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Arctic northern lights on a small ship cruise

Northern Lights Tour in Northern Norway 2020

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard M/S Quest (Sea Endurance)
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Join a unique winter adventure in Northern Norway aboard the MS Quest! In the beginning of 2020, 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 you are lucky this expedition will also offer exclusive encounters with orcas and humpback whales. In addition, visit the coastal town of Alta and the village of Kautokeino in Northern Sápmi. Stay at an ice hotel, learn more about the Sami culture and visit the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral.

*This itinerary operates in reverse on select departures

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Tromsø | Embark
Days 2-4 : Exploring Northern Norway
Day 5 : Disembark | Alta to Kautokeino
Day 6 : Alta
Day 7 : Transfer to the airport


  • See the Northern Lights dancing over the Norwegian landscape
  • View orcas and humpback whales
  • Visit a Sami camp in the heart of Lapland
  • Stay in an ice hotel, a surreal experience


M/S Quest (Sea Endurance)

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Arctic northern lights on a small ship cruise Walking through vast arctic landscapes. Northern Lights over the village Arctic village A small home in the Norwegian fjords Arctic Northern Lights Whale sighting in Polar waters!

Day 1 Tromsø | Embark

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.

Day 2-4 Exploring Northern Norway

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Your itinerary for the next few days is flexible and dependant on weather and wildlife. Traveling in the second half of January, when the sun has just returned, giving you direct sunlight for a short time each day. For those who are interested in photography, the light at this time of year is captivating. Even when the sun is below the horizon, enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. In clear weather, you may have a good chance 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 the ship in the smooth, protected waters of the fjords is an extraordinary experience!

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, but with some luck, you will experience unforgettable encounters with these incredible marine mammals. During the trip, you can hope to be fortunate to see both Northern Lights and whales, but when the opportunity arises, 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 of places you can hope to explore. On board, listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy delicious food and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on the deck.

Day 5 Disembark | Alta to Kautokeino

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, disembark in Alta. Transfer by bus to Sami camp, located in the heart of Sápmi (Lapland) - the region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people. Here you learn more about the Sami culture and enjoy a typical Sami lunch in a Lavvu. You then check-in at the beautifully located Thon Hotel Kautokeino, where you spend the night, enjoy a delicious dinner and keep a lookout for the Northern Lights.

Day 6 Alta

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning head back to Alta. The little coastal town of Alta is framed by high mountains and beautiful fjords. 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, you explore the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral! Alta has a long history of slate and during the day you visit a slate quarry to learn more about the handcraft. The 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.

Day 7 Transfer to the airport

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Alta and begin your 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 maximize our experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

M/S Quest (Sea Endurance)

Per person starting at
Quest's Triple Cabin.
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Triple Cabin
Triple Cabin with upper and lower berths. Located on Deck 3.
Quest's Twin Cabin.
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Twin Cabin
Twin Cabin with two twin beds. Located on Deck 3.
Quest's Twin Plus Cabin.
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Twin Cabin Plus
Twin Cabin Plus with two twin beds. Located on Deck 3.
Quest's Double Cabin with Double Bed.
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Double Cabin
Double Cabin with one double bed. Located on Deck 3.
Quest's Double Superior Cabin.
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Double Cabin Superior
Double Cabin Superior with one large double bed. Located on Deck 3.
Quest's Owner's Cabin.
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Owners Cabin
Owners Cabin with one large double bed. Located on Deck 4.
The Quest's Solo Cabin.
Select a Date
Solo Twin Cabin
Twin Cabin for solo use. Same cabins as the Twin Cabin, located on Deck 3.


Price includes
  • 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
Not included
  • 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
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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