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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!
Here at Artisan Travel, we have a vast range of bucket list summer holidays, skilfully designed by our trusted Travel Experts with you in mind. We'll take you from the sun-drenched islands of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast to Northern Norway to watch the Midnight Sun over the sublime fjords, to the Azores to snorkel alongside dolphins, to Madeira to explore exotic botanical gardens and to Gozo to indulge your passion for photography. Here are our top destinations for you:
As we enter the winter months, it can be tempting to simply wrap ourselves in a blanket and curl up in front of the television. But here at Artisan Travel, we believe that winter is a great season to get out and explore some incredible destinations and experience some wonderful bucket list activities.
As the summer sun begins to fade and the dark nights start to return, some travellers might be tempted to pack their passport away for another year. However, we believe there are plenty of reasons to be excited about the arrival of the winter months.
Now don’t get us wrong we love sunny escapes to places such as Croatia, Madeira and the Azores and there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy some of the last of the summer sun if you want. However, what these destinations can’t offer, as excellent as they may be, is the chance to enjoy some truly great bucket list, Arctic experiences.
Cold, dreary weather, post-festive season torpor, and back-to-work blues; welcome to the joys of January. How do we recommend you cure your mood?
Start planning your 2018 adventures of course!
We have a vast variety of bucket list holidays all around the world, skilfully designed by our Travel Experts with you in mind. We'll take you from the wilds of Finland to the sun-drenched island of Gozo; the fjords of Iceland and Norway to the volcanic paradise of the Azores.
At this time of year, the sun does not set in Northern Norway. Whilst slightly disorientating at first, I soon came to really enjoy the never-ending days and the opportunities this opened. In this time of the Midnight Sun, Norwegians sleep less – they fish, they kayak, they BBQ, they island hop – more daylight means more time to enjoy the splendours of the land and socialise until the early hours.
At around 11.30pm the sun dips toward, but never quite reaches, the horizon. The Norwegian fjords and mountains are bathed in a pinkish golden glow and the scenery looks all the more idyllic, exuding a sense of warmth and serenity. As strange as it sounds, one of my favourite things to do was to simply sit on the water’s edge and enjoy the colours of the light.
One of the key highlights of the trip was the chance to spend time on the island of Senja. Having listened to colleagues rave about it for years, it was a place I was eager to see. I can confirm that it does indeed live up to the hype.
It didn’t really occur to me until afterwards, but to see a whale in the wild is truly a magnificent experience.
We were lucky enough to see four sperm whales up close off the coast of Norway (although, as Daniele our guide pointed out to us, your eyes play tricks with you at sea and what feels like 20 metres away is more like 80) and it makes you feel overwhelmingly humbled to witness an animal that has swum in our oceans for more than 5 million years.
The adjective ‘beautiful’ is banned in our office so I have had to delve into my thesaurus to accurately describe what I thought of Norway on my recent stay. Glorious, splendid, gorgeous, lovely and stunning are a good way to start, but perhaps most accurately, my overall thoughts on the parts of Norway we explored were that they were so easy on the eye that it was almost laughable.
Today is the United Nation's International Day of Happiness and as expected the World Happiness Report 2017 was released. Here at Artisan Travel, we are thrilled to see that Norway was crowned the happiest country on Earth. However, we are actually not very surprised, as we can see why those who live and travel there fall in love with the magic and wonder it beholds.
Here’s why we love Norway!
Continued from TIME TO MAN-UP (PART 1)
Option 1: Go directly from the sauna into an icy plunge pool
It feels like being overcome by a panic attack
Believe it or not, this is the easy option!
From the comfort of a warm sauna........
(Image: Visit Finland)
Rush from the warmth of the sauna and submerse your body in the icy waters of a purpose built plunge pool – essentially, a big hole in the ice! The secret is to just go for it, hesitation can often result in failure and a dash back to the sauna's toasty sanctuary.
Time for my Fellow Northumbrian to "Man-Up"
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the recent program on ITV called The Land of the Midnight Sun featuring Alexander Armstrong but felt little empathy for his winter swim in the Norwegian Sea near Tromsø.
Tromsø’s position on Norway’s west coast means that thanks to the Gulf Stream it is generally warmer than other towns and cities located at similar latitudes. As Armstrong stripped down to just his swimming trunks, the temperature was -4°C and as he strode purposefully into the icy, grey waters the sea temperature was an admittedly chilly -1°C (the salt content means that sea water has a lower freezing point than fresh). That’s pretty cold by anybody’s standards but compared to what goes on elsewhere in Northern Scandinavia, this was a walk in the park on a balmy late summer evening.
One of the more memorable evenings of my visit to Northern Norway was spent in the home of a local fisherman who specialised in King Crab.I will admit right from the start that I on the whole don't eat seafood, but still found this whole evening a wonderful local experience.
King Crabs are rather famous on the north coast of Norway, namely in Kirkenes and the North Cape of the country.
Despite their immense popularity as a local delicacy, we learnt that King Crabs are not native to this region and were in fact introduced artificially by Soviet Scientists in the 1960s to provide a new valuable catch for Russian fishermen. Their native home is the Barents Sea surrounding Alaska where the population is declining, despite strict fishing controls, yet here on the coast of Norway they are thriving.
I have been lucky enough to visit Tromsø in Norway several times in recent years, both in the summer and winter months, and I really like the city. It has a lot to attract people, including some mind-blowingly good restaurants, lively bars, cute little shops and a really beautiful harbour area.
I thought I had seen most of what Tromsø and the surrounding area had to offer, but it was only on my recent visit last summer that I learnt of the island of Senja....