Advice November Aurora Northern Lights Cruise

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#21
London
609 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
On the lights tour they took us to a football pitch only 4 miles from the ship. And on one side the town was clearly visible with its light pollution. I know we didn't see any due to cloud cover but if they had appeared we would have had a load of light pollution. And that was over 100 quid per person.


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#22
West Country, UK
4,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by claudiniusmaximus
Wow! Which tour was that? Where did it take you?


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This was only the second NL cruise P&O did in March 2014 (when I booked it it was the first but since it sold out they added a previous one). I booked the P&O Northern Lights tour on the first of our two nights in Alta and we were taken to a golf course I think in Kautokeino. Aside from a lavuu with log fire inside to thaw out, the only lighting was from nightlights to mark a path and torches we brought with us to set up cameras. A headtorch is a good idea. It was -26C!!
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#24
Staffordshire
1,921 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Host Sharon
This was only the second NL cruise P&O did in March 2014 (when I booked it it was the first but since it sold out they added a previous one). I booked the P&O Northern Lights tour on the first of our two nights in Alta and we were taken to a golf course I think in Kautokeino. Aside from a lavuu with log fire inside to thaw out, the only lighting was from nightlights to mark a path and torches we brought with us to set up cameras. A headtorch is a good idea. It was -26C!!
We were on the same cruise and same excursion but didn't know it was a golf course seemed more like a country park.
#25
West Country, UK
4,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by majortom10
We were on the same cruise and same excursion but didn't know it was a golf course seemed more like a country park.
Only going by what I heard later. It was so dark it could have been a car park!!
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Host Sharon


Cruise Photos:
https://photos.google.com/albums
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

Ships visited:
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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#26
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
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.
Yes, we are also disappointed.

Appreciate the offer to update us on the situation.
#27
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
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!!

Appreciate your advice and the photos.

Hope we are lucky enough to see a similar display on our cruise.
#28
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Could someone please explain what to expect and what format it takes if booked on the ‘In Search of The Northern Lights’ excursion.

I believe someone comes on-board to explain things and what’s going to happen but I would appreciate any practical advice and your experiences of doing this excursion.
#29
Up north
28 Posts
Joined May 2017
The guide comes onboard & tells you where he plans to take you to get the best possible chance of seeing the lights & gives a bit of info about photographing them, what to wear etc. A bus then picks you up & takes you to the destination. We went to place not far out of Alta but enough to be away from light pollution. There were camp fires & benches to sit on & also a lavvu where u could keep warm & get hot drinks. Then its just a case of sitting it out & enjoying the show! It lasted 4 hours so warm clothing is required. We had a brilliant display but it all depends on the conditions on the night.
#30
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by Bennybluehat
The guide comes onboard & tells you where he plans to take you to get the best possible chance of seeing the lights & gives a bit of info about photographing them, what to wear etc. A bus then picks you up & takes you to the destination. We went to place not far out of Alta but enough to be away from light pollution. There were camp fires & benches to sit on & also a lavvu where u could keep warm & get hot drinks. Then its just a case of sitting it out & enjoying the show! It lasted 4 hours so warm clothing is required. We had a brilliant display but it all depends on the conditions on the night.
Thanks for the very useful information.
Good to know you get some little luxuries whilst out.
#31
UK
315 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Just to add I've been doing some more research on the excursions on tripadvisor.

Looking at the top three excursions and matching the reviews up with dates it seems that there are lots of people reporting snow in late November and early December (and the huskies tour can run even without snow apparently - although not as cool, I know).

Also re the northern lights excursion, the location they take you depends on weather forecast and cloud coverage and where the guides think best. So you might book with a company on Tuesday and end up in a field 15 mins from the ship but on Wednesday you end up 60km away up a mountain. Apparently it can change between tours on the same evening (e.g. 6pm you get taken to a field, 9pm you get taken to a golf course or wherever). They just go where they think there is the best chance to view.

If you look on tripadvisor it's easy to see who p&o use and they get overwhelmingly excellent reviews.


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#32
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by claudiniusmaximus
Just to add I've been doing some more research on the excursions on tripadvisor.

Looking at the top three excursions and matching the reviews up with dates it seems that there are lots of people reporting snow in late November and early December (and the huskies tour can run even without snow apparently - although not as cool, I know).

Also re the northern lights excursion, the location they take you depends on weather forecast and cloud coverage and where the guides think best. So you might book with a company on Tuesday and end up in a field 15 mins from the ship but on Wednesday you end up 60km away up a mountain. Apparently it can change between tours on the same evening (e.g. 6pm you get taken to a field, 9pm you get taken to a golf course or wherever). They just go where they think there is the best chance to view.

If you look on tripadvisor it's easy to see who p&o use and they get overwhelmingly excellent reviews.


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OK, thanks for the information.

I will head over to tripadvisor and take alook.
#33
West Country, UK
4,269 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I wrote up my cruise on my blog. The Lights tour is here.

http://sharonp-shipsinmylife.blogspo...-lights-5.html

The company P&O use is Glodexplorer. They took a timelapse video of the night we were there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=VBCEsATtPnk
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Host Sharon


Cruise Photos:
https://photos.google.com/albums
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

Ships visited:
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


>
#35
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Yes, we are looking forward to our Northern Lights Cruise in November.

Thanks, Sharon for your interesting blog, photos are great !!
#36
Dorset, england
583 Posts
Joined May 2011
There are two things you should know about the lights to avoid disappointment if/when you get to see them. Both relate to photos you might have seen.

Firstly, the lights do not look anything like as green to the naked eye as they do in photos. This is because of the long exposure used in photos which 'layers' the colour. We also found that many photos seem to have had the colour enhanced considerably.

Secondly, many of the 'videos' on youtube etc are actually 'time lapse' photography, the aurora does not usually 'dance' in the way you might have been led to expect.

If I had not known these facts in advance I think I might have been very disappointed by the reality. As it happens, we were lucky enough to have some really good sightings
#37
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
There are two possible dates and various times being offered for the 'In Search of the Northern Lights' on our cruise.

Thursday 16th November 14.00, 19.00, 21.30 and 22.30
Friday 17th November 19.00, 20.00, 21.30 and 22.30

Now, If only I had a Crystal Ball to find out the best day and time for sightings.

BTW. Is the 14.00hr tour on the 16th a little early?
#38
Up north
28 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by P-L-B
There are two possible dates and various times being offered for the 'In Search of the Northern Lights' on our cruise.

Thursday 16th November 14.00, 19.00, 21.30 and 22.30
Friday 17th November 19.00, 20.00, 21.30 and 22.30

Now If only I had a Crystal Ball to find out the best day and time for sightings.

BTW. Is the 14.00hr tour on the 16th a little early?
Probably not when you think about the few hours of daylight we will have, all the better for Aurora spotting!
#39
30 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by Bennybluehat
Probably not when you think about the few hours of daylight we will have, all the better for Aurora spotting!
Good point, forgot about that.
#40
5 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by P-L-B
Yes, we are also disappointed.

Appreciate the offer to update us on the situation.
We have spoken to the company direct and they have booked us on their own tour for this November. Carting if no snow, sledging if there is. I suspect much cheaper than p&o would have been, very happy.