northern lights in november

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by upupandaway7, Sep 9, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. upupandaway7

    upupandaway7 Active Member

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    hello all,
    planning to visit europe to for 4-5 days in november....want to go to a place where we can see the northern lights.(i guess its norway,sweden,iceland etc)

    which mile programs can be used for hote;s there/cruises/flights?
    any help is really appreciated.

    i have 60k united points and 50k+ chase sapphire points and 50k + hilton points.
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Starting where?

    With 60K UA points you should be able to get a coach seat from the USA to anywhere in Europe (pending availability, of course). And I don't know how far 50K HH points go these days but I'm guessing not very.

    Another destination to consider - particularly if you also like outdoor activity and you're starting in North America - is Yellowknife, Canada. That's where I went a couple years ago and it was a very nice experience. Award seats on AC weren't too hard to come by, either.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. upupandaway7

    upupandaway7 Active Member

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    beautiful... did you go in november? which time of the year did you go?

    Sry,starting at NYC....
     
  4. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    Unfortunately the Hilton foot print in Scandinavia is not existent basically since Scandic left the chain. They still have couple of hotels but nowhere near where you can see the Northern lights.

    You can get up north in Norway with United miles on star alliance. Way back in my past I spent a month in Tromsø where you can see the lights (been there in the summer with 24 hours sunlight, amazing), but as it was part of student exchange programs I did not stay in hotel. I'm sure there are some in town but none that I can recall. Just be ready for it to be cold in November with averages below zero.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I was there on our Thanksgiving; end of November. And it was pretty cold up there, too.
     
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  6. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Choice has a lot of very nice hotels in Scandanavia, and you can redeem Choice Privileges points for them for excellent value. The brand there is quite different from the brand within the US. Check out the properties at www.nordicchoicehotels.com. (Select the flag dropdown to change the language to English.)

    Buying points outright ($11 per 1K) can be cheaper than paying for some hotels there. However, you can only buy up to 20K Choice points per year, so one person can't buy enough points for multiple nights with most hotels at around 16K in November in Norway.

    Amtrak, Diners Club, and Amex Membership Rewards points can be converted into Choice, though some of these transfers are a very poor value. I don't think that there are any decent airline-to-hotel transfer options.

    IIUC, you could transfer your Chase points to Amtrak at a 1:1 ratio. Then transfer Amtrak to Choice at 1:3 ratio. So 5K Chase points would become 15K CP points. (ETA: Wandering Aramean points out that this option is restricted to Amtrak elites or Amtrak MasterCard holders only.)
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Unless thinks have changed recently transferring out of Amtrak requires one to be an Amtrak elite or to carry their CC (and possibly have Amtrak spend on it). I wouldn't bet on this path working.
     
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  8. thegrailer
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    thegrailer Silver Member

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    There is always the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen, Longyearbyen and a ton of Club Carlson points floating around. My goal is to get here during a time of either all sunlight or all darkness. :)

    http://www.radissonblu.com/hotel-spitsbergen

    Cheers
     
  9. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    Former resident of a Nordic country...

    Your best bet is askew hotel loyalty and focus more on location. The best places to see the lights don't have big chain hotels. Also, the lights are so fickle that it can take 30 days between occurrences.

    Best spots:

    Way North Finalnd. Head north of Ruka into Finnish Lapland. There is a cool hotel up there that lets you sleep in glass igloos so you can see the lights.

    Hammerfest in Norway. Northern most city in Europe (if not the world).

    Iceland- your best bet for a chain hotel but the best viewing is out of the city. Better pack a jacket ;)
     
  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Looking north, I see Svalbart looming much further north. :)

    I assume that's true anywhere? (Canada, Alaska, northern Europe, ...) In other words, accept the chance of freezing one's sweet patootie off without seeing the show?
     
  11. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    http://www.gi.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast

    Look on the bottom left - you can click on various maps, including the entire northern circle - you can also "next" for daily forecasts over the next several days.
     
  12. OceanBreezes

    OceanBreezes Gold Member

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    Are the glass igloos heated? Seeing the Northern Lights is in my bucket list, but I am a wimp when it comes to being cold. I would love to find a place that has an observation area where I could stay warm. Does such a place exist?
     
  13. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    Yes, they are heated!

    [​IMG]

    You're going to have to be outside if you want to see them. You're warmth level is equal to the amount of warm clothes you bring.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There is a heated option in Yellowknife, too. You get on a bus with mostly Japanese tourists and go out to a compound an hour out of town. They have heated "pods" which are basically seats with butt warmers. I'd skip that completely and find a good, dark area on your own. And wear a few extra layers.
     
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  15. upupandaway7

    upupandaway7 Active Member

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    Thanks.Will look at this.
     
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  16. upupandaway7

    upupandaway7 Active Member

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    Thanks everyone. Great posts. Happy to pay cash and go to places like this as this isa one of a kind experience.
     
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  17. upupandaway7

    upupandaway7 Active Member

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  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Has anyone been to Fairbanks, AK for northern lights watching?
     
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  19. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    FYI, it doesn't have to be cold to see the Northern Lights. I've been fortunate enough to see them a number of times in all different kinds of temps (far sub zero temps to 70F)
     
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  20. upupandaway7

    upupandaway7 Active Member

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    Hi livefastdiefun,Where did you book these from online? How did you get there
     
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  21. livefastdiefun

    livefastdiefun Silver Member

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    I had an unfair advantage as I was living in Finland at the time. Your best bet is to fly into Helsinki and then depending on your comfort level either fly/dive/bus/train to Rovaniemi or Ivalo. Finnair has a daily flight to Ivalo or there is a bus & train that does the same trip but terminates in Rovaniemi.

    you can find the hotel here: http://www.kakslauttanen.fi/en/

    Hope that helps. Let me know if you have anymore questions.
     

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