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The Northern Lights - A Bonus to an Arctic Wilderness Holiday (not a sole reason to travel)
Aqua-Firma and their team of polar experts are offering once in a lifetime opportunities to experience the Northern Lights as part of tailor made wildlife, wilderness sailing, photography and dog sledding adventure travel experiences.
Aqua-Firma operates Northern Lights holidays from autumn through to spring. The first opportunities to witness the phenomenon in Spitsbergen come about in September and October, when Aqua-Firma runs polar wildlife voyages onboard a 100 year old schooner and a 3-masted barquentine Tallship. In early September, voyages focus on western and northern Spitsbergen, whilst by late September, sea ice blocks the north so shorter voyages focus on southern parts of this Arctic Archipelago. There is some awe inspiring fjord, mountain and coastal glacier scenery here as well as chances to see walrus, reindeer, Arctic foxes and the all white beluga whale. Spitsbergen is home to some 2000 polar bears, so chances to see these are high.
The largest national park in the World in North East Greenland is the target for an Aqua-Firma September ice ship voyage. Here we find the largest icebergs in the Northern hemisphere, dramatic coastal mountains and Scoresby Sund which is the largest fjord in the World. Whale watching opportunities are excellent, with high chances of encountering minke and humpback whales. This voyage begins and ends in Iceland, crossing the Denmark Strait which is renowned for being one of the best places on earth to see blue whales. An estimated 10% of the world’s population visit each year. Other wildlife you can hope to see includes dolphins, polar bears and musk oxen.
By late November and early December, Northern Lights encounters increase considerably, with Aqua-Firma offering Arctic Sailing just north of the Arctic Circle in the Lofoten Islands. Steep mountains spring out of the sea as far west as weather conditions allow the ship to sail. Closer to the mainland fjords can be little wider than the schooner tallship. The picturesque coastal towns of Henningsvaer and Kabelvag complement the charm and tranquillity of the sailing experience and provide welcome harbours. The Lofotens provide onshore trekking opportunities, chances to see nesting eagles and even orca whales.
Dog sledding is an integral part of many of Aqua-Firma’s Northern Lights holidays in Spitsbergen and can be experienced in a number of ways. Snow usually arrives by late October, so it can be added on to one of their later South Spitsbergen voyages. From December to February, land based dog sledding can be incorporated as part of a hotel based tailor made Arctic experience. In late February visitors can join a snowmobile trip to where one of Aqua-Firma’s summer tall ships is locked in the ice. From 1st March to mid May Aqua-Firma’s trips to the ship involve weekly dog sledding expeditions. These experiences enable clients to mush their own pack of huskies, which ultimately contributes to a truly authentic Arctic wilderness adventure.
Notes to Editors
1. Aqua-Firma specialises in expert led tailor made and small group exploration of wilderness and wildlife where land meets water. Their modes of exploration include inspiring combinations of:
a. Polar sailing and small ship voyages
b. Wildlife & marine life safaris
c. Expert led photography holidays
d. Canoe and lodge safaris
e. Rafting expeditions
f. Yacht charters
g. Conservation in action experiences
h. Snorkelling & scuba diving
i. Family adventures
j. Photographic holidays
2. Aqua-Firma is the only travel company to offset the carbon emissions of its clients' polar voyages, and flights booked through the company in joining its polar journeys. Aqua-Firma does this via a Rainforest4Climate programme set up in partnership with Rainforest Concern.
For further press information and photography please contact Ralph Pannell at
Aqua-Firma Worldwide Ltd. on 0844 412 0848 / 01428 620012 or email
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Aqua-Firma is a travel company driven by a long developed passion for exploring and conserving the best of our planet's wilderness and wildlife - in particular where land and water meet. The areas surrounding the great oceans, rivers, lakes and icecaps can provide some of the most dramatic encounters with wildlife and the natural world.
Our experiences have been created with the input of marine and environmental scientists, professional sailors and divers, conservationists and leading naturalist guides; people who have a passion to communicate the environments they know best. The result is the opportunity to experience wilderness locations in ways which are invigorating, enlightening and responsible.