Why Is My Northern Lights Tour Cancelled?

Why is my Northern Lights tour Cancelled?

Weather in Iceland is notoriously variable due to our small island being situated right by the Arctic Circle and in the path of the North Atlantic Current. Luckily, this exact location is ideal for Northern Lights tours, as we normally have some activity! The biggest problem is the cloud cover, as the clouds can block any sighting.

Being a professional Northern Lights Guide holds a great deal of responsibility. We appreciate you have limited time and finances to spend in Iceland and part of our responsibility is to help you spend both wisely. Therefore, we feel we must cancel our tour when chances of a sighting are low, and go ahead with the tour when chances are good.

Each day our team of experts makes an intricately thought out Go-or-Cancel decision. This decision is based on advanced forecasts and real-time data of both Earth and Space weather, laced with hands-on knowledge and experience. Hence, our overall 90% success rate in finding visible-to-the-naked-eye Northern Lights on our tours.

Sighting and Cancellation rate

Out of the times we believe in a sighting and go ahead with the tour we are 10% wrong. In the same way, out of the times we don’t believe in a sighting and cancel the tour we are also 10% wrong. Therefore, inevitably it does happen that we cancel a tour on a night which then turns out to have a sighting.

On average, we cancel our tour, due to weather, 50% of the time. This means that overall on any given night during the Northern Lights season in Iceland there is a 50% chance of a sighting. On our Go nights the chance is 90%. And on our Cancel nights the chance is 10%.

Because of this high cancellation rate we normally recommend you book your tour on your first available night here. This leaves the rest of your stay available to re-schedule in case of a Cancel or to join a free re-run in case of a non-sighting. This gives you the biggest window of opportunity.

So, tour companies in fact cancel their Northern Lights tours as part of a good service. They don’t spend your time and money when the chance of a sighting is low. This is the norm for most companies in Iceland, including us.

What if you want to take that 10% chance but all tours are cancelled?

We meet this demand by offering another tour option. This option has a guaranteed departure every night to search for Northern Lights, regardless of the success percentage forecast.*

To offer a Northern Lights tour, in good conscience, with a variable 10-90% chance of a sighting we decided on these basic requirements:

  • We must guarantee a departure each night, for all you optimists out there.
    Easy, we have the most enthusiastic and determined guides!
  • The vehicle must be comfortable to allow for longer drives with a small group.
    Minibus, 16 people max and plenty of space to stretch your legs.
  • We must include a unique and reliable value to make up for non-sighting tours.
    A visit to the one-of-a-kind Aurora Basecamp, Northern Lights Observatory, where you will see a real-time simulation of the Northern Lights as well as gain a wealth of information and insight into the Aurora science.
  • With an overall 50% sighting chance we can’t offer a free re-run, so we wanted the price to be lower than our other tours, without compromising our ambition to provide a valuable experience in a small group.
    Minibus: a slightly larger group per guide but still small enough to remain intimate.
  • The guide must have extensive experience and knowledge of Northern Lights hunting, be able to keep people entertained with information and stories during an extended search and be able to capture good photos when the lights appear.
    Easy, that’s all our guides!

Northern Lights Guaranteed?

Our new Northern Lights Guaranteed tour has everything we wanted and more! This tour option is a breakthrough in service to Northern Lights chasers who have come here from far away. No more cancellations and no more leaving the country without trying, however small that chance may be.

Our impossible dream is that all our guests can catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights during their stay in Iceland. This new tour option is another tool in our toolbox of making dreams come true.

With a low chance of a sighting it is tricky to be in the right place at the right time, but if there are lights to be found our team will find them!

*We do of course cancel the tour when safety calls for it due to storm alerts etc.

10 Impressive Northern Lights Statistics

Here we have listed 10 Impressive Northern Lights Statistics from our value packed, small group Northern Lights & Stargazing tour:

10 Impressive Northern Lights statistics

93.33% Sighting Rate

Number one of our 10 Impressive Northern Lights statistics for September, the first month of the 17/18 Northern Lights season, is our amazing 93.33% rate of success! Our overall success rate since starting these tours back in 2014 is a whopping 90%. Can we get it up to 95% this season?

30 days of September carefully studying weather forecasts and satellite data gave us 15 decisions to go ahead with a Northern Lights hunting tour.

15 Tours

30 days of September carefully studying weather forecasts and satellite data gave us 15 decisions to go ahead with a Northern Lights hunting tour. Our co-founder, Róbert, is our weather guru. He pores over the weather data all day long and makes the tough decision every day to go out or cancel. We are adamant about only taking you guys out if we sincerely believe our chances of seeing those elusive lights are good.

On our only non-sighting tour this month we still managed to explore Andromeda Galaxy before the clouds set in, and then invited everyone back for a free tour, and then saw the lights!

1 Non-sighting

Even the best of us aren’t perfect. On our only non-sighting tour this month we still managed to explore Andromeda Galaxy before the clouds set in, and then invited everyone back for a free tour, and then saw the lights! We also played around with light photography, just for fun.

We take groups of 2-14 passengers. 7 passengers max per guide/vehicle. 2 vehicles max together on location.

2 Defenders

Our 2 Land Rover Defender adventure vehicles, HappyOne & HappyToo, get us to the location needed each time. They are installed with additional diesel heaters to keep us warm through the evening. We take groups of 2-14 passengers. 7 passengers max per guide/vehicle. 2 vehicles max together on location.

Our guides are equipped with the weapons necessary for a successful sighting; meteorology expertise, astronomy knowledge and local know-how. Some of them even have a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out the green stuff!

5 Serious Guides

We take Northern Lights hunting seriously 😉 Our mission in life is to find the Northern Lights for YOU. We don’t give up easily! Our guides are equipped with the weapons necessary for a successful sighting; meteorology expertise, astronomy knowledge and local know-how. Some of them even have a sixth sense when it comes to sniffing out the green stuff!

During these 15 tours we have taken out a total of 147 happy adventurers who now know more about the wonders of the night sky than most people will ever do.

147 Happy Passengers

During these 15 tours we have taken out a total of 147 happy adventurers who now know more about the wonders of the night sky than most people will ever do.

Most people say it's the best hot chocolate they have ever tasted. Some even say it's divine... but you just have to try it for yourself ;-) 

52 Litres Cocoa

Already we have made 52 litres of delicious real hot chocolate. How many will there be by the end of season? Our other co-founder, Anita, makes the hot chocolate in her home before the start of each tour. Using local whole milk, Icelandic chocolate and sea salt carefully crafted from the Arctic Sea using Geothermal Energy. Most people say it’s the best hot chocolate they have ever tasted. Some even say it’s divine… but you just have to try it for yourself 😉

All Northern Lights photos from our tours are taken by our guides and shared with our group for free the next day.

1 Million Photos

No, I don’t know, too many to count anyway! All Northern Lights photos from our tours are taken by our guides and shared with our group for free the next day. Most of you only see the Northern Lights once in your lifetime. We’d like you to have some amazing photos of the experience. We are not professional photographers, but we are well equipped and have the experience to capture amazing photos of you under the lights. We also photograph the lights themselves all night long so you will have plenty of images to show friends and family when you get back home. We can also help you set up your own camera, if you are so inclined. We recommend you get your settings sorted before though, as it’s no fun stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out where your settings are. We have written a handy guide here: Northern Lights Photography Settings.

We always bring our impressive telescope with us.

9 Sky Objects

We always bring our impressive telescope with us. Sometimes we have a clear sky but no lights, so then we can explore the night sky while we wait for the lights. So far we have checked these objects out: Seven Sisters Open Star Cluster, Andromeda Galaxy, Albireo Double Star in Signus, Ring Nebula in Lyra, Starcluster in Auriga, The Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, Globular Cluster in the Constellation of Pegasus, The Moon and Double Cluster in Perseius.

After April 15th we turn the Northern Lights off and start focusing on Paragliding :-) So hurry up and join us before we are hit with summer and 24 hour daylight!

196 Days Left

of the Northern Lights season. After April 15th we turn the Northern Lights off and start focusing on Paragliding 🙂 So hurry up and join us before we are hit with summer and 24 hour daylight! (Yes, that’s why we have a Northern Lights season).

That concludes our 10 Impressive Northern Lights statistics for September, the first month of the 17/18 season.

You can check out our amazing Northern Lights & Stargazing tour here.

Paragliding Iceland Top 6 on Adrenaline Hunter

Paragliding Iceland is Top 6 on Adrenaline Hunter

If you are an adrenaline hunter you definitely need to know about this wonderful online resource. The Adrenaline Hunter website should probably come into your travel research right at the start. Before you even decide where in the world to go. And we’re not just saying that because they chose our Paragliding Iceland tour on the Top 6 list. Well, maybe a little 😉 Our friends at Adrenaline Hunter have built an essential tool for the adventure traveller. Great to explore exciting activities available all around the world. And they continue to add amazing activities. Therefore, you should bookmark their page immediately.

Adrenaline Hunter is a vast online collection to find and book an adrenaline or adventure activity, anywhere in the world. You can either search by country or activity. In addition, you can find great ideas for a hen/stag do destination. Alternatively, you can buy a gift card for the adventure travellers in your life.

Paragliding in Iceland. Crocodile Diving in Zimbabwe. Hoverboarding in Guadalupe. Survival Training in Norway. You name it, they got it!

Paragliding Iceland options

So, back to Paragliding in Iceland. And why it deserves to be on the top 6 list of worldwide adrenaline activities. With Happyworld, you can go Paragliding in two different locations in Iceland:

Paragliding in the Reykjavík area will take you high above the lava plateau at Bláfjöll (Blue Mountains). This is the same area as Inside the Volcano tour, so you will be silently soaring over volcanic craters, lava formations and amazing moss spread. In our opinion, this is probably the best way to see lava formations come to life right before your eyes. Your 360° view of the horizon includes volcanic mountains, Hellisheiði geothermal activity, glaciers, the Atlantic ocean, Þingvellir national park and Reykjavík city.

Paragliding on the South Coast will give you a magnificent view of the area now well known for the setting of Game of Thrones. Hence, black beaches, glaciers, amazing rock formations, big mountains, delta rivers and maybe even some Puffins. You can either meet us at the location for your Paragliding flight there or do our combo South Coast + Paragliding Adventure tour.

Northern Lights Photography settings

7 Easy Steps to Your Own Amazing Photos

Northern Lights Photography Settings

This Northern Lights Photography settings guide, in 7 easy steps, is aimed at beginners. You can use any camera with an option for Manual settings. Following these steps, most modern cameras will produce beautiful digital photos for on-screen purposes. Read more

How can we help?

You can reach us by phone: +354 780 6766 or e-mail: info@happyworld.is. If you don't get an immediate answer the Happyworld team is out in the field and will get back to you as soon as possible! Thank you :-)

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: The account for needs to be reconnected.
Due to recent Instagram platform changes this Instagram account needs to be reconnected in order to continue updating. Reconnect on plugin Settings page

Error: No posts found.

Make sure this account has posts available on instagram.com.