Like much news this year, it’s a Bad News/Good News thing. The new September 2016 Skift/Momondo report discusses the rise of the immersive traveler in a time of global uncertainty. It states that – Bad News — the year 2016 has seen more perceived and real travel risks than ever before, but – Good News — travelers are also growing savvier and more resilient than ever before.

A new brand of geopolitically-aware traveler has emerged, who remains determined to make the most of the world, live without fear to have deeper, and more immersive experiences. These travelers are relatively young, well-educated and digitally savvy. As they tend to share their positive experiences with their extended circles via social media and review websites, they also inform other people about their experiences – so new destination interests grow exponentially.

Crystal Ice Cave in the Vatnajökull Glacier

A person who well defines this this type of travel is Dr. Sarah Aciego, the glaciochemist who pioneered isotope dating of ice cores at the University of Michigan. She and Mindy Cambiar, a professional photographer, founded Big Chill Adventures, where both have led multiple scientific and immersive travel expeditions to Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska and the Canadian Rockies. Her scientific research has resulted in multiple published articles on ice and climate, and her specialized expertise and intimate knowledge of some of the world’s most beautiful, and occasionally forbidding, landscapes have also offered compelling travel opportunities for those who love cold weather.

Recently, the company unveiled a new Northern Lights Tour of Southern Iceland.

Slated for March 5-11, 2017, this trip offers an exploration of southern Iceland, known for its glaciers, icebergs and black sand beaches.

“There are a lot of variables to consider for seeing the Northern Lights, including season, weather, location and luck,” said Dr. Aciego. “Statistically, the best time to see the Aurora in Iceland is near the equinox, when the air is cold and clear, which is why we’ve scheduled this excursion for March.”

The trip also includes snowmobiling on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier; dogsledding on an ice cap; exploring Geysir Hot Spring Area and Skogafoss Waterfall; photographing Icelandic horses and troll houses; walking the Black Diamond Beach, discovering Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the Vatnajökull Glacier; and visiting a geothermal plant and touring Thingvellir National Park. All great dimensions for an immersion into the hot, very cool travel experience.

Photo credit: Mindy Cambiar