This post has been written in partnership with Explore Norway’s Northern Lights With Hurtigruten.
During one crisp, fall evening in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada I got my first glimpse of the Northern Lights. I was visiting my brother-in-law and I can remember how we all bundled up in blankets and watched the green lights dance in the sky. They were mesmerizing, and even though we were cold, we all stayed outside and watched the show. Since that one small experience, I’ve always held the hope of seeing the Northern Lights again.
What Are the Northern Lights?
Ok, I’m guessing if you’re reading this blog post you probably already know what the Northern Lights are. But understanding how they work might help you understand why a guaranteed sighting offer is a big deal.
The Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, occur when the solar wind is stronger than usual, and electrically charged particles from the sun propel towards Earth. The particles, electrons, and protons form a magical light when they collide with gases in Earth’s atmosphere.
The lights can appear in many colors, although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported, and the color depends on the type of gas particles that are colliding. The most common auroral color, a pale yellowish-green, is produced by oxygen molecules located about 60 miles above the Earth. Rare, all-red auroras are produced by high-altitude oxygen, at heights of up to 200 miles, and blue or purplish-red aurora are caused by nitrogen.
Where’s the Best Place to See the Northern Lights?
Northern Norway is actually one of the BEST places to see the Northern Lights. It sits under the Auroral Oval, a ring of light emissions that are centered around the magnetic North Pole. Since the lights come out at night, winter is perhaps the most incredible time of year to catch the Northern Lights sky display. Between October and late March, it is dark from early afternoon until late morning in Northern Norway.
How to Guarantee a Northern Lights Sighting
Hopefully, some of this scientific chat has helped you understand that this is all about physics. And when you’re relying on hurtling particles to perform just right under just the right circumstances, there can be some wins and losses. I know that if I was planning an epic international trip to see the Northern Lights, I’d want to make sure I actually saw them!
If you’re looking for a guarantee of seeing the Northern Lights, there’s a new offer you’ll want to know about: Join a 12-day roundtrip Hurtigruten cruise from October 1, 2018, through March 31, 2019, and participate in the Northern Lights Promise—if they don’t appear, Hurtigruten will offer a 6- or 7-day cruise FREE of charge (not including airfare/extras).
About Hurtigruten Cruises
Hurtigruten ships have been sailing along the stunning Norwegian coastline for the past 125 years, visiting towns and cities, and discovering small villages and tucked-away-fjords—in other words, sites that are rarely seen by fellow cruise ships.
The 12-day journey along the Norwegian coastline offers a truly authentic opportunity to immerse yourself in Norwegian culture, sample the most sublime local delicacies, and, of course, explore the majestic and ever-changing landscapes along the coast.
Add they also offer a shorter 6-7 day cruise as well.
While on board, you can immerse yourself in the culture of Norway. Perhaps you’ll enjoy a Northern Lights safari, hike a mountain, kayak through pristine Arctic waters, ride a horse through the Lofoten Islands, or even give reindeer sledding a try. Or, simply sit back, relax, and watch the world go by. There is also the opportunity to learn more about your surroundings, with lectures occurring near-daily, regarding nature, the science behind the Northern Lights, Norway, wildlife, the Arctic, and much more. Each one will be given by experts in their respective fields, well-known authors, and professors.
And, now through September 30, 2018, if you book a 12-day roundtrip cruise to coastal Norway with Hurtigruten that departs from January 1 – March 31, 2019, you’ll save $250 per person.
Are you ready to plan your epic Northern Lights vacation now?!