Why Not Take a Vacation to See the Majestic Northern Lights?
The Northern Lights (also called aurora borealis) are an incredible display of colored light in the sky where there seemingly shouldn’t be any. They only occur at very high altitudes. The lights are caused by charged particles from the sun striking some of the molecules in the earth's atmosphere and end up producing photons of light. The aurora borealis functions as a high scale version of a neon light that can be enjoyed by anyone who just looks up!
Because of how impressive the show can be, many vacations are designed to allow viewers to take in the majesty of the event. In many cases, the best time to see the Northern Lights is in the winter. This can present special challenges in a vacation, but vacation packages take that into account. If you have always wanted to see the Northern Lights, then learn more about the great vacations available.
Countries to Visit
When planning a trip to see the spectacular Northern Lights, you’re going to visit a Northern country! There’s some debate as to which areas see the lights the best. What’s more, different countries and areas experience the Northern Lights at different times.
- Iceland - This country is known for its austerity and the Northern Lights are impressive between August and the end of April. Iceland is an exciting and unique country, so there’s plenty to see and do.
- United States (Alaska) - This is the only state that makes any sense for the Northern Lights. Arguably the best area is around Fairbanks. The Northern Lights here are most likely to appear between August and May. They are at their best between 10pm and 2am, so be ready for a late night!
- Norway - Trosmo Norway features a “Northern Lights Festival” every January with activities and events for tourists and townspeople alike. October to Mid-March is the best time in Norway.
- Canada - You can travel to the north of Alberta and visit Jasper National Park to get a good view of the Northern Lights. The Yukon territory is even farther and can let you see the lights from August to Mid-April.
Best Way to See the Northern Lights
It’s important to note that the Northern Lights are not a guarantee to be seen. They can sometimes be stubborn. The best way to see the Northern Lights is often through a vacation package. These packages make it easier and more comfortable to see the lights!
Northern lights vacation packages will include lodging and transport to a location with little light pollution. This can allow for the full Northern Lights experience. Many viewing locations can feature heated viewing areas so that visitors aren’t standing in the cold for an extended period of time for little reason. They will often also include cold weather gear! Parkas and boots are of special interest. This is important for people travelling to see the Northern Lights from southern climates who don’t really wish to purchase all of that gear just for a vacation.
Northern Lights Cruises
An exciting option for people interested in seeing the Northern Lights in a different way is by taking a cruise through the Northern waters. These cruises can be around Scandinavia and hover around the edges of Northern Lights seasons. The reason is simple. The prime season is often during the middle of winter. This is less enjoyable for cruise passengers.
Most cruises tend to be on moderate sized boats with somewhere between 200 to 2000 passengers. This is far less than the insanely gigantic Caribbean cruise ships. In addition to the Northern Lights, there’s plenty of other things to see. Staggering vistas and icebergs are incredible. Narwhal whales are a rare treat only spotted in ice cold water. Who knows, maybe you’ll see some polar bears near the water!