The greenest Aurora holiday … ever!

The team at Off the Map Travel have taken their revolutionary itinerary to experience the Aurora at any time of the day in Svalbard, and added an environmental twist that now means it is thought to be the lowest impact Arctic Northern Lights adventure ever – using revolutionary new e-snowmobiles powered by renewable energy from the Arctic winds and the Midnight sun.

The new Truly Green All-Day Aurora adventure is based in Longyearbyen on the island of Svalbard, which is itself designated a Sustainable Destination. As part of this drive for an eco-Northern Lights adventure, guests will be taking expeditions out into the wilderness using cutting edge new electric-snowmobiles – thought to be the first used by tourists across the whole Arctic region.

“The new eSleds use powerful electric motors that are not only great for the environment, but also are completely quiet allowing the guest to feel a closer connection with local wildlife and the nature around them,” says Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel. “With the quiet engine it’s not just the Northern Lights to keep an eye out for, but native reindeer, ptarmigans and polar foxes. Exploring some of the most pristine areas of our planet has never been more eco-friendly”

To compliment this eco Arctic adventure, guests will also journey into the wilderness on a snowshoe trek and hunt for the Aurora whilst driving a dogsled – all adding to the eco itinerary and supporting the values of this sustainable destination.

“To top off this adventure, Longyearbyen is also home to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, an underground bunker built 120 meters (390 ft) inside a sandstone mountain, that houses many of the world’s seeds and nuts,” adds Jonny Cooper of Off the Map Travel. “Guests will visit the facility which was developed to ensure against the loss of seeds and plant species as a result of a global crisis.”

All of the activities and experiences on this new Truly Green All-Day Aurora itinerary not only allow guests to travel with a little impact as possible, but also brings them closer to the local nature, wildlife and culture of this stunning winter wonderland. This new experience is just one reason why Longyearbyen was designated a Sustainable Destination with travel experiences designed to care for the nature, culture and the environment as well as strengthening local social values. As a result, Svalbard and Longyearbyen sit on the prestigious list celebrating the ‘Global top 100 sustainable destinations’.

As this experience is recommended from November to January, when the skies over Svalbard are almost permanently black, guests will also have all day to search the skies for a glimpse of the Northern Lights. Travelling further north on a specially designed itinerary to the point where the skies are dark 24-hours a day will increase your chances of experiencing spectacular displays of the Northern Lights.

“Although the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon and are never guaranteed, to have the best chance of experiencing them you need clear, dark skies and you will more than double your chances of getting just that when the sun never rises,” says Jonny Cooper, Arctic travel expert and founder of Off the Map Travel.

The reason for Svalbard’s dark skies and extended Northern lights viewing opportunity is that in contrast to other Arctic destinations further South the sun in Svalbard’s winter is at least 6 degrees below the horizon meaning it can be dark all day giving guests the chance to experience the Northern Lights at any hour.

At 78° North, this new itinerary is a true Arctic adventure. With the sustainable and eco credentials of the accommodation at Funken Lodge and a range of once in a lifetime Northern Lights activities, guests will also indulge in the finer side of Arctic life.

As with any itinerary from Off the Map Travel, every adventure can be tailor-made to fit the wishes and requirements of any guest. As an example, the 4-day, 3-night Truly Green All-Day Aurora itinerary with Off the Map Travel, costs from £1095 per person, not including flights. This includes private transfers and three nights at Funken Lodge on a B&B basis, Northern Lights evening at Camp Barentz, E-snowmobile under the Aurora, dog sledding under the Aurora, Longyearbyen in a Nutshell tour and a snowshoe to an Ice Cave tour.


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