This Hot-air Balloon Ride Is the Most Magical Way to See the Northern Lights (Video)

The northern lights are already a spectacular sight, but one company in Swedish Lapland is bringing the experience to new heights.

Starting in December 2020, Off the Map Travel will offer travelers the chance to head into the Arctic night sky in a hot air balloon as the northern lights hover around them.

The new Aurora in the Sky travel concept was created by Jonas Gejke and Fredrik Broman, founders of the Aurora Safari Camp. The duo worked with ballooning expert Andrew Peart, who has been flying hot air balloons over the African savannas for more than 25 years.

Hot air balloon during the norther lights in Lapland
Courtesy of Lapland Ballooning

“This is a first,” Jonathan Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel and Arctic travel expert, said in a statement. “We’ve never heard of anything like this before and everything is pointing to this being the region’s next big aurora experience.”

According to the team, during the flight, the hot air balloon will ascend up to 130 feet and hover while guests hunt for the northern lights. Don’t worry, there’s very little risk of floating off, as the balloon will be anchored to the Arctic ice below.

“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,” Cooper added. “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.”

And the fun doesn’t stop at night. As part of the journey, visitors can take part in daytime expedition flights from the company’s home base in Gunnarsbyn, Sweden.

The new Lapland hot-air balloon experiences will be available for groups up to six people. Flights will also be weather-dependent, so the team recommends adding the flight to a multiday stay to allow for flexibility.

For example, guests can book a four-day, three-night Aurora in the Sky itinerary, which starts at $2,999 per person, and add on the flight (not included in the base price). Bookings for the hot-air balloon flights, which run until April 2021, open in May 2020. If you’re interested, act fast as space is limited.

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