Here is list of frequently asked questions that should provide you with some extra information you might need.
Who is welcome on our tours?
Everybody. Our holidays are not targeted at any nation or nationality, we welcome anybody from any country. The reason the prices are in euros (and occasionally British pounds) on the website is because they are the 2 biggest currencies in Europe. It does not mean we only accept people who use those currencies. Wherever you are in the world, you are welcome here. This includes Europe, North America, Australasia, Africa, South America and Asia.
What makes us different (or better) than other northern lights holidays?
The biggest difference and what set’s us apart from everyone else, is that we started life as a northern lights information service and have continued to grow from there. We have been helping people see the northern lights all over Europe from their own back yards for free. We have put thousands of hours of unpaid work making that service for no financial gain whatsoever. In fact, we developed some of the northern lights tools on that page ourselves. What other aurora company can say that?
Secondly, many other northern lights holidays are static. You will stand in the snow next to the hotel and hope the auroras appear. This works ok most the time, but not all the time. If the aurora activity is weak you will want to head north. If the weather is cloudy you will want to try to find some clearer skies. Doing those things boost your chances of seeing the lights much higher. We do both of those things. Because your cottage is so far north, quite often if the skies are clear, the auroras will be over head. But we cannot take it for granted the skies will be clear, so we head out and try to find the auroras if the conditions are not perfect, or even if the conditions are perfect, we just head out to find a beautiful location to view them from!
Thirdly, we are 100% about the northern lights. Most other aurora holidays are run by hotels, or travel companies etc. They offer the northern lights side of things to get more people to book at their hotel, or the northern lights tour is just one part of the holiday. There is nothing wrong with that, indeed some of them are very good at it. But the difference between them and us, is that we are 100% about the northern lights. We don’t make any profit on the accommodation we put you in, so we do not want you here just to stay in our accommodation, we want you here to see the lights! The auroras are not “part” of our holiday, THEY ARE our holiday. Although we do offer some additional activities in the day time, they are entirely optional, the northern lights (and getting you to see them) is the core of our business and what we are all about.
In fact it was funny when I was setting up the tour side of aurora service and I was having business meetings. People would look at me like I am crazy. “You are basing an entire business on something which travels 93 million miles, which may or may not make an appearance and which scientists cannot even guarantee will still be happening in the next few decades”? My answer…..”Yes.”
Is seeing the northern lights guaranteed?
No. There is no-one that can make such a guarantee, not even us. Sadly, I do see other Northern Lights companies advertising they are “guaranteed” to see northern lights on their tours, which is quite naughty of them. For which we will explain here. The further north you go, the better chances you have of seeing northern lights (which is exactly why we are located so far north!). But some nights, you could fly all the way to the north pole and still not see auroras. Because some nights they just don’t happen. In fact using tools that we use for our aurora information service, we can see, in real-time, exactly when and where there are geomagnetic disturbances (and auroras) all over the Earth, and on some nights, there is just no aurora activity anywhere on the planet. It is quite rare it is so quiet, but it happens and for this reason auroras cannot be guaranteed, by anyone. Not only that, clouds are a problem too. If it’s cloudy, that will block the view to the night sky and thus we won’t see auroras. We have weather satellite data and all our aurora data updated live in the van when we are out, so we chase the lights according how it’s looking while we are out there. If its cloudy, we drive pretty far to try and find clear skies or even gaps in clouds, but even then, it’s not guaranteed, sometimes the entire continent is under a blanket of cloud and there is nothing you can do.
What is the maximum amount of people on our tours?
Normally it is 12 to 16 people, but if you have a large group size, we can actually accommodate up to 20 people in either location. So your large group is very welcome here! So we have plenty of room for large groups (or large families!). So feel free to contact us with your requests, we are happy to help and happy to get you and your group here watching northern lights.
Are children welcome?
We happily welcome children around the age of 10 years and up. This is the minimum we recommend because we are quite remote, the temperatures can get quite serious and if an accident happens or the van breaks down at midnight in a very remote place, it can be quite a scary thing for a young child.
Having said that, we have had quite a few young children join our tours and it has been working out well. If the sky is clear, we won’t stray too far from the cottages or we don’t even have to go out in the van at all in the evenings as we can wait for the aurora on site. It is only really required to go out in the van when it is cloudy or the northern lights forecast is very weak. More often than not, if it is clear skies, the northern lights will be over the cottages, so you don’t have to go anywhere!
Please contact us if you have any questions about bringing children.
How fit do you need to be on our tours?
Our tours are all done in the van (ie not on foot, or on snowmobile, etc) so it’s a pretty easy going and comfortable evening. When we get to a nice spot to watch the northern lights, we are never more than 50 metres from the van. So it’s just pretty regular stuff. If you can get in and out of a taxi you can come on our tours. The optional day time activities do require an average level of fitness however, some more than others.
How cold does it get?
It depends on the time of winter. But it is safe to assume it will be 0°C or below in most of winter and it can quite easily be -10°C, -20°C or -30°C some days. But for the most part, it’s not that bad (thanks to the jet stream). It’s much warmer than the same latitudes in say Alaska or Canada. We do not go out aurora chasing if the temperature drops below -30°C (for safety reasons). But of course you can watch auroras from the cottages, especially the fireplace in the garden no matter what the temperature is! You can sit next to the roaring fire and watch the northern lights all night feeling very toasty. Have a quick read of our guide on what clothing you should bring for more information on dressing for cold climate.
Is it suitable for people with disabilities?
Yes, but it depends on the nature of the disability. The Valhalla tour is more disability friendly than our Asgard tour, so it is there we would recommend if you have any disabilities or use a wheelchair. The tours themselves are very disability friendly because all you have to do is climb in and out the van, we don’t stray far from the van at all. Some of the optional day time activites such as snow shoe walking might not be suitable, but the aurora aspect is suitable for many disabilities. If you can use crutches, you should be fine. But obviously there are many different disabilities so feel free to contact us with any disability questions, we’d be glad to help. We have had people with Parkinsons disease, new hips and various other conditions visit us in the past and they had a great time. They even done the snow shoe walk!
If you have any other questions feel free to contact us!