I only have my phone camera with me. Will that work to take pictures of the Northern lights? Or does one need to have professional gear?
A phone camera is generally not enough to capture good quality photos of the northern lights, unless uncommonly bright auroras should appear. Given that some lenses and cameras are better than others, any reflex camera, regardless of which lens it mounts, is good for night/aurora photography. However, many modern compact cameras can capture fairly good photos in dark conditions. A solid tripod will be in any case practically essential. (2023 update: we are noticing that more and more phones are able to capture the Northern Lights, both video and photos. In general, if you have a recent phone, it is very likely that you will be satisfied with the quality of it.)
Keep in mind that all our guides are professional photographers and, after helping everyone set their own cameras properly, they will be there to make personal professional “Aurora Portrait” taken (the service is not included in the price of the chase, high resolution JPEG files will be available for purchasing from our web site).
What exactly are the differences between your aurora tours?
We offer one type of Northern lights Chase with two different ticket solutions:
1. The Aurora Chase, that includes a 50% discount on a new tour if we do not see the Northern Lights on the first tour.
2. The Aurora PASS, allows you to join our Aurora Chase excursion as many times as you want, during one week, regardless of whether you see the northern lights or not.
Additionally, we also provide private tours. The price of this excursion does not vary with the number of participants and can carry up to 8 pax.
When it comes to next day discount, what do you actually mean by “to see the Lights”?
Our criterion to state whether the Lights are spotted or not during an excursion is that the Lights have to be visible with the naked eyes for at least 5 minutes. Whenever the Lights are visible only through the lens of a camera or anyway for less than 5 minutes, they will be not considered as seen.
Do you provide warm clothes?
Yes, upon availability. Check price and availability by email. Please consider also that, apart from some relatively rare circumstances, the temperatures in Tromsø are not so extreme and most of the times a good and complete winter clothing will be enough on our excursions.
Do you pick us up at the hotel or is there a meeting point?
We do NOT pick up our guests at their hotel (unless you booked the Aurora Top Comfort tour). However, our meeting point /office is located at no more than 3 minutes’ walk from 95% of Tromsø’s hotels, in Roald Amundsensplass 1A (Google map HERE).
Do we go by bus or by van? What is the average number of participants in your excursions?
Our tours are carried out with a big and comfortable tour bus (except the Aurora Top Comfort tour), with toilet facilities and Wi-Fi on board. We believe this to be the most suitable vehicle to comfortably head out the long journeys which are often needed to reach the areas with the best weather / northern lights conditions. Also, should the temperatures on a sighting spot feel very cold, the bus will always keep available for you to take a break, sit down and warm up.
The number of participants varies quite unpredictably between days with 10 and days with 40 people.
I am afraid that the weather will not be good on the date of my tour. Is there any chance that it will be cancelled?
Granted that the local weather forecasts are generally very accurate, there will always be a margin of error that makes impossible to predict with 100% accuracy whether there will be or not a chance to find some clear skies during a tour. Our experience on the field proved that, statistically, even in the worst weather circumstances, a 5 minutes totally unpredicted opening in the clouds can turn a hopeless night into a successful chase.
For this reason, we stick to the rule that, as long as the driving/road conditions are considered as safe, we never cancel a tour.
With this said, it is our policy to always inform our guests about the actual weather and solar activity conditions, for them to feel free to ultimately decide themselves whether to join us on a specific day or not.
Remember also that, thanks to the particular position of Tromsø, we always have several different areas to choose where to carry the excursion on, and each of them has peculiar and independent micro-climates. This is one of the main reasons why, even if many of our excursions start with apparently hopeless conditions, we boast a tremendous average of 80% of success in spotting the clear skies and, consequently, the Northern Lights!