Is seeing the Northern Lights high on your must-do list? Well – this winter could be the year to go to maximise the chance of seeing them. NASA predicts that this winter will see the strongest Northern Lights activity in 50 years and what better place to see them than from a Hurtigruten ship where they are set against the dark night sky, away from artificial light.
The Northern Lights have increased in intensity since 2007, and will be at their peak in 2012. The Solar Maximum, the period with the greatest solar activity, peaks around every 11 to 12 years. According to NASA, 2012 is the year that we will once again witness the Solar Maximum, and it will be stronger than at any time in the last 50 years.
The Northern Lights are at their most active in the late autumn and they occur most frequently and at their brightest in a belt of some 2,500 kilometres from the magnetic pole. Much of the Norwegian coast lies in an area with the greatest Northern Lights activity, especially the high Arctic above the Arctic Circle.
A six-day Voyage North departing daily between 1 November – 31 December 2011 sails from Bergen to Kirkenes with the chance to add a range of excursions such as a visit to North Cape, snowmobiling or dog sledging. Prices start from £625 per person including six night’s half board on the ship and no single supplements. Flight packages including transfers are available from £495 based on London departures.