06 Jul Northern Lights Cruises in Norway’s Fjords with Hurtigruten
Northern Lights Cruises
There’s no better vantage point from which to experience the Northern Lights than on a cruise ship in the midst of the Norwegian fjords. With Hurtigruten, officially represented by Development Promotions in South Africa, you have a range of Northern Lights cruises, holidays and expeditions, where Norway’s exquisite natural beauty takes centre stage.
The Vikings believed the Northern Lights were the result of reflections from the armour of the Valkyrie warrior virgins. Today, we know it has less to with myths and legends, and more with the sun’s particles meeting the Earth’s magnetic shield.
Regardless of its origins, this vivid display of nature is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, leaving a lasting impression on you that cannot be explained by science.
Best time to go on a Northern Lights Cruise
The Northern Lights season begins in October and ends in March – that’s seven months during which to witness this astounding display of dancing light in the sky. You’ll have the best chance of viewing this natural phenomenon between 21h00 and 01h00 as this is when the Arctic sky is at its darkest.
Best place to view the Northern Lights
The Auroral Oval is a massive ring that sits above the North Pole and the best views of the Northern Lights occur beneath it. This is typically called the Aurora Zone, which stretches between 66°N and 69°N in northern Scandinavia.
Hurtigruten operates expedition cruises along the northern Norwegian coast, stopping at 34 ports from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north. The entire northern Norwegian region sits beneath the auroral oval, which means it is one of the best places in the world to view the Northern Lights.
From the Arctic Capital to the Norwegian border of Russia, the cities and towns along the Norwegian coast provide their own Northern Lights experiences for you to enjoy. Here are five great places to see the Northern Lights in Norway with Hurtigruten.
Best Northern Lights experiences
With Hurtigruten, you can embark on a range of Northern Lights experiences and expeditions to engage with nature in a thrilling way. Be part of the story during a visit to the Lofotr Viking Museum and enjoy a delicious Viking meal in the banquet hall, attend a soul-stirring Midnight Concert in Tromsø’s Arctic Cathedral, or race through the frozen Arctic landscape during a snowmobile safari.
Bundle up warmly and head out on deck with a warm cup of coffee to watch the green and blue hues light up the dark Arctic sky.
The aurora often appears directly above the ship and the outdoor observation deck provides a front-row seat to the action. The lights are also more vivid because there’s no ambient light at sea and you can enjoy them for as long as they appear. On-board announcements ensure you won’t miss a thing.
What to wear on your Northern Lights cruise
It’s the Arctic and it’s winter, enough said! You’ll need to pack properly and dress warmly during your Northern Lights cruise.
The ships are well heated so when you’re indoors, you’ll be more than comfortable. But, since the star of the show is the outdoors, you’ll want to spend a lot of time up on deck and that means dressing in layers.
Start with a basic layer of wool, followed by a layer of fleece or wool, followed by a thicker woolen sweater, followed by a thermal jacket, which should be wind- and water-proof. The warmer you get, the more layers you can peel off. A warm hat, proper winter shoes and gloves are an absolute must.
If you’re embarking on an excursion like snowmobiling or RIB boat safaris, you’ll need to dress up even more warmly. On organised tours, you will be given a thermal suit and, sometimes, headgear to help keep the cold at bay.
Want to know more? Check out this handy packing list from Hurtigruten.
Hurtigruten Northern Lights Promise
So sure is Hurtigruten that you’ll see the Northern Lights on your 12-day voyage, that the expedition cruise line offers a Northern Lights Promise.
If the natural phenomenon fails to appear during your trip, Hurtigruten will give you another six- or seven-day Classic Voyage free of charge* so your Northern Lights cruise will be one with no regrets.
Hurtigruten’s Northern Lights Promise is valid on the 12-day Classic Round Voyage and Astronomy Voyage. Click here to see the terms and conditions.
Want to learn more about the Northern Lights? Check out this handy FAQ by Hurtigruten here.
Northern Lights cruise packages
Book your front-row seat to the Northern Lights on these specially selected Hurtigruten cruises. Contact Development Promotion, the official representative for Hurtigruten in South Africa, or your preferred travel agent for details.
(sails 10 November 2019)
Price: From R30,840pps – 11 nights, Round-trip Bergen to Kirkenes on MS Kong Harald