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- 2024 Dates available
8 days - Join expert Northern Lights Photographer, David Evans on this Finland and Norway tour.
Join our new escorted photography tour of Finland and Norway, with FOUR nights sleeping in glass igloos. This very special photographic tour is led by David Evans, former Lonely Planet photographer, writer and award-winning travel, landscape and commercial photographer. David has been spending time in recent years exploring his Finnish and Swedish heritage, including travel throughout Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden in both summer and winter.
One of our 50 Degrees North Scandinavian escorts will also host this journey, taking care of all services throughout the tour program and providing insight into the local culture and history. There are only 8 places available for this special tour.
This is a unique and very special itinerary, photographing and experiencing the rich culture and landscape of the far north of Norway and Finland.
David is an experienced and awarded photographer who will guide you through many aspects of travel and landscape photography, covering topics such as;
• Perfecting capturing the Northern Lights
• Long exposures
• Post-production of images
• Image review and professional critique
Our activities and excursions are tailored towards seeing and capturing the best light and most photogenic locations. Capture the Northern Lights and beauty of the Lapland's winter!
With just 8 passengers, be assured that you will be travelling as a small like-minded group. All levels of photographic ability are catered for.
- Catch some Arctic King Crab and sit with others to enjoy the feast afterwards by the fire
- Dress warmly and go Aurora Borealis hunting by snowmobile and car, several times throughout the program
- Stay in two unique Northern hotels, Aurora Village and the Gamme Cabins in Kirkenes
- Special home visit to an authentic Sámi reindeer herder farm
- Day 1
- Arrive in Ivalo and settle into your Aurora Glass Cabin
- Day 2
- Husky Safari and then Aurora Hunting by snowmobile in the evening
- Day 3
- Visit to a local Sámi reindeer herder with special home visit
- Day 4
- Snowmobile adventure and Aurora Hunting by car in the evening
- Day 5
- Transfer to Kirkenes and explore the Snowhotel
- Day 6
- Arctic King Crab Safari
- Day 7
- Coastal photography excursion and farewell dinner
- Day 8
- Departure Day
- Start Place
- Ivalo, Finland tours
- End Place
- Kirkenes, Norway tours
- Destinations Visited
- Finland tours
- Norway tours
- 8 Days
- Group Size
Private group transfers
- 4 nights in an Aurora Glass Cabin, breakfast and dinner included
- Kirkenes Stay: Gamme cabins with dinner included
- Daily breakfast, most lunches and all dinners
- Private group transfers between Kirkenes and Ivalo
- Welcome and farewell dinner
- Included Activities: Arctic King Crab Safari, Husky safari (4 hours), Snow mobile safari (4 hours), Reindeer farm visit and home visit with Sámi reindeer herder, Lappish dinner, coastal photography excursion and Aurora hunting by snowmobile
- Outdoor clothing for winter activities/safaris (winter boots, balaclavas, woolen socks, mittens, overalls, tube scarf) at the Aurora Cabins
- Sparkling piccolo bottle, water bottle, tea, coffee and sweets as complimentary arrival treats in your room at Aurora Cabins
- Toboggans, sleds, sliders, ice-skates, cross-country skis, kick-sledges and outdoor games are available complimentary at the Aurora Glass Cabin.
- 50 Degrees North escort throughout the voyage & tour: Part tour guide, part confidant, part concierge, and part friend, our professional escorts are with you throughout your travel experience.
- Photography tuition with David Evans
- Unique excursions - Visit coastal locations for photography, home visits and Sami museum visit. These activities are weather dependent and may vary slightly.
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
International flights, travel insurance and luggage handling.
Day 1 - Arrive in Ivalo and settle into your Aurora Glass Cabin
Transfer to your hotel and check in to your Aurora Glass Cabin where you will be spending the next four nights!
Meet your guides and the group for a welcome dinner at the hotel then get ready for your night in under the stars - and hopefully the Northern Lights.
Finnish Aurora Glass Cabins provides 'one-of-a kind' opportunities to admire the Northern Lights and millions of stars in the crystal clear sky while enjoying a comfortable room temperature. Built with a massive special thermal glass window facing sky wards, the temperature inside the cabin always stays at a normal level. It also prevents the glass from not getting white frosted, hence keeping the view clear even when the temperature outside drops to under -30°C.
Day 2 - Husky Safari and then Aurora Hunting by snowmobile in the evening
After breakfast, get ready for today's husky safari - an unforgettable journey through breathtaking winter scenery.
On arrival to the husky farm we will provide you with a warm outer thermal suit, gloves and hat and then we will present your very own husky team. You will be given a lesson on how to drive the sledge and how to observe important hand signals given by your leader.
Each team consists of about six dogs, you, the driver, and your passenger, who is comfortably seated in the wooden sledge. The driver and the passenger can change places during the safari. Duration 4 hours including lunch.
In the evening, join a Northern Lights search by snowmobile. Driving by snowmobile we can go anywhere! Your guide, a professional Aurora Hunter will lead you through the snowy forests to the high terrain to spot the Northern Lights far away from any artificial lights. It’s really exciting to drive at night. You might even see some white rabbits or reindeer in your headlights. Hot drinks and snacks are included when you arrive at the Kota shelter as well as the tales and stories of your experienced guide.
Day 3 - Visit to a local Sámi reindeer herder with special home visit
Nature connected visit to a local Sámi reindeer herder family home. They live by a lake side surrounded by forest and hills. Meet the family reindeer, feed them and photograph them up close. Together walk a short distance in the forest near by. You will hear stories about how important nature diversity is for the reindeer and for the local nature.
Then you can visit the Sámi home, a traditional log house. You get to see their family´s traditional Sámi dresses as you hear stories about Sámi culture and about the Inari Sámi language revitalization.
Return to the Aurora Village for lunch and free afternoon to explore. This evening, discover Lappish food with a traditional local meal.
Day 4 - Snowmobile adventure and Aurora Hunting by car in the evening
Get ready for action as your group heads out for a half-day excursion taking you through the snowy landscapes to a frozen lake where you will prepare a traditional snack by open fire in a rustic outdoor hut. There are plenty of opportunities for taking amazing photos. Duration 4 hours including lunch.
This evening, head out for another aurora hunt, this time by car. After some research on the weather forecast, your guides will take a car and drive it to places where the sky is most clear and the probability of seeing the Northern Lights is highest. Your experienced guide, a professional Aurora Hunter has some interesting stories to tell as you drink hot drinks and snacks along the way.
Day 5 - Transfer to Kirkenes and explore the Snowhotel
Transfer by private group bus, door to door from Ivalo to Kirkenes (3.4 - 4 hrs). Along the way, stop in Inari for lunch and a guided tour at Sami Siida Museum - the national museum of the Sámi and a national special museum in Finland. The guide will help you to have an in-depth view of Siida’s permanent exhibitions. Siida’s exhibition tours cover the permanent exhibitions of the house.
Every room in Kirkenes Snowhotel is like a small treasure. The rooms are equipped with everything needed for a comfortable night in the somewhat extreme conditions. The pictures look like you are sleeping on ice, but that would be too cold and too hard for your back. The beds are framed with ice blocks and the beds have comfortable mattresses with thermal insulation on top. You sleep inside a sleeping bag graded for -35 degrees celcius. However, snow is a very good insulator, so even when it's -35 degrees outside, the Snowhotel remains a stable -4 degrees.
Upon entering the gates of the Snowhotel, you will receive a welcome drink at the snowbar, made from berries collected from surrounding hills. It will then be time to make the ‘coolest’ hotel check-in around!
Your evening will then progress to a delicious 3 course dinner. The food served is charmingly traditional and locally sourced. Your guide will be available to help you prepare for the evening ahead, making sure you are as comfortable as possible. After dinner you will have the opportunity to walk around the snowhotel and say hello to our resident reindeers, and with any luck, catch a glimpse of the northern lights.
Day 6 - Arctic King Crab Safari
Today you will join an Arctic King Crab Safari - a very popular highlight for our travellers north.
The Arctic King Crab is a sought after delicacy and you will learn how to catch, prepare and eat them. Your guide takes you out and you can lend a hand in sawing through the ice before your guide attempts to land you a few of these massive crustaceans. Enjoy the day's catch for lunch seated by a cosy fire in a small local farmhouse by the lake. You will travel to the lake by snowmobile sleigh.
The afternoon is free for exploring before a group dinner at the snow hotel.
Day 7 - Coastal photography excursion and farewell dinner
Be amazed by coastal Norway. Today you will have a 5-hour exploration of the coastal region around Kirkenes. Possible places to visit include the Russian border and if the snow is heavy, we can put on some snow shoes to assist our exploring.
On return, join a private group tour to see the Snowhotel. Enjoy a drink in the icebar to celebrate the end of the tour before a group farewell dinner.
Day 8 - Departure Day
Independent transfer to the Kirkenes airport after breakfast. If you are interested in continuing down the coast of Norway on the Kystruten route, all the way to Bergen, we can arrange this for you.
Although we have an emphasis on photography, all levels of photographic ability are catered for, and our itinerary is also of interest to non-photographers, including partners. All of the activities and sights are incredible in their own right.
Photography Escort David Evans:
David Evans is a former Lonely Planet travel, landscape and commercial photographer and travel writer, and a Master of Photography who creates images of high fidelity, depth and substance. David’s motivation is to remind us that wild, untamed and sublime places are critical elixirs in life…and through travel, nature, observation and art, we find clarity.
- Finalist in 2021 Australian Photography Awards APA Stories competition (for portfolios), and currently semi-finalist for Head On in Sydney with results announced in November 2021
- South Australian AIPP Professional Photographer of the Year 2006 & 2009
- Australian Landscape Photographer of the Year 2015
- Canon Australian Professional Photography Awards 2015 - Highest Scoring Image
- Curator of The EPSON International Pano Awards
- Co-curator of The International Landscape Photographer of the Year
- Author of The Face of Australia, The Face of New Zealand & Australia: Facing the South
- Master of Photography II (Australian Institute of Professional Photography)
- Proudly supported by Epson Australia
- Represented by Panoramic Images & Trademark Fine Art USA
Your glass igloo hosts in Ivalo were the first accommodation in Northern Lapland to receive the Green Key award, the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Some examples of how they carry this out include offering recycling facilities in all cabins and no longer offering plastic bottles in accommodations, along with protecting the diversity of the surrounding nature, i.e., bird house and insect hotels. Hiking, biking, and skiing tracks are direct from the hotel and as such they encourage low carbon activities such as snowshoeing and toboggans.
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/
Practical information about Scandinavian Hotels
- Hotel rooms in Scandinavia are normally furnished with twin beds, which can be moved together to form a double bed or placed separately. Please note that single rooms are generally smaller than doubles, and are often equipped with a shower instead of a bath. Purpose-built triple or family rooms are likewise unusual in Scandinavian hotels. Whilst it is possible for 3 persons to share a room, this will normally be a double room with an extra bed, with correspondingly less space to move about in.
- It is also unusual to have a porter at hotels to carry your luggage.
- There is free wi-fi in many hotels in Scandinavia.
- Unexpectedly, all forms of Scandinavian accommodation rarely provide tea and coffee facilities in their rooms. If you are lucky, a kettle will be supplied but nothing else. Please ask at reception for some provisions when you arrive or just carry a small selection from home.
- Please also note that in Scandinavia - in particular, during winter - the included lunch will often be a hearty warm soup with bread.
- More remote hotels in Lapland will offer dinner at an additional cost. In some spots, there will be limited choices else where. Generally, you get a very nice home-cooked Scandinavian dinner. However, you may sometimes find only one or two choices only for your main course.
- In Scandinavia, it is normal for washing and laundry facilities to be in the basement. If you are staying in apartment type accommodation, check downstairs or ask for assistance.