Planning Your Northern Lights Holiday
If you're thinking about taking a trip to see the northern lights and wondering where the best places to see them are then, welcome - you are in the right place! There's plenty of information here for the aurora chasers among you on where to travel in Europe, America or Canada to get the best view of the northern lights. Also covered are the best locations in Greenland, Iceland and Russia so there really is no excuse to not start planning your northern lights holiday straight away.
Catching a glimpse of the aurora borealis is never guaranteed but you can certainly increase the odds by going to:
- The Right Location (Anywhere in or near the Northern Aurora Belt)
- At the Best Time of Year (October, February or March)
- In the Right Moon Phase (During a New Moon)
The first thing to do when planning your northern lights holiday, is to identify the type of holiday you would like whether it be a cruise, a package tour or a DIY vacation. Then you'll need to consider the easiest country for you to travel to, to see the aurora borealis. Wherever you live, you are going to need to travel North to the arctic circle (the aurora belt). Below you'll find a list of the easiest cities to travel to to see the aurora borealis - and to help you, towns in or near the aurora belt with airports have been marked and the main airlines that fly to them are also stated.
Of course if you are planning an Alaskan or Norweigan Cruise, then some of this information won't apply to you as aurora cruises are already planned at the best times of year to see the northern lights.
What's Covered in this Article
- Overview of the Aurora Belt and Earth's Magnetic Field
- Best Months to See the Aurora Borealis plus Other Considerations
- Types of Northern Lights Holidays
- Best Places to See the Aurora in the Northern Hemisphere
The Northern Lights are simply incredible and must be regarded as one of the most amazing natural phenomena that we have the opportunity to experience!
The Aurora Belt
You can catch the northern borealis basically anywhere in the northern hemisphere that sits within or just outside of the northern aurora belt. The aurora are created by the intereaction of the Earth's magnetism and the Solar wind. The aurora belt moves around a little, but in general it follows the edge of the arctic circle and is marked on the images below by the wide green band.
The Northern Aurora Belt
Best Months to see the Aurora Borealis
The best times of year to see the aurora in the northern hemisphere are October, February and March. This is because it's dark (the summer months have up to 24 hours of daylight) and there is not as much cloud cover as in the other Winter months. It's more complex than this and other factors include the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun and the exact whereabouts of the geophysical magnetic circle, but the months given are the best months to see the aurora borealis.
Other Considerations - Hours of Darkness, Moon Phases & Light Pollution
You can check the hours of darkness and daylight for any given month in any location around the globe here:
You can also use the website above to check the moon's phases before you book your trip and try to plan it during, or as close to, a New Moon as you can. A dark sky is one of the biggest factors affecting your ability to see the northern lights, so as well as going to your destination at the right time of year and in the correct moon phase you also need to think about light pollution. You can decide to stay outside of the main cities and towns or book aurora watching trips from your chosen location.
Types of Northern Lights Holidays
One of the most popular choices for a Northern Lights holiday is a Fjord Cruise or Alaskan Cruise. It's a luxury way of travelling to see the northern borealis and you can also do some whale watching and enjoy the wonder of the glaciers.
Dog Sled Tours
Dog sledding is an incredible experience and even if you don't go the whole hog of having a full 5 day dog sled tour it's definitely something to do on your northern lights holiday.
Northern Lights Guided Tours
There are some specialist tour companies who will arrange everything for you including, flights, accommodation, northern lights expeditions, and other arctic activities such as dog sledding, whale watching and cross country skiing.
There are northern lights city breaks available. Much like the guided tours the price will include flights, accommodation, board, transfers and possibly northern lights excursions (though these are usually extra).
This is my favourite way of holidaying and often works out a lot cheaper than other options, so it's good for those on lower budgets. Choose your destination - book your flights - book your accommodation and then book your activities when you get there. All of the places I've listed below are set up for northern lights chasers and will offer a range of activities to choose from.
Specialist Aurora Chasing Airflights
The last option for your northern lights holiday is to book a specialist aurora flight. Fly up above the clouds and hopefully see the aurora in all their glory!
The Best Places to See the Aurora Borealis
The following countries are the best places to see the northern lights in the Northern hemisphere. Check the aurora belt map to see where the towns and cities identified sit within it. The closer they are to the aurora belt, the better chance you have of seeing the northern lights.
If you're in the Europe, then the best places to see the aurora borealis are Northern Norway, Northern Finland, Northern Sweden and Iceland. Tromso Norway is the most famous town for aurora chasing in Europe and is right in the middle of the aurora belt. It's also very easy to get to.
Scotland has not been included in the list because the aurora need to be particularly strong to see them there and so the chances of seeing good show is less likely.
The Aurora Belt Europe
- Tromso (airport) Tomso is the top European destination for viewing the Northern Lights. It's very easy to get to from anywhere in Europe. Airlines flying to Tromso are SAS, Norwegian and Wideroe. From the UK then you can get a direct flight to Tromso from many UK airports through Norweigan airlines. If you saw the Joanna Lumley documentary on the Aurora Borealis then you may recognise the name of the city Tromso, as this was one of the places she travelled to - the other was Svalbad Island.
- Alta (The Ice Hotel is located here)
- Longyearbyen (Svalbad Island)
Finland is a stunning country that is worth a visit at any time of year, but for those wanting to see the northern lights then you will need to get as far north as possible. The following airports are in the north of Finland and are easily accessible by flying from Helskinki.
- Ivalo (airport) Flights available from Helsinki with Finnair, Blue 1, KLM and SAS
Sweden is another beautiful Scandinavian country where it's possible to see the northern lights if you go at the right time of year (see above for the best months to go). Kiruna is the most northern city in Sweden with an airport and is easy to get to via Stockholm.
- Kiruna (airport) Flights available from Stockholm with SAS, Norwegian and Golden Air.
Iceland (Northern and Western Areas)
Iceland is another top destination to see the aurora borealis and there is so much more to do in Iceland as well. With so many unique natural features to the island such as the Blue Lagoon (a volcanically heated lake), the active volcanoes and the glaciers there is plenty to enjoy. And then there is Reykjavik itself which is an extremely vibrant city.
- Reykjavic (airport) Flights avilable from IcelandAir, Air Iceland, SAS, Canadian Western Airlines, Atlantic Airways and Astraeus
- Grimsey (Island)
For those travellers coming from either within Russia or Asia, Murmansk may be the easiest destination to travel to to see the northern lights. Murmansk is very close to Finland and just outside of the central aurora belt.
- Murmansk (airport) Flights available from Aeroflot, UTair, Sky Express.ru, Rossiya Airlines and Aeroflot Nord.
- Kulusuk (airport) Flights available from Air Iceland and Air Greenland. The easiest way to get to Greenland seems to be to fly to Reykjavik and get a connecting flight form there.
Read more about the magic of Greenland - Written by fellow hubber Patty English, it gives an excellent overview of what Greenland is all about and what you can do there.
Towns in the Aurora Belt Alaska
Alaska is a favorite venue for those in the Americas to travel to to see the northern lights, either by taking an Alaskan Cruise (at the right time of year) or by flying directly to Fairbanks.
- Fairbanks (airport) - Flights to Fairbanks are available from Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines. There is also a daily train service from Anchorage, Alaska.
- Fort Yukon
- Prudhoe Bay
Towns in the Aurora Belt Canada
- Yellowknife (airport) Flights available from WestJet, Air Canada, FirstAir, and Canadian North. Flying from many of the main Canadian cities.
- Dawson City
- Fort Nelson
- Fort McMurray
Enjoy your Trip to the Northern Lights!
Seeing the northern lights is truly a magical experience and one never to be forgotten. However you decide to take your trip and wherever you choose to go to see the aurora - I hope you catch them!
More on Tromso Norway
- Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights - Tromso Norway
If you want to see the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights in Europe then Tromso Norway, is the destination. Learn all about how to get there, where to stay, what to do and how much it will cost.
Sam Shepards from Europe on April 09, 2016:
I saw it in Myvatn Iceland. Clear sky high activity, dancing or moving fast, bright in different colours. Incredible experience !!
I would not advice the blue lagoon. Iceland has a lot to offer including hot baths, but the blue lagoon is more or less an expensive tourist trap.
Levy Tate from California, USA on November 04, 2013:
I don't have $200,000 to buy Virgin Galactic's space tickets, but I can definitely go see the Northern Lights. I bet seeing it is just as magical!
Thanks for writing this hub! Voted up ;-)
Ann Carr from SW England on July 18, 2013:
As I mentioned I was going to see the lights, thought I'd now tell you I've been to Norway in search of them and we saw them 3 times! The best time was when we were leaving Tromso harbour, the ship's lights were switched off and the lights were just stupendous - all over the sky, up and down, shifting and changing colour from grey to white to green to bright green, streaks, circles, crowns and tiaras! I couldn't believe how wondrous and emotional it was and it lasted for at least an hour. How lucky we were!
Compu-Smart from London UK on July 17, 2013:
I've always had a love for the Aurora Borealis. much entertaining and appreciated hub to read.
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on March 10, 2013:
Wow. This hub has loads of information; everything you could possibly need to know.
Shared and voted.
Ann Carr from SW England on January 16, 2013:
Up, useful and interesting. I'm about to go on a cruise to Norway and hope to see this amazing phenomenon. This hub gives me some interesting facts; we are going to Tromso and Alta amongst other places, so I'm hopeful! Great hub!
Adventure Colin from London (when I'm 'home') on May 18, 2012:
Brilliant and Informative hub - I've always wanted to catch the Northern Lights, hopefully this winter.
Neha Mehta on March 02, 2012:
Thanks for this post!!
Susana Smith (author) from UK on February 27, 2012:
Karen, I think you'll be fine with a waxing quarter moon, especially if you get out into the countryside (away from street lights). Best wishes for your trip and thanks :)
Karen S. on February 24, 2012:
Susana,I've been researching the northern lights for a number of years now, and am finally planning a trip for next winter. I was wondering if you had an opinion about priorities for timing. We are able to go to Scandinavia only on our children's school breaks, which unfortunately do not coincide with new moon phases. Our February break would correspond to a waxing quarter moon. Do you think it's worth a try, or would the quarter moon seriously diminish our chances of seeing the lights? Many thanks for this fantastic post. In my years of researching this, this is the most succinct and useful guides.
Veruschka on February 12, 2012:
Thank you so much for this usefull info on your website. We are from South Africa, so the Aurora was an acceptionally special site for us! We went on a cruise in Norway December 2011 to "hunt the lights" and it was fabulous. We want to do another trip the end of 2012 or beginning 2013 to see the northern lights. Your website helped a lot in deciding on the best location. We are considering Iceland, Canada or Alaska. Thank you!
ILovePlaid from here, there on January 27, 2012:
Thanks so much for this post!! I just happened to be watching the news where they mentioned the Northern Lights, so I found my way here. I hope to make it...somewhere to see them this year!
CondoLux Rentals from North Myrtle Beach,South Carolina on January 13, 2012:
To see the Northern Lights. This is definitely on my bucket list. I've never heard of viewing them from an airplane though, this seems amazing!
Penny on January 12, 2012:
I've waited for almost 40 years to see the Northern Lights, and as my 30th Wedding Anniversary is on 16th March it seems a very fitting anniversary treat to finally go and do it. So this site, and your advice, has been very welcome. HUGE thank you!
seano66 on November 13, 2011:
great article and very useful. i was wondering if you have any information on seeing the northern lights in 2012? its my wifes dream to see them and i want to take her to see them on our anniversary.
any information would be greatly appreciated. my e-mail is email@example.com
Bo on November 09, 2011:
great article! found it just after we booked our 5 day trip to Tromso/Kvaloya in Feb 2012 so I hope we made the right choice. We did order the premium package including a lot of solar activity and clear skies :-) (fingers crossed...)
Tiffany on October 01, 2011:
In canada another great place to see them is in cold lake i lived there and we saw them alll the time!
Jim Telford on September 29, 2011:
Thanks for a really useful article with one exception in my opinion.
Tromso is not the best place to see the lights. The streetlights and light pollution from a large population mean you have to get out of the town and that costs a fortune.
There's also a lot of cloud on that stretch of coast so even getting out of town is unreliable.
Liz from Leicester on September 25, 2011:
Great site - very informative, thanks for making all this so easily accessible. It's always been one of my dreams to see the Northern lights - something I must do before I get too much older. I understand that 2012 should be a good year, but is this the 2012-13 season or this coming winter 2011-12? Thanks again for all the wonderful information.
Meghan Spilsbury on September 15, 2011:
Hi Susana, wow what an amazing and informative blog. I was wondering if you could help me. I am the features writer for Top Billing Magazine in SA. I was wondering i you would be interested in sending me some high res images of the lights in return for credit in the mag? I am looking for some stunning ones, as well as the belt, and some cruise and sled pics? Could you help?
Please mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim on August 11, 2011:
i am hoping to take my husband for his 50th birthday in january - do you think it would be better to go february or march to actually see the northern lights. In the joanna lumley documentary she travelled by train where was this to/from and also Lofoten and Alta was shown - is it worth staying at either of these places or just best to stay in Tromso and get your excursions from there. Thank you
Future Jokkmokk from Jokkmokk Sweden on July 16, 2011:
Great hub Susana. Very comprehensive. We have many displays over our house in northern Sweden in the winter. Its hard to look out of the window all night though waiting.
applejuic3 from San Diego, CA on May 10, 2011:
thank you for this very informational hub. i have learned a lot just from this reading alone. i can't wait until the day that i get to see the northern lights in person.
jrcemail on January 17, 2011:
Wow, that must be an awesome sight to see! Still haven't seen it with my own eyes and I know YouTube doesn't count so will have to place it on my To Do list.
Brigitte Thompson from Austin, TX on October 25, 2010:
Great information. The northern lights is on my list of places to go and see. Thanks for a great HUB!
Susana Smith (author) from UK on October 15, 2010:
Hi Carl - you actually have a full moon over those days, so it's not the best time to go, but you never know you may be lucky. You can still have fun doing some dog sledding even if you don't catch the aurora.
carl hh on October 13, 2010:
hi, i was thinking of surprising my partner for her 40th birthday. i can get return flights from gatwick to tromso for her birthday weekend from 23-10-10 to 26-10-10. what do you think are the prospects like for that weekend of catching a glimpse? many thanks Carl
Susana Smith (author) from UK on July 10, 2010:
Hi Wudibell, There's very little information around about seeing the aurora in the southern hemisphere. Having just done a bit of searching on antarctic trips for you, it seems that Antarctic cruises only take place in Summer (November - March) because during autumn and winter months the ice is too treacherous. Antarctic cruises are extremely expensive and seem to depart mainly from Argentina http://www.coolantarctica.com/Travel/antarctica_tr...
Even if you went in November the sun is up all day so no hope of seeing the aurora australis unfortunately. http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/astronomy.ht...
There are flights to antarctica through australian antarctic division, but again these only seem to be in the months Nov - Mar.
One option seems to be going to Tasmania, but I'm not sure how frequent the aurora displays are there. They seem to be few and far between. http://www.leatherwoodonline.com/index.php/weblog/...
I think for the best chance of seeing the aurora you'll need to go north during feb/mar. Flying to either Olso, Norway, and then onto Tromso or going to vancouver then onto fairbanks seem to be the easiest routes. Tromso is probably the cheaper option as the flights between vancouver and fairbanks are expensive.
Hope that helps!
Susana Smith (author) from UK on July 10, 2010:
Marliza - Take the plunge and start planning your northern lights holiday. We both know what happens when we put stuff off, it doesn't happen!
Wudibell on July 09, 2010:
I live in Australia and will be seeing the lights - 2012 sounds like a good time. Is that the year of maximum solar activity? So Feb - March 2012 in the north & June - July 2012 in the South? You have listed a few 'types of holidays' for the northern hemisphere, but none for the southern. Do you have any info of types / chasers for the south? My original plan was to head to northern europe, but it is sooo far away and could be very costly - just to get there. I'd just like to weigh up my options before embarking on this fantastic adventure! Any info on packages linked to the south would be a great help. Thanks for the great hubb
M G on July 06, 2010:
I have to put that in my wish list..maybe one day...sigh...would just loved to see those magnificent lights in person...beautiful hub.. :)
Austinguy on June 14, 2010:
There is a great place to see the aurora north of Fairbanks just off the Steese Highway called Mt. Aurora. It sits atop a place I used to ski as a kid that was called Skiland at the time.
Susana Smith (author) from UK on April 13, 2010:
Thanks Duchess - you're so lucky to live somewhere where you can get to see the aurora easily! I love cold climates and would love to live somewhere like northern Canada or Norway, unfortunately my husband is a sun chaser and would never go for it!
Duchess OBlunt on April 13, 2010:
I'm lucky to live in Canada and have travelled to the north country on several occasions. Each of which have afforded me this wonderful opportunity. You've done your homework! This hub has some great information.
Susana Smith (author) from UK on March 18, 2010:
Hi Chandelier - You are absolutely right about Narvik. It's right on the border of Norway/Sweden and I obviously didn't look at the map properly! I will change the info. Many thanks for pointing it out to me :)
chandeliersnow on March 17, 2010:
Really nice photos you have there! This is something that I must do.. Sounds like a really fun adventure. Btw I think that Narvik is in Norway, but it doesn't matter.. Great hub!
Susana Smith (author) from UK on January 18, 2010:
Greg - as i said to thoughtful spot, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip - you won't regret it!
Antonrosa - that's interesting. I'll check it out :)
antonrosa from USA on January 18, 2010:
I heard that the HAARP project is supposed to be studying the Aurora lights and may be modifying the weather too.
Greg Cremia from Outer Banks on January 18, 2010:
One of my dreams is to see the aurora borealis.
Susana Smith (author) from UK on January 14, 2010:
Thoughtful Spot - Seeing the northern lights is certainly one of those things that everyone should experience at least once. What are you waiting for - just do it! :)
ThoughtfulSpot from PA on January 14, 2010:
Thank you so much! I've bookmarked this and will be back to read more in depth. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights. That and a trip to Greece are definitely on my list of things I MUST do at some point in my life.
Lindsay Godfree from Arizona on January 04, 2010:
I worked for the summer in Alaska and saw the lights at the end. Winter comes early there. The photos are amazing but to see them in person is an eeire experience. Hope to go there again...
Yard of nature from Michigan on December 17, 2009:
There's little as amazing in the night sky as a good display of the lights. Sunspot activity, and thus the lights, have been going through a quiet period. It's been a couple years now since I've seen a good show here in Michigan. This year I've only seen two so-so displays, though I watch even the so-so ones enjoying the light. Thanks for sharing.
Kathy Rimel on December 17, 2009:
This was a very interesting article. I never realized there were Southern Lights. I thought this phenomena was only in the north. Thanks for the information
jenblacksheep from England on December 16, 2009:
I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights! I went to Tromso a few years ago but it was in summer so there was no chance of seeing them. Hopefully I'll go soon if I can!!
Susana Smith (author) from UK on December 15, 2009:
Hi All and thanks for your comments and for sharing your experiences :) Looks like I need to write a hub about where to see the southern aurora for those of you in that part of the world.
Carmen - having just done a quick Google search I came upon this page: http://www.self-catering-scotland.com/thenorthernl...
It says to see the northern lights in Scotland you need to go to the very far north of the country and be in a very dark location with no streetlights. You should be able to see them on clear nights between October and March and between the hours of 10 pm - 3 am when there is auroral activity.
Locations in Northern Scotland include: the Northern Highlands, Moray Firth, Isle of Sky and John O' Groats.
Have a good trip :)
Carmen_Sandiego from USA on December 15, 2009:
Hello, I'm traveling to Scotland this winter, and I heard you can see the lights there. What time of year, and where in Scotland can I see them?
Norwegian Pearl Cruises on December 15, 2009:
Thanks for the fantastic hub! I very much want to be able to see the Northern Lights as soon as possible. It sounds like an amazing experience. Your photo's were top notch in this hub.
aquaseaCreative on December 15, 2009:
Oh man - I have to do the cruise. That would be amazing.
Moranna on December 15, 2009:
Absolutely awesome, something unforgetable: sas my whole trip to Norway.
europewalker on December 14, 2009:
I lived in Alaska for six years, the Northern Lights were amazing!
sytor on December 14, 2009:
This is one thing I must see before I die!
Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on December 14, 2009:
Wonderful article and great pics! I've seen the lights when I was in Northern Wisconsin but they were just on the edge of the horizon not as glorious as in Alaska or Norway I'm sure!
Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on December 14, 2009:
Good Hub I enjoyed reading your information about the Aurora Borealis
Money Glitch from Texas on December 13, 2009:
This is a great hub! I've always been fascinated with the Aurora Borealis, however I had no idea it could be seen from such a wide spread area on the globe. Thanks for sharing!
salt from australia on December 12, 2009:
I saw the Joanna Lumley Northern Lights documentary and have been enthralled ever since. It is now one of my life dreams to see the Northern Lights and visit some of the amazing places in the far north.
I live in Australia and have to learn about the southern aurora. I have seen the stars in outback Australia, which are beautiful - yet I dont think they can compare with the experience of the Northern Lights.
emievil from Philippines on December 11, 2009:
I have always been fascinated with the Aurora Borealis ever since I read about it in a novel. But I didn't know I can just travel to Australia to see them. Hopefully, I will get the chance to travel to Australia and when I do, I'll come back to this hub of yours to see when is the best time to go there and see the Southern Lights. Thanks.
Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 10, 2009:
Thanks for the information and the links Susana. We are due to go on the 8th May, so there is a bit of hope we might be lucky :)
Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on December 10, 2009:
Thanks for the tip, O Wonderous One!
Susana Smith (author) from UK on December 10, 2009:
Misty - I found this link to the times for sunrise and sunset anywhere in the world and for any given month: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/sunrise.html
According to this, in Iceland, in May, the sun sets at around 10pm and rises around 4.30 am at the beginning of the month, but by the end of the month the sun's setting at 11.30 pm and rising at 3.30 am.
Since seeing the aurora is a lot about how dark it is - you may be lucky enough to see them at the beginning of May if you're up in the darkest part of the night. You can also use the website link to check the moon's phase for when you are going. The best time is a New Moon (no moon visible) as again this increases the sky's darkness.
Another thing you can do before you go is check the strength of the aurora at the geophysical institute website: http://www.gedds.alaska.edu/AuroraForecast/
and select the european image.
I hope you manage to see catch the aurora and have a fabulous trip!
Hillary from Atlanta, GA on December 09, 2009:
Funny I was thinking about the Northern Lights and The Fjords just recently and Mistyhorizon beat me to my own comment! Great, incredibly well-researched hub Susana. Thanks!... good to see you back.
Cindy Lawson from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 09, 2009:
Fabulous Hub. I am going on a 7 night cruise around Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords next May, but don't know if this will be too late to stand a chance of seeing the Northern Lights, do you know if they are still seen that late??
Susana Smith (author) from UK on December 09, 2009:
Thanks RagingBull and Cheeky :)
Cheeky - Tromso is a great adventure especially if you like snow! And if I remember rightly you're in London? If so, you can fly directly to Tromso from Stansted with Norwegian airlines - defnitely worth it! :)
Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on December 09, 2009:
This is the best I have read about the Aurora! ANother brilliant Hub! Great research, Susana! Tromso sounds very appealing all of a sudden! : )
Raging Bull from Melbourne, Australia on December 08, 2009:
Hi Susana S, thanks for sharing, absolutely exquisite, how mystical, definitely going on 'my bucket list'.
Susana Smith (author) from UK on December 07, 2009:
Hey Dohn - long time no see! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments:) I remember on my last northern lights hub you said you wanted to see them....do it, do it, do it!
Gadfly - I think your comment *will* prompt me into more hub writing :) I have been doing some freelance writing work, starting a new blog and working on my older website - all to the detriment of my hubbing. But I've got a load of ideas for new hubs, so I think I'll shift my focus back.
Your aurora experience sounds amazing! You're so lucky to live somewhere where you often see them - I wish I did but I don't think my husband would go for it - he hates the cold!
I'm so happy to hear your news about your book! I will go over and read your work now. Good luck with the publishing and let me know how it pans out :)
gadfly from Ojai, California on December 07, 2009:
Susana, I so enjoy your hubs that I wish I could prompt you into a little more productivity (I know, you have a life). I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta (some 200 miles from one of your noted destinations - Ft. McMurray) where I was treated to Northern Lights displays quite frequently. The most spectacular was a couple of years ago when we returned to Edmonton on a flight from Vancouver and were able to see the whole show out of the airplane window - extremely colorful, dancing across the horizon from west to east and back again. We received a double treat on landing. There was a winter hoarfrost covering all the trees - the reflection of the Light display off the hoarfrost was indescribable!
I took your advice re writing and posted, a month or so back, a first chapter of a new novel -- Unborn -- on Hubpages and I am now dealing with three publishers to get it into print.
dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on December 07, 2009:
I would love to see the Aurora Borealis one day as I would love to travel the world entire before I croak ;) Thanks so much for an outstanding hub. Given what you had as resources, you placement of all your capsules is perfect. Thank you.
Susana Smith (author) from UK on December 07, 2009:
Hi All - comments already - gosh! Thank you :) The Joanna Lumley documentary is great isn't it? She was so lucky to get such an amazing show. I'm planning to go again probably in 2012 when the solar maximum is due (more solar activity = more aurora!)
I'd say if seeing the aurora something you want to do - just go for it! Start planning now for late Feb/early March which is one of the best times to go. Depending on where you live it doesn't have to cost the earth. :)
Hello, hello, from London, UK on December 07, 2009:
That must be an awsome experience. Thank you for all your great tips where to see it.
BkCreative from Brooklyn, New York City on December 07, 2009:
Great info! This has always fascinated me - so thanks for putting all the information in one place!
This is now on my "100 Things I Desire to Do" list - thanks again!
Jewels from Australia on December 07, 2009:
Thanks for this hub. I have Northern Lights on my to do list. I saw the Joanna Lumley doco on this not long ago, lucky her. I'll bookmark your hub for future reference.