Things to consider
- Best chances for sightings are during winter, between September and April.
- The Aurora belt covers Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Norway and Svalbard, but our best sightings have always been in Churchill and Greenland.
- The Northern Lights are spectacular, breathtaking, and famously unpredictable. Make the most of your time in the Arctic by ensuring your days are action-packed too.
Seeing the Northern Lights
The best time to see the Northern Lights
Winter is the best time to see the Northern Lights. It's not the temperature which makes a difference, but the appearance of the sky; it's only during the winter months that the skies are dark enough to make out the ethereal flickering. Best chances are between September and April.
Consider the rates of precipitation in your destination too, as a rainier month means more likelihood of cloud cover. In reality though, the changeable weather means snow, sleet, hail and rain can appear with seemingly very little notice, at any point during the season. Give yourself the best chance of a sighting by ensuring you spend at least 3 nights in your destination.
Best places to see the Northern Lights
Most frequent sightings are found around the 'Aurora Belt', a line similar to the Arctic Circle. Contrary to popular belief, the lights are therefore strongest and most regular around the edge of the Arctic, rather than getting brighter the further north you go.
The belt passes over areas in Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, Iceland and Norway, so there's a lot of choice on where to see them. Picking your destination should be the most important factor in your trip, and will depend heavily on what you want to get out of the Arctic. Whether your secondary focus is history, culture, dog-sledding, wildlife or icebergs, ask our specialists to find the right trip for you.
After an amazing day exploring the ice and snow, we boarded our ship and set sail into the darkness. Suddenly a call from the bridge came down, and two hours later I was still outside watching as the green and purple lights licked and streaked across the sky. Who cares about cold fingers when that’s happening!?
Jon Goldsmith Head of Arctic
Northern Lights Tours
Head north to Churchill, renowned for its high auroral activity, and capture images of the ethereal Northern Lights. Accompanied by an expert photographer, evening aurora sightings are maximised using multiple, heated vantage points while you wait in anticipation. By day,…
Sailing in September, explore the massive fjords of East Greenland and their legendary icebergs, spot musk oxen and visit ancient and modern Inuit settlements, while late summer provides a great chance of spotting the Northern Lights. A choice of three…
Beginning deep inside the High Arctic and finishing in subarctic Iceland, we like this voyage for its diversity, sense of journey and extended time exploring East Greenland. Zodiac cruising amongst towering icebergs, glimpsing the Northern Light and tracking musk oxen…
Introductions to the High Arctic don’t come much better. Traverse the High Arctic between wildlife-rich Svalbard, via East Greenland’s towering icebergs and autumnal tundra then onto Iceland. Aurora sightings are possible at any point. The longer trip also includes Jan…
Our favourite places to see the Northern Lights
More about the Northern Lights destinations
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Greenland assaults your senses with pure air, crystal waters, blue ice, staggering fjords, a fascinating past and a welcoming present. Whether you are whale watching in Disko …
Cruises to the Canadian Arctic
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