This Train Trip Takes You Through the Arctic Circle and Under the Northern Lights — and You Can Save $350 If You Book Soon

As we head into winter, the long inky black nights — especially those up north near the Arctic Circle — provide optimal viewing conditions for one of Earth’s most beautiful, natural phenomenon: the northern lights, a.k.a. aurora borealis. 

For most of us, seeing the colorful, dancing waves of light in person is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. An opportunity that is infinitely more likely on an 11-day train journey that treks deep into the Arctic Circle. On the Northern Lights and Lapland trip with Vacations By Rail, a well-regarded rail travel and tour operator, travelers are treated to plenty of northern light viewing opportunities as they travel through Norway and Sweden on some of Scandinavia's most scenic rail lines.

Northern Lights over the Lofoten Islands in Norway

Courtesy of Vacations By Rail

The entire 11-day, 10-night journey kicks off in Oslo, Norway, before moving to Trondheim, a Norwegian city rich in Viking heritage with beautiful narrow streets and a quaint Old Quarter. From there, guests hop on the Nordland Railway, also known as the Polar Express, for a truly stunning 452-mile journey to Bodø. Before arriving in the coastal city rimmed with jutting peaks, the train will pass guests into the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees north. 

The Northern Lights seen over Norway

Courtesy of Vacations By Rail

Up next is a ferry to the Lofoten Islands, which have a stunning, dramatic landscape and are one of the best northern lights viewing areas in the world.

Other highlights include a trip on the Ofoten Railway, which passes into Sweden and is one of the world's most northerly railway lines, and a visit to Kiruna, the largest city in the Swedish Lapland. While in Lapland, the home of Scandinavia’s Indigenous people, the Sámi, travelers will visit a Sámi village, enjoy a traditional lunch, and check out Kiruna’s famous Ice Hotel. The day ends with a visit to the Ice Bar for a drink served in a glass made of ice.

Before hopping on a flight to Stockholm, Sweden, the final leg of the 11-day journey, travelers can visit a husky farm and enjoy a dog sled ride through the icy, winter landscape.

The epic journey through Norway, Swedish Lapland, and the Arctic Circle includes all rail and coach transfers, intercountry flights, 10 nights of hotel accommodation, tours with knowledgeable guides, and 18 meals (10 breakfasts, one lunch, and seven dinners). The all-inclusive rate starts at $3,295 a person, but each traveler who puts their trip under deposit by Sept. 9, 2022 can get up to $350 off the cost. The offer is only valid for travel between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, 2023, which is just as well since tours for the remainder of 2022 are already sold out.

As an added perk, travelers who’d like to extend their stay by booking a few extra days in Oslo at the beginning of the trip or Stockholm at the end can benefit with a little planning help from the team at Vacations By Rail, who are more than happy to facilitate hotel stays and sightseeing tours. Book your trip at a discount here.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles