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“Northern Lights” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Arctic Guide Service Day Tours

Arctic Guide Service Day Tours
Bankgata 1, Tromso 9008, Norway
+47 922 07 901
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Ranked #12 of 58 Activities in Tromso
Attraction details
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Northern Lights”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

Tromso was our second destination in 2013 chasing the elusive Norther Lights, after a failed but excellent weekend in Rekjavic, Iceland. You can imagine our disappointment when we were met by snow and rain and a poor forecast for the weekend. Fortunately we were given encouragement by Arctic Guide Services who explained that in Tromso they have the benefit of both coastal and inland weather systems, so with the expert guidance of Jack and Oliver, we ended up on the Finnish boarder seeing a good Northen Light show. Throughout the trip the guys gave us information on the Northern Lights and were in constant touch with various weather websites to find the 'whole' in the weather. If you want to maximise your chances of seeing the Lights, make sure you ask for and are on Jack and Oliver's tour.

Visited February 2013
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204 reviews from our community

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English first
Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“We saw the lights!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We were very happy with the service provided. The guides gave interesting talks during the coach journey. We knew that there was a chance that we would not see the lights, but were very happy when we did. The guides gave lots of good tips so that you could take your own photos and even offered to set visitors' cameras up for them too. I will probably buy one of their prints anyway, just because it's so lovely. If you have a tripod take it along with you, as you will need to use a long exposure. You need to know that you cannot wear too many clothes; it is FREEZING waiting for the lights, although you can get back onto the warm bus at any time for a little break. Wear everything you own! You get hot chocolate and cookies too, before the drive back to town. It's a great way to spend an evening.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Curitiba, PR
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“I would not do it again”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

Having tried this tour and a smaller one, I would say go in a smaller group. After driving for something like 40 minutes, we stopped by the fjord where the guide had spotted some activity. That night we had clear skies and moderate activity (3 in a scale of 0-9) but the pictures look far better than what we actually were able to see across the fjord. It seemed so distant. Instead of heading somewhere else, we just stood there by the road (which is not recommended) for hours. The thing is buses have limited mobility and they are difficult to park. They will not go to the isolated places where chances of seeing the Northern Lights are better. The impression I had is they will park where they find a spot.

Visited February 2013
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Dublin, Ireland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Very Exciting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

I went with Arctic Guide Service on the 3rd Feb 2013. My excitement was infectious. This was my first time in Tromso after living a childhood dream of seeing the all famous Northern Lights as they are most commonly known, in Tromso. I still like to call her “Aurora Borealis”.

We had a fantastic Tour Guide called “Francesco” he was superb and full of answers if we had any questions, His English was very good. He was very informative and gave us lots of explanations of the whole set up of the northern lights. How it all works, it was just fantastic. Even I did my research before I went, but I still had more to learn. Francesco was more than happy to help with the photography end of things too. He gave everyone help with their cameras and settings which was absolutely fantastic. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Francesco. You made my night MAGICAL.

We stayed out way past our time, there was no fuss about going home, and if we found the lights we stayed out. We did a lot of travelling that night as with all the advice that has been given Re: Aurora – She is so unpredictable. And that statement is so true. We hunted her down a few times even though it was a bit cloudy but we got some chances to see her dance. We stopped at some very nice locations too. It was great and the cookies and hot chocolate were very nice too. However I would bring a packed lunch for those who may get hungry.

10 out of 10 guys thank you so much.

Lisa Kelly :-) A very happy Customer.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
51 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Guides take priority! Less able are ignored”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I booked three trips - each night I was in Tromso. After having to sign the disclaimer which absolves the company of everything I was allowed on the bus! The feeling was that this is a 'pack them in and get them there' approach. To be fair they listen to and follow predictions of sightings and weather reports for clear skies but that is the only bit of help available. I am disabled - and this was known by the company when I booked. I can get about with walking aids and try not to ask for help preferring to be as independant as possible. But there are times when a little help is needed/welcomed. By the time I was off the bus (no priority seats for disabled or a helping hand) the group had disappeared down a hill and I was left stranded in the parking lot with the light pollution from passing cars and the buses - not to mention the exhaust fumes. The guides are professional photographers and plug their website and your ability to buy their photos constantly and they were only concerned with this. Passengers were a nuisance. I don't think the guides even realized that one of their passengers was missing!

On the second night sadly it was the same guide. We went to a different place and the same thing happened; I was left in a well-lit layby as everyone disappeared up a hill. I would have had no chance of seeing what turned out to be a spectacular display if it hadn't been for a local couple who helped me up the hill and made sure I was safe and able to enjoy the display. We were told to keep light to a minimum and not use flashes/flash lights because of the effects on people's photos and distorting night vision - but it was perfectly fine for the guides to set up in front of passengers and use lights continually as they took their special portraits to sell. Had it not been for a guide from another company I would still be stuck on the hill because I needed help to come down the steep icy hill.

The third night there were different guides but the same thing happened. This time I wasn't stranded alone as a few others were unable to get down the slope in the dark.

The company are happy to take your money but that is the end of the service. The guides are their for their convenience and give littel regard for the safety of the passengers and are blind to those who may need a little help.

They visit the same sights mostly so why not do as I noticed other companies did elsewhere and make a stepped path in the snow which would help able-bodied (as described in other reviews) as well as those less able. The company should also learn customer service techniques.

My advice is to search out other companies (although this seems to have the mass market).

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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