Sudipta Dev – Mumbai
A specialist in Northern Lights chase tours, Mumbai based The Villa Escape (TVE) has been focusing on bespoke experiences for outbound to Iceland, Finnish Lapland, Norway, Greenland and Swedish Lapland. “We have been selling Northern Lights Chases for the last six-seven years and there has been a substantial increase in the number of enquiries over the last two years,” said Yogi Shah, founder, The Villa Escape, adding that apart from trying to get a chance to view the Aurora Borealis, travellers can enjoy unique activities like husky dog rides, visit to reindeer farms, meeting Santa Claus in his official hometown, go snow mobiling on a frozen river and more.
Interestingly, the travellers comprise all age groups and locations across the country. The clients range from children who are excited about going to Finnish Lapland to visit the Santa Village to the adventure seekers who are keen to ride snow mobiles to the mature age group who are fascinated by the Aurora Borealis. “We get enquiries from metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru as well as enquiries from places such as Mangalore, Ahmedabad, and other Tier II and Tier III cities,” mentioned Shah. He acknowledged that most enquires are for Finnish Lapland as it is the official hometown of Santa Claus and there is so much one can do apart from Chasing the Lights.
The Northern Lights are visible from mid October to mid April. When asked whether the tours guarantee Northern Lights sightings, Shah stated, “The Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon and as is with all natural activities – it all depends on Mother Nature’s moods and whims. So even though we do not guarantee sightings, we maximise the odds by having local counts in all our locations who tell us where the Lights are and we ‘chase’ them to those areas.”