On a Mission to See the Northern Lights:
It’s 2:30 a.m. when the phone rings. It’s the Reception informing us that the Northern Lights have been sighted. Half asleep, I’m not sure if I’m hearing correctly or if this a practical joke? By this stage of our return Hurtigruten cruise, I was beginning to give up hope of seeing the Northern Lights.
The person on the phone confirms that it’s a sighting so we jump into our clothing, grab our cameras and head out to the back of the ship.
It’s the Northern Lights alright, but not the spectacular dancing light show that we were hoping for. A wavy stream of green light can be seen across the pitch dark skies. Point-and- shoot happy snappers like me have no chance of getting a shot of the dark skies, but thankfully Tony succeeds.
All too quickly, the ship’s moved along and we lose sight of the Northern Lights. It is a weak effort by the Aurora Borealis, but at least we can say that we’ve seen the Lights. Checking our schedule in the morning, we must have been somewhere between Mehamn and Kjøllefjord when the Lights were seen.
According to the Norwegians, on average, it is possible to see the Northern Lights on about 200 nights each year in Norwegian Lapland. I suppose it depends on where you go to see the Lights and a coastal voyage may not be the ideal place for a spectacular light show, so we’re grateful for tonight’s sighting.
The best possibility for seeing the Northern Lights is during clear winter nights from October to April, but a couple of passengers who have visited Norway a few times say that February/March are better months as the skies are clearer. The majority of the Northern Lights can be seen between 90 and 130 kilometres from the ground.