Ballooning to the Arctic lights

How about experiencing the Northern Lights in Swedish Lapland while floating in the Arctic skies in a hot air balloon?

Aurora in the Sky, being launched December 2020 by Off the Map Travel, has been created by Fredrik Broman and Jonas Gejke, and ballooning expert Andrew Peart. Broman and Gejke, who now live in Swedish Lapland, are both former film producers – their current company is Aurora Safaris.  Peart has been flying hot air balloons over the African savannah 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 an 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. 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 Råneå 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. Bespoke prices include 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.”

The Aurora Safari Camp is situated 10 minutes from Sörbyn Lodge and has four tented comfortable rooms. They are in glamping style (glamour camping) with nice beds and good service. Forget about old school camping. This is more like an East African safari, but with no animals around that can kill you. Restrooms on the side and showers on private session at the floating sauna. A guide will be at the camp at all time when guests are there. Extra snacks and drinks are included. They have kayaks, canoes, so if you like, you also can go boating

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