Seeing the northern lights is often hit-or-miss. If you travel north during the right time of year, find a spot with no light pollution, and get lucky with clear skies, you may glimpse the colorful phenomenon, but there’s usually no guarantee. For the best chance of seeing the spectacular lights show, you’ll have to venture to the literal top of the world — but it’s definitely worth it. Adventure company Off the Map Travel has just launched the “All Day Aurora” experience, a four-day and three-night journey through Svalbard, during which you can see the northern lights 24/7.
Svalbard is an archipelago technically part of Norway, but geographically closer to the North Pole. Due to its extreme northerly latitude, the sky is pitch-black all day and night from October through February, making for prime aurora borealis-viewing conditions. Tickets for this amazing tour start at $1,600, excluding airfare, and the spectacle is worth every single penny. Upon your arrival, you can expect to check into the Funken Lodge in the town of Longyearbyen, the archipelago’s only town, and northernmost settlement in the world. In the following days you’ll go dog sledding, snowshoeing, Champagne tasting, and of course, stargazing.
In a press release, however, Off the Map Travel’s founder Jonny Cooper warns that seeing the northern lights is not assured. “To have the best chance of seeing them, you need clear, dark skies and you will more than double your chances of getting just that when the sun never rises,” but adds that since they are a natural phenomenon, “they are never guaranteed.” Even if you get unlucky with the lights, there’s still enough to love about this Arctic itinerary to make the trip memorable.