NEW! SLEEP IN A GLASS IGLOO FROZEN INTO A GLACIAL LAGOON ON A PRIVATE HOLIDAY IN ICELAND

“Glacier Lagoon Adventure Program” Offers Distinctive Way to View the Northern Lights on Your Own Private Tour of the Glacial Area

 Available for booking now for dates from mid-January through March 2023, two new glass igloos frozen into a secluded lagoon will open to guests for their first winter offering the chance to sleep next to a glacier in Iceland. Part of an exclusive, private tour from  Northern Lights specialists Off the Map Travel,  the “igloo boats” are accessible only by boat or all-terrain vehicles and float during the summer months and freeze into the ice as the temperatures fall.

The new fully guided five-night/six-day Private Glacier Lagoon Adventure  program allows guests to overnight on the lagoon by the Vatnajokull glacier for the first time and has been designed to optimize the possibility of experiencing the Northern Lights. This program is an exclusive one, designed for the utmost in luxury and adventure, with a guide at your disposal at all times for recommendations and excursions including a private glacier hike and sightseeing.

From a hidden (and dark) part of the Fjallsarlon glacial lagoon on the southern coast of Iceland, the transparent igloos sit in a position where watching the stars and Icelandic Northern Lights becomes the focus of the evening. The new experience takes full advantage of this dark setting as there is no light pollution and the igloos have panoramic glass walls for uninterrupted views north.

Isolated from tourists in an uninhabited corner of Iceland, the new igloos encourage connection with nature and the stunning snow-covered wilderness. The igloos measure nine square meters and come equipped with a cozy and generous double bed, bathroom, panoramic windows, Wi-Fi and hot drinks. The igloos are warmed by central heating, ensuring comfortable night sky viewing.

“This is a magical way to experience the Northern Lights and the quiet beauty of the Scandinavian winter wilderness,” says Alex Minnis, Chief Operations Officer of Off the Map Travel. “It’s pretty amazing to sleep secluded in an igloo that’s been frozen into a lagoon of glacial meltwater. You get a true feeling of the imposing glacier framed by the vast star-filled arctic sky. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll see the dancing Aurora Borealis.”

Itinerary

The new five-night, six-day Private Glacier Lagoon Adventure includes a night in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, followed by a guided road trip with driver to Myrdalsjokull with breath-taking views of the southern coastline. Guests will then enjoy a privately guided scenic tour and dinner at the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon before spending a night beneath the sky in a private glass igloo overlooking the stunning Vatnajokull glacier. 

During the day, guests can choose to marvel at the glacier up close or visit nearby Diamond Beach with its black sand and scattering of sparkling shards of ice.

Northern lights Hotel Rangá

After the igloo night on the lagoon, guests will continue along the coast to Hotel Ranga for the final night of the program.

The private five-night, six-day Glacier Lagoon Adventure trip is priced at $8799 USD per person at the time of this writing, based on two people traveling. This includes all accommodations, a private boat tour to an island with Champagne and lunch, a guided trip to a special location to be determined by weather and seasonal conditions, a private guide and driver for the duration of the itinerary, and daily breakfast. For more information visit https://www.offthemap.travel/glacier-lagoon-adventure/

Detailed itinerary – Private Glacial Lagoon Adventure

Day 1

Arrive into Reykjavik and meet your driver for your at the Hotel Borg in the city center and tour. With the guidance and recommendations of your guide, spend the evening at leisure exploring the city’s museums, restaurants and more. 

Day 2

Join your driver once again for a scenic journey to Myrdalsjokull (approx 2.5 hours) along the southern coastline. The glacier in the south of the Icelandic highlands is the country’s fourth largest ice cap, covering nearly 232 square miles, with a highest peak of 1500 meters. It sits atop the notorious and explosive volcano Katla. After, head to Hotel Katla for the evening and overnight.

Day 3

In the morning you will join your guide once again for a tour to explore the most accessible location on the day — perhaps Hekla Volcano or Landmannalaugar. Upon returning back from your day trip, you will then journey to the Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon where you can check-in and have an early dinner before heading to Fjallsarlon for a unique overnight adventure staying in your “igloo boat” overlooking the stunning Vatnajokull glacier.

Day 4 

This day is all about glaciers. The day begins with a drive to your private glacier hike along Skaftafell. This outlet glacier extends from Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe.

Day 5 

Travel back along the coastal road stopping at the various viewpoints and natural wonders on the way to Hotel Ranga (approx 3 hours). Relax at the hotel before dinner in the restaurant. 

Day 6

Your driver will return you to Reykjavik Airport (approx 2 hours) for your return flight home. Option to extend your stay if you wish.

OFF THE MAP TRAVEL

The team at Off the Map Travel works with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of our planet. Specializing in Soft Adventure OTMT creates tailor-made holiday itineraries offering authentic experiences not offered by many larger travel companies.  For more information on Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 1-646-701-0041; email info@offthemap.travel  or join in the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube or Pinterest

NORTHERN LIGHTS IN STYLE & COMFORT

Skip the Expedition – Enjoy the Comfort of a Private Tour and Lodge with a Glass-Fronted Sauna

The new five-day/four-night A Polar Night adventure takes you close to the North Pole with a private tour and stay in comfort and isolation at the Juva Cabin in Svalbard, Norway. Launched by specialist travel company Off the Map Travel, the exclusive program brings adventurous travelers in search of the Northern Lights to a remote area with 24-hour darkness and a complete absence of light pollution where chances to see the Aurora are strongest. Only accessible in the snow during the winter months, Juva Cabin is the most remote comfort-oriented tourist accommodation in Svalbard.

The secluded cabin is positioned strategically to deliver the best possible views of Svalbard’s wild, pristine scenery, and optimal viewing of the Aurora. Equipped with cushy beds, a fireplace, a Scandinavian-styled lounge room, kitchen, and a barrel-shaped standalone wood sauna, the Juva Cabin allows for comfort in an Arctic experience.

Customized by Aurora Experts

Designed by Off the Map Travel’s Aurora experts, A Polar Night takes travelers to a remote location marked by a dark, clear sky. Optimizing the possibility of witnessing the colorful Northern Lights, the program offers guests a comfortable experience, different from that of a traditional Arctic expedition. Beginning in Oslo, the program travels North to Svalbard, an archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.

“To have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights you need a polar sky. Where the sun never rises, going as far north as possible, there’s greater possibility of viewing the brilliant colors,” noted Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel.

Priced from £2699 ($3252.54 USD per person at the time of this writing), based on two people travelling, the program is available from January to May and includes all meals, one night’s lodging in Oslo’s boutique Amerikalinjen Hotel, two night’s lodging in Funken Lodge in Longyearbyen, one night in Juva Cabin in Svalbard, transfers, and all activities. Flights are additional.

Program Summary

After a night in Oslo’s premier boutique hotel, the Arctic portion begins with a night at Funken Lodge, a luxury accommodation located in Longyearbyen, a small coal-mining town on Spitsbergen Island overlooking the Lars- and Longyear glaciers. The evening kicks off the Northern Lights search with a panoramic ice-and-snow filled tour on a snowcat.

From Funken Lodge, guests meet a dog sled team that will take them to the Juva Cabin in Svalbard. Once there, guests can cozy up by the fire or head to the barrel-shaped, glass-fronted sauna which offers panoramic views of the mountains.

Following breakfast, guests will mush their way back to the dog kennels before returning for a final night at Funken Lodge and dinner at the lodge’s international-cuisine Funktionaermessen Restaurant. The restaurant’s onsite Champagne cellar is a special attraction.

As with any itinerary from Off the Map Travel, the program can be customized to fit the wishes and requirements of the guest.

For more information visit www.offthemap.travel, call 1-646-701-0041 or email info@offthemap.travel

Full itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Oslo and make your way to the city center to your centrally located hotel, Amerikalinjen. Check into your superior room and get settled before heading out for dinner at one of the city’s many restaurants.

Day 2

Check out for your flight north to Svalbard. On arrival into Longyearbyen, you will meet your private transfer who will take you to the luxurious Scandinavian-designed Funken Lodge. Check in before heading out to explore the city. This evening you will head out on a panoramic snowcat tour to the viewpoint of ‘Linken’ on the side of the mountain ‘Hiorthfjellet’ on the other side of Adventdalen to take in the views of Longyearbyen.

Day 3

Today, after breakfast, you will meet your guide who will drive you to the kennels to meet your dog sled team. You will set off with the dogs and follow the riverbed that heads into Bolterdalen, surrounded by mountains. As you travel through the valley you will find a place to stop for lunch and after an enjoyable day behind the sleds, you will arrive at the new Juva Cabin in the heart of the wilderness, equipped with electricity, bedrooms, lounge room and kitchen. January offers the possibility of 24-hour Northern Lights searching. In February, March, April and May, the light is particularly magical, with limited hours of daylight. Unharness and feed the dogs, before enjoying your dinner in your comfortable cabin where you can relax and warm up in front of the fire. For more viewing in a warm, secure setting, the outside barrel-shaped sauna offers large glass windows facing the night sky.

Day 4

After breakfast, it’s time to get the dogs ready to head back to Longyearbyen. You will head west and mush your way into Helvetiadalen before you make your way back towards Bolterdalen. Relax in Longyearbyen prior to dinner at Funken Lodge’s own restaurant, or opt for a reservation at a town restaurant such as Huset.

Day 5 

Check out for your private transfer to the airport.

OFF THE MAP TRAVEL

The team at Off the Map Travel works with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of our planet. Specializing in Soft Adventure OTMT creates tailor-made holiday itineraries offering authentic experiences not offered by many larger travel companies.  For more information on Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 1-646-701-0041; email info@offthemap.travel  or join in the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube or Pinterest.

Explore Norway’s Senja Island From Air, Land and Sea

A new autumn adventure has launched in northern Norway, providing an exclusive opportunity to experience the Arctic from three perspectives — from the air in a private helicopter, on land while hiking and e-biking across dramatic coastal mountaintops, and on the water and under water to meet Arctic aquatic life.

The five-day Senja Autumn Adventure has been created by specialist travel company Off the Map Travel for an exclusive holiday of relaxation and unusual experiences including snorkeling by the fjords.

Senja is Norway’s second largest island and a revelation to travelers to the Arctic. The itinerary has been specially curated for the autumn temperate weather to combine a variety of activities and excursions to showcase Senja in multiple ways. And maybe offer a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

A mountainous island blessed with dramatic topography, Senja is Norway’s jewel when it comes to views, especially in autumn when it presents a palette of dark browns and greens from the mountains and sparkling turquoise from the sea.

The program begins in Trømso, dubbed “the Paris of the North” for its fashion, food and culture. Then the true adventure begins with a helicopter ride to Senja traveling above the island’s mountains and plateaus before landing in the small fishing village of Mefjordvaer on the Northwest coast.

“Senja is one of those unknown areas of the world, an unspoiled part of Norway, bursting with color and dramatic scenery,” commented Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel. “This is a special chance to experience Senja from multiple sensory angles. Our program is designed to consider every traveler’s wish and maybe even provide a glimpse of early Northern Lights.”

All meals are included with North Norwegian favorites like reindeer shank and Skreigrunn cod. Accommodations are at Mefjord Brygge, a resort village with hotel rooms, apartments and cabins, a location favored by nature lovers, adventure seekers, photographers and hikers. Guests have access to a wellness area with sauna, outdoor hot tub and solarium, an idyllic area for relaxing and soaking up the 360 degree views. A private pier overlooks a fjord that attracts local wildlife and has even more views of the rugged mountains on every side.

Water-based activities include a private boat trip to explore the island and search out seals playing beneath the surf, a visit to view salmon shoals, and an Off the Map Travel “exclusive experience” — snorkeling in some of Senja’s crystal clear bays and inlets with the opportunity to explore Røst Reef, a cold-water coral reef and home to many distinctive species of fish.

As well as being a wild fauna and flora sanctuary, Senja is a paradise for bird watchers with a mix of marine birds, sea eagles, falcons and golden eagles.

Guests will also enjoy an e-bike tour through the mountains, accessing jaw-dropping viewpoints from the cliff edge and taking in the changing shades of the water along the coast before arriving at a secluded beach for a private-dining, chef-created experience of locally sourced seafood and ingredients.

The five-day, four-night Senja Autumn Adventure itinerary is priced from £5499 per person ($7149 USD at the time of this writing), based on double occupancy, including all activities, all meals, private chef for the secluded beach meal only, transfers, one night’s hotel accommodation in Trømso and three nights’ accommodation in Senja. Flights are additional.

Itinerary Detail

Day 1: Arrive in Trømso for the first night and spend the evening exploring the city. Take a short walk to the stunning viewpoints looking down over the city and maybe watch the sun before dinner at one of the many amazing restaurants on offer. Depending when you arrive, there may be the option of an excursion or boat trip, too.

Day 2: After checking out, a short transfer to the airport will take you to your helicopter to take you across the stunning landscape to Senja. If helicopters aren’t your thing, your Adventure Artist can arrange alternative transport. In Senja, relax and settle into your accommodation before setting out on foot to explore Mefjordvaer, a small fishing village. Enjoy a leisurely dinner with beautiful views.

Day 3: After breakfast, gear up for a day trip on your own private boat to explore this beautiful island from the ocean. You’ll have your own crew and the option to head out in the morning or evening for three hours. Then it’s time to relax and enjoy your surroundings and another delicious dinner.

Day 4: For your final day in Senja, there is a special day planned for you with an activity exclusive to Off the Map Travel. You will be picked up by private boat transfer after breakfast and taken to Torsken, a rugged area on the west coast of Senja. Upon arrival you will experience an ‘underwater fjord tour’ in various bays and water inlets, a snorkeling experience giving you the opportunity to explore Senja’s crystal-clear waters. You will see a variety of sea anemones and flowers, and explore shallow coral reefs that are home to fish and starfish. You can then head up river to see salmon and visit a larger bay where you may even see seals playing beneath the surf. You are likely to see sea eagles too. Once finished, you can enjoy lunch before setting out on a beautiful e-bike tour through the fjords to a secluded beach for a private dinner prepared by your own, personal chef.

Day 5: After breakfast, transfer to Trømso via air, land or sea, taking in the beautiful landscape as you go. If you’re not ready for the adventure to end, speak to one of the team to see how they can tailor the trip for you.

OFF THE MAP TRAVEL

The team at Off the Map Travel works with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of our planet. Specializing in Soft Adventure OTMT creates tailor-made holiday itineraries offering authentic experiences not offered by many larger travel companies.  For more information on Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 1-646-701-0041; email info@offthemap.travel  or join in the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube or Pinterest

For more information visit www.offthemap.travel, call 1-646-701-0041 or email info@offthemap.travel   

EXPLORE THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS AND MOUNTAINS ON AN ELECTRIC SUPERCAR ROAD TRIP

Weeklong program is an eco-sensitive, road-tripping adventure in a Porsche.

If you’re a fan of adventure and luxury cars, this new supercar driving program is for you.  Adding the glide of a luxury electric car, you’ll travel through Norwegian fjords and the Sunnmore Alps on a supercar road trip, enjoying empty open roads and breathtaking scenery behind the wheel of an electric Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.  The route is pre-programmed; you do the driving.

Driving the roads along mountain passes, bridges and labyrinthine tunnels will amp up the adrenaline of any driving enthusiast. And this time, it’s done in the most sustainable, exhilarating fashion–in an electric supercar of the highest renown.

The seven-day Drive the Fjords supercar adventure–available on June 12; August  7; and September 4, 11, 18 — has been created by specialist travel company Off the Map Travel to showcase  Norway’s National Tourist Routes in the Fjords, an exciting adventure of extreme roads that are renowned as some of the best in terms of views, engineering, and. Should you decide to go for the ultimate splurge, a private version of the program is also available.

Pre-Programmed Routes Through Mountains and Fjords

Delivering a racetrack experience along the edge of the fjords, the emission-free electric supercar Porsche comes equipped with pre-programmed routes that journey through Norway’s stunning fjords and mountains.

The Porsche has room to hold everything needed for the six-day trip. An engineering marvel, it smoothly handles the winding mountain and forest routes that have inspired Norwegian folklore. Set the car on cruise control, feel the power, and take in the ever-changing scenery outside.

Enjoy a night in the art nouveau town of Alesund, where a boat ride among the fjords provides an extra sense of adventure. A night in a traditional Sami tent deep in the pine forests plus all hotel accommodations along the route support the program’s sustainability emphasis. All provide eco-toiletries in the rooms, locally sourced produce in the restaurants, and use only electric or hybrid vehicles. Onsite chargers are provided for your vehicle.

“We created this program for guests to travel through the stunning Norwegian fjords in a stylish and comfortable manner without impacting the environment,” said Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel.

PhotoCredit_BrandonScottHerrell.

Inclusions

The adventure aspect of the trip is paramount. Travelers will journey along the spectacular Atlantic Road known as “the road across the sea” with its imposing seven bridges and network of tunnels, travel deep into the magnificent mountains to the Troll Wall, the largest rock wall in Europe; take a ferry into the gaping Geiranger fjord; journey up a gondola for the views of the North Atlantic; and experience the fjords from the sky in a private helicopter.

The cutting-edge electric supercar achieves 283 miles on a charge and has a built-in “charging planner” that calculates the optimum route based on your charge status.

The menu each day features the region’s best local cuisine including seafood from hyper-local purveyors.

The seven-day, six-night drive the fjords itinerary is priced from £7899 per person ($9747 USD at the time of this writing) including all meals and accomodations, based on double occupancy; with accommodations in Brosundet, Storfjord and Union Oye; transfers; all activities; and use of the electric Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. Flights are additional.

Full itinerary:

PhotoCredit_ThomasEkstrøm

Day 1: 

Arrive in Alesund. From the window of your aircraft, you’ll see the crystal clear fjords and jagged peaks of the Sunnmore Alps.

Transfer from the airport to the art nouveau town of Alesund to check into Hotel Brosundet. Once settled, you will board a boat and head out into the fjords to Flatsea lighthouse. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the lighthouse and make use of the jacuzzi and sauna before heading back to your hotel for dinner in Apotekergata No. 5.

Day 2: 

In the morning, check out and meet your driver who will take you to Hotel Storfjord in the town of Storfjord. Enjoy a welcome cocktail at the Lavvu, a traditional Sami tent set deep in the pine forests surrounding the hotel. Take in your surroundings and learn about some of the highlights of the trip ahead. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing and maybe head to the spa.

Day 3: 

After breakfast it’s time to start your personal driving adventure along the North Atlantic Drive, described as  one of the most scenic drives in the world. It’s also the perfect challenge. According to Dangerous Roads, “driving along this road is like teetering on the edge of the sea.”

There are eight bridges on the Atlanterhavsveien (Atlantic Road) but the most dramatic–as well as a marvel of engineering–is the  Storseisundet Bridge which at times it appears to just drop off completely into the surrounding waters. the road travels from island to island, whales and seals can often be sighted near the shore and birds soar overhead. The Storfjord Hotel provides a picnic basket brimming with local cheese, meats, berries and sparkling wine so find a place to enjoy the breath-taking scenery and look for whales and seals and soaring birds. Take note on your way back, of the rugged Sunmore peaks dotting the horizon and the beautiful colors of the sunset on the water.

Savor the realization that this will be your playground for the next few days as your adventure takes you deeper and deeper into this land of fjords.

Day 4: 

Head to the mountains of Romsdal. The first stop will be at the Troll Wall, the highest rock wall in Europe. Enjoy pastries packed by the kitchen and continue deeper into the mountains where the Trollstigen will appear with a winding road up to the summit. This is one of the most magnificent vantage points in Norway. Descend into the Valdel Valley which will lead you back to the fjords.

A ferry to Stranda offers a glimpse of things to come as the fjords get narrower and deeper. Pause at the view point between the tunnels and stare directly into the gaping chasm of the Geiranger fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site The final destination is Union Oye – an historic royal oasis that opened in 1891 and is nestled at the end of the valley.

Check in and enjoy a delicious dinner. Relax and enjoy an after dinner drink at the Palmehagen, the hotel’s enchanting bar known for its vintage cocktails.

Day 5: 

After a night’s rest and breakfast that includes locally sourced foods, continue on along the winding roads heading west along the coastline to Stryn, Here, take Loen Skylift from Fjord Norway to Mt. Hoven where you can enjoy lunch and the panoramic views of Mt. Skåla and Lake Lovatnet to the east and Jostedalsbreen Glacier and Olden to the south.

Photo Credit Marius Beck Dahle

Then hit the road again, moving inland to the fjord hamlet of Geiranger. Board the ferry, sit back and enjoy a cruise through the grandest fjord of them all with waterfalls cascading off the mountains. Disembark at Hellesylt and drive to Union Oye.

Day 6:

 A visit to the Sunmore region celebrates the seafood heritage of the region including a visit to an island off the west coast for a five-course seafood dinner. On the return journey, skirt Storfjord as you arrive back for your final meal.

Day 7: 

For the final morning you’ll say farewell to you luxe Porsche supercar and take to the skies for an aerial tour of the roads you’ve traveled. This trip provides an immersive experience aboard the helicopter as it weaves in and out of the fjords high above the mountain peaks. At the end, a private driver will transport you to Alesund Vigra Airport for your departure.

Photo credit-Marius-Beck-Dahle

OFF THE MAP TRAVEL

The team at Off the Map Travel works with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of our planet. Specializing in Soft Adventure OTMT creates tailor-made holiday itineraries offering authentic experiences not offered by many larger travel companies.  For more information on Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 1-646-701-0041; email info@offthemap.travel  or join in the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube or Pinterest

Northern Exposure: Soft Adventure Under the Aurora

It’s time to go adventuring with Off the Map Travel’s Reconnect under the Aurora—the ultimate soft adventure Arctic Northern Lights glamping experience for families and friends.

Designed for one group traveling together to ensure safety and social distancing, the Reconnect under the Aurora experience in Sweden is a bucket list adventure taking place in the land of the Northern Lights.  

 Created for families with children four years and older, the luxury four-night program starts with a flight into Lulea Airport and then transferring for a snowmobile safari through the majestic countryside and across a frozen river to Aurora Safari Camp. Here the luxurious accommodations begin with a stay in a new aurora lavvu, a traditional tepee used by the nomadic Sami people. Each 325-square-foot lavvu has room for up to four guests and is winterized with a large “aurora window” which delivers awe-inspiring views of the Northern Lights. The lavvu also features wood and automatic fuel burners to keep guests cozy during their stay. 

“The newly upgraded lavvu accommodations are not only warm, inviting and beautifully furnished, but they also all face north to get the best views of the Northern Lights,” says Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel, the designer and exclusive provider of the experience.  “The large, clear Northern Lights panel in the side of the lavvu brings an immersive connection with the wilderness and the Arctic culture meaning you’ll never miss a second when searching for the Aurora.”

The second part of the experience features a stay in a log cabin at Arctic Retreat deep in the sub-Arctic woods. Other Instagram worth parts of the holiday include interacting with reindeer, dog sledding, a sled ride, a sauna experience frozen into the lake and more snowmobiling.  

Children aged 4-eleven are entertained by an expert Sami guide who teaches traditional survival skills such as how to make Gáhkko bread over a campfire. Older children have the opportunity to learn how to ice fish as well as how to stay safe and dry in the Arctic winter climate. 

Reconnect Under the Aurora is a chance to unwind, be together as a family in a totally immersive experience unlike any other.

The five- day, four-night, “Reconnect under the Aurora” package is available until March 2022 and is offered exclusively by Off the Map Travel. Priced from $9145 per person and based on six people with total exclusivity for all activities. The package includes all meals, transfers, two nights in an Aurora lavvu, two nights in a luxurious private cabin at the Arctic Retreat, and more. Flights are additional.