Northern Lights Cruise

9 min read

Many dream of seeing nature’s own fireworks, and you can go on a range of trips and chase the lights yourself. If you are looking for a comfortable and chill way to experience one of nature’s most incredible wonders, you can go on a cruise to see the Northern Lights. Here you can enjoy a dark and magic winter evening on the sea while experiencing a luminous light show.

Y ou actually have a better chance of catching the lights out at sea rather than in the city as you need to get away from the light pollution to get a proper view of the show. Whether you want to go on a Northern Lights cruise in 2021 or you are already planning a trip for 2022 there are a few options to choose from, and Tromsø is one of the best places in Norway to set sail from.

When to go on a Northern Lights Cruise

In Norway the Northern Lights season lasts approximately from mid-September to mid-March. The Norwegian Northern Lights cruises start going in November and stop going in April.

It’s not easy to say exactly when the best month to see the lights are, but hopefully the overview below will give you some pointers.


September – October: This period doesn't have long periods of darkness, but there is still a lot of solar activity during these months.

November – February: During these months, you won’t see the sun much in Norway. The darkness is a major factor for aurora observations, but there is a higher chance of snow and cloud cover.

March – April: These months have more daylight than in the winter months, but will, like the autumn period, still have a lot of solar activity.

T he phenomenon can actually occur all year round, at all hours of the day, but they are only visible during winter when the sky is dark and clear. During summer it’s too bright outside for you to get a good view of the lights and even during winter you’ll have the best chance of seeing them if you go out of the city and away from the light pollution Light pollution is caused by city lights, signs and buildings – and of course the sun.

Best cruise to see Northern Lights

Of all the top aurora spots in the world, Tromsø is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights. This is due to its location in the heart of the aurora zone in the Norwegian Arctic. On a clear night in this city, you won’t have to travel far for a chance to see the aurora boralis. If you are looking for some of the best cruises to see for watching the Northern Lights, there are two great options in Tromsø. We can offer a Northern Lights Photo Cruise or an Aurora Dinner Cruise.

Northern Light Photo Cruise

The goal of this trip is not only to catch the lights, but also ensure that you get the million dollar shot of the phenomenon. This is a short cruise, lasting for about 3,5 hours. You’ll set off from the centre of Tromsø, and when the aurora conditions are right, the captain will slow down and let the boat drift along with the current. When nature's own disco appears in the sky, the guide will help you set up the camera and offer to take the photo for you.

The direction you cruise off in, will all depend on the aurora forecast and the weather predictions of the current day. Wherever the chances are highest is where the guides will steer the boat. On some Northern Lights tours, you can book a second cruise free of charge, if you don’t see the lights on your trip.

Aurora Dinner Cruise

This is a relaxing cruise where you can enjoy an arctic tapas dinner in a 360-degree panoramic lounge while the Northern Lights illuminate your surroundings. Here you’ll cruise around past snow-covered mountains and landmarks like the Arctic Cathedral. During the trip the captain will also launch an underwater drone, allowing you to have a closer look at the marine life below you.

Missed the Lights? Join a Second Cruise for Free!

Aurora borealis is a natural phenomenon and there is never any guarantee that you’ll be able to see the lights on any of the trips. If you have booked the Northern Lights Photo cruise and didn’t catch the lights on your trip, you can book a second trip free of charge. This way, should you not have a successful chase, you’ll get another chance to get a glimpse at these spectacular lights.


W hether you are going travelling with a partner, your family or with friends, a Northern Lights trip is fun for everyone. Maybe you came toTromsø on Hurtigruten, saw the lights and want to experience them again in a setting that allows you to take proper photos of them. Or maybe you are in Tromsø on a vacation and want to include a relaxing sea trip to your adventure. In any case, the boats are spacious and have comfortable lounges where you can chill, enjoy the views, have a cup of coffee, snacks or a light meal.

What to bring on a Norwegian Northern Lights Cruise

In Norway the weather and temperature can change fast. When going on a winter or fall excursion above the Arctic circle, we alway recommend dressing according to the season and in layers so you can adjust your clothing to the weather conditions. If you need an extra layer when out on one of our tours, we can offer you a winter overall suit.

Apart from that, you only need to bring a sense of adventure and a camera.

Tromsø fjords northern lights mountains
Northern Lights observation by cruise in Tromsø

Did you know?

  • The Northern Lights can occur all day every day.
  • Tromsø is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights.
  • You can chase the lights by dog sled, reindeer sled and snowmobile.
  • In Kirkenes you can stay in a traditional gamme cabin and drift off to sleep while watching aurora
Read more about the Northern Lights here

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