Up Helly Aa 2025

6 Day Tour Departing From Edinburgh

Price from $1625.00 USD

6 Days

5 Nights

Accommodation Included

24 Hour Cancellation

Few have heard of it, let alone been. Our destination is the remote islands of Shetland in the far north of Scotland for one of the most incredible festivals in Europe. On the last Tuesday of January this traditional winter festival marks the lengthening of the days and the dawn of another year. Classic Scottish dancing, traditional Shetland music, the boat burning ceremony and torchlight procession makes for an unforgettable experience.


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Passionate Local Guide

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Guided Tour of Shetland

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Three-Night Stay at a Three-Star Hotel (Twin-Share Room)

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Two Overnight Ferries (Quad-Share Cabin)

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Three Full Scottish Breakfasts

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Sumburgh Head Lighthouse

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Free Time in Lerwick

Up Helly Aa 2025 map of route


Large Northlink Ferries Ferry To Shetland

Hotel & Ferry Cabin

Relax in a quad-share cabin for two nights during your ferry journey to and from Shetland (upgrade to private twin-share cabin subject to availability). Once in Shetland's capital, Lerwick, you'll enjoy three nights twin-share accommodation at a three-star hotel, carefully handpicked by our crew. Each hotel night stay includes one Full Scottish Breakfast.

Room Types

Quad-Share Cabin (Ferry)
A ferry cabin with four separate beds suitable for one adult in each bed. Private twin-share cabin upgrade subject to availability.
Double Room (Hotel)
One room with one bed suitable for two adults.
Twin Room (Hotel)
One room with two separate beds suitable for one adult in each bed.

Accessibility and Facilities

For more information, see our Accessibility Statement.

Tripadvisor Rating

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5 / 5

From over 10+ customer reviews

Where does the tour depart from?

Your Up Helly Aa 2025 tour departs from the city centre in Edinburgh. For more details on your pick-up location, please visit our Departure Info page.

Is accommodation included?

Yes, two nights quad-share ferry cabin and three nights hotel accommodation are included in the tour price. Upgrade to ferry twin-share cabin is subject to availability.

What hotel will I be staying at?

Accommodation is carefully selected by our experienced team ensuring a hearty Scottish welcome. While the specific hotel may vary, you can be confident your stay will be comfortable.

Find more info on our Accommodation page.

What about meals?

Your three-night hotel accommodation comes with a freshly made breakfast each morning. However, breakfast during the ferry journey, lunch, dinner, and snacks are not included. Throughout your Up Helly Aa tour, you'll have the opportunity to visit numerous outstanding restaurants, shops, and cafes. We highly recommend trying these to explore Scottish cuisine at your own pace, catering to your preferences and dietary needs.

The tour is fully booked. Can I join a waiting list?

Yes, you can join our Up Helly Aa waiting list. To be added, please email us at info@highlandexplorertours.com with your name and phone number. If any cancellations occur, we will contact you right away.

Is the Up Helly Aa 2025 festival ticket included in the tour?

Up Helly Aa is a public event, which means tickets are not required.

 As an exclusive feature of the tour, your Highland Explorer guide will ensure you experience every highlight of the festival. They will offer insider tips and insights known only to Shetland’s residents, giving you an authentic experience.

What is Up Helly Aa and what happens at the festival?

Up Helly Aa is Shetland’s annual Viking fire festival, held on the last Tuesday in January.

 The festival celebrates Shetland’s vibrant Norse traditions with a torchlight procession, the ceremonial burning of a Viking longship, and a Viking-themed parade. Up Helly Aa boasts an incredibly unique atmosphere, with countless chances to mingle with locals at Lerwick’s many bars and pubs – a fantastic way to make new Viking friends!

Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?

Please note that we are currently unable to offer single rooms on this tour. We recommend you check out our sister company HAGGiS Adventures, who run a yearly trip to the Up Helly Aa festival in Shetland. This is a great choice for solo travellers who would like to stay in multi-share hostel dorm accommodation (mixed gender).

Are there toilet facilities on the coach?

While our coaches don't offer onboard toilets, rest assured that our itineraries include regular comfort stops, allowing frequent access to restroom facilities.

Are your tours accessible?

Our guides are unable to assist with wheelchairs or provide physical assistance during boarding or disembarking from the coach. Passengers should be capable of boarding and disembarking independently using the access stairs or with the help of a traveling companion. Foldable wheelchairs can be stored in our onboard luggage storage during travel.

Please note that some stops on our tours may involve rough terrain or only be accessible by steps.

It's important to be aware that your accommodation may have limited accessibility for wheelchair users. More info can be found on our Accessibility page.

Can I purchase snacks or souvenirs at the stops along the way?

Yes! Our routes include stops where you can grab a snack or recharge with a drink. Occasionally, we pause at shops offering local souvenirs as well. For precise details about timing and stops, don't hesitate to inquire with your guide.

Where can I get a more detailed itinerary?

Although our tours follow a structured plan with key stops, part of the excitement comes from unexpected surprises! We refrain from providing additional details beyond what's outlined here, as factors like weather, traffic, and the preferences of our driver guides may lead to slight deviations. Trust that your journey through Scotland will be unlike any other!

What if I need to cancel my tour?

If you need to cancel your tour, you will need to inform us in writing by sending an email to info@highlandexplorertours.com. You can find our cancellation and refunds policy in section 3 in our Terms and Conditions.

I have more questions. How can you help?

Feel free to visit our general Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to common queries, or reach out to us directly via our Contact Us page.