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.

See the Northern Lights

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.

See the Northern Lights

Hikers take in the views on Scoresby Sun, East Greenland

Swoop Says background image

Brandon says

There is nothing more absorbing than gazing at a sky alive with colour and movement. The Aurora Borealis is one of nature's most spectacular shows and is a memory that'll live with you forever!

Brandon Hagg Polar Specialist

Northern Lights Tours

Chasing the Northern Lights in Churchill

Winter in Hudson Bay is cold but also very dry and that means clear skies and at this latitude that is perfect for spotting the northern lights from a variety comfortable, heated viewing platforms. Day time activities include dog sledding…

  • 7 Days
  • $5,995
Northwest Passage, Ellesmere & West Greenland

Traversing west to east this voyage takes you to iconic sites such as Cambridge Bay, Lancaster and Smith Sounds and Ellesmere Island, before exploring the fjords and towns of West Greenland. Bears, narwhal, musk ox, beluga and northern lights are…

  • 17 Days
  • $11,995
Snowshoes and Northern Lights

Get your hiking kit on, strap on some snowshoes and head out into the pristine snow of spectacular North Norway. Trek to viewpoints inside the Arctic circle and explore uninhabited islands. Spend the nights moored at remote piers away from…

  • 8 Days
  • $2,313
Northern Lights Photographic Adventure

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,…

  • 7 Days
  • $5,995
Northern Lights, Fjords and Whales

Sail onboard a historic vessel inside the Arctic circle through beautiful channels and past spectacular islands. Watch for humpback whales as they search for squid and then relax on deck in the evening, waiting for clear skies and the Northern…

  • 8 Days
  • $2,258
East Greenland Explorer: Icebergs & Northern Lights

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…

  • 8 Days
  • $4,350
Winter Wilderness

Experience an Arctic winter with temperatures well below freezing, frozen seas and pristine white snow. Ride snowmobiles and follow dogs over frozen fjords and through mountain passes. Spot the Northern Lights and try local Greenlandic delicacies all as part of…

  • 5 Days
  • $1,770
Icebergs & Auroras: East Greenland & Svalbard

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…

  • 14 Days
  • $6,662
Svalbard, Greenland & Iceland Polar Quest

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…

  • 15 - 18 Days
  • $10,495

Our favourite places to see the Northern Lights

More about the Northern Lights destinations

Churchill

Churchill

The centre of a polar bear migration in October and November, the worlds' best place to see northern lights from January to March and a gathering point for thousands of beluga …

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East-Greenland-coastline

East Greenland

Few places in the world can claim to be as remote, underpopulated and little visited as East Greenland - three drawcards for any adventure traveller. The sheer scale, majesty and …

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Greenland Cruises

Greenland Cruises

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 …

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