The hypnotic dance of green and gold streaking the northern skies is a wonder of the natural world that many long to see. Hunting the aurora borealis will send you into a frenzy -ready to wade through thick frost and snow, to jet to remote lands of ice and fire, and to sleep wrapped in reindeer furs.
Formed from fast moving electrical particles, solar flares, and magnetic fields and gases – this really is a ballet of science. The only way to catch the splendor is to head north, up towards the Arctic in the midst of winter. Here are our tips for chasing the Northern Lights in style…
Chasing the lights is not a straightforward task; they can be fickle, clouds and storms can move quickly across the Arctic, and light pollution can dramatically impact your chances. Keep up to date with the aurora forecast, and lend your attention, not just to the lights, but the destination. And because most of these destinations are a challenge to get to, don’t forget to ship your luggage ahead to make sure your trip goes smoothly and your bags are awaiting your arrival!
Arctic Circle Cruise with Viking
When: January to March
Where: London – Bergen
Why: Viking Cruises are offering guests the chance to climb aboard their beautiful ships in London and to set sail on their unique In Search of the Northern Lights cruise. The special ship – Viking Sky has been designed to keep guests gloriously warm and comfortable, even when passing through Fjords of ice. The onboard saunas certainly help.
For thirteen days, you can drop anchor at Norway’s most scenic spots- from the island of Tromso to the ancient rock carvings of Alta, and the scenic glacier town of Bergen. Treats when stepping ashore include rare encounters with the Sami people and reindeer rides. Within the silence of the Arctic Circle, darkness falls early, gifting plenty of chance to witness the lights with a glass of whiskey in hand.
Husky Sled in Yukon
When: December – April
Where: Inn on the Lake, Yukon, Canada
Why: While many will flock to the tip of Finland and the Fjords to track down the Northern Lights, across the pond you can journey to the final frontier of North America. Yukon in Canada sits beneath knife-sharp mountains, surrounded with cowboy outposts and gold rush towns. Inn on the Lake provides the perfect pampered base for midnight expeditions on the back of a husky sled. Close to the town of Whitehorse, you can sleep in cozy cottages complete with hot tubs on the lakeside deck, dine on Northern inspired flavor, and relax beside crackling log fires.
To find the Northern Lights, husky sledding is the most time honored and traditional method. The inn also offers guests the chance to chase the glimmers of gold and green via ski-plane, snowshoeing across the frozen landscape, or bombing along the trails on a snowmobile. Cross country skiers can even send skis and equipment ahead via Luggage Forward and make the most of miles of untouched territory.
Wilderness Tee-pee Camp
When: February to April
Where: Finnish Lapland
Why: Luxury Action have curated the coziest way to chase the lights, take your lavish camp with you. Exploring Finnish Lapland, you can gain access to some of the most remote spots scattered through the silent wilderness. The moveable heated tents boast nothing less than five-star quality. Hotel linen, a team of staff, your own butler, and gourmet meals every night – this is just the tip of the iceberg.
When the lights refuse to shine, there are a plethora of activities to keep you awestruck in these wintery wonderlands. From wolf and bear trekking to photography trips, frozen lake fishing, and reindeer safaris, you can journey to places that few will have gone before.