Norway: Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage
Search the skies for the incredible Aurora Borealis
This voyage will be irresistible to anyone who not only dreams of seeing the Aurora Borealis but also wants to delve deep into the science, history and folklore that surround this ethereal phenomenon. The Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage follows the same route as the 12-day Classic Round Voyage, calling at major cities like Trondheim, Tromsø and Ålesund as well as some of the more quaint seaside settlements like Rørvik, Honningsvåg and the fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands. The difference with this cruise is that it is accompanied by expert astronomer, Ian Ridpath, from the Royal Astronomical Society. Through his series of lectures delivered on board the ship during your time at sea, you will become familiar with the physical processes that create the Aurora, why it only appears in winter and what causes it to change colour and intensity.
Running from September to March, the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage sails only during the time of year when the Aurora regularly appears. The chances of seeing the spectacle are heightened as the ship crosses into Arctic waters and for the most part, there will be no artificial lights from towns and cities that can spoil your viewing experience. What’s more, while you are on board you can request to have a wake-up call to your cabin should the Northern Lights appear during the night, ensuring that you don’t miss a minute of their captivating display.
Day 1 - Bergen
Fly into Bergen Airport and transfer to your ship. If time permits before the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage sets sail, take some time to explore Bergen, which is steeped in history. The old Hanseatic Wharf is of particular interest and you can gain a great perspective of the city from the top of Mount Fløyen, which is easily reached via the charming funicular railway.Meals included:Dinner
Day 2 - Arrive in Ålesund
The ship docks early this morning. After breakfast, head ashore to discover the delights of Ålesund and admire the town’s beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. A selection of excursions is available in Ålesund today or you might like to explore independently, perhaps visiting the town’s Sunnmøre Museum, which houses an intriguing collection of Viking boats.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Trondheim
Trondheim is a city that is famous for its Viking history. It was once Norway’s capital, but now it is the country’s third largest city after Oslo and Bergen. Today on the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage you can take a tour of the city, visiting the magnificent Nidaros Cathedral with its imposing edifice, or perhaps explore the National Museum of Decorative Arts, which exhibits the epitome of Scandinavian design.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Lofoten Islands
Arguably one of the most scenic parts of Norway, this charming archipelago juts out into the Norwegian Sea and is a haven for wildlife. Whales, puffins, seals and dolphins are often spotted from ships as they sail past the islands. Today we visit the picturesque towns of Bodø and Svolvær, and we also reach a milestone in the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage as we cross the Arctic Circle, meaning that your chances of seeing the Aurora Borealis are greatly enhanced.Meals included:Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Tromsø
Known as the ‘Capital of the Arctic’, Tromsø is a lively city and is a real hotspot for visitors looking to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights. The Arctic Cathedral with its contemporary design is well worth a visit, as is Polaria, where you can amble along the Arctic Walkway and watch native fish and seals in the aquarium.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - Honningsvåg
Today the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage arrives at the town of Honningsvåg on the northern tip of Norway. This beautiful seaside town is dotted with wooden houses that are painted in every colour, making it a delightful sight to behold against the hilly backdrop. Today you can embark on an excursion to the North Cape, which lays claim to being the most northerly point of mainland Europe.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Kirkenes
As we round the tip of northern Norway, we carry on to Kirkenes, the last major settlement before crossing the border into Russia. On the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage today you have the choice of an excursion to the Russian Border, a visit to the Kirkenes Snow Hotel or the chance to ride on a snowmobile. After a day of outdoor fun, the ship makes an about turn and begins the return leg of the voyage.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Tromsø
This morning, the ship calls at the town of Hammerfest before sailing on to Tromsø. There is a real treat in store for holidaymakers on the Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage this evening, as they are invited to attend a stirring midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Lofoten Islands
Today heralds another chance to witness the natural beauty of the Lofoten Islands. If you did not see much in the way of wildlife on your first visit, perhaps today you will. It is also the final chance you will get to witness the Aurora Borealis from within the Arctic realm.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Rørvik
We leave the Arctic Circle behind and continue to sail to the quaint town of Rørvik on the eastern side of the Vikna archipelago. There are several museums to visit in the town and the Maritime Museum is of particular interest, as it showcases the fascinating history of this busy little port.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Trondheim
The Northern Lights Astronomy Voyage revisits Trondheim today, giving you the opportunity to visit sights that you missed on the first leg of the voyage. You might like to visit the Ringve Museum of Musical Instruments or explore the 60 period buildings of the open-air Folk Museum, which adjoins the remains of King Sverre’s Castle.Meals included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 - Bergen
As the ship returns to Bergen, disembark for your transfer to the airport where you will board your flight bound for the UK.Meals included:Breakfast
- Flights from London other airports on request.
- Voyage Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen in a twin cabin.
- Full board on voyage
- Tour manager and lectures with Dr John Mason (MBE) or Ian Ridpath.
- Transfers with the package only.
- Travel Insurance
- Optional Excursions
- Luggage Handling
- Optional carbon balancing fee (£5)
|Dates||Voyage only - Prices From||Voyage, flights and transfers - Prices From|
- Prices are per person, based on two adults sharing
- Flight prices quoted are based on London airports
- Regional departures may be available and a supplement may apply
- Embarkation port is Bergen
- Disembarkation port is Bergen
- 2017 departures: Oct 16; Nov 7, 13
- 2018 departures: Jan 12; Feb 14; Mar 8; Oct 3, 31; Nov 5; Dec 3, 30
- 2019 departures: Feb 1; Mar 1, 28
|16/10/2017||08/03/2018||Upgrade to a Polar Outside Cabin from||£123|
|16/10/2017||08/03/2018||Upgrade to an Arctic Superior Outside Cabin from||£422|
|03/10/2018||28/03/2019||Upgrade to a Polar Outside Cabin from||£126|
|03/10/2018||28/03/2019||Upgrade to an Arctic Superior Outside Cabin from||£431|
Lectures on Board
A series of lectures are given by the renowned astronomers Ian Ridpath or Dr John Mason during the voyage. These take place in the ships conference room and on the deck (weather permitting). After all of the lectures you can ask our experts any questions that you have, and will you will no doubt see the night sky in a whole new light.