Go dogsledding and chase the Northern Lights from the comfort of your living room.
With the rapid shutdown of international travel over the past few weeks, and as countries across the globe close their borders to all but their own citizens, livestreams and videos have become a go-to source of inspiration for future trips. Now, you can escape from the headlines and take in the elemental beauty of the Arctic without setting foot beyond the four walls of your home.
In a prescient move, Lights Over Lapland, a travel operator that specializes in Northern Lights photo tours, hired several photographers and Virtual Reality videographers to document scenes from the wilderness of Sweden’s Abisko National Park earlier this winter. The result? Three 360-degree Virtual Reality tours that have been made freely accessible to any viewer with an internet connection.
The first high-definition video offers a tantalizing preview of what might transpire over the course of a day touring the snow-bound landscape, starting with footage taken both inside and outside the celebrated Icehotel. It then progresses through a birch forest to the shores of Lake Torneträsk, where moving ripples across the water’s surface can be clearly seen, and puts you right in the middle of a reindeer pen belonging to a local herder. The video also features what Chad Blakely, founder of Lights Over Lapland, named as one of his favorite locations in all Abisko National Park: a traditional Sami hut at the base of Mount Noulja that’s lit by an open fire. But the highlight is the part right at the end, when the Northern Lights appear as vivid green ribbons dancing through a starry night sky.
Another classic Arctic experience gets its moment to shine in the second VR video, which captures two and a half minutes of a dogsledding excursion through evergreen forests and wide meadows in sunny conditions. The fact that viewers can swivel the camera while the dogsled is in motion provides an additional level of realism. Dog-lovers have the chance to meet the excitable sled-pulling huskies in the third virtual tour—it’s bound to provoke laughter as several playful canines come forward to touch or lick the camera. Even without the aid of a VR headset, these videos are a joy to behold.
Click here to join the virtual tours from Lights Over Lapland.