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Best Cruise to Northern Lights NORWAY in 2024-2025 (Comparison Guide)

cruise to northern lights norway

Considering a cruise to northern lights Norway in 2024-2025? In this guide, we share tips to help you choose the best cruise for your needs, and compare the most popular short and long northern lights cruises in Norway taking bookings.

With so many cruise options to choose from for your Norway aurora vacation, you may find it difficult to decide which one to book or research further. Don’t stress. In this article, we’ll help you narrow down your search. First, we explain what you should look for when choosing the best cruise for your needs. We then discuss a few of the most popular northern lights cruises you can book now, with an overview of their itinerary, inclusions, price and destinations.

Read on to learn more and find your perfect northern lights cruise…

Northern Lights Cruise NorwayDurationDeparture Point
The Arctic Dream – Havila Voyages
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1 nightKirkenes, Norway
Short Winter Cruise – Authentic Scandinavia
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2 nightsTromsø, Norway
6-Day Norwegian Voyage | Kirkenes to Bergen
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7 nightsKirkenes, Norway
Norway and Northern Lights – Cunard
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12 nightsSouth Hampton, UK
Follow the Lights – Hurtigruten
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13 nightsUK
Arctic Norway and the Northern Lights – Saga
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15 nightsPortsmouth, UK

How to Choose a Cruise to Northern Lights Norway

If your main motivation for taking one of these cruises is to see the Northern Lights, it is important to mention that as long as you choose the right time of year to travel to Norway to see the aurora (most importantly, not in summer) then no cruise will be better than the other for seeing the lights.

All of the cruises listed here will travel to regions where the aurora is visible, so as long as you step out at night and look to the sky, you will have just as much chance of seeing the lights as passengers on any other comparable cruise in the region.

Rather, we suggest you base your Northern Lights Norwegian cruise choice on:

  • amenities the cruise offers (eg pool, gym, bars, kids activities)
  • types of passengers it caters towards (eg singles, families)
  • duration and price range (budget, luxury)
  • departure point (eg UK, Norway, Finland)
  • destinations and stopover points
  • other inclusions such as flights, tours, land travel etc.

While we have marked some cruises in this article as ‘best’ in certain categories, this is still just our opinion based on the most popular cruises available. However, the reality is that the ‘best’ cruise is whichever fulfils your criteria. All cruises will offer a good opportunity for you to see the northern lights, but remember, regardless of which cruise you book, it is still up to you to make the effort to get out at night and look for them.

cruise to northern lights norway wilderness
The norwegian wilderness is spectaular for northern lights, but is best navigated with a guided tour or cruise.

Short Northern Lights Cruises | Norway

Best 1-Night Cruise to Northern Lights Norway

The Arctic Dream

Experience Norway like you have never seen it before, as you journey along the outskirts of the majestic Arctic Circle, in search of the elusive Northern lights.

This short overnight cruise departs from Kirkenes and arrives at Tromsø the following day. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to view the Norwegian landscape as you make your way past Vardø, Båtsfjord, Berlevåg, Havøysund, Hammerfest, Øksfjord, and Skjervøy. After the sun has set over the Arctic, you can look up to the night skies and hunt for the breathtaking auroras.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1 – Prior to departing from the Kirkenes port, you will have the opportunity to go on an excursion to the nearby Snowhotel, to view a hotel that is made entirely of snow and ice. There is also plenty of other excursions including snowmobile riding and a trip to the Russian border that are available before departure. Once the ship leaves the port, you will head north towards Vardø, before following the coastline of Norway to the west past Båtsfjord, and eventually Berlevåg.

Day 2 – As the sun begins to set the ship will sail into the port at Hammerfest. There are a number of available excursions while in Hammerfest, including a late-night snowmobile trip to Mehamn, or even a midnight concert at the Arctic Cathedral. Once the ship departs from Hammerfest, the cruise will continue on past Øksfjord and Skjervøy before finally arriving in Tromsø on the final evening.

What’s Included
  • Room and board
  • Spacious sleeping cabins
  • Free wi-fi
Why It’s Popular

While there are many great ways to travel between Kirkenes and Tromsø, the best way to see the true beauty of the Norwegian coastlines is aboard a cruise ship. Over the course of 2 days at sea, you will have the opportunity to view some of the most pristine, untamed wilderness that Norway has to offer. Enjoy the beauty of Norway, as you hunt for the elusive auroras.

Best 2-Night Cruise to Northern Lights Norway

Short Winter Cruise

Enjoy what makes Norway truly unique, as you make your way along the untamed Norwegian coastlines from the city of Tromsø all the way over to Kirkenes.

This three-day adventure through the frigid seas along the Arctic coastlines of Norway provides one of the most unique opportunities to view the northern lights. Like so many courageous explorers of days gone by, you will meander along the frigid coastlines of Norway, breathing in the crisp cold sea air as you create memories that will last a lifetime. Spend a night in Tromsø before taking a 2-day cruise to Kirkenes, with a number of optional excursions along the way.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1/2 – After you arrive in Tromsø, spend the first two days exploring the city, experiencing the urban Norwegian lifestyle. Your cruise will not leave until the evening of Day 2, giving you ample time to visit local attractions such as the Polar Museum, Arctic Cathedral, or even go reindeer sledding through the Norwegian countryside. There will be a number of optional excursions that you can choose from, including a ride through the Norwegian countryside via dogsled, or snowmobiles.

Day 3 – Throughout the course of the night, you will have plenty of opportunities to hunt for the elusive auroras over the Arctic skyline. Sleep in the following morning, as the ship will not reach Honningsvåg until around lunchtime. There will be a number of different excursions available, including a trip up to the North Cape Plateau, which provide some of the most amazing views of the Arctic expanse.

Day 4 – After another late night of aurora hunting, the ship will continue rounding the Varanger peninsula, passing Båtsfjord, Vardø, and then Vadsø. This particular location is of historical importance, because both Lincoln Ellsworth as well as Roald Amundsen began their excursions towards the North Pole from here. Eventually, the ship will arrive at Kirkenes, where you can book yourself an optional stay at the infamous Snowhotel.

What’s Included
  • One-night hotel accommodation in Tromsø
  • Two-night cruise to Kirkenes
  • Two breakfasts on board
  • Two dinners on board
  • 24/7 emergency phone service
  • additional services for Gold members
Why It’s Popular

There are many different ways to view the splendor that is Norway, but nothing is quite as memorable as a cruise through the frigid Arctic waters of the North. Experience all that the Arctic Circle has to offer, as you stare up at the night sky looking for the northern lights.

Best 1-Week Cruise to Northern Lights Norway

6-Day Norwegian Voyage | Kirkenes to Bergen

Enjoy more of what Norway and the Arctic has to offer, on this exciting 6-day, 5-night adventure cruise from London to Norway and back.

View some of the best scenery that Norway has to offer when you set sail on this week-long voyage. Your trip will start in Kirkenes, and take you all the way down to Bergen. Along the way you will be treated with views of the Lofoten Islands, and the Helgeland Coastlines. As you sail along, keep your eyes open for a number of different Arctic birds and a wide assortment of whales.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1 – Begin your week-long voyage at the edge of the Norwegian border in the ancient Arctic town of Kirkenes. Here, you can visit the Vardøhus Fortress, which was built back in 1737, before setting sail towards the south. The ship will make several stops along the Norwegian coastline giving you ample time to view the many sights and sounds that the Arctic has to offer.

Day 2 – During the night, the ship will stop at both Kjøllefjord and Mehamn, before coming to a rest on the second day at Honningsvåg. By midafternoon you will be able to spend your days in Hammerfest, which is the world northernmost settlement in the world.

Day 3 – Spend day 3 exploring the Lofoten archipelago, which is one of the most scenic portions of the week-long journey. While there, take time to visit the ancient Trondenes Church which is the northernmost medieval church built entirely of stone.

Day 4 – At the wee hours of the morning, the ship will sail into Ørnes before crossing the Arctic Circle just after breakfast. Of course, as you cross the Arctic Circle, you must commemorate the occasion by tasting a spoonful of cod liver oil.

Day 5 – From there, you will visit Trondheim and have plenty of time to explore Molde. Stroll as well as Kristiansund before making your way to the ancient Nidaros Cathedral. Before boarding the ship for your last leg of the journey, take some time to take a photo as you walk over the Nid River via the Gamle Bybro bridge.

Day 6 – As the sun begins to rise over the Arctic wilderness, the ship will come to a stop at Ålesund as well as Torvik giving you time to capture a glimpse of the Jostedal Glacier before finally arriving at Florø.

What’s Included
  • 6 Day Voyage
  • Cabin Category of Choice
  • Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Included
  • English-Speaking Team Aboard
  • Lectures and Presentations
  • Photography Training
  • Daily Gatherings and Welcome Events
  • Excursion Programs
  • On Deck Presentations
  • Captains Dinner
Why It’s Popular

Why journey to the north, when you can start far above the Arctic Circle and journey from Kirkenes down to Bergen? Experience all that Norway has to offer, as you travel through the awe-inspiring vistas and islandscapes located along the western shores of this enchanting nation, hunting for the elusive auroras.

Long Northern Lights Cruises | Norway


Create lasting memories as you make your way across the North Sea, and up the Norwegian coast. You’ll have nearly 13 days aboard the Queen Anne, to experience all that the Arctic has to offer.

Nothing is more amazing than spending 12 wonderful nights aboard the Queen Anne as you sail through the North Sea hunting for the elusive Northern lights. As the ship makes its way through the fjords that where meticulously carved out by multiple centuries of glacial melt, you will be given ample opportunity to stare up at the night sky waiting for the ghostly lights to make their appearance.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1 – You will start your 13-day trip at the port of Southhampton in England, which is the same port that the RMS Titanic sailed from. Before boarding the Queen Anne, take time to see the many sites in and around the historic port.

Days 2/3 – Over the next 2 days, you will sail from Southhampton to Alesund. Take the time to enjoy the many luxuries found aboard the ship as you relax by the pool and are pampered aboard the ship’s spa.

Days 4/5 – You will have an entire day to spend in Alesund once the Queen Anne reaches the Norwegian coastline. The ship will depart from the port in the evening, and spend the next day out to see as you pass by Romsdalsfjord and make your way to Tromso.

Days 6/7 – On the morning of day 6, you will arrive in Tromsø, where you will have 2 full days to take in the many sights and sounds of the bustling Arctic city. Enjoy many different excursions including dog and reindeer sledding as well as sightseeing and snowmobiling. As the night sets, keep your eyes focused on the night skies, as you wait for the appearance of the elusive aurora borealis.

Days 8/9 – From Tromso, the ship will sail to Narvik where you will have an additional 2 days to explore the ancient Arctic city and the majestic countryside that surrounds the city. There is a lot to see and do around Narvik that will keep you busy for the next 2 days.

Day 10/11 – You will spend day 10 out to sea as you set sail from Narvik to Stavanger. On day 11, you’ll arrive early in the morning and will have the day to take in and experience all that the city has to offer, before departing in the late afternoon for your trip back to Southhampton.

Day 12/13 – Spend your last few days aboard the Queen Anne as it makes its way back across the frigid North Sea to the port of Southhampton, as you relax and reminisce about your 2-week adventure in Norway.

What’s Included
  • Room and Board
  • Meals in the Main Dining Hall
  • Evening Performances
  • Live Music
  • Activities for Kids
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Gala Events
  • Numerous Port Activities
Why It’s Popular

With so many amazing destinations, you will have 13 wonderful days exploring the Arctic wilderness, and hunting for the elusive northern lights. Cruise your way up into the Arctic Circle, and take the time to disembark at a number of different exciting destinations, and get up close and personal with the Norwegian countryside. Experience the history and culture that this great nation has to offer.

northern lights cruises norway
The Follow the Lights tour combines Norway & Finland in one tour, with activities such as dog-sledding. Source:


There’s nothing more memorable than spending 15 days exploring the culture and history of Norway by dogsled, reindeer, train, and cruise liner.

Make your way along the majestic Finnish coastline, as you pass by more than 100 fjords and thousands of mountain peaks. Experience the local Sami culture and the way that life has been lived in the Arctic wilderness for centuries. Visit the Finnish countryside as you are pulled along by a team of huskies, or even reindeer. View the elusive aurora borealis the way it was meant to be seen, deep within the Arctic Circle.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1/2 – You will start your journey in the most livable city in the world, Helsinki. Take in the historic architecture, contemporary living, and vibrant nature that this beautiful city has to offer. Spend your first afternoon exploring the cafés, restaurants, and other attractions dotted throughout the city. You will have 2 full days in Helsinki, which is more than enough time to visit the historic center quarter, where you will find the Helsinki Cathedral, Senate Square, as well as the Tempeliaukio Church.

Day 3 – From Helsinki, make your way into the Finnish Lapland, aboard a train that will meander its way up through the snowcapped forests, as it makes its way to the home of Santa Claus, Rovaniemi. Spend the afternoon visiting the capital of the Finnish Lapland and as the sun begins to set, keep your eyes on the skies above as you await the appearance of the enchanting northern lights.

Day 4 – On day 4, meet up with a team of huskies as you make your way into the Finnish countryside with the help of a Sami guide. The trip will be exhilarating, and after spending the day riding in a husky-drawn cart, take time to warm up with a beverage at the popular Lappish Kota.

Day 5 – You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the many wonders of Santa Claus Village. Spend your morning meeting the man himself, before continuing on the journey to the village of Saariselkä. On the way, you will get the opportunity to stop at the Sodankylä Old Church. Spend your fifth night in your very own Glass Igloo staring up at the skies hunting for the elusive auroras from the comfort of your own bed.

Day 6 – By day 6, the trip will reach the Sami capital of Inari, where you will be able to get up close and personal with reindeer. Take the time to visit the popular SIIDA museum which houses one of the largest collections of Sami exhibitions in the world. Spend your night at the iconic Snowhotel and join a northern light safari into the Finnish countryside.

Day 7 – From there, you will board the Coastal Express in the town of Kirkenes, at the historic port of Vardø. If you are feeling up to it, and weather permitting, of course, take the opportunity to take a dip into the icy cold Arctic Ocean before boarding the ship.

Day 8 – The Coastal Express will stop at Mehamn, giving you the option to go on a snowmobile excursion deep into the Arctic wilderness. This is a perfect opportunity to hunt for the elusive northern lights in an adrenaline-packed adventure across the snow-covered landscape.

Day 9 – Discover the history and beauty of Harstad or stay on the ship as it passes through the Risøyrenna channel. From there, you will visit the Lofoten Islands, a location known for its steep mountains and natural beauty.

Day 10 – On day 10 you will cross over the Arctic Circle just after breakfast, where you will have the opportunity to commemorate the trip, with a spoonful of cod liver oil. From there, the ship will sail along the coastline where you will have the opportunity to see the Torghatten mountain.

Day 11 – The majestic and historic city of Trondheim is a must-have stop on this 15-day trip. Explore the wooden city and the Nidaros Cathedral which dates back to the days of King Olav II. From there, you can head over to the Kristiansten Fort, where you will have an awe-inspiring view of the third-largest city in Norway.

Day 12 – Over the course of the night, the Coastal Express will stop at the ports of Ålesund, Torvik and Måløy, before making its final call at the docks in Bergen. You will have plenty of opportunities to view the picturesque Nordfjord and the majestic Jostedal Glacier. From there, a private coach will take you on a city tour of Bergen, before dropping you off at the hotel for the evening.

Day 13 – From Bergen, client aboard the famous Norway in a Nutshell railway that will take you all the way to Oslo. You’ll have the opportunity to view waterfalls and the Nærøyfjord. The train will slowly climb the mountain up to Myrdal before making its way to Oslo.

Day 14 – After enjoying a wonderful breakfast in the hotel, spend your final day touring the historic city of Oslo aboard a coach. See the largest sculpture Park in the world, Vigeland Sculpture Park, as well as many other amazing attractions. There will be a final farewell dinner included in the trip.

Day 15 – For 2 weeks, you will have had the opportunity to view all of the majestic splendor that Finland and Norway have to offer. You will have countless opportunities to view the northern lights and take countless photographs to remember this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

What’s Included
  • Full-Service Flights
  • 4 Star Accommodations
  • 8 Nights Hotel Accommodations
  • One Night in an Aurora Cabin
  • 5 Nights in a Cabin of Your Choice
  • Daily Breakfast
  • 6 Lunches
  • 9 Dinners
  • City Tours of Bergen and Oslo
  • Norway in a Nutshell
  • English Speaking Tour Manager
  • First-Class Touring Coach
  • Reindeer Safari
  • Husky Safari
  • Museum Visits
  • Welcome drink in Saariselkä
  • Entrance to Troldhaugen
Why It’s Popular

Experience all that Norway has to offer as you travel up through the countryside, and then back down along the coast. Make your way through quaint ports and ancient communities that dot the stretch between the Finnish Lapland and Bergen, and take time to enjoy exhilarating reindeer and husky safaris.


You will have 15 wonderful nights to sit under the stars, hunting for the majestic blues and greens as they wave through the night skies. This extra-long cruise through the Arctic Circle, will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Nothing is better than an all-inclusive cruise along the Norwegian coastline. When you sign up for the Arctic Norway and the Northern Lights cruise, you’ll have 15 wonderful nights to experience the elusive lights well inside the Arctic Circle. Spend time in Tromso as well as Alta, and head out into the Norwegian countryside with experienced guides as you hunt for the auroras.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1 – Begin your 16-day journey and Portsmouth, as you board the Spirit of Discovery. The ship will depart in the evening, so you will have plenty of time to explore the area around Portsmouth.

Day 2/3/4 – From Portsmouth, you will sail through the North Sea, eventually reaching the Norwegian town of Ålesund. On your way, you can watch for orca whales or relax and enjoy many great amenities aboard the spirit of discovery. Once you reach Ålesund, spend day 4 wandering the streets and visiting the many great attractions including the largest aquarium in Europe.

Day 5 – From there, you will make your way up to Trøndheim the ancient wooden city, where you can visit the grave of Saint Olav who is the patron Saint of Norway, and the king who founded the city itself.

Day 6/7/8 – Eventually, you will reach Tromso, which is often called “The Gateway to the Arctic”. Countless polar expeditions began here, and all of them can be experienced at the Polar Museum. Since the city is located at 69° north, it is well within the auroral belt, ensuring some of the finest opportunities for Aurora hunting in the world.

Day 9 – The ship will take you up to the northernmost point of mainland Europe, to a deep-water harbor which is considered to be the gateway to the North Cape. Due to destruction in the area during World War II, the oldest building in town is a church built during the 19th century.

Day 10 – You cannot visit Norway without also spending some time and Alta. Here, surrounded by mountains carved by centuries of glacial melt you will have ample opportunity to view the northern lights and to immerse yourself into the local Sami culture.

Day 11/12/13 – From the northernmost part of the country, it is time to start heading back south, and the next destination on the list is the historic city of Bergen, where you will have an entire day to explore the cobbled lanes and ancient wooden houses.

Day 14 – Before finishing your trip to Norway, the Spirit of Discovery will make one last stop at the village of Flåm, which is known for its frozen waterfalls, snow-covered valleys, and picturesque mountainsides.

Day 15/16/17 – The final days of your vacation in Norway, will be spent aboard the Spirit of Discovery as it makes its way back to Portsmouth, after enjoying a final breakfast aboard the ship.

What’s Included
  • Travel Insurance
  • All-Inclusive
  • Porterage
  • Balcony Cabins
  • Wi-Fi
  • Gym, Sauna, and Exercise Classes
  • 24 Hour Room Service
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Shuttle Buses
  • Popular Excursions
Why It’s Popular

Venture deep into the Arctic Circle on this all-inclusive cruise to Norway. Admire all that Ålesund has to offer, and explore the Viking heritage of Trøndheim. Spend a night in Tromso, deep within the auroral belt in order to increase your chances of viewing the elusive Northern lights. You will have plenty of opportunities to view orca whales as wildlife experts will be joining the cruise and giving presentations whenever there is an opportunity to spot dolphins, whales, seabirds, or other important marine wildlife.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our list of the ‘Best Cruise to Northern Lights NORWAY’ that are taking bookings for the upcoming season. This is not an exhaustive list, but does cover the most popular cruises available.

All cruises offer a good chance of seeing the northern lights, but of course, the longer the cruise the better chance you will have, simply because you are spending more time in the auroral zone. The main difference between the cruises comes down to the duration, onboard facilities and other inclusions such as land activities.

We suggest you base your decision on choosing a cruise on those other factors, particularly budget and duration. Aside from duration, most of these northern lights Norwegian cruises offer basically the same chance of seeing the lights; all you need to do is make sure you step out on deck in the evenings to look for them.

We hope this has given you a good head-start on planning your northern lights Norwegian cruise. For more guides and ideas, we suggest you take a look at our articles on the best tours to see the aurora borealis and best time of year to travel as well. Afterall, you wouldn’t want to ruin your cruise by travelling at wrong time of year for the aurora.

Happy travels!

This article was first published 10 August 2022, and updated on 15 January 2024.

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