- Make The Most of The Solar Maximum on a Northern Lights Voyage -
A recent revision of NASA’s ‘solar maximum’ forecast means that this winter could be one of the best in a decade for viewing the Northern Lights. Northern Norway is directly under the zone of maximum activity and is therefore an ideal place to experience this great natural light show. With this in mind, Hurtigruten has launched its winter 2013/14 programme packed full of itineraries in search of the Northern Lights and more direct flights to Norway than ever before. Its ships are the perfect viewing platform as they can be seen against the dark night sky, away from the artificial light of towns and cities.
To make it as easy as possible to go in search of the Northern Lights, a total of 47 direct flight departures are being offered this winter, including trips from Glasgow and Bournemouth for the first time. These sit alongside all the other existing regional airports Hurtigruten offer direct flights from in the winter including: Gatwick; Manchester; Leeds Bradford; Bristol; Edinburgh and Belfast.
Packages with direct flights are available on two itineraries. There are 32 departures on the hugely popular ‘Arctic Highlights Voyage’ from Tromsø to Kirkenes, which spends its entirety within the Arctic Circle, thus giving the best opportunity to see the Northern Lights. Prices are from £995pp including return flights, three night’s half board on the ship and one night’s b/b accommodation in Tromso.
The ‘Classic Round Voyage’ from Bergen to Kirkenes and back has 15 flight inclusive departures this winter. The 12-day trip gives longer on the ship and therefore more nights with which to search for the Northern Lights. Prices are from £1372pp including return flights and11 night’s full board on the ship.
Staying in a snow hotel continues to be a ‘must-do’ for many and five extra departures have been added that include a night at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel at the end of a voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes. There are 25 departures of the eight-day ‘Arctic Wonders’ voyage between 27 December 2013 and 28 March 2014, with flights included from either Gatwick or Heathrow. Prices start from £1593pp.
After another sell out year, Hurtigruten has added yet another Astronomy voyage date, bringing the total now available to five. Accompanied by a renowned Astronomer, a series of lectures and a tour of the night’s sky ensures the world of planets, stars and meteors is better understood along with the myths and legends linked to our night skies. The voyages follow the ‘Classic Round Voyage’ route and prices start from £1608pp including flights from Gatwick or Heathrow.
Kathryn Beadle, managing director at Hurtigruten UK comments “In a recent survey by the CLIA Uk and Ireland, the northern lights was voted the natural phenomenon that passengers would most like to view from a cruise ship which is exciting news. According to space scientists revised predictions, the Sun's current cycle of activity will peak this autumn, so the opportunities for seeing the northern lights in late 2013 and early 2014 should be excellent once again. There really has never been a better time to go.”
For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601 www.hurtigruten.co.uk