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Northern Lights: best time

Leeds, United...
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Northern Lights: best time

I'm looking to book a 5/6 day 'cruise' with Hurtigruten from Bergen to Tromso to see the Northern Lights but am unsure as to the best time.

January offers 24 hours of night sky but, presumably, little light with which to view the Norwegian coast.

August/October would seem to offer better opportunities for viewing the coast but are the lights visible then?

When is the best time to balance coastal views and the lights?

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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1. Re: Northern Lights: best time

Hi,

You may find information on these sites:

http://www.northern-lights.no/

destinasjontromso.no/english/useful_info_art…

Hope this helps.

Bergen, Norway
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2. Re: Northern Lights: best time

"January offers 24 hours of night sky" - only to the north of the Arctic circle, which is a rather small part of your journey. But yeah, it will get dark quite early in the southern parts of the country too.

August is a bit early for northern lights - watching, but both September and October should be fine. (I currently live in Tromsø, where we see the northern lights on pretty much every clear night between September and early April)

I'd probably pick mid - late September - with the beautiful autumn colours, and still warmish weather if you're lucky. You'll need a bit of luck to see the northern lights, of course - you'll need the sky to be clear (no clouds)...

Bergen, Norway
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3. Re: Northern Lights: best time

Oh, and feel free to check out my pages on Virtual Tourist, where you'll find travel tips and photos from my two home towns... :o)

Tromsø: members.virtualtourist.com/m/878cd/33699/

Bergen: members.virtualtourist.com/m/878cd/365da/

Leeds, United...
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4. Re: Northern Lights: best time

Thanks for the responses: appreciated!

I have been in touch with my travel agent and was thinking of booking for the last week in October as a view of the coastline, as well as the lights, is quite important to me. However, she reports that last October/November she had many clients who failed to see the lights. She recommends January/February/March to stand a better chance of seeing them. Does this match your experience?

If it does, then I might decide to travel in the first week of February next year on the MS Trollfjord.

Bergen, Norway
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5. Re: Northern Lights: best time

There are never any guarantees, of course - but in Tromsø, we see the northern lights very often - pretty much every night when the sky is clear (..no clouds..) between September and April - I can't really say that I think February is any better than, say, September. See www.met.no for weather statistics - according to that site, average rainfall in Tromsø is around 100 mm in September, 90 mm in February...

In February / March Tromsø will most likely be quite snowy (even though the last few winters have been rather odd!!) - which is good if you're interested in dog-sledding and that kind of stuff... :o)

Prittlbach, Germany
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6. Re: Northern Lights: best time

Went in late september last year and saw northern lights once (north of Tromso). Other people on board said they did a round trip in february and didn't see them once, so it's really hit or miss.

7. Re: Northern Lights: best time

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