Hear me out, because there are three things at play here:
- Earlier this year I posted about my goal of seeing the Northern Lights, something I’ve yet to witness in my travels.
- Icelandair flies nonstop to my new home airport, and I’m intrigued every time I see their planes parked on the tarmac.
- I’ve also always wanted to visit Iceland, though assumed I’d end up going there in the summer. Then again, that’s when everyone goes, which also translates to much higher airfare and hotel costs (I’m not a betting man, though I’d guess it has something to do with the 21 hour days and temperatures in the 50s).
But Iceland really isn’t that far from Seattle, and it just seems like an awesome weekend trip. I’m looking at two different options.
The first option is to book one of the mighty tempting packages that Icelandair promotes. For example, on their website right now they’re promoting the “Northern Lights Off-Road Adventure,” which starts at $769.
I’d probably “upgrade” to the package which includes the Hilton Reykjavik, which costs $894 per person (assuming double occupancy).
The package includes the following:
- Round-trip air on Icelandair from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Washington DC (IAD), Denver (DEN) and Seattle (SEA).
- Three nights accommodation
- Scandinavian buffet breakfast daily except arrival
- Guided Off-road tour in specially-equipped LandRover (or similar, based on availability) vehicles (about 5 -7 passengers in each, with driver-guide) in search of Northern lights.
- Sample of Icelandic schnapps during tour
- Lobster feast dinner at seacoast restaurant
- Evening Northern Lights hunt (sightings not guaranteed)
- Airport taxes and fuel surcharges
My other thought was to just book flights and the hotels separately. Roundtrip airfare to Iceland is just ~$604 in the off season, and I’d even earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles. Besides, is there anyone that wouldn’t want to read a coach trip report? 😉
So what do you guys think? Am I nuts? I mean, what could possibly go wrong with traveling during a month where days are nearly four hours long and the average temperatures are below freezing? Anyone know what my actual chances are of seeing the Northern Lights in January?
As a reminder, I’m from Florida. Please talk me out of this. Because I’m pretty close to pulling the trigger on this one…