes for free or at a small charge, if it’s on check-out day.

Local Craft and Culture:
We are enthusiastic about exploring the local culture of each of the regions we visit in Norway and Sweden. There are several cultural stops on the trip, including a traditional cheese farm in the fjords, the Flam Railway and Vasa in Stockholm. All of these sites and surrounding communities benefit from profits generated by entrance fees and souvenirs sold. There are a wide range of local handicrafts available for purchase during the trip including, hand knitted hats, scarfs and mittens. Clients can also purchase locally produced specialties such honey, jams, cheese and even beer (in Flam), which are all made locally, often using the same traditional methods that have been in place for hundreds of years.

A Fair Deal:
All of our guides in Sweden and Norway are local and in exchange for their insider’s knowledge and passion for the area, we ensure they are paid and treated fairly. You will also find that those working in the hotels and museums are also locals. Our support of locally staffed businesses helps to provide employment opportunities in areas which are sometimes quite rural and lacking in other opportunities. The economy and local community therefore benefits.

Much of this trip is spent sightseeing in towns and cities or exploring the fjords around Flam, where we operate with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy. When we do use motor transport we ensure that it is always proportionate to our small group size and never excessive.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.

UK office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

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