The Artisan Blog
Norway and the Northern Lights webinar registration
Date: September 10th, 2020 at 7:30 pm (GMT)
With the world of travel slowly becoming more accessible, Norway is preparing to welcome back keen travellers when the timing is right. To understand how Norway will be adapting to the new approaches to travel, we are hosting a live webinar with expert insights on Norway’s cultural capital, Tromsø.
Featuring our dedicated team of experts and highly knowledgeable guest speakers who will share their insights on Norway, this webinar is ideal for discovering all the information you’ll need to book your next trip with confidence. Whether you’re hoping to visit this winter, or already planning a holiday for 2021, the insights on offer will help you to book with the added assurance of the best possible experience.
We have teamed up with a panel of experts from across the travel and tourism industry within Tromsø to present everything you need to know. From what to expect upon arrival, to how Norway is putting measures in place for Covid-19 to keep tourists safe as well as a live Q&A session with our speakers; you’ll be able to plan your trip with greater peace of mind.
While the webinar will focus on the winter trips to Tromsø offered through our sister company, The Aurora Zone, there will be an opportunity during the webinar to enquire about our summer Tromsø trips with Artisan Travel. Our trips allow you to experience the fascinating natural phenomena of the Midnight Sun, go glamping surrounded by the beauty of Norway’s remote wilderness and embrace the vibrant culture of the city.
Our speakers include Ali McLean, the owner and founder of The Artisan Travel Company, as well as a hotel manager based in the heart of Tromsø and two highly experienced local activity providers. Our own Northern Lights guide and photographer, will also share his expertise on hunting the Northern Lights and capturing them on camera, as well as the science behind how they are naturally formed.
All those signing up to the webinar can also receive 10% off their booking with The Aurora Zone, using the special code provided during the event.
19:30 - Start
19:30 - 19:35 - Introduction to The Artisan Travel Company: Ali McLean, Director and founder of The Artisan Travel Company
19:35 - 19:45 - Highlights of Tromsø: Mats Fredriksen, Lost in Norway
19:45 - 19:50 - Guest speaker: Ida Romsøe, Hotel Manager, The Clarion Hotel The Edge
19:50 - 19:55 - Guest speaker: Øystein Prytz, Head of Digital Marketing, Tromsø Villmarkssenter
19:55 - 20:00 - Guest speaker: Alice Heijbel, Key Account Manager, Pukka Travel
20:00 - 20:15 - An introduction to the Northern Lights: Matt Robinson, The Aurora Zone and Northern Lights guide and photographer
20:15 - 20:30 - Q&A session
20:30 - Finish
Alistair McLean - Director and founder of The Artisan Travel Company
As part of The Artisan Travel Company, Ali created The Aurora Zone, the original and only dedicated Northern Lights tour operator. Ali is extremely proud of the tours we offer in Tromsø and delighted that our clients have witnessed the lights during their trips there with us.
Mats Fredriksen - CEO, Lost in Norway
Your host for the evening, Mats, is our local supplier in Norway. Having worked with Mats for many years, he is well-placed to talk about the region and the experiences we offer in Norway.
Matt Robinson – The Aurora Zone and Northern Lights guide, photographer and astronomer
Currently living in Senja, Norway, Matt has travelled extensively with The Artisan Travel Company and is always happy to share his knowledge and science behind the Northern Lights with our guests. Matt is also a keen astronomer and photographer and will share some of his fantastic images with us during the webinar.
Welcoming our guest speakers
Ida Romsøe - Hotel Manager, Clarion Hotel The Edge
Situated right in the centre of Tromsø, just by the water, from where you can enjoy great views of the city's stunning architecture, the Clarion Hotel The Edge was built with an environmental classification A and aspires to be as eco-friendly as possible. A passionate hotel manager, Ida is responsible for all hotel operations, leisure FIT and groups. She has worked in Nordic Choice Hotels since she was 16 years old and been at Clarion Hotel The Edge for almost 2 years. Ida will provide an insight into the measures the hotel is taking during Covid-19 and how they are making guests feel safe and comfortable.
Øystein Prytz - Head of Digital Marketing, Tromsø Villmarkssenter
Tromsø Villmarkssenter enjoys an idyllic wilderness location around 20km from the city centre on the island of Kvaløya. Established over 30 years ago they are one of the most experienced and passionate dog sledding companies we have the pleasure of working with. Originally set up by Tove Sørensen the day to day running of the centre has now passed to her son and his wonderful team. Given the wonderful location of the Villmarkssenter, it has an awesome record of Northern Lights viewing and we have had many happy clients enjoy displays here during their holidays. Over several years Øystein has worked in almost all parts of this family-run company and there is nothing he doesn’t know about their fantastic products and strong family heritage.
Alice Heijbel - Key Account Manager, Pukka Travel
Our guest speaker from Pukka Travel, Alice, will talk us through the many activity options available to our clients on the trips we offer, from a Polar Fjord cruise or Northern Lights sailing to hunting the Northern Lights by minibus.
Thursday 10th September at 7:30 pm BST
This event will take place on Zoom and is free to access, CLICK HERE TO REGISTER YOUR PLACE to receive the joining link details.
It might still feel very much like autumn here in the UK but the snow has most definitely arrived in the Arctic Circle! The onset of the new winter season is something that we get very excited about here at Artisan Travel. Not only do the winter months allow for a whole range of exciting Arctic activities such as dog sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing, but they also give our clients some of the first opportunities to go in search of the Northern Lights!
After hearing the many beautiful tales of Lapland and seeing some incredible photos of the Aurora Borealis and the winter landscapes of Finland, I thought, “there is no way it can actually look like that surely?”. But as we descended through the clouds into Rovaniemi, with the sun rising past a blanket of snow, I could not believe my eyes – it was just like the photos! The incredible snow that hung from every branch of every tree was such a breath-taking sight.
Lapland is all too often associated with thousands of families searching for a big guy with a thick, woolly beard, a jovial laugh and a propensity for dishing out gifts in late December.
However, escape the “Santa Centrals” especially in January, February and March (when Mr & Mrs Claus holiday in The Bahamas) and Lapland is a treasure trove of outdoor wonder and activity. For adults, Lapland can be exactly what you need for your winter retreat.
Here are our top 17 things to do in Lapland that don’t include Father Christmas:
"The next twenty years are the blink of an eye"
Quotation source: My father on my 50th birthday (thanks for that dad!)
I love this photograph. It may not be the greatest composition in photographic history but, for me, it sums up exactly what the Artisan Travel Company is all about.
The picture was taken in Alaska, somewhere north of the Arctic Circle on the Dalton Highway (of Ice Road Truckers fame) and it is the moment I fully realised that I had well and truly ticked off my number one bucket list item.
Coldfoot, Alaska is a truck stop, little more. The 2010 census recorded that just 10 permanent residents live here and its name (formerly a mining camp called Slate Creek) is said to derive from a time when gold prospectors would labour this far north, get “cold feet” and head back home.
Coldfoot - A Tiny Slice of Alaskan History
The crackle of logs burning in the stove
It has taken me an absolute age to write this blog because I can’t quite find the right words to describe the feeling of returning to a warm winter cabin after an active day spent engaged in winter’s Nordic activities. The deep snow serves to deaden noise so very often the only sound you’ll hear from outside is the wind and, on calm nights, it is almost eerily quiet beyond the doors of your wooden enclave. Inside, you get a sort of “Homestead on the Range” sensation which is enhanced by the crackle of logs burning in the stove and the creaking of the broad timbers from which the cabin is constructed.
I woke up this morning in my cosy Northern Lights Cabin and looked out of the window to see the sun shining down on the far side of the river.
I went to Harriniva to see my guests. They were super excited as they were about to go out on a 17km Husky Safari. I was telling them all about our 420 dogs and their smiles got bigger the more I told them.
One of the first tasks I had, when I joined The Artisan Travel Company, was to spend two weeks acting as the company's representative in the tiny ski resort of Luosto. Travelling north of the Arctic Circle on my first assignment all seemed a bit daunting at first but I got to know Luosto and our suppliers very quickly and found myself falling very deeply in love with the place because it has just about everything you could ever want from a winter holiday.
As a Product Development Manager, I get to visit loads and loads of places but this very often has to be done reasonably quickly.
Spending 14 nights in the same destination allowed me to appreciate the slower way of life, to get to know the wonderfully friendly locals and take huge joy in the vast range of winter activities available in Luosto.
Arriving at Kittila Airport on a very late flight from the UK last December, I was happy in the knowledge that I had a very short transfer to get to my hotel. No sooner had my friendly Finnish taxi driver helped me into the car, he was then helping me out of it 5 minutes later as we arrived at the hotel. I was quickly checked into my room and tucked up in bed in anticipation of tomorrow's adventures.
I was met the following morning by my guide for the next two days, Jaakko. He was absolutely fantastic with the small group I joined and had obviously built up a brilliant rapport with the members despite the assortment of nationalities and ages.
This morning's activity was cross-country skiing and once we had established that no one in the group had actually done the activity before he led us through the very basic first steps of learning how to move around with the ski's attached to our feet. Once we got our balance and had learnt to stand up (!) we began a short circuit so we could practise negotiating the skiing tracks which run alongside almost all the footpaths in Northern Scandinavia.
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