Viking Ocean = Northern Lights cruise - Norway - Questions
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We did the northern lights cruise last year with P&O. We sailed on the 25th Feb and was in Alta on the 1st of March where the lights were out in force. The next night it was thick cloud and the people going on the trip that night saw nothing.
The best advice I can give you is about clothing. This is probably a bucket list cruise as it was for us and we spared no expense in making sure we got the most out of it. P&O wrote to all passengers warning them of the temperature but a huge number thought that the clothes we get away with here would cut it up there, wrong. We invested in Arctic wind proof coats, hats, trousers and Sorel boots along with thermal underwear and fleece joggers and padded shirts, trust me they were needed. On the lights trip we were out doors for nearly five hours at about -18 / 20. We were totally fine but before the lights showed up at least two thirds of the people got back on the coach and were taken back to the ship as they couldn't take the cold any longer. When we were in Tromso a coach did shuttles all day and when we were going back to the ship a couple flagged the coach down and the girl was crying with the cold, she too was dressed as you would for a chilly day in England. So if you want to get the best out your cruise be prepared clothing wise.
Always use hand sanitizer and take a supply of cold and flu remedies. As it's so cold the ships doors are closed so the bugs people get are soon spread. We know, we got it and the doctor said the flu bug was everywhere on the ship.
If there is a husky sledging trip and the only times left are after dark, book it. I was worried that we wouldn't see anything but in fact the trip was enchanting. The sledges had lanterns on them and it was so atmospheric, we loved every second of it.
Seeing the lights is the luck on the day, I hope you will be as lucky as we were.
I loved the Nordnorge - it's a different experience from normal cruising as though many passengers were 'light seeker' it's also the local transport system and mail ship.
Tips - yes def bring warm clothing you can layer up and down. Good snow boots with a decent grip or attachable crampons. Gloves hats etc.
Remember it takes your eyes up to 20 mins to adjust to the dark (like being in a dark room and then being able to see as your eyes and brain adjust) Digital cameras have a very bright screen (as do phones) and stop your eyes adjusting - so use a view finder camera if you want to take photos and you have one lurking around. If you are sailing when the lights appear, find the darkest place on the ship. Artificial light is the biggest enemy after low cloud cover. And makes sure you have the alert switched on - on the Hurtigruten there is an alert system that will wake you up when the lights appear. It is always hit and miss with the lights. But a wonderful surreal experience. Good luck whatever you decide,