Hurtigruten has reported a 50% rise in bookings made so far this month compared to the same period last year.

Kathryn Beadle, managing director of the company, said bookings to the Norwegian coast and the Arctic Circle had began rolling in as the UK warmer warmed up. She said bookings to see the Northern Lights have proved particularly popular.

She added: “Maybe it is the images of polar bears and snow-capped mountains that are appealing to people as they sit in sweltering offices, but it is quite ironic that as soon as the weather warmed up, so did bookings to the Arctic.

“The soaring temperatures in the UK have led to holidaysmakers considering a break somewhere cooler this summer, but in particular we have seen a large growth in the number of people booking Northern Lights trips towards the end of the year.

“My guess is that they are giving their annual beach holiday a miss this year and saving their holiday time for something a little different.”