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    • srisport
    • By srisport 18th May 17, 9:14 PM
    • 167Posts
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    srisport
    0 WOW
    Visiting the Northern Lights (Aurora)
    • #1
    • 18th May 17, 9:14 PM
    0 WOW
    Visiting the Northern Lights (Aurora) 18th May 17 at 9:14 PM
    We are planning a trip where we are able to view this spectacular natural beauty but are stuck on location.

    I have been told that they can be viewed from Scotland but to be honest I quite fancy visiting Finland/Sweden or Iceland but I'm unsure on where to start in regards to best location.

    Would either or all of those places listed above be good enough to view the Aurora?

    Ive seen a few sites online where you pay for a company to plan the trip for you but to be honest I'm quite happy to plan it all myself and hopefully it will save me a few pennies too.

    Anybody done this before who can pass along some helpful guidance on which direction to start looking at first?

    Kind Regards.
Page 1
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 18th May 17, 9:18 PM
    • 3,165 Posts
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    martinthebandit
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 9:18 PM
    • #2
    • 18th May 17, 9:18 PM
    We took a last minute 15 night northern light cruise and saw them three times.
    While we were in Alta in the far north of Norway we got chatting to a couple who had flown there and had two nights bed and breakfast in order to do the same.

    Unfortunately for them both nights they were there it was cloudy so.

    Even more unfortunately for them when they totalled up the cost of their trip, flights, accommodation, food etc they paid more for their two night, three day trip than we did for our cruise!
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 18th May 17, 10:07 PM
    • 2,478 Posts
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 10:07 PM
    • #3
    • 18th May 17, 10:07 PM
    You may want to factor in the fact that the cycle is on the downward slope reaching a peak again in 2025
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - the Argos Card!
    • Katiehound
    • By Katiehound 19th May 17, 5:01 AM
    • 3,580 Posts
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    Katiehound
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 5:01 AM
    • #4
    • 19th May 17, 5:01 AM
    Or you might fancy a cruise with Hurtigruten which as I recall has a northern lights promise- don't see them and get a free cruise. These were for cruises end of this year.
    Being polite and pleasant doesn't cost anything!

    If you found my posting helpful please hit the "Thanks" button!
    Thank You
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 19th May 17, 5:19 AM
    • 6,580 Posts
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    PeacefulWaters
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 5:19 AM
    • #5
    • 19th May 17, 5:19 AM
    There are no guarantees. Make sure you have other things to enjoy besides staring at the night sky for a no show!
    • srisport
    • By srisport 19th May 17, 10:54 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    srisport
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 10:54 PM
    • #6
    • 19th May 17, 10:54 PM
    Thank you all for your helpful tips, we quite enjoy the log cabin experience. usually spend our anniversary wkend in a log cabin in a forrest in North Yorkshire but thought we would step our game up this year and try a log cabin in the snowy climate or finland etc...

    Im unsure how successful this will be but you can only try, plus we both would like to see the Aurora so we thought we would combine the two.

    We took a last minute 15 night northern light cruise and saw them three times.

    Unfortunately for them both nights they were there it was cloudy so.
    Originally posted by martinthebandit
    How last minute was your booking, we were thinking of a 5 day trip so fingers cross the skies can stay clear for atleast one of them

    You may want to factor in the fact that the cycle is on the downward slope reaching a peak again in 2025
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    I have read something about this recently, Maybe if we are unsuccessful this year then we can plan again for 8 years time?

    There are no guarantees. Make sure you have other things to enjoy besides staring at the night sky for a no show!
    Originally posted by PeacefulWaters
    Of course i wouldn't go all the way there for just this activity, we always ensure we take advantage of our trips and try to plan as much as possible, but at the same time leaving a day or so for rest

    Regards.
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 20th May 17, 7:42 AM
    • 3,165 Posts
    • 5,384 Thanks
    martinthebandit
    • #7
    • 20th May 17, 7:42 AM
    • #7
    • 20th May 17, 7:42 AM

    How last minute was your booking, we were thinking of a 5 day trip so fingers cross the skies can stay clear for atleast one of them
    Originally posted by srisport
    I think we booked a month or six weeks before we went.

    This is who we went with https://www.cruiseandmaritime.com/search/land-of-the-northern-lights

    Though a word of caution some people aren't particularly keen on Cruise and Maritime as their ships tend to be older, smaller and less glitzy' though we have done a fair few cruises with them as we like the smaller ships (and the prices)

    Oh and be aware your sailing into the Arctic circle in winter.
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • blindman
    • By blindman 20th May 17, 9:04 AM
    • 4,928 Posts
    • 3,970 Thanks
    blindman
    • #8
    • 20th May 17, 9:04 AM
    • #8
    • 20th May 17, 9:04 AM
    Thank you all for your helpful tips, we quite enjoy the log cabin experience. usually spend our anniversary wkend in a log cabin in a forrest in North Yorkshire but thought we would step our game up this year and try a log cabin in the snowy climate or finland etc...

    Im unsure how successful this will be but you can only try, plus we both would like to see the Aurora so we thought we would combine the two.



    How last minute was your booking, we were thinking of a 5 day trip so fingers cross the skies can stay clear for atleast one of them



    I have read something about this recently, Maybe if we are unsuccessful this year then we can plan again for 8 years time?




    Of course i wouldn't go all the way there for just this activity, we always ensure we take advantage of our trips and try to plan as much as possible, but at the same time leaving a day or so for rest

    Regards.
    Originally posted by srisport
    One word
    Tromso

    Always under the path of the lights due to its location.
    Norwegian fly direct from LGW every We'd.
    Otherwise it's SAS from LHR via Oslo.

    Hotels expensive so look at AirBnb
    Hire a car and stay out of the city.
    Gives you freedom to explore during the day and also chase the lights if you have to.

    We went in March for 5 nights.

    Saw the lights EVERY night
    Out of the bedroom window and from otherlocations
    Awesome.
    • nwc389
    • By nwc389 21st May 17, 2:37 PM
    • 445 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    nwc389
    • #9
    • 21st May 17, 2:37 PM
    • #9
    • 21st May 17, 2:37 PM
    Another vote for Tromso here. We went February 2016 for four nights , we were lucky enough to see the lights from the hotel room literally within an hour of arriving !
    We did a lights chase which was a fantastic experience and saw the lights again that evening . There are also other things to see and do around Tromso and it's got some stunning scenery- we went dog sledding on my birthday and it was just a perfect day .
    We live in the north of england and booked flights from Edinburgh and sorted our own hotel and excursions. I found trip advisor a great help
    • donglemouse
    • By donglemouse 22nd May 17, 12:07 PM
    • 2,541 Posts
    • 2,445 Thanks
    donglemouse
    another vote from tromso - went in feb 2013 and saw lights every night for a week

    there's plenty to do as well during the day time so trip would be memorable even if you were unlucky and didn't see anything

    plenty of different ways to see lights as well - you can walk/bus to the beach at one end of tromso yourself, get the bus up north and come back one stop on hurtigruten on same day in the evening plus go on a lights tour (small group better than 50 seater bus) where they will get you out in the middle of nowhere
    • AubreyMac
    • By AubreyMac 22nd May 17, 1:18 PM
    • 1,004 Posts
    • 2,477 Thanks
    AubreyMac
    I visited Tromso in feb 2016 and it was fab.


    I spent 3 nights there and booked 2 tours with the same company on consecutive nights in order to maximise my chances of seeing it and I did - on both nights.


    I wouldn't recommend DIY as tour guide took us to remote places and where we are taken depends on the clouds (apparently they use the same technology as airlines) so the place was different on both nights. The first night the skies were clear so we ended up about an hour away from our hotel. We hiked through a frozen lake too in order to get the perfect spot. The guide also has professional photography equipment so we were just able to relax and enjoy it (they also provided us with specialist clothing and boots as the ones you get here, even the expensive north face ones will just not withstand -25c weather). The guide also dug a pit and started a bonfire for us and we enjoyed a freeze dried meals cooked by hot water around the fire as well as marshmallows and hot choc. It really was magical.


    2nd night was cloudy so we were driven 4.5hrs away to the borders of finland and Sweden in order to get to the less cloudy areas. again, more hiking to get to remote areas which is why I wouldn't recommend DIY.
    • blindman
    • By blindman 22nd May 17, 2:27 PM
    • 4,928 Posts
    • 3,970 Thanks
    blindman
    I visited Tromso in feb 2016 and it was fab.





    I wouldn't recommend DIY as tour guide took us to remote places and where we are taken depends on the clouds (apparently they use the same technology as airlines) so the place was different on both nights.
    Originally posted by AubreyMac
    With some research On Tripadvisor it's easy to DIY

    Plenty of software and web-sites that give cloud cover forecasts etc.

    Ebay for buying very cheap clothing-which you can sell on when you return

    Sites to stop
    Road to Tromvik

    Sommaroy just before the bridge

    There are others-I do not have the links with me.

    Best link to a Blog that shows several locations
    Last edited by blindman; 23-05-2017 at 1:14 PM.
    • AubreyMac
    • By AubreyMac 22nd May 17, 2:59 PM
    • 1,004 Posts
    • 2,477 Thanks
    AubreyMac
    With some research On Tripadvisor it's easy to DIY

    Plenty of software and web-sites that give cloud cover forecasts etc.

    Ebay for buying very cheap clothing-which you can sell on when you return

    Sites to stop
    Road to Tromvik

    Sommaroy just before the bridge

    There are others-I do not have the links with me.
    Originally posted by blindman
    I guess it could be easy to DIY if you know about those sort of things. I am clueless on cloud technology, didn't even know it existed & would never have occurred to me, know nowt about SLR camera (I went with just my iphone as my camera) and neither do I know about clothing materials (apart from hearing people say 'down' keeps you warm), never mind adding driving in thick snow/ice on the other side of the road which I have no experience of doing.


    Overall, me going with a guide took the bulk of thinking/sorting off my hands and for me was worth it to be able to just be fully present and enjoy the lights. I got a discount by booking 2 nights in a row and it was personalised instead of a coachful of about 50 people, which Tromso is full of.


    Another point someone else made about arranging other activities, I found that Tromso doesn't have much interesting things to do. I went to that sea life place (that looks like toppling dominoes) and the triangle looking church just off the bridge. You can arrange trips like dog sledding, whale watching and fjord tours which I didn't do (regretfully) as I went specifically to see the lights. Still, another reason to return one day.
    • Miró
    • By Miró 22nd May 17, 4:08 PM
    • 5,393 Posts
    • 22,427 Thanks
    Miró
    Another vote for Tromso and another vote for the Hurtigruten cruises - quite luxurious and not as commercial as the bigger ships. Also they are able to travel up the smaller fjords so you see lots of the very pretty little settlements. We went from Bergen to Tromso and saw the lights several times when on board ship. (Keep the intercom switched on in the cabin and the captain gives a shout out whenever the lights appear and in which direction they are. Great fun leaping out of bed and struggling into warm clothes over your jim jams and then racing out onto the deck in the middle of the night!) We also did the lights chase trip from Tromso similar to the one described by AubreyMac and saw a fabulous display. We found there was plenty to do in Tromso and we were fully occupied for our 3 days there.
    Earth cannot be flat...if it was cats would have knocked everything off by now
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