Experience Norway’s Northern Lights

Norway’s Northern Lights

He sat softly in the cold white snow as the mysterious hovering orbs of light surrounded him and he stared in awe at the sight that has been happening in this country for more than a century.  Particularly puzzling to him is the wide variety of different lights that seem to appear, including some that flash blue, then green and then white, some that are the size of large animals, and some that seem to zip around at high speeds before fading away.

Northern Lights in Norway https://ooh.li/1047f24

Northern Lights in Norway

“A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.” – George R.R. Martin

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway https://ooh.li/1047f24

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway

“A recent study into the phenomenon, however, has revealed that the lights are more likely to have a geological origin. The glowing effect, far from being the product of spirits or aliens, is instead believed to be the result of air turning into plasma”, according to Unexplained-mysteries.com.

“I don’t care what they say, I like to think of the Northern Lights as magic!” – Cacinda Maloney, travel journalist

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway https://ooh.li/1047f24

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway

Norway’s Northern Lights

I decided that in 2015, I want to do really BIG trips.  You know the kind: trips of a lifetime, the ones that I dream about, the ones where when I dream they make colors dance in my head.  Ones that make me stand silent in awe and say “This is life”.  I have visited Norway several times and written extensively about it, but those Northern Lights are the ones that keep calling my name. They draw me in like the pull of a magnet.

NASA predicts that this year is at the peak of an 11-year cycle for dazzling displays of the Northern Lights!  Apparently, the closer you are to the Earth’s magnetic poles, the better the quality of auroras you will see. Tromsø, Norway, is situated right in the middle of the Magnetic North Pole and traveling along the celebrated ‘Hurtigruten Route’ from Bergen to Kinkiness will offer travelers the time needed for an unforgettable Arctic and Northern Lights experience.

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway https://ooh.li/1047f24

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway

Since winter season is upon us, this would be one amazing bucket list item to cross off the list!
When  Hurtigruten contacted me to tell me about their cruises to see the Northern Lights, I jumped at the chance to dream again about this trip coming true.  Not sure they knew it, but they had me at “hello”.  It has been a bucket list item for me for a very long time and one that has been a bit more difficult than others to cross off the list!

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway https://ooh.li/1047f24

Hurtigruten Ship with Northern Lights in Norway

Norway’s Northern Lights

Let me tell you a bit about Hurtigruten

  • They are known worldwide as the best coastal voyage in all of Norway to get you to see those lights!
  • Hurtigruten fares have never been lower than they are now.
  • They also offer cruises with astronomy experts who can tell you about this phenomenon.
  • Just the scenery alone along Norway’s “Hurtigruten Route” is spectacular!
  • On a Hurtigruten voyage, you don’t just visit Norway, you become part of it.
Northern Lights in Norway https://ooh.li/1047f24

Northern Lights in Norway

The hauntingly beautiful vibrant display of dancing orbs that coat the dark sky creates an amazing sky that tends to evoke sheer silence from those witnessing the spectacle. There is no better time to cross the Northern Lights off your Bucket List than now! Go here to learn more about the various Hurtigruten voyages that are being offered this winter.

Recommended Reading:

Stavanger: Ovre-Holmegate Stavanger, Norway’s Nottinghill

Oslo: A Viking Queen: The Viking Museum, Oslo, Norway

Oslo: Edvard Munch:  What Makes You Scream?

Oslo: A Magical 48 Hours In Oslo, Norway

Oslo: Shhh!  It’s a secret:  Emanuel Vigeland’s Mausoleum 

Bergen: The Clarion Collection: Elegance Refined

16 Things to do during a Norway Winter

Experience Norway’s Northern Lights


Disclosure: This article was sponsored by Hurtigruten, but the dreams that dance in my head are all my own.


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  1. Emiko December 2, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Beautiful photos! How do you think your experience seeing the Northern Lights on a cruise might differ from seeing them on land? This is a big bucket list item for me, but I’ve always wondered the best way to experience the lights.

    • Cacinda Maloney December 2, 2014 at 1:04 am

      Great question and I don’t know for sure, since I have done neither, but from the video posted on the Hurtigruten website, it looks like they are able to maneuver that ship real close to the lights in the sky. I have been to Bergen and taken the Flam railway route and the scenery is spectacular. I am also thinking it is a better deal to be on the boat, because I have heard many stories where travelers have gone looking for the Northern Lights and stayed out for hours and hours looking, just to not have them show up. At least this way, you are close to your cabin and can retire when you want to, and then if needed, go right out on that deck fast if they do show up!

  2. Cristina December 2, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve seen some Northern Lights from Iceland and a spectacular show over the Saskatchewan region from 32,000 feet on a flight to Calgary! I would be very interested in seeing photos from a cruise. I wonder if they dock or let you get off on land. From my experience, seeing the Aurora with the naked eye is quite different from seeing it on a photo. Plus the least bit of light pollution or shaking of the camera during a long exposure shot could not warrant the photos pictured above. I hope you get to go though! Even though I have seen them, it’s still on my bucket list. For some reason, I’m only crossing it of if I see them from Norway because I think that is where they are the best!

    • Cacinda Maloney December 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Just a glimpse of them would suffice, then I am sure I would go back for more! By land, by sea and pretty much anywhere would make me happy!

  3. Dex December 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm

    I am so excited to see the northern lights and hope this year the skies will be clear so I can see all these splendid and spectacular sight of nature….

    • Cacinda Maloney December 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      Yes, I would love to see them too, fingers and toes crossed.

  4. Experience the Artic Spring - PointsandTravel.com December 15, 2014 at 7:43 am

    […] the Arctic in the winter including the draw of the Northern Lights – see my recent post ‘Experience Norway’s Northern Lights.’ But a trip here in the spring is a traveller’s dream and can be just as enchanting. […]

  5. Hannah @GettingStamped December 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Seeing the northern lights is high up on my bucket list! Hope to get there in 2015. Your photos are making me wish I have gotten there sooner!

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  9. Sophie October 21, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    I went to Tromso, Norway to see the Northern light. I stayed for 7 days to make sure I catch it. The first two nights the chase for Northern Light was canceled due to low solar activity. The next two nights I was not impressed by the light. I almost felt cheated. The 5th night was just spectacular. It was like watching a silent musical on the sky. It started around 7 pm and kept going until about 1 am. It is an experience that I will never forget.

    • Cacinda Maloney October 21, 2015 at 9:03 pm

      Yes, I have heard of many who go for the Northern Lights, yet never get to see them… you are so blessed to see them!

  10. Andrew Darwitan April 10, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Sadly, it didn’t appear when I was cruising with Hurtigruten, but I managed to catch aurora in Lofoten Islands. It was an incredible experience, but came with a lot of hard work and perseverance. I arrived in Reine and it began to snow heavily with clouds covering the sky. Knowing that my chance is really slim, I headed out anyway to find an open, clear skies and after two hour of hikes, I saw it! Really beautiful sight, especially as the setting was in a dramatic range of mountains rising from a fjord. =)

    • Cacinda Maloney April 10, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      I still have not seen them yet! Lucky you!

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