The Northern Lights

Magic and science. Hypnotic and exhilarating. A photographer’s dream. The Northern Lights in Norway are all these and more. Explore the many wonders of nature’s greatest lightshow.

The best time to see the Northern Lights? Now!

The Solar Maximum occurs halfway through the sun’s cycle. It’s a time of intense solar activity – and dramatically more auroral displays.

Scientists predict the Solar Maximum in 2024-25 will result in the most frequent and impressive Northern Lights in more than a decade. The next Solar Maximum after 2024-25 won’t be for another 11 years until 2036.

Why sail with Hurtigruten?

5 reasons to see the Northern Lights on a Coastal Voyage

For the last 130 years, we have been sailing along the Norwegian coastline under the glow of the Northern Lights. No-one knows them like we do.

Why sail with Hurtigruten?

5 reasons to see the Northern Lights on a Coastal Voyage

For the last 130 years, we have been sailing along the Norwegian coastline under the glow of the Northern Lights. No-one knows them like we do.

1. Our Northern Lights Promise

If the Northern Lights don’t occur within sight of your ship during your voyage with us of 11 days or more, we’ll give you another 6- or 7-day voyage free of charge.

2. Multiple sightings

Travelling to different parts of the Norwegian coast on the ship increases your chances of seeing the aurora not just once but multiple times.

3. Mobile observatory

The advantage of being at sea is that we can quickly sail clear of cloud cover that might be blocking your view of a Northern Lights display.

1. Auroral Oval

Our ships sail the Norwegian coast, above the Arctic Circle at 66°N, and directly beneath the Auroral Oval, an area of consistently active displays.

5. The best views

Being at sea avoids the air pollution and the ambient light on land, both of which can dull the colours and vibrancy of a Northern Lights spectacle.

MS Richard With sailing in Norway in winter under the Northern Lights
MS Richard With sailing under the Northern Lights
Photo: Stian Klo

Our Northern Lights Promise

Relax in the knowledge that our unmatchable Northern Lights Promise means you’ll get another chance to see the aurora if they don’t make an appearance on your voyage of 11 days or more.

Book with confidence Book with confidence
MS Richard With sailing in Norway in winter under the Northern Lights
MS Richard With sailing under the Northern Lights
Photo: Stian Klo

Our classic Northern Lights cruises

Voices of the Lights

We talked to people who live and breathe the Northern Lights about the dreams and desires that drive them. These are their stories.

Voices of the Lights

We talked to people who live and breathe the Northern Lights about the dreams and desires that drive them. These are their stories.

Article

The Aurora Chaser

Article

Scientist and sage of the Northern Lights: Dr John Mason

Article

A bonding experience: chasing the aurora as a solo traveller

Photo: Getty Images

What causes the Northern Lights?

We asked scientists and astronomers to explain the Northern Lights in a way we could understand. In return, they told us all about solar activity and magnetic fields, and explained the different types of auroras, and why they come in different colours.

They also said that a deeper understanding of the science only adds to the magic of the experience of seeing the Northern Lights.

Understand the magic Understand the magic
Photo: Getty Images
Have your gear to hand, so you are ready to see the Lights at a moment's notice
Have your gear to hand, so you are ready to see the Lights at a moment's notice
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen

Legends of the Lights

Long before we understood the science behind the aurora, the Northern Lights were wrapped up in myths and legends that still fuel our imaginations today.

The Lights appear in folklore across the world, as omens both revered and feared. These strange green, red, and purple lights dancing across the night skies have inspired some of the most captivating stories on Earth. Once you’ve seen them, it’s easy to understand why.

Lose yourself in legends Lose yourself in legends
Have your gear to hand, so you are ready to see the Lights at a moment's notice
Have your gear to hand, so you are ready to see the Lights at a moment's notice
Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen
Photo: Getty Images

How do I photograph the Northern Lights?

When you see the Northern Lights, it’s only natural to want to capture the spectacle. But photographing their elusive beauty isn’t as simple as point-and-shoot.

To help you, we asked photography experts for their tried and trusted tips on everything from how to photograph the Northern Lights from a ship to shooting the aurora with a smartphone.

Advice for amateur photographers Advice for amateur photographers
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Shutterstock

Ask about the aurora

Everything you’ve ever wanted to ask about the Northern Lights, from how often they appear to whether they affect wildlife.

Your questions answered Your questions answered
Photo: Shutterstock

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