Welcome To Tromso: Gateway to our Northern Lights Cruises

Join one of our Northern Lights cruises on a small vessel with 12 guests to witness one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Experience the colourful wonder of the aurora borealis aka the northern lights under the clarity of the Tromsø sky, go whale watching, and explore the remote, frozen scenery on a unique voyage.

Northern Lights Cruises

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Booking Promise

As we look forward to exploring with you again in 2021 we would like to reassure our customers with our risk-free booking promise.

 

Advanced Safety Measures

Find out about the advanced safety measures we will be taking on our future voyages to ensure your safety.

Highlights of a Northern Lights Cruise in Tromsø

During the micro-expedition cruise, you’ll share incredible experiences, adventures, and witness natural wonder in a group with just 12 guests.

See the Northern Lights in an Area With Very Little Light Pollution 

Tromsø‘s northern latitude (nearly 70° north) and relatively low light pollution make it one of the best destinations for seeing the northern lights in the world. The city is located in the middle of the auroral oval – the area with the highest probability of seeing the northern lights.

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People travel from across the world to this city in northern Norway, high above the arctic circle to see the stunning colours caused by electrically charged particles hitting the Earth’s upper atmosphere at a very high speed. Witnessing the northern lights on a clear night is an unforgettable sight to behold, most commonly seen as ethereal, green hues, but sometimes they can appear as red, yellow, pink, blue, or purple too.

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Witness an Abundance of Killer Whales During the Daytime

Tromø’s spectacular sights aren’t just reserved for night time. Although the winter daylight hours are short in Tromsø, they do offer an excellent chance of witnessing the mighty killer whale (or Orca) in the wild. We’ll travel north of Tromsø to the surrounding fjords in search of the apex predator (no animals prey on them) of the Arctic ocean. Orcas are actually the largest member of the dolphin family, and they were given the name “killer whale” by ancient mariners because their enormous appetite also includes other whales.

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But, the black and white killer whale spends a lot of its time in the Norwegian fjords in search of herring. They spend around 40 percent of their time travelling, so we’ll look out for them swimming as we cruise gently along the fjords, and witness beautiful Arctic scenery along the way.  Smaller ships are quieter and less disruptive to Orcas too, as with all our wildlife watching – follow strict rules laid out by The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), so our expeditions don’t have a negative effect on wildlife.

Explore Norway’s Secluded Villages in the Depths of Winter

Tromø’s spectacular sights aren’t just reserved for night time. Although the winter daylight hours are short in Tromsø, they do offer an excellent chance of witnessing the mighty killer whale (or Orca) in the wild. We’ll travel north of Tromsø to the surrounding fjords in search of the apex predator (no animals prey on them) of the Arctic ocean. Orcas are actually the largest member of the dolphin family, and they were given the name “killer whale” by ancient mariners because their enormous appetite also includes other whales.

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Northern Lights FAQ

What are the Northern Lights?

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The northern lights or aurora borealis are polar lights  – natural phenomena that cause coloured lights to dance across the sky. The same phenomena also occur in the southern hemisphere as the southern lights or aurora australis. These celestial lights are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere.

 

They can appear in smaller patches, or large, swirling light streams often most commonly in green hues, although on rare occasions they can appear as red, yellow, pink, blue or purple too.

Where Is the Best Place to See the Northern Lights?

For the best chance to see the northern lights, you need to go somewhere with a latitude of over 66 degrees north – roughly the same as the Arctic Circle. Tromsø has a latitude of nearly 70° north) and relatively low light pollution makes it one of the best destinations for seeing the northern lights in the world. The city is located in the middle of the auroral oval – the area with the highest probability of seeing the northern lights.

Weather conditions are relatively stable in and around Tromsø, and although it gets pretty cold (around -5 degrees celsius) in winter, it’s warmer than some other places on the same latitude. It’s also a mountainous area, which is ideal for northern lights trips. That’s because clouds rise when they hit mountains up to 1830 metres above sea level which creates a pressure change and the clouds dissolve, opening up visibility to see northern lights in all their glory.

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When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

Our northern lights cruises run from November to February, but one of the best moths to see the northern lights is in November.

What Is the Best Way to Photograph the Northern Lights?

You’ll need a reasonably decent camera to do the northern lights justice – ideally a full-frame camera with a wide-angle lens, and a tripod for keeping the camera steady. Full frame cameras are better for low light photography, and the wide-angle lens will let you capture the stunning Tromsø landscape, as well the northern lights as they shimmer above. If possible, bring a lens that can be set to a fast aperture of a minimum of f4. 

 

Switch to manual mode and turn off the flash, and you’ll have to adapt the shutter speed according to the brightness of the lights on the night. Obviously, it’s not possible to predict the speed or brightness of the northern lights. But, as a guide, if the aurora is bright and fast-moving, then try a shutter speed of between five and ten seconds, between 12-20 seconds if they’re moving more slowly and if it’s very faint then try a speed of around 20-25 seconds. 

What Do I Pack for a Northern Lights Cruise?

Our expedition vessel is very warm and cosy, but when it comes to packing for a northern lights cruise, it’s all about layers. Of course, you’ll need a decent coat (as well as hats, scarves, gloves, etc), but plenty of layers are the key to staying warm as you gaze up at the northern lights during winter in Tromsø.

 

Make sure to pack:

 

  • A base layer: Non-breathable fabrics like polyester to keep the heat on your body while drawing sweat off the skin to the exterior of the materia,l so it will evaporate more easily.

 

  •  Middle layer: Your core insulation, like sweaters, hoodies, down jackets, or fleeces that aren’t too tight under your outer layer.

 

  • Outer layer: This layer has to weather storms, or at least deal with wind and rain. Unlike your baselayer – you do want your coat to be breathable, so material like gore-tex is a good shout. 

 

Pack thick wool socks to keep the heat in, and a pair of warm, waterproof winter walking boots, ideally with removable spikes for extra grip.

Why Choose a Micro Expedition Vessel Experience?

We believe our northern lights cruises on an expedition vessel are the best way to experience Norway’s wildlife and natural wonder in an intimate, personal and lower-impact way in a warm, comfortable environment.  Our onboard expert expedition leader will guide you to explore some of Norway’s most remote and beautiful villages. With a small group of just 12 guests, our expert guide will have plenty of time to share their expertise and answer your questions about the geography, history, and wildlife of Norway.

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While we can’t guarantee the daily appearances of either –  Tromsø is one of the best places in the world for witnessing the northern lights, and seeing killer whales in the wild. Travelling in a small group is a more enriching experience than a larger tour group, there’s no crowds to disturb the peace or waiting around to go ashore – there’s space for the whole group in our Zodiacs. And once you’re there, you’ll experience the Arctic wilderness without rushing, in the company of like-minded guests.

Dates and Prices

We will announce dates shortly for our 2021 Northern lights Cruises. If you are interested please register your interest below and we will keep you informed about when they go on sale.

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