For the most striking displays of the northern lights travelling north is essential. For many travellers, this means planning a holiday to Norway, Finland or Iceland but, in true Regent Holidays style, we've found a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity further from the beaten track. You can't get much further north than Svalbard, Norway's far-flung Arctic archipelago, positioned almost exactly halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Winters here are dominated by two phenomena that come hand in hand; the polar nights occur when the sun remains hidden for 24 hours a day and the northern lights flicker across the dark skies with unrivalled intensity all day (and night) long.
This tour stays at the Radission Blu Polar Hotel in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago. From your base at one of the world's northernmost cities, days are spent learning about the fascinating Arctic exploration and coal mining history of Longyearbyen and setting off to discover the snow-covered landscape by motorised snowcat and a dog sled safaris. For the best opportunities to experience the northern lights, experienced guides lead trips that set out into the darkness, through frozen valleys and around mountains. One evening is spent enjoying dinner around a fire at the remote wooden huts of Camp Barentz, where it's as easy to pop outside when the aurora borealis comes out to play as it is to nip back inside to warm up.
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