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Why You Should Book a Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Cruise

20 September 2023


The Aurora Borealis is a mesmerising natural phenomena, and Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights cruises provide a unique and wonderful opportunity to witness it. These one-of-a-kind cruises transport guests through beautiful Arctic landscapes, giving you the chance to not only see the Northern Lights, but also to experience the stunning fjords, coastal communities, and Arctic wilderness along the way. You’ll board MS Maud, a ship packed with all the amenities you require for the adventure of a lifetime.

A magical sight, the Northern Lights are caused by solar storms and sun flares, which produce breathtaking green, blue and pink colours that dance across the sky. Often on people’s bucket lists to see, the best place to catch the Aurora Borealis is in Northern Norway, in the cold Winter months between October and March.

Truly extraordinary cruises, Hurtigruten Expeditions’ cruises along the beautiful Norwegian coast stand out from the crowd as they take you across and beyond the Arctic Circle, so that you’re sailing directly beneath the Auroral Zone, where the solar activity takes place. Hurtigruten have been taking guests along this coastline for 130 years, and are the undisputed experts in this area.

Read on to find out more about these special Norwegian cruises. Explore MS Maud, the exciting itinerary and Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Promise.


  1. What are Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Cruises?
  2. Why Sail with Hurtigruten Expeditions?
  3. Which Hurtigruten Expedition Ship Offers Their Northern Lights Cruises?
  4. Where Do Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Cruises Visit?
  5. Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Cruises from London Tilbury
  6. Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Promise

What are Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Cruises?

Hurtigruten’s Northern Lights cruises take you to some of the world’s most incredible destinations, giving you a chance to explore the rugged fringes of northern Europe and beyond. You’ll sail conveniently from London Tilbury to areas known for the auroral activity, giving you a higher chance of seeing them.

Observation Deck
Observation Deck

The Arctic scenery that you’ll see along the way, from the snow-covered mountains to the icy fjords and coastal villages is simply magical. Plus, you’ll also have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional included activities and excursions (for an additional cost) that will enhance your experience, including the likes of ice fishing and dog sledding!

The knowledgeable Expedition Team on board will be on hand to provide you with useful insights into the local cultures, the Arctic environment, and the Northern Lights through daily lectures and activities! Throughout the cruise, you’ll also have the opportunity to indulge in some local cuisine, with a range of regional specialities on offer.

Combining the chance to witness one of nature’s most spectacular and awe-inspiring displays, with the exploration of Norway’s Arctic wonders, this is an ideal option for those seeking an immersive and extraordinary sailing experience.

Why Sail with Hurtigruten Expeditions?

As mentioned above, Hurtigruten has been sailing along the Norwegian Coast for over 130 years. Their experience means they are best placed to offer an unforgettable experience of coastal Norway. Hurtigruten is engrained in local culture and their ships are always warmly welcomed by the coastal communities.

MS Maud in Norway
MS Maud in Norway

Sailing with Hurtigruten Expeditions gives you the best chance of witnessing the illustrious Northern Lights. When you are at sea you are away from artificial light, on ships that are constantly on the move. Whilst onboard, you can opt to have announcements direct to your cabin when the lights make an appearance, ensuring you don’t miss out!

Giving you a front row look at the Northern Lights from the observation deck, you can enjoy unobstructed views of the natural lightshow. During your cruise, you’ll also have the chance to see cultural landmarks, such as the Cathedral of the Northern Lights in Norway; a fascinating landmark that features architecture that took inspiration from the Aurora!

On a Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights cruise, you will enjoy included breakfast, lunch and dinner, including House wine & beer, sodas and mineral waters along with other amenities such as:

Which Hurtigruten Expedition Ship Offers Their Northern Lights Cruises?

MS Maud is an extraordinary ship, designed in a beautiful and classic Art Deco style. Boasting bright interiors and colours that take inspiration from the Midnight Sun, you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing cruise regardless of the time of year you travel.

Sailing in Norway
Hurtigruten sailing on Norway

What stands MS Maud out from the crowd is its Science Center, which you can access throughout your cruise. Here you can examine samples under the microscopes that you’ve collected during your cruise and learn more about which Citizen Science projects you can get involved in.

You can also enjoy a wide selection of fascinating and captivating daily lectures within the onboard Lecture Hall or, if you want to relax in the comfort of your cabin, you can watch the lectures on the TV - via Hurtigruten’s live streaming service.

MS Maud has a range of restaurants which all serve delicious dishes to help fuel your adventures. Aune is the main dining room, Fredheim - the international kitchen for all-day dining, and the speciality restaurant Lindstrom is perfect for special occasions. If you’re looking to unwind with a drink in hand, the Explorer Lounge & Bar or the outdoor Observation Deck are great places to take in spectacular views. Wanting to keep fit and healthy during your cruise onboard MS Maud? The gym is a great place to get your work out in, whilst admiring sea views. Alternatively, you can head to the sauna to enjoy breath-taking views whilst relaxing.

Where Do Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Cruises Visit?

Setting sail on an expedition vessel, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to head outside and see the Northern Lights cascading throughout the sky. And with sailings being offered to all of the destinations known for being Aurora Borealis hotspots, you’ll have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights whilst stopping in incredible destinations along the way. And one of the best ways to see the Northern Lights is on a ship; as there’s less light pollution at sea.

MS Maud in Norway
MS Maud in Norway

Some of the destinations visited by Northern Lights cruises might include:


Visit Tromsø, which is regarded by many as the entryway to the Arctic, and follow in the footsteps of illustrious explorers. Before choosing to embark on thrilling expeditions like snowmobile and husky dog sledding experiences over the snow, you may explore sights like the majestic Arctic Cathedral, the ancient harbour area or take the Fjellheisen cable car up Storsteinen mountain.


Also known as the ‘Northern Lights City’, Alta is one of the most beloved stop-offs for Hurtigruten’s Expedition cruise. Not only does it lie within 70º of the Arctic Circle, but it’s also a wonderful place to explore- with lots of attractions, including the Cathedral of the Northern Lights (which also has a fun interactive exhibition dedicated to research surrounding the Northern Lights) and the Alta Museum. Alta is known as the Northern Lights City due to the fact that it lies directly beneath the Auroral Oval.


Bergen, a traditional Norwegian port town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a haven for lovers of architecture, seafood, and the great outdoors. Start your discovery of Bergen from the famous Hanseatic Wharf, which will take you to the heart of this lovely area through museums, galleries, shopping, and some of the best restaurants in Norway. Top highlights include the Bergenhus Fortress, Floibanen funicular train and Bergen Harbour.

Other stop offs along the way include Svolvær in the Lofoten Islands and Narvik; both of which have their own attractions and beautiful scenery. On this special expedition cruise, you can rest assured that you’ll witness some of the world’s most unique and magnificent sights, all whilst sailing in a comfortable and state-of-the-art ship.

Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Cruises from London Tilbury

If you don’t want to fly, this is the perfect cruise for you! Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights cruise sails direct from London Tilbury aboard MS Maud. Removing the need to board a flight before your cruise, this is a very convenient option to access coastal Norway, starting your adventure off in a way that’s relaxed and stress free. Cruising along the Norwegian coast, you’ll see the picturesque scenery and get up close to some of Norway’s most incredible cities and sights.

London Tilbury
London Tilbury

Discover our collection of MS Maud Northern Lights cruises from London Tilbury here.

Hurtigruten Expeditions’ Northern Lights Promise

Another reason why Hurtigruten Expeditions stand out above the rest is their Northern Lights Promise. Although they aim to maximise the chances of seeing the Northern Lights, by sailing directly below the Auroral Zone and offering cruises that sail throughout October and March, if there’s no recorded occurrence of the Northern Lights throughout your 15-day cruise, you’ll receive a 6- or-7- day Classic Voyage the following season, free of charge!

Couple on a Hurtigruten Northern Lights cruise
Couple on a Hurtigruten Northern Lights cruise

Hurtigruten states that a “Northern Lights Occurrence” is defined as a sighting from the ship which is recorded by the ship’s deck officers and which is announced to passengers onboard”. It is the ship’s decision as to whether the Northern Lights have occurred, and the phenomena can last from anywhere between minutes to hours at a time.

There are, of course, certain terms and conditions that come with Hurtigruten’s Northern Lights Promise such as:

Book You Hurtigruten Northern Lights Cruise Today

Discover Hurtigruten Expeditions’ unique Northern Lights cruise sailing October – December 2023 and you can enjoy an Arctic adventure that’ll create memories that last a lifetime. A getaway that’ll be unlike anything you’ve experienced before, you’ll be able to see some of the world’s most beautiful and incredible scenery, whilst having the chance to see the awe-inspiring natural phenomena of the Northern Lights.

Read more about the Northern Lights on our recent blog post - Top Tips for Seeing the Northern Lights.

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