LULEA, SWEDEN – Beginning December 2020, adventurous travelers will have a new way to experience the Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland: floating into the Arctic skies in a hot air balloon.
The new Aurora in the Sky travel concept, launched by Off the Map Travel, was created by the founders of the Aurora Safari Camp, Jonas Gejke and Fredrik Broman, who together with ballooning expert Andrew Peart, have created a Northern Lights hot air ballooning operation. Peart has been flying hot air balloons over the African savannahs for more than 25 years and will lead the Lapland ballooning team.
“This is a first,” notes Jonathan Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel and Arctic Travel expert. “We’ve never heard of anything like this before and everything is pointing to this being the region’s next big Aurora experience.”
The evening aurora flight launches in December 2020 and will be available through April 2021, with booking opening May 2020. Guided by a ballooning expert, the hot air balloon will ascend up to around 40 meters in the air where it will hover to hunt for the Northern Lights, anchored to the arctic ice below. Those interested in experiencing the new Aurora hot air ballooning next winter are advised to contact the team at Off the Map Travel at their earliest as space is limited.
For visitors interested in viewing the Arctic wilderness landscapes as well as the Arctic skies, the Lapland ballooning team will also run daytime expedition flights from its home base in Gunnarsbyn, Sweden in the Ranea River Valley.
The new Lapland hot air ballooning experiences are available for groups of up to six people and are recommended for guests six years or older. As flights will be weather dependent, it is also recommended that the experience be included as part of a multi-day stay to allow flexibility for the balloon flight.
“Experiencing the Northern Lights from the tranquility of the balloon in a remote wilderness region of Northern Sweden is a very special experience, certainly one that will be a highlight for any luxury Arctic adventure,” adds Cooper. “Although the Aurora is never guaranteed, I can’t think of a more magical way to hunt for it than by ascending into the stars yourself.”
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, a 4-day 3-night Aurora in the Sky itinerary costs from $4287 per person (at the time of this writing), not including flights. Included are all meals, private transfers, accommodation at the Outpost and Aurora Safari Camp, a snowmobile adventure with lunch on the Arctic Circle, the Aurora Hot Air Balloon experience, and a snowmobile adventure to “meet the locals.”