Northern Lights trip @ Tromsø - 3 days

  • February 9, 2013 · 8:00 AM

The aurora borealis (Northern Lights) is one of the world’s most breathtaking phenomenon and on most peoples ‘must do’ list at some point in their lifetime. The Solar maximum (max period of Sunspot activity causing most Aurora effect on earth) is late with its approx 11 year cycle & is expected to happen around the end of 2012/beginning of 2013, when the best displays can be seen!!

It is best to avoid full moon as it would be too bright to see Northern Lights. The tentative dates that I'm thinking of now is 9-11 Feb 2013 as it is best to go around NEW MOON period.

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/moonphases.html?year=2013&n=0

Tromso - The best place to see the Northern Lights:
The Arctic city of Tromso, known as "the Paris of the North", is ideally located in the middle of the Aurora/Northern Lights zone.
The Northern Lights; nature's own light show, are solar winds that meet the atmosphere in a zone around the magnetic North Pole, forming arches, waves and curls of light moving across the sky, with sudden rays of light shooting down from space.

Troms is situated right in the centre of the Northern Lights zone. There are other places in the Northern Hemisphere located in this zone. However, except Iceland, the majority of these areas are sparsely populated or uninhabited and for most people are difficult to access or virtually inaccessible. The Northern Lights are visible on occasions in central and southern areas of Scandinavia, and also in parts of Southern Canada and the US Midwest, but not nearly as often as we experience here.

The Northern Lights activity takes place all year in all types of weather. However, to actually see the lights, the weather has to be dark and clear (no guarantee!). In Tromsø it is dark between August and April, with the main Northern Lights season from November to April. The Northern Lights are visible from the late afternoon until the middle of the night.


Ideally I think you would need to be looking at 2-3 nights, excursions available as well as Northern Lights tours of snow shoeing, Cross country skiing, dog sledge safari ect

Check out this great video of the Northern Lights in their glory

http://www.visittromso.no/en/NorthernLights/

http://www.iglobetrotter.com/norway/northern-lights/northern-lights-guide

I have already booked my flight. Flight details as below:

-Norwegian Air (1058 NOK with no checked baggage allowance)

Utreise

 

Oslo-Gardermoen - Tromsø

Lørdag 9. feb 2013 kl. 08:15

Rute DY310 - Lavpris

Retur

 

Tromsø - Oslo-Gardermoen

Mandag 11. feb 2013 kl. 19:30

Rute DY387 - Lavpris

Travelling on Sat morning is better than fri evening because it would be too late for any tour on Friday evening by the time we get there after work. Remember that flight time from oslo to tromso is 2 hours! Moreover, accommodation is expensive so I do not want to “waste” Friday night doing nothing.

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  • Andrew L.

    Hi all, how shall we pay what we owe each other? Did Adrian offer to make a spreadsheet to simplify it?

    Thanks for a great trip!

    February 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey Andrew, can you please send us a facebook msg with the car fee split? This avenue is a bit public

      February 14, 2013

    • Andrew L.

      Bim, Adrian is working everything out. He'll get back to us.

      February 14, 2013

  • Tom L.

    Short of exactly working out what the bathtub inverted tubulion sexual position is, thanks for a great trip guys and girls. I had a lot of fun. Take care.

    1 · February 11, 2013

    • Kay M.

      Thank you for the great company and making us aware of the intriguing bathtub inverted tubulion!

      February 12, 2013

  • Michael S.

    Hi, all. How was the display on Sunday night? Did the cloud cover break enough to see the lights?

    I managed to get a few decent shots from the Saturday night lights. I'll be putting them up on flickr as I process them. You can see them here, if you want: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7588426@N08/sets/72157632737993187/.

    February 11, 2013

    • Michael S.

      Dammit. Well, that sucks for us, but good for you all.

      February 11, 2013

    • Michael S.

      By the way, Andrew, how do you want to handle payment for the rental car?

      February 11, 2013

  • Andrew L.

    I'm wondering about car arrangements and our personal interests - I'm planning on doing some serious photography of the lights (and hopefully the landscape too) - tripod, long exposures etc, and hope this will be compatible with others in the same car. If not, maybe we could put those who want to do exploring and photography in the same car, and those who would be bored with this in another car? :) If you're into photography and finding great landscape locations, let us know! (Adrian, I guess you're one!),

    1 · January 20, 2013

    • Andrew L.

      For those travelling in my rental car, I've added an extra driver (just in case), so if you can drive, bring a photo ID and your driving license. The cost of the car is approx 1300 kr, plus fuel, plus card surcharge. We'll dedide how to split it when we get there, as I know some people aren't staying for all three days we have the car. See you at the airport on Saturday!

      February 7, 2013

    • Adrian

      Carly, don't forget your driving license please!! :)

      February 7, 2013

  • Ion D.

    We'll be around 12 people in tromso on 8-10 february , so we should keep in touch and meet for some outdoor activity ;)

    1 · January 29, 2013

  • Kay M.

    Ok, let's meet at 7pm on tuesday (29 Jan) at Beer Palace (Aker Brygge).

    January 27, 2013

  • Kay M.

    Additional information for those staying in cabin:
    * Jaccuzzi cost normally 150,- each person, but they give a discount for bigger groups. Like for 7 people we can have it for 900,- incl. extra towels and wood-fired sauna.
    * Transfer cost NOK 300 each person (total price for from and back from tromso airport)
    * Cabin about 40 minutes drive from Airport/ Tromsø City
    * The closest supermarket is 18 km from the camp – Hansnes. If you order transfer they will make a stop at a supermarket close to the airport. One cabin 4 person, 2 nights NOK 4000 and 500 extra for each person more than 4.
    5 persons = 4 500, 6 = 5000 and so on.

    Each cabin have one single- and 3 double rooms, 2 bathrooms, fireplace, fully equipped kitchen and more

    January 1, 2013

    • Kay M.

      Tom, the cabin does provide transfer services (only from airport to cabin) but it is easier to get around if you have a car. For example, I would like to stay in Tromso city in the day and travel to the cabin at night to see Northern Light. You can either join Adrian's car (with Carly, Marcel and me) or join Bim.

      January 20, 2013

    • Tom L.

      Thanks Kay, I'm arranged to go in Bim's car.

      January 21, 2013

  • Michael S.

    Hey, Kay. (I met you at the NTO event last night.) My girlfriend and I are considering going up Friday night and coming back on Sunday. We would try to find a place in the city for Friday night, but is there cabin space (or even another cabin) available for two? If not, could you perhaps send me the cabin info where you all will be staying, and maybe I can try to find something nearby...?

    January 7, 2013

    • Michael S.

      Hi, Bim. Thanks for the offer. What time do you think you would be heading toward the cabin? We are planning on doing some sightseeing around Tromso in the morning/afternoon, so if you were going to the cabin right from the airport, we probably wouldn't be able to join you.

      January 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      That's ok. like Andrew said, he'll like to go around- take pictures and for me, I'm into photography as well and i'll like to do some sightseeing as well, so it'll be totally your choice :)

      January 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Andrew and Tom, are you interested in renting a car with me? I understand Adrian's car is full (4 people in total). Let me know so that arrangements can be made.

    January 17, 2013

    • Andrew L.

      Yes Bim, I'd like to share that car please. Are you booking it? I guess we need a small to mid-size car, not a tiny one.

      January 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Haha- no worries Andrew, I'll get this sorted

      January 20, 2013

  • Michael S.

    We will be there just for Saturday night.

    January 17, 2013

  • Kay M.

    Hi all, please pay 800 NOK each for the cabin to my account 05397630287. Please do so by end of this week. I will remove you from the cabin if i did not receive any payment by end of the week. Sorry for doing this but I have to pay for the entire cabin by end of the week to secure the cabin.

    January 7, 2013

  • Michael S.

    Hi, all. My girlfriend and I will be there just Saturday night. (We're staying in a another cabin because the group's cabin is full.)

    The owner said that the restaurant there will make food if more than 4 people pre-order it. Have any of you done so, or are you interested in doing so?

    Also, if anyone is renting a car and will either be going up Saturday afternoon or coming back Sunday morning or so, and you have room for two more people, let me know.

    Thanks!

    January 10, 2013

  • Bim

    Dear all,
    Is any one flying back Monday morning/afternoon? Please let me know.

    Thanks.

    January 9, 2013

  • Kay M.

    Anyone wants to share a cabin? The price for one cabin, 2 nights, 7 persons NOK 6000,- including beddings, towels and finishing cleaning.

    http://havogfjell.no/en/?page_id=58

    This is one of the nicest and available cabin that I have seen around the area. I hear from the lady that we could see the northern light (without a tour) from the cabin. Also, it seems like we could go cross-country ski etc easily if we stay in cabin. Car/ van rental about 2000 NOK for 2 days for 7 people.... If we don't get at least 6 people for the cabin, Carly and I just going to book a room in Thon Polar.

    1 · December 30, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Marcel, the cabin is already full e.g only have 7 beds. but I have asked the cabin lady if another people can be added, she said yes but you would have to sleep on a portable bed. If this is alright with you, I will help you to confirm your bed in the cabin. Otherwise, please book your own accomodation

      January 4, 2013

    • Kay M.

      Marcel, basically you are in the cabin but you would have to sleep on the sofa. This is what the cabin lady said: You know it is only 4 bedrooms and total 7 beds – but it is possible to sleep on the sofa on the loft. If it was one couple we have one singelroom with a bigger bed.

      January 5, 2013

  • Tom L.

    Hey Kay.
    Have all spots gone? I notice at the top it says no spaces are left. I was in France at the weekend and two of my friends said they may be interested in the trip. Is it now closed to more people? I've asked them for a swift response on whether they can come - and, of course, flights would need to be booked for you to put them on the list, if that's still open?
    Secondly, are we going to get a chance to meet to discuss accommodation etc for the trip before Christmas? I remember you said you will be away for December.
    Thanks - and have a great Christmas if I don't see you before it.

    November 28, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Sorry for not replying til now. Yup. It is still opened if your friends are interested

      December 30, 2012

    • Tom L.

      They're not able to make it now. Thanks for replying though

      December 30, 2012

  • Tom L.

    Hi all.
    I've booked a hotel room for the two nights at a total price of 1,700NOK, which includes breakfast and internet access. The hotel is called Skansen Hotell and is about 700m from the very centre of the city. The link is below:

    http://www.skansenhotell.no/en/index.html

    It's deemed more of a budget hotel - looks fine to me. You may be interested in booking that one. I will call them after New Year to find out what's the best option for finding a guide, if we need one even.

    December 30, 2012

  • Adrian

    Hi,
    Is anyone else staying until Tuesday?

    December 9, 2012

  • Kay M.

    Please confirm whether you are coming or not by 30 Nov 2012. This is because we need to book accomodation and a good guide! Believe it or not, some of the good guides and accomodation are already fully booked from Jan - March period. As written in all the hotel websites in Tromso, the winter peak period is from Dec-Mar.

    1 · August 22, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Confirmed. Flight booking done.

      November 22, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Kay,
    Paid for my ticket just now with Norwegian Air. Dots is flying in to Tromso from London.

    November 22, 2012

  • Kata

    Hi Kay, We went to Tromsø at the end of January and what we did was took a brochure from the hotel that listed many trips to see the northern light and we just showed up at the pick up point. There were more people than the bus could take, so they called another bus. Perhaps call one of the hotels and ask them what brochures they have and what trips they recommend.

    Good luck with the trip.

    Kata

    1 · November 12, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Thanks Kata...

      November 12, 2012

  • Kay M.

    Hi all,
    we have to meet soon to plan for this. I'm only free next week; after next week I would be very busy with work and be gone in the entire december. I'm free Wed, thur and the entire weekend next week. Please state your availability!

    November 1, 2012

    • Tom L.

      I can't do Wednesday nights as I work but any other evening or weekends are fine for me.

      November 1, 2012

    • Adrian

      Next week is quite difficult (I have visitors from the HQ). Thursday evening might be OK. Any time during the weekend should be fine.

      November 1, 2012

  • Carly

    I can do any night after work or sat or sun afternoon

    November 1, 2012

  • Tom L.

    Flights are booked as detailed above.

    1 · October 8, 2012

  • Kay M.

    I'm thinking that all of us should meet up next week to plan and discuss this trip. Doing research together in a internet cafe with our laptop and discuss the various options.

    September 25, 2012

    • Tom L.

      Hi guys, can I be added as a seventh person or is it closed already, as it says it is?I know I have said I will book flights once or twice already but I have been side-tracked in the past couple of weeks to actually get around to it.

      September 27, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Tom, as mentioned, i can only add you to the attending list after you have booked your flight. It is still opened.

      September 27, 2012

  • Kay M.

    I think I have spoken to all norhern light tours com[anies and guides. The two guides that are very good and famous are Kjetil Skogli (http://www.kskogli.no/aurora/kjetil_skogli_sch2012_13.htm; http://kjetilskogli.wordpress.com)
    and Gunnar Hildonen( http://www.guide-gunnar.no)

    However, they are fully booked from 9-11 feb. :(. Thus, we need to find alternatives

    September 25, 2012

  • Kay M.

    Woohoo, will add Andrew and Adrian to the attending list. M traveling now. Will send out more information when I'm back. We can start booking guide and accommodation since 6 is a normal group size for northern light accommodation. The cabins are far from the city centre and we need to drive. Does anyone have any experience driving in snow?

    September 23, 2012

    • Andrew L.

      Yes, been here lots for 6 winters!

      September 23, 2012

    • Andrew L.

      Driving lots, I mean.

      September 23, 2012

  • Andrew L.

    Kay, have you got any links for tour companies? And any ideas about where to stay? We could rent a couple of hyttas - here for example http://www.tromsocamping.no/public.aspx?pageID=79232

    September 23, 2012

  • Andrew L.

    Wahoo, just booked as well:) Norwegian, dep 09/02/[masked]:15, return 11/02/[masked]:30. Looking forward to it - I'm bringing a load of photography gear.

    September 23, 2012

  • Adrian

    I also booked the flight! Leaving from Oslo on Saturday morning and returning on Tuesday morning.

    September 23, 2012

  • Fernando Rafael Rodríguez A.

    I want to go :'(

    September 17, 2012

  • Polina P.

    Hi! What would be (approximately) the total expenses for the trip? Hotel, guide, transportation?

    September 16, 2012

    • Kay M.

      I do not know. I have not checked out the options. It would not be cheap. It would be at least £300 in total. It also depends on the activities.

      September 17, 2012

  • Tom L.

    I'll book my tickets next week

    August 24, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Let me know when you have made the booking. I'll put u on attending list.

      August 24, 2012

  • Alexandru S.

    I booked my ticket as well. :) I've been to Tromsø a few years ago to see the midnight sun, and I'm curious how it will be in the winter. And hopefully see the northern lights. :)

    1 · August 23, 2012

  • Andrea H.

    For sure! been meaning to do this since moving to Norway

    August 22, 2012

  • Saq I.

    Very interested but would ultimately depend on the dates we settle on.

    August 22, 2012

  • Ula

    I would love to join in Jan/Feb

    August 22, 2012

  • Andrew L.

    Flights booked

    August 22, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am certainly coming.
    I might be coming with 2 guests. I'll confirm nearer the date

    August 22, 2012

  • Kay M.

    Hi all, I have already booked my flight. Coming back on Monday night (11 Feb). Flight details are shown above. Let me know when you have booked your flight. I will put you on the attending list. Details e.g activities and accomodation should be finalised by year end. This will be done by concensus and group discussion.

    August 22, 2012

  • Kay M.

    Ok, some people have messaged me privately. 3 more votes... all for monday

    August 21, 2012

  • Carly

    My vote is coming back on the Tuesday.. One extra chance to see them!

    August 21, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Good point. I vote for tue too.

      August 21, 2012

  • Kay M.

    Hi all, I have posted some flight options above. Let me know which plan you like best.

    August 21, 2012

  • Kay M.

    I have checked out a few recommended guides: It seems like their calendar are pretty full already for jan and Feb.. It is better than to have a good guide so that we do not waste our trip. It is a calculated leap of faith . I have done my research and I ‘m pretty sure the period of the 8-12 Feb would be the best time to go to maximum our chance of catching the northern lights. I’m going to book my flight this weekend since SAS is having a great flight promotion now- 699 NOK each way between Oslo and tromso with great flight departure and arrival timing.

    August 21, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Hi there,
      This is the 1st time that a travel trip is organized outside of oslo. From my experience, it seems like there will be a lot of talking and no action. Thus, I’m just going to book my flights regardless. I’m only booking my flight.
      Yes, indeed, it would be more fun to have people on the same flight etc. But again, people have different preference and availability etc and there would be a discussion who can or cannot make it etc. I do not want to make things difficult for myself (since I’m organizing events for free and I have a real proper job). It would be great if you can join me on these dates. We can then plan for the accommodation and activities only for those who have committed to these dates and are sure that they are able to make it.

      August 21, 2012

    • Saq I.

      Looks like you've done your homework Kay. From everything I've read, I agree that finding a good guide and planning around his availability is key. So you look to be in good shape.

      I won't know my schedule for February for another week or two, but hope to be able to join. No need to put off any further planning on my regard though.

      FYI, Norwegian.com have specials on flights right now as well so that might be another option for getting there.

      1 · August 21, 2012

  • Kay M.

    I have called and emailed 15 companies in Tromso today to talk about the northern light trips. Many recommended us to go during new moon period and Feb. One guide even said this:
    Hello Kay, and thank you for your e-mail!

    Nobody can tell which time are best for the Northern Lights, but the season are going from September to April.
    But, for 2 days ago they catch the first Aurora over Tromsø..;)

    I think September are most beautiful!

    And February and March, plus Christmas time are the most busy… To much people here then!

    Please check my Calendar for check the availability, and which tour who goes from day to day.
    No dates = No tours!

    August 21, 2012

  • Lindsay A

    Very exciting that the nordlys were seen in Tromsø last night, although does that mean that it's already autumn :-/ The Observatory have just launched a free phone app too.
    Info here http://kho.unis.no/
    I'm ready :-) Well just need to work out the camera, I failed last Feb to get decent photos so need to sort out the exposure time settings before next Feb!

    1 · August 21, 2012

    • Kay M.

      Wow.... I'm already looking forward!

      August 21, 2012

  • Saq I.

    I spoke to a friend of mine that used to run photography trips for the northern lights to that area. He recommended going in March as the lights are more frequent and stronger closer to the spring equinox. Something to consider perhaps. He seconded your comment about avoiding the full moon.

    It was also suggested that we find a tour/guide first and plan the trip around their availability. (You significantly increase your chances of seeing the lights by getting away from the city lights which usually means a tour).

    August 20, 2012

    • Kay M.

      i was reading somewhere that normally it is best to go either feb or march in tromso. But early 2013 is time of year where solar max would occur so I was thinking maybe feb is better than march....

      August 20, 2012

    • Saq I.

      It's possible that next year is a bit of an exception because of the solar max and Feb is better. Ultimately there is going to be a fair bit of luck involved. :)

      August 20, 2012

  • Kay M.

    Hi all, this trip would not happen this year for sure (I have too many trips line up this year). The tentative dates that I'm thinking of is 8-12 Feb 2013. The dates are of course subjected to changes because i do not know best when it is best to see the northern light. I have done my research e.g talking to norwegian,googling but of course, i do not know everything

    August 20, 2012

  • Gareth W.

    Sounds interesting! I'd like to come, along with my wife and 2 yr-old son. (I haven't had a chance to attend any of this group's events yet, but I will one day ;))

    August 20, 2012

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