Advice November Aurora Northern Lights Cruise

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#1
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
We are all looking forward to our Northern Lights Aurora cruise in November but checking the current list of shore excursions in our cruise personaliser there appear to be two excursions of possible interest to us that are not listed.

The ‘Tromso Husky Adventure’ and the ‘Alta Husky Adventure’both involving a dog sledge ride.
Is it possible that they may be added to the shore excursion list closer to our departure date.

Anyone done/recommend any of these excursions.

Also, the ‘In Search Of The Northern Lights’ excursion is expensive(four of us) and we were wondering if we would be better to take our chances and view from the ship. I understand that the captain announces any possible sightings that may occur during the cruise.

We have been to Andalsnes and Stavanger before but not Tromso or Alta. We normally like to explore on our own where possible and we were wondering if that would be possible in Tromso and Alta. Does the ship dock close to the sights of interest etc. or are shore excursions our only option.

Any advice/recommendations would be appreciated.
#2
Up north
31 Posts
Joined May 2017
Hi we are booked on this cruise aswell, our 2nd Northern lights cruise. Last time we went it was in March so there was lots of snow so we did dog sledding, ice hotel etc but as this is a November cruise it might be too early in the season for those activities. Saying that we should have a greater chance of seeing the lights because of the amount of darkness we will have. Any questions just ask.
#3
UK
315 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Bennybluehat
Hi we are booked on this cruise aswell, our 2nd Northern lights cruise. Last time we went it was in March so there was lots of snow so we did dog sledding, ice hotel etc but as this is a November cruise it might be too early in the season for those activities )


Someone please say it isn't so?

On the p&o website they have typical excursions listed under the ports for the November cruise for those ports that show those activities. I know not all extrusions are always offered but listing them as typical for that cruise implies snow aplenty. I just assumed December in the Arctic circle would we snowy (ours leaves 28th Nov so most of it is December) ❄️☃️




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#4
Staffordshire
1,927 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
In Tromso/Alta you need shuttle buses to get into the town and then in Tromso it is walkable to Arctic Cathedral/Cable car over the bridge but it is a long walk and especially if snow on the ground we caught a bus that stopped right outside the Arctic Cathedral. Alta there is nothing within walking distance of the ship the only thing of interest is you berth right next to the airport. With reference to the excursion "In search of the Northern Lights" it is a gamble as there is no guarantee but we did it and had an experience of a lifetime that we will never forget. Having said that those that went the second night did not see anything due to cloud so only you can decide. If you see the lights from the ship then great you will have saved money but if you do not and you hear that those on the excursion did you will regret it but only you can decide.
#5
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Hi, Thanks for the reply.
Did you happen to see the lights on your previous visit?
Yes, I was wondering if it may be a seasonal thing regarding the availability of some of the shore excursions.
Did you do the ‘In Search of the Northern Lights’ excursion if so did you think it was worthwhile?
Thanks for the other information information, sorry posted this before reading the other previous post's
#6
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by claudiniusmaximus
Someone please say it isn't so?

On the p&o website they have typical excursions listed under the ports for the November cruise for those ports that show those activities. I know not all extrusions are always offered but listing them as typical for that cruise implies snow aplenty. I just assumed December in the Arctic circle would we snowy (ours leaves 28th Nov so most of it is December) ❄️☃️




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Yes, we were all looking forward to the opportunity of a Dog Sledge Ride
BTW, are you on a P&O Northern Lights cruise on the 28th Nov I did't think there was one?
#7
UK
315 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Ours is 2018 sorry I should have said (nothing like a bit of forward planning lol).

I've just posted on the tripadvisor Alta forum and the Cruise Critic ports of call forum asking about whether typically they have snow at that time of year (early Dec).

The North Cape does apparently (according to the interweb) but that's 200 miles further north. From what I can see online Alta will have snow but can't see if it's enough for activities like dog sledding or snowshoeing etc.

Will let you know if I hear anything from those forums.


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#8
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by claudiniusmaximus
Ours is 2018 sorry I should have said (nothing like a bit of forward planning lol).

I've just posted on the tripadvisor Alta forum and the Cruise Critic ports of call forum asking about whether typically they have snow at that time of year (early Dec).

The North Cape does apparently (according to the interweb) but that's 200 miles further north. From what I can see online Alta will have snow but can't see if it's enough for activities like dog sledding or snowshoeing etc.

Will let you know if I hear anything from those forums.


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Thanks, that would be great
#10
Up north
31 Posts
Joined May 2017
You might have a bit more snow at the end of Nov, our cruise this year is mid Nov so that is why we don't have dog & reindeer sledding available. The ice hotel won't be finished by then, it generally opens the week before Christmas. If you definately want those activities you need to go in either Feb or March to be sure. As for the Northern lights if they appear you will see them but the best views are where there's no light pollution. We did the tour and it was definately worth it. The guide plans where the best place is to see them on the night to give you optimum chance. We had a fantastic display & got lots of photos but the spectacle will stay in your memory forever.
#11
Stoke on Trent
453 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
We did northern lights cruise a few years ago (not P&O) and saw lights first passing northern tip of Lofoten Islands. Did the chasing the lights trip and went from Alta as far as the Finnish border before turning back. Saw virtually nothing. Next two nights, back on ship, we saw them again. Outside lights on the ship were turned off apart from those necessary for safety to give greater darkness. We went late Feb to March and there was snow. Ice hotel was spectacular and dog sledding trip happened. A bit cold though!
#12
London
611 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We did one of the March trips on Oriana.
In search of N Lights excursion ... cost a LOT. No lights at all due to 100% cloud cover. But next night had an amazing light show from on board. Simply brilliant. The restaurants just emptied, staff too, to see the display at 8 in the evening. Went on for an hour or so. So if there is a good display you will see it just as well on board.
Huskies ... do it in Alta. We went on it in Tromso and it was like a production line as they had hundreds of people there. Arrive, stand there, get on and keep your knees in, 10 minutes later all done. Most disappointing. We went there in the summer 10 years ago and it was a small family run job and was superb. Not any more, simply a money making machine.
Snow ... last winter practically no snow before Feb but this was unusual. We were very lucky as it snowed heavily the week before we arrived. Brilliant white snow everywhere. But cold. Watching lights on deck ... it was -23° C brrr.



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#13
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by claudiniusmaximus
General consensus seems to be that it's possible but unlikely


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OK, thanks for the feedback.

We will just have to wait and see I am sure we will make the most of the experience whatever happens.
#14
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Appreciate all the comments.
Regarding the ‘In Search of the Northern Lights’ excursion.
Ultimately it will have to be down to us to make the decision but at £135.00 X 4 and without any guarantee of seeing anything we will have to give it some serious thought before we book.
There again some would say it’s a fair price to pay for a once in a lifetime experience.
#15
Dorset, england
584 Posts
Joined May 2011
We did this cruise earlier this year (think we might have been on at the same time as SimonPJD).

We paid for the excursion on our first night in Alta and saw nothing. Spent several hours standing around in a snowy football field before we gave up and went back to the ship. We were lucky enough to have a good sighting from the ship the next night and another while we were underway a day or so after that.
#16
London
611 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Slugsta yes you have described our lights excursion exactly. But it was still a great cruise.


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#17
5 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
We had been hoping for this tour too. Its annoying as I had contacted the tour operators before booking the cruise because it is one of the main reasons we were booking and they assured us that they always work with p&o and if there was not any snow they use carts instead and did husky carting but that we had to book via p&o.
I have emailed p&o to ask and will email the husky people we spoke to before and let you know -if they are doing carting/sledding independently we will be booking via them.
We were also interested in the reindeer sledging but this is also missing.
#18
West Country, UK
4,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
You may well see the lights from the ship from Tromso north BUT, they will be greatly diluted in appearance by the light pollution from the town, even if they turn the exterior lights off on the ship. These two photos illustrate the difference between on board Oriana at Tromso and at Kautokeino on the Northern Lights tour where it was pitch black.



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#19
West Country, UK
4,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by ModestlySublime
We had been hoping for this tour too. Its annoying as I had contacted the tour operators before booking the cruise because it is one of the main reasons we were booking and they assured us that they always work with p&o and if there was not any snow they use carts instead and did husky carting but that we had to book via p&o.
I have emailed p&o to ask and will email the husky people we spoke to before and let you know -if they are doing carting/sledding independently we will be booking via them.
We were also interested in the reindeer sledging but this is also missing.
You would definitely need snow for reindeer sledging. This excursion is run by Sami people using their traditional sledges.
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Cruise Photos:
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sharonsshiptravels/
Blog: http://sharonp-shipsinmylife.blogspot.com/

Ships sailed on:
Vistafjord, Caronia, QE2, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth Maiden Voyage, Aurora, Arcadia, Oriana, Oceana, Artemis, Ventura, Balmoral, Braemar, Adonia, Discovery, Royal Princess (2013 ship), Nautica, MV Funchal, Zaandam, Saga Pearl, Anthem of the Seas, Norwegian Escape, Harmony of the Seas. Also Rhine and Dutch river cruises

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Independence of the Seas, Azura, Artania, Prinsendam, Maasdam, Crystal Symphony, Saga Sapphire, Saga Pearl II, Marco Polo



To come:-
Saga Sapphire Xmas Markets 2017
Aurora circumnavigation of South America 2018

Oriana - Iceland & Greenland July 2018
Arcadia - USA & Canada Sept 2018


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#20
UK
315 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by Host Sharon
You may well see the lights from the ship from Tromso north BUT, they will be greatly diluted in appearance by the light pollution from the town, even if they turn the exterior lights off on the ship. These two photos illustrate the difference between on board Oriana at Tromso and at Kautokeino on the Northern Lights tour where it was pitch black.





Wow! Which tour was that? Where did it take you?


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