The magical Northern Lights

Northern Lights Norway: M/S Quest

Northern Norway

Join a unique winter adventure in Northern Norway! In the beginning of 2020, we will head into the fjords outside the small towns Tromsø and Alta to enjoy a grand natural wonderland and hopefully experience the magical Northern Lights. If we are lucky this expedition will also offer exclusive encounters with orcas and humpback whales! In addition, we visit the coastal town of Alta and the village of Kautokeino in Northern Sápmi (Lapland). We stay at an ice hotel, learn more about the Sami culture and visit the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral

  • Opportunity to see the spectacular Northern Lights
  • learn more about Sami culture
  • Beautiful Tromsø, framed by mountains
  • Good chances to see gatherings of Orca and Humpback whales
  • Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta
  • Norway's dramatic islands and fjords

  • Early Booking Offer

    Book before the 20th of February 2019 and receive USD 200 per person discount!

    Stewart's Take

    A brilliant new expedition to the winter wonderland of Norway... Don’t miss out on this unique adventure!

    Overview

    Join a unique winter adventure in Northern Norway! In the beginning of 2020, we will head into the fjords outside the small towns Tromsø and Alta to enjoy a grand natural wonderland and hopefully experience the magical Northern Lights. If we are lucky this expedition will also offer exclusive encounters with orcas and humpback whales! In addition, we visit the coastal town of Alta and the village of Kautokeino in Northern Sápmi (Lapland). We stay at an ice hotel, learn more about the Sami culture and visit the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral.
    About the itinerary During this expedition we spend four nights on board the small and comfortable expedition ship M/S Quest. In true expedition style, the itinerary is flexible due to weather and possible whale encounters. We also stay one night at the ice hotel in Alta and one in the remote village of Kautokeino in the heart of Lapland in the beginning or the end of the trip, depending on departure date. Tromsø The expedition starts or ends in the city of Tromsø (see departures), located 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, and beautifully framed by fjords and mountains peaks. The city has been the starting point for many polar expeditions and was referred to as “the Gateway to the Arctic” in the 1800s. Expedition cruising with M/S Quest We are now on an expedition cruise and our itinerary is flexible due to weather and wildlife. We travel during the second half of January, when the sun has just returned, giving us direct sunlight for a short time each day. For those who are interested in photography, the light this time of year is captivating. Even when the sun is below the horizon, we can enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. Northern Lights In clear weather we have good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights (aurora borealis) dance in the sky. This region is known as one of the best destinations if you dream about watching this fascinating phenomenon. Watching the greenish light dancing above our ship in the smooth, protected waters of the fjords is an extraordinary experience! Search for Whales Since 2010, huge shoals of herring have overwintered in the fjords around Tromsø and Alta, which has attracted many orcas, but also humpback whales. As with any wild animals, it is difficult to predict if they will return the winter of 2019/2020, but with some luck we will experience unforgettable encounters with these incredible marine mammals. Winter Wonderland During the trip, we hope to be fortunate to see both Northern Lights and whales, but when the opportunity arises, we will head out on exciting Zodiac cruises and go ashore to explore Tromsø’s dramatic islands up close. The snow-covered mountain peaks offer marvellous sceneries together with the small picturesque houses and the beautiful fjords. The area is also a popular haunt for white-tailed eagles. Rebbenesøya, Skorpa, Ringvassøya and Seiland are examples on places we hope to explore. On board, we listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy delicious food and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on deck. Alta – The Ice Hotel & the Cathedral The little coastal town of Alta, framed by high mountains and beautiful fjords is located an overnight journey with ship from Tromsø. The town is also known as the city of the Northern Lights. Here you have great chances of seeing the Northern Lights, but it was also in Alta that Kristian Birkeland in 1899 built the world’s first Northern Lights observatory. Of course, we explore the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral! Alta has a long history of slate and during the day we visit a slate quarry to learn more about the handcraft. Our day ends with a dinner composed of local ingredients and a good night’s sleep at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – made of snow and ice. It is an unforgettable and surreal experience to fall asleep in a warm sleeping bag surrounded by ice. Kautokeino – Wilderness & Sami culture This day, we head out in the wilderness of Finnmarken. After a couple of hours bus ride from Alta we reach a Sami camp, located in the heart of Sápmi (Lapland) - the region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people. Here we learn more about the Sami culture and enjoy a typical Sami lunch in a Lavvu. We then check in at the beautifully located Thon Hotel Kautokeino, where we spend the night, enjoy a delicious dinner and keep a look out for the Northern Lights. Program 17 – 23 January 2020 Day 1: Embarkation in Tromsø at 16:00. Day 2 – 4: Expedition cruise. Day 5: We arrive in Alta and travel by bus to Kautokeino where we stay one night at Thon Hotel. Day 6: It is time to head back for Alta and stay one night at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel. Day 7: After breakfast, a transfer takes us to the airport in Alta and we begin our journey home. Program 19 – 25 January 2020 Day 1: At 11:30 we gather for lunch in Alta and stay at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel during the night. (If you choose to arrive one day earlier, PolarQuest can help with hotel arrangements.) Day 2: We travel by bus to Kautokeino where we stay at Thon Hotel. Day 3: It is time to head back for Alta where we embark our expediton ship. Day 4 – 6: Expedition cruise. Day 7: After breakfast, a transfer takes us to the airport in Tromsø and we begin our journey home. Program 25 – 31 January 2020 Day 1: Embarkation in Tromsø at 16:00. Day 2 – 4: Expedition cruise. Day 5: We arrive in Alta and travel by bus to Kautokeino where we stay one night at Thon Hotel. Day 6: It is time to head back for Alta and stay one night at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel. Day 7: After breakfast, a transfer takes us to the airport in Alta and we begin our journey home. Please note The exact route will depend on weather and possible whale encounters. The captain and the expedition leader will do everything to maximise our experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

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    Expedition Vessel: Quest

    Quest expedition ship Svalbard

    The expedition ship Quest (formerly M/S Sea Endurance) was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland`s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished and now has a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. Quest takes 53 passengers in 26 cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. Travelling with this small expedition ship offers a more relaxed and informal atmosphere and a much greater focus on the destination than is the case with larger vessels.

    In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining lectures on the area's flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a well-stocked bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas and search for exciting wildlife.

    The triple cabins on deck three have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you also find a desk with chair and storage space for clothes and equipment. The superior cabins on deck three and four are spacious and have a separate sitting area and TV/DVD. The Owner's cabin, next to the Captain`s cabin, on deck four has a double bed, two large picture windows, a small sitting area and TV/DVD.

    For full information about this vessel click here:

    Included
    • 4 nights on board M/S Quest
    • 1 night at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel in Alta
    • 1 night at Thon Hotel Kautokeino
    • All meals, Coffee and tea
    • Experienced and knowledgeable guides
    • Guiding ashore and talks on board
    • All excursions and activities
    • Comprehensive information material before the expedition
    • The trip is climate compensated
    Excluded
    • Flight to/from Tromsø/Alta
    • Travel and cancellation insurance
    • The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
    • Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges
    Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 25% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A secure payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card alternatively bank transfer. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Final payment can be made by bank transfer. Balance payments by credit card are subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. For cancellation received more than 60 days prior to departure there will be a full refund of the program cost less 10%. For cancellation received between 60 days prior to departure and departure date there will be no refund whatsoever. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Polar Quest Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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