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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Northern Lights

I would very much like to visit the fjords of Norway, and at the same time see the northern lights. Would the latter be possible some time in mid September, or is this too early in the season. Thank you in advance for your input.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 11:27 AM
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You should be able to see them then, but you will need to go quite a way north to get the best chance of seeing them - above the Arctic circle certainly. Tromsø has several tour operators offering to take you out at night to spot them. There is of course no guarantee of seeing them at any time, though in theory they are more active around the equinoxes for some reason.

A friend in Trondheim has taken photos of them from there in September but he suffered from long evening twilight still, and readily admits to being too far south for really good shots.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 12:36 PM
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It's often more cost-effective to take a cruise to see the far north of Norway (cruises go all the way to Kirkenes from Bergen), but the whole trip takes a week, though the scenery is gorgeous. However, Hurtigruten has packages that include stays in Oslo and Bergen if you want to see more of Norway than just the lights. These are not really luxury ships, so the cost is somewhat affordable (well, it's all relative when speaking about Norway).

If the lights are your sole focus, then it's probably more cost-effective to go straight north from Oslo and then decamp to a cheaper country.

Hurtigruten also has special Northern Lights packages that take you during the best times of the year, and other cruise lines do this route on larger, more upscale ships that might appeal to you more, but their itineraries are limited in seasons, and the ships are often larger, making certain ports inaccessible.
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 01:57 PM
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We saw them for NYE 3 years ago and rates as the experience of a lifetime, along wih swimming with wild dolphins in The Bahamas.

We stayed in Tromso for 3 nights and it would appear to be a hotspot due to the earth's magnetic field. I can't begin to describe the experience as it was outside anything else you will normally experience.

Many friends have tried trips with a similar aim and have generally failed in places like Iceland.

I am unsure whether September is too early but in terms of an overall winter experince, the snow, temperatures and lights in January combine well.
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Old Nov 17th, 2012, 02:25 AM
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I agree they are an amazing experience. I have seen them the last two winters from the Hurtigruten. That said there were people onboard making up to their 14th trip who had never seen them until this March.

The main advantage of going in December/January/February is that the days are short (or non existent), and the nights are long, giving more of a viewing window.
Both last year an this I saw them from fairly early in the evening until about midnight, with nothing after that.
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