A leading tourism provider in Abisko, Swedish Lapland, has made the ultimate sacrifice to create a new COVID secure experience by giving up his very own home and creating an Arctic Social Bubble.
2020 is a new experience for all of us, and a rather unwanted one at that. One of the first things on all our minds is safety. However, the lure of overseas travel and getting away from all the stress is proving to be strong. One of the few places on the planet where you can experience something extraordinary without throngs of people is the wilds of Swedish Lapland.
Fortunately, the new Private Aurora Escape experience launched this week is designed to give guests the best possible experience of the Northern Lights and Arctic wilderness, whilst maintaining the highest possible levels of protection against the Corona Virus pandemic.
Developed by Chad Blakely, owner of Lights Over Lapland, the new four-night, five-day experience includes taking over Chad’s very own house in the heart of Abisko, the world-famous Northern Lights destination, and creating a social bubble with an experienced Arctic guide.
“We wanted to create the ultimate experience for those travelling to experience the Northern Lights, wilderness and Arctic culture – and do all that whilst secure in the knowledge that our guests are travelling as safely as possible,” said Chad. “We wanted to make sure this stunning region was open for guests to experience, but do it in a completely controllable and secure way so that visitors can relax knowing that everything has been considered.”
The experience starts as soon as the guest lands at Kiruna airport where they will be met by a private guide that will remain with them for the entire trip, who will also have been temperature checked in the lead up to the trip.
From here, the adventure begins with a guided scenic tour from Kiruna along Lake Torneträsk to the world-famous Northern Lights destination of Abisko, keeping an eye out for reindeer and moose along the way.
After settling into your traditional Swedish house, guests will have the chance to choose from a range of daytime activities, including anything from a guided trip to ICEHOTEL with lunch; Ice fishing, a morning hike at Abisko national park or a longer hiking adventure into the National Park, wildlife watching safari, a landscape photography course or snowshoe hike. It is also possible for guests to add snowmobiling or dogsledding for a small supplement.
“All of the activities are delivered with the same really experienced guide making the most of the experience, but minimising contact with others,” added Chad. “Whilst the wilderness around Abisko is already one of the best possible places for social distancing, we wanted to build a trip that allowed our guests to have their own space, limit contact whilst delivering the best once in a lifetime experiences.”
Every evening, the guide will assess the weather forecast and take the guests to the best possible place to experience the Northern Lights whether that be in a traditional Sami Tepee, a harbour on the lakeshore, a wilderness cabin or out next to a cosy fire. There are over 15 dedicated locations that are possible to explore.
As each guide is a fully trained and experienced Aurora photographer, and with every guest given all of the photography equipment and instruction on their trip, there is no doubt, guests will be going home with their own images of the Northern Lights. Chad said; “In the last ten years, we’ve never sent someone home from our four-day trip without seeing the lights.”
The traditional Swedish three-bed house where guests will stay is on the edge of the Abisko National Park and perfectly located at the heart of the Arctic wilderness. The family home was partially renovated five years ago; the property comes with a shared kitchen two bathrooms, a private sauna and cosy fire for the evening.
All of the vehicles, equipment and the accommodation will undergo a thorough cleaning and sanitation process between guests, with PPE available on request. This experience has been designed for families or groups on an exclusive basis with the group remaining in their bubble throughout the trip.
Breakfast and lunch will be catered for at the accommodation, with evening meals prepared by a local chef either in the house or at the tepee – depending on the wishes of the group and the Aurora forecast.
The new four-night, 5-day Private Aurora Escape, is available for one – six people travelling from November 2020 to April 2021, costing from £1220 pp, excluding flights, based on six people travelling. This includes four nights of accommodation with all meals, private transfers, dedicated guide just for the group throughout, a choice of one daytime activity per day and a guided Northern Lights hunt every evening, additional warm overalls for activities and camera equipment for Aurora photography.
The experience can also be travelled exclusively as a 4-person group costing from £1400 pp.
Every aspect of the trip has been designed to be as COVID safe as possible including cleaning, sanitising, social distancing, PPE provision and creating the social bubble with your dedicated guide. For more information, visit www.lightsoverlapland.com.
Update (11/09/2020): Positive news for tourists dreaming of seeing the Northern Lights. It has been announced by the UK Government that travel restrictions to Sweden from the UK are being lifted as of 04:00 on the 12th September.
Read more news on Swedish Lapland in our dedicated section here.