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Northern Lights and Midnight Sun Cruises 2015

Updated on October 13, 2014

Viewing and photographing the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights) and the Midnight Sun are both a challenge and an adventure that shouldn’t be missed. Photography is all about light, and the Aurora Borealis and Midnight Sun are two of the planet’s most amazing displays of light. First, an explanation of what these two phenomena are as well as where and why they can be seen.

What Are They?

The Aurora Borealis and Midnight Sun are two completely different wonders of light, but they are similar in that they can only be viewed in far northern latitudes. The Aurora Borealis is caused by solar wind, or charged particles emitted from the sun. This solar wind collides with molecules in the earth’s magnetic field and this creates photons of colorful light in the ionosphere. It really is a great wonder to see and if you were to ask any person in the world who has seen it before, they would tell you the same response of how it is an experience you would never forget!

The Midnight Sun,is simply a phenomenon caused by the natural rotation of the earth around the sun. Around the summer solstice, June 21, which is the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, the sun stays visible 24 hours a day above the Arctic Circle. What makes the Midnight Sun special to photographers is the quality of light this produces. Photographers treasure the golden hours of light an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise. Since the midnight sun emulates these lighting conditions for many hours, it is the quality of light, not the sun itself which attracts photographers.

Where Can You See Them?

The Aurora Borealis can be viewed in countries with accessible latitudes in the far north, such as Canada, Siberia, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Sweden and Alaska in the United States. The best populated area to view the Northern Lights in Alaska is Fairbanks from Ester Dome and Murphy Dome. If the lights are strong, they can be viewed as far south as Anchorage from Hatcher Pass and the Denali Viewpoint. Tromso in Norway is one of the premier locations in the world from which to view the Aurora Borealis. Tromso caters to the Northern Light visitors and can be reached by bus, train, air and a local cruise ship known as the Coastal Voyager.

The Midnight Sun is visible anywhere north of the Arctic Circle. Unlike the Northern Lights, the Midnight Sun isn’t dependent on specialized atmospheric conditions, but occurs every year around the summer solstice. The only consideration would be getting the weather to cooperate. Heavy cloud cover, snow, or rain would greatly diminish the advantage of visiting the Midnight Sun. Countries that have populated areas from which to view the Midnight Sun are the same as those for the Northern Lights, except Greenland, which falls to the south of the Arctic Circle. You can see it from Iceland, despite the fact that it is below the Arctic Circle. Tromso in Norway is also a great location from which to see the Midnight Sun. Fairbanks and Barrow are the best locations in Alaska.

Interested?

If you want to combine a terrific vacation with viewing the Midnight Sun and/or Aurora Borealis, book a passage on one of the cruise ships which tour the area. These include the Coastal Voyager mentioned earlier. Several major cruise lines include stops in Longyearbyen, Norway including the Celebrity Constellation, Crown Princess and Holland America’s Prinsendam. The Sapphire Princess gets as far north as Anchorage and Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas sails into Fairbanks, making it an ideal ship for both the Midnight Sun and the Northern Lights.


If you are looking for a new and unique way of seeing the world, plan and book a trip to see the Aurora Borealis and the Midnight Sun for a trip you won’t soon forget.

Midnight Sun Cruises

Holland America Cruise Line

Holland America’s ms Ryndam

Inaugural Year: 1994

Tonnage: 55,819

Passenger Capacity: 1,258



14 Day Voyage of the Midnight Sun (Optional 7-Day Extension to Norwegian Fjords)

Round-trip from London, England on: May 23rd, 2015

Ports of Call: London (Harwich), Flam, Sogne Fjord, Alesund, Trondheim, Tromsoe, North Cape (Honningsvag), Molde, Geiranger, Geiranger Fjord, Bergen

14 Day Voyage of the Midnight Sun (Optional 7-Day Extension to Norwegian Fjords)

Round-trip from London, England on: July 4th, 2015

Ports of Call: London (Harwich), Flam, Sogne Fjord, Alesund, Trondheim, Tromsoe, North Cape (Honningsvag), Molde, Geiranger, Geiranger Fjord, Bergen

14 Day Voyage of the Midnight Sun (Optional 7-Day Extension to Norwegian Fjords)

Round-trip from London, England on: August 15th, 2015

Ports of Call: London (Harwich), Flam, Sogne Fjord, Alesund, Trondheim, Tromsoe, North Cape (Honningsvag), Molde, Geiranger, Geiranger Fjord, Bergen

21-night Midnight Sun & Norwegian Fjords Cruise

Round-trip from London, England on: May 16th, 2015

Ports of Call: Alesund, Bergen, Eidfjord, Flam, Geiranger, Geiranger Fjord, Hardanger Fjord, Kristiansand, London (Harwich), Molde, North Cape (Honningsvag), Oslo, Oslo Fjord, Sogne Fjord, Stavanger, Tromsoe, Trondheim , Ulvik

28-night Midnight Sun & Northern Isles Cruise

Round-trip from London, England on: June 20th, 2015

Ports of Call: Akureyri, Alesund, Bergen, Djupivogur, Eidfjord, Eyafjordur, Flam, Geiranger, Geiranger Fjord, Hardanger Fjord, Heimaey, Isafjord, Lerwick, Shetland Island, London (Harwich), Molde, North Cape (Honningsvag), Reykjavik, Sogne Fjord, Thorshavn, Faroe Islands, Tromsoe, Trondheim

28-night Midnight Sun & Northern Isles Cruise

Round-trip from London, England on: August 1st, 2015

Ports of Call: Akureyri, Alesund, Bergen, Djupivogur, Eidfjord, Eyafjordur, Flam, Geiranger, Geiranger Fjord, Hardanger Fjord, Heimaey, Isafjord, Lerwick, Shetland Island, London (Harwich), Molde, North Cape (Honningsvag), Reykjavik, Sogne Fjord, Thorshavn, Faroe Islands, Tromsoe, Trondheim

Oceania Cruise Line

Oceania Cruises’ Nautica

Inaugural Year: 2008

Tonnage: 30,277

Passenger Capacity: 684

20-Night Path of the Midnight Sun Cruise

Embarking from London, England and Docking in Copenhagen: sailing on August 2nd, 2014

Ports of Call: Bergen, Bremen/Bremerhaven, Copenhagen, Geiranger, Gothenburg, Hammerfest, Harstad, Hellesylt, Kristiansand, London (Southampton), Longyearbyen, Magdalenenfjord, Murmansk, Russia, North Cape (Honningsvag), Oslo, Stavanger

Princess Cruise Line

Ocean Princess

Inaugural Year:1999

Tonnage:30,277

Passenger Capacity:802

16 Night Land of the Midnight Sun Cruise

Round-trip from London, UK on June 4th, 2015

Ports of Call: Alta, Bergen, Geiranger, Hellesylt, Lofoten Islands, London (Dover), North Cape (Honningsvag), Spitsbergen, Stavanger, Tromsoe

Northern Lights Cruises

Oceania Cruise Line

Oceania Cruises’ Nautica

Inaugural Year: 2008

Tonnage: 30,277

Passenger Capacity: 684

20-Night Great Northern Lights Cruise

Embarking from Copenhagen, Returning at Oslo: sailing on July 19th, 2015

Ports of Call: Aalborg, Alesund, Arkhangel'sk, Russia, Bergen, Copenhagen, Geiranger, Hammerfest, Hellesylt, Kristiansand, Lysekil, Murmansk, Russia, North Cape (Honningsvag), North Sea, Oslo, Solovetsky Islands, Trondheim

These are just a few of the Selections offered for 2014 - 2015. Please Check out the links below for more selections and more information!

Comments

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    • AtlasSue profile imageAUTHOR

      AtlasSue 

      3 years ago

      The Northern Lights are magical, and something we feel everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Being on a cruise makes it great because you can grab a hot chocolate or coffee, a blanket and sit on deck and take some amazing pictures.

    • Taranwanderer profile image

      Taranwanderer 

      3 years ago

      Holland America may be the cruise ship I settle on; I hadn't even considered picking one so I could perhaps see the Northern Lights. Something else to think about...

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