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Trian with aurora borealis
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This Arctic train trip could be the best way to see the aurora

The new Northern Lights rail adventure takes in Scandinavia’s most spectacular routes

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Look, we know it’s only just been summer, but now’s also the perfect time to start thinking about a winter getaway. Few things will be on quite so many frosty bucket lists as having the chance to see the aurora borealis: the dazzling polar light show known as the Northern Lights. And now, excitingly, there’s a super-luxurious way to see it: by train.

A new package by travel company Vacations By Rail is offering an 11-day trip on some of Scandinavia’s most stunning train lines, many of which are famed for their opportunities for viewing the aurora borealis. 

Here’s an outline of the trip. You’ll start in the Norwegian capital of Oslo before going up to Trondheim, from where you’ll catch the Nordland Express: a train that pitches its way north for 452 miles all the way to the Arctic Circle and the town of Bodø.

You’ll then take a ferry up to the Lofoten Islands, which are renowned for being among the best viewing sites for the Northern Lights in the entire world, before coming back to the Norwegian mainland and taking the Ofoten Railway over the border to Kiruna in Swedish Lapland.

There’s never a dead certainty that you’ll see the Northern Lights, which are caused by particles from the sun colliding with the Earth’s atmosphere. However, given the amount of time you’ll spend on Vacations By Rail’s tour in prime borealis-spotting country, you’re giving yourself as good chances as you can really get.

Also included in the trip are scenic drives around the Loftens, tours of magnificent fjords, a husky-pulled sled ride and a night in Kiruna’s famous Ice Hotel. In other words, even if it’s cloudy the whole time, this is a pretty unmissable tour.

Vacations By Rail’s next load of aurora-spotting trips will start in January 2023 and prices start from $3,295 (£2,864) per person, though you can get $350 (£304) off if you book before September 9. Find out more here – and get planning a borealis bonanza.

Want to plan your own trip? These are the best places around the world to see the aurora.

Plus: this dreamy new night train will go from Amsterdam all the way to the Austrian Alps.

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