First Light for Sight Arctic expedition

Join us on an adventure of a lifetime and help raise money for Sightsavers Ireland’s sight-saving work in Africa and Asia.

Join us on an exciting expedition across the Arctic Circle to watch the first sunrise of 2025.

The First Light for Sight sunrise expedition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for adventurous Sightsavers supporters to visit the Arctic. In snowy, northern Norway, you’ll learn the survival skills you need to reach a remote mountain cabin in the Arctic Circle, from where you’ll watch the first sunrise of the new year.

In the Arctic, the sun sets at the end of November, leaving the region in darkness for 24 hours every day. When the sun rises again in January and daylight returns, it marks a very special day.

We’re inviting a small group of intrepid Sightsavers supporters to join us on this incredible journey in January 2025.

The sun rises on the horizon over a snowy expanse. On the left, there are bare trees and a river with floating ice chunks.

About the challenge

When: January 2025
Where: Tromsø, Norway and the Arctic Circle
More details: Email Emma or Craig at [email protected]

What is the expedition?

You’ll travel to Tromsø in Norway, which is approximately 350km from the Arctic Circle. For the first three days of the expedition, you’ll receive training from our partner, covering:

  • Arctic survival skills
  • How to stay warm in extreme environments
  • Snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and pulk sled pulling

All the specialist equipment you need will be provided.

On the fourth day, you’ll be ready to depart for the cabin, pulling all your equipment in pulk sleds and travelling by snowshoes or skis.

The cabin is off-grid and heated by stoves, which will also be used to melt snow for water. You’ll work together as a team by putting your new skills into practice as you wait for the sun to rise the next morning. You might even see the Northern Lights while you wait for the sunrise!

Trip highlights

  • Watching the first sunrise after months of darkness
  • Staying 350km north of the Arctic Circle
  • Learning the skills to survive in Arctic conditions
  • Staying in a remote Arctic cabin in winter
  • Seeing the Northern Lights logo, with the words 'Concept and logistics by'.

When will it take place?

The expedition will take place in mid-January 2025. It will run over five days, with two travel days either side of it. There will also be two pre-departure training days in the Wicklow Mountains, along with a Zoom briefing.

Fundraising for Sightsavers

We ask our explorers to each raise €5,000 for this challenge: as a charity, we rely on participants to meet their pledge. The fundraising target includes flights, internal travel, accommodation, meals, training and specialist equipment.

Want to find out more about the expedition? Register your interest below to join us on the next sunrise adventure. 

News and stories

Participants on the First Light for Sight Arctic expedition poses for a group photo while wearing skis.

Sightsavers supporters raise €90,000 through Arctic expedition

A team of Irish fundraisers who took part in the First Light for Sight Arctic Challenge has raised more than €90,000 for Sightsavers Ireland.

May 2023
Fundraiser Owen Campbell
Sightsavers Reports

“I’m still in awe of the Arctic challenge. I have memories imprinted in my head and heart”

Owen Campbell took part in the First Light for Sight challenge in January 2023 and raised more than €10,000 for Sightsavers Ireland.

Fundraiser Martina with Ronan from
Sightsavers Reports

“No words or photos can do it justice. I felt joy that this experience was restoring sight for so many people”

Martina Parker took part in the First Light for Sight challenge in January 2023 and raised more than €8,000 for Sightsavers Ireland.

Interested in other ways to get involved?

Fundraise with us