The Aurora Borealis
‘No pencil can draw it, no colours can paint it, and no words can describe it in all its magnificence’ wrote Payer, a famous observer of the Northern Lights.
The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon caused by electrically charged solar particles passing into the Earth’s atmosphere. Also known as the Aurora Borealis, which means ‘dawn of the north’, the aurora can appear abruptly, filling the sky with incredible speed with great arcs as ghostly wisps in green, yellow, red and violet dance above the horizon, before disappearing again.
This surreal light show has inspired myths and legends over the years. The Inuit of Greenland believed the lights came from the realm of the dead, caused by the spirits trying to contact their living relatives, and Norwegian sailors would say that the display was the souls of young maidens waving and dancing in the night’s sky. No-one has seen the Northern Lights and not been caught in awe by this magical display, a celestial show which truly needs to be seen to be believed.
All of our Northern Lights Voyages provide an opportunity to witness the Aurora Borealis, but it is in their very nature that this can never be guaranteed. While there have been sightings of the Northern Lights in late September and at lower latitudes, you are most likely to see them above the Arctic Circle between November and February.
Many of our travellers consider the Aurora Borealis to be the simply the ‘icing on the cake’ of an already remarkable holiday in the Arctic.