There are plenty of tour operators flooded in and around Tromso who do Northern Lights tour. But it’s really important to choose the best tour company, else you might waste your money and time.
We went on the tour with Arctic Guide Service, one of the prominent tour operators who are based in Tromso City Centre. They go by the tag line “Non-stop Northern Lights Chase every single evening!” and they truly live by the word.
After going on the northern lights chase with Arctic Guide Service for 3 days, we got an opportunity to see their work at close quarters, about their tour operations, safety precautions and customer service. So, here we share our 2 cents about them!
The tour usually starts between 6.30-7.30pm after the sky gets dark. We were asked to be at their office 15 minutes before, so that we could see the forecast of the aurora, and sign out the disclaimer form to them. The tour involves bus travel since spotting Aurora when there’s lot of light pollution will make it tedious task. Hence the tour operators drive you to a location away from any light pollution, where there’s no cloud.
|The northern lights in the shores of Skibotn, Northern Norway as seen on 17th March
Bus Journey & Customer Safety
A big coach bus is used for the tour along with a Professional driver and a knowledgeable guide. The bus has 2 door exits, a bathroom, reading lights and heater. During travel, we need to wear the seat belts. While getting down the bus, all the passengers were given safety jacket. If we are embarking on a long journey, they keep us informed, and stop in the service areas as well.
|Safety Jackets, Snacks and Tripods ready to get loaded into the bus
Snacks on Tour
We were provided with Hot Chocolate and biscuits during the tour usually around 12am-1am.
Information Provided by the Guide
The guides are extremely knowledgeable about the city Tromso, Northern lights, the surrounding areas, camera operations etc. In the previous post about Tromso
, most of the information were given by these guides. They share the history about the location and educate the travelers on which camera setting is best for capturing aurora.
Assistance in setting up your camera
The guide/s assist us in setting your camera to the right mode (including shutter, aperture, ISO) and share the best camera setting that would be suitable for capturing Northern Lights.
A photo souvenir
Not just all that! The guides are good photographers too, and they take awesome photos of you with Northern Lights at the backdrop. They share the photo through email, and with your consent post them in their Facebook Page for easy access. Other Northern Lights pictures are also available for you if you intend to share it with your friends, or have a keepsake. The photographs shared by them were crystal clear images and a perfect portrait shot. What better souvenir than this?
That’s us posing at a whopping -24 degrees with Northern Lights at the backdrop
Arctic Guide Service is very flexible and customer focused. If the weather turns out bad, it is the customer who decides if they want to go on tour or not. They provide all the information about cloud, weather forecast, aurora activity details to the customer before letting them decide. We liked this working style of Arctic Guide Service particularly because we as customers are the ones paying the money, and getting a upper hand in deciding will only increase the trust. Even if one customer agrees to go on tour, they are ready to go for the chase! If you choose not to go for the tour, they are happy to refund you the money, or re-book you on alternate date.
Never Give up Attitude
These guys never give up on the Aurora chase. They take you to every possible corners of the Troms Country to spot the lights, and sometimes drive all the way up to Finland Border (which is about 3 hours drive from Tromso) to spot a clear sky and see Aurora. The whole team (Administrator, Driver, Guides) is really dedicated towards achieving this goal.
Tips for Booking the tour
It is advisable to book a 2 day tour, since the chances of seeing Aurora on just one given day is less. Plus you pay a discounted price for the 2nd day of the tour.
Adult Price: 950 NOK; Child: 475 NOK
Tickets can be booked at their Office located behind Radisson Blu Hotel in Tromso, between 2pm – 6pm.
Overall, we loved their service and would definitely recommend their tour to anyone who travels to Tromso and wishes to see Northern Lights. We had a lovely memorable tour with them.
Note: We were given 3 day complimentary tour tickets for Northern Lights Chase by Arctic Guide Service. The review expressed in the post are ours (Anu and Sri), and were purely based on the experience we had with them.