BY MARK KEAST

For luxury travel enthusiasts searching for truly unique experiences, how does taking in the Northern Lights from the silent tranquility of a hot air balloon in a remote wilderness region in Northern Sweden next December sound to you?

Off the Map Travel has launched the new travel concept of Aurora Hot Air Ballooning and Stargazing, created by the founders of the Aurora Safari Camp, Jonas Gejke and Fredrik Broman. They are starting hot air balloon operations along with ballooning expert Andrew Peart, who has been flying hot air balloons more than 25 years over the African savannahs. The first Aurora flight will take off this upcoming December, with flights available for booking through April 2021. Guests can start booking this May. You and the expert guide will ascend 40 metres, anchored to the arctic ice below.

Related: The Top 5 most popular Whistler ski chalet accommodations on Airbnb “Luxe”

Related: The Top 4 “staycation” Toronto luxury boutique hotel options for a wintertime weekend respite 

The new Lapland Ballooning team will also be running daytime expedition flights from its home base in Gunnarsbyn, Råneå River Valley, over the spectacular Arctic wilderness. The experience is available for groups of up to six people. It is recommended for guests over six years of age. Every adventure can be tailor-made to fit the wishes and requirements of any guest. As an example, the full board 4-day 3-night Aurora in the Sky itinerary costs from $3,900 per person, not including flights. This includes meals, private transfers, accommodation at the Outpost and Aurora Safari Camp, snowmobile adventure with lunch on the Arctic circle, Aurora Hot Air Balloon experience, and a Snowmobile adventure to “meet the locals” experience.

It’s never guaranteed you will see the Aurora, of course, but what an incredible experience for you, your family or friends, searching for it, out among the stars.

“This is a first,” says Jonathan Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel and Arctic Travel expert. “We’ve never heard of anything like this before and everything is pointing to this being the region’s next big highlight Aurora experience.”

Off the Map Travel offers exclusive, customized, Scandinavian luxury excursions like this – an authentic connection to people and places. They tell us their packages are especially popular month Canadians and Americans – not surprising since a big push in luxury travel is experiential. Each individual defines luxury differently. More and more, a traditional hotel stay doesn’t cut it with the luxury travel connoisseur. People are searching for the unique, more off the beaten path.

Yoga

Sauna on top of a frozen lake

Tent lounge area

Aurora from the camp

Guest tent

Guest tent

Guest tent

Guest tent