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“Magical, breathtaking experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of GuideGunnar

GuideGunnar
Ranked #24 of 65 Outdoor Activities in Tromso
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of Norway’s most innovative and experienced tour guides, GuideGunnar is known for his energy and enthusiasm, sharing generously his in-depth, local knowledge of heritage and country. Educated mountain guide, GuideGunnar was one of the first in Arctic Norway to give global travelers a unique experience under the northern lights. Always a forerunner and quality conscious, GuideGunnar presents new tour concepts that combine outdoor activities in Norway’s amazingly pristine environment with the very best in local, nordic food and acccommodation.
Darwin, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Magical, breathtaking experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

Having booked a northern lights tour with Guide Gunnar almost a year in advance you can imagine our absolute delight in seeing the most amazing 10/10 aurora display on 20 March. The entire tour experience from booking to pick-up and drop-off was seamless. The bus trip was comfortable, thermal suits and boots were available if needed. At the viewing location (about 45 minutes drive from Tromso) Gunnar built a fire in the snow and provided delicious hot blackcurrant juice and Norwegian pastries. We were so lucky that the aurora started soon after we got off the bus and continued dancing across the sky until we left at 1.00am! Whilst the weather conditions are totally out of Gunnar's hands, his enthusiasm, expertise and knowledge is invaluable to Tromso visitors and aurora chasers. Thanks Guide Gunnar!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank bnh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cambridge, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent and very professional guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2013

We did 2 nights chasing the northern lights in Tromso, one with Gunnar, and one with another guide.

Gunnar was excellent and very prompt answering emails and orchestrating the booking (and helpful e.g. sending a text to confirm, as we were already away). On the day, he was very professional, giving a bit of background on the lights, showing us on a map where we were going etc. He provided warm drinks and chocolate, and clothes and boots if needed. His minivan was in great condition, fitted with a TV even on which he showed us his short film when we set off. Gunnar was a very good driver, we felt very safe with him (that includes my mother who is terrified of driving on snow/ice), and he even successfully managed to not hit a moose which was in the middle of the road! After the trip, Gunnar promptly sent us some of his best pictures.

Our visit was near the end of March, and Gunnar was alone amongst the guides in setting a later start time, which meant that we didn't find ourselves camped out somewhere watching the sunset... (just to point out the obvious, sun = no lights)

On our trip we basically didn't see anything, which was very sad. There was quite a lot of activity, but the cloud cover and snowfall was just too extreme, and the tiny patches of clear sky occurred in the absence of any lights. Gunnar did point out the comet Pan-Starrs, which was something at least. There were a few specks of northern lights that could just about be seen with a camera, but not for me visible to the naked eye. Fortunately we had seen some previously whilst on a Hurtigruten boat trip, but it did get a bit annoying when he kept saying that there were lights, just only visible on a camera! ;)

In terms of the chase itself, it was a difficult day so hard to judge really, but the locations Gunnar chose were OK, but not the best - the first would have provided a lovely backdrop (view over a fjord), but was on a road! This meant we occasionally got blinded by passing cars, which is definitely not ideal. (Although bonus points for the reindeer nearby). He then took us to his new base camp, but there were quite a few lights on nearby. To be honest we all knew it was hopeless given the weather, so at least there was a toilet... Otherwise he seemed to know the area well and be very experienced, so I think if there had been lights he would have had some great spots.

Overall, I thought Gunnar was excellent and did his best given the circumstances. I would definitely recommend him, and hope to go on a trip with him again if/when I return (I'd love to see the lights again next winter!).

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Tamara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic, amazing, brilliant!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

Myself and partner Shaun booked for an evening of Northern Lights hunting, we were greeted by a smiley, happy enthusiastic Gunnar, from the moment we set off we were encaptured by the scenery and the commentating we were given, Gunnar was determined that we would not be going home until we saw those beautiful shows of lights. We stopped after a couple of hours for a lovely snack and hot drink Gunnar had prepared himself for us. We searched some more until we found an opening in the cloud and the lights began to dance, Gunnar continued to help us focus the cameras to get the best pictures and took pictures of us under the lights using his own camera. After hours of watching well into the early hours we were taken back to our hotel. This night will be remembered forever due to the patience and enthusiasm from this great guide. Thanks Gunnar, we will be back soon.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Shaun_Sam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“BRILLIANT”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2013

Really couldn't ask for more. Guide Gunnar's enthusiasm is absolutely infectious. Previous reviews have covered everything you need to know about the Arctic Lights tours: easy pick-up, drop-off to your door, smaller group, all cold weather suits and shoes suplied, a few tripods available for use, tips on how to get the most out of your camera and which settings to use, and some local delicacies to sample whlst standing around the campfire in -19degrees.

I was travelling on short notice, had read about Gunnar's tours and could see how popular they were with bookings far in advance. I sent off an email asking if there were any canellations could he please let me know. I'm so glad I tried because as it turned out Gunnar had just installed an extra seat in the vehicle, perfect!!

Gunnar also shares a few of his own photos from the night on facebook so even if your photos are a bit ordinary you'll still have some amazing shots.

Gunnar runs a few different tours and has plans to set-up his own base with local experiences and a B&B option. With Gunner, it will be an amazing experience.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank SophieAUSUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Amazing showing of the lights and excellent guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

I went on an aurora tour with Gunnar in late March with my husband. We were picked up on time and in a nice minibus. The minibus was full and had about 12 guests. Gunnar had selected a destination for the evening and it took about an hour to get there. Upon arrival, he offered to assist everyone on the tour with their camera settings. Almost as soon as we stepped out of the minibus, a strong show of the aurora began and continued until we left around 1 or 1:30am. This evening had particularly strong activity and Gunnar worked in conjunction with some of the other guides to predict some exceptionally strong activity that was to come later in the evening. He made sure to stick around so that we could see as much as possible that evening. Further, it was evident that he had a deep knowledge of the aurora as he was able to predict that there was more to be had for the evening and made sure we were in the right location to see it. He took a nice picture of my husband and I with the aurora in the background and also emailed out photos from the night after the tour. He also built a fire to help everyone stay warm and served a tasty goat milk dessert. The minibus wasn't left running so it was important to make sure you had warm gear, but he also had a large supply of boots and thermal suits in the car and offered them to everyone to use during the night. This was our best viewing of the lights during our time in Tromso - of course this is largely due to the solar activity - but the importance of having a guide who puts you in the right place at the right time cannot be understated. I felt that I was in very good hands and would highly recommend his tours to anyone. Thanks Gunnar!!!

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank amycwru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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