Why is Tromsø one of the best places to see the Northern Lights?
The city of Tromsø lies around 69° northern latitude and therefore in the middle of the Aurora belt, which maximizes your chances of seeing the Northern Lights. If the sky is clear, the Aurora can be seen almost every night between September and early April.
On our Northern Lights chases we have the possibility to cross into different nearby climate zones. This often gives us good chances to find clear sky, even if the sky above Tromsø is cloudy.
Tromsø also offers an international airport, a variety of hotels, museums, restaurants and is surrounded by amazing nature. The gulf stream keeps the city fairly warm throughout the Norwegian winter.
Why Chasing Lights?
We love the Aurora and we want to share this love with you. We give everything to give you the best chances to see this magic light show from outer space. We have no fixed time table and will stay out as long as there is good chances of seeing the Northern Lights. Also we will go further than anyone else to find clear sky, this can be at the Norwegian coasts with its fjords and arctic beaches or inlands into Finland or Sweden with its extreme cold.
But don't worry, we provide warm winter gear to keep you warm all night long.
We also take professional pictures every night, that we share with our guests after the trip, including portraits of the Aurora and you!
Will I really see the Northern Lights?
Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that we can never guarantee. Sightings require solar and geomagnetic activity, clear sky and luck.
A heavy cloud cover can sometimes last for days, possibly followed by days with low activity.
The only way to increase your chances to see the Northern Lights is to stay longer in Tromsø and join us for more chases.
The worst example we can give you: In the 2013/2014 season we had 2 separate groups that joined us for 4 chases and did not get to see the Northern Lights at all. Both times we couldn't manage to find clear sky on two of the nights, the other two nights the activity was low.
If we decide that chances are good enough to try and go ahead with the tour, we have about a 85% success rate on our trips. This means that we will see Northern Lights on 85% of the trips, but that does not mean you will have a 170% chance to see the lights if you join us for two nights. Besides that we cannot say how intense the Aurora will be. It's absolutely possible to see nothing for several nights in a row, despite greatest efforts.
No matter if you are staying for a few nights or for a week, you should keep in mind that weather reliant activities always come with the risk of being disappointed.
Why choose a package?
Let us take care of your Northern Lights holiday in Tromsø by choosing one of our packages.
We will organize all tours, accommodation and airport transfers.
We also include a unique 'flexible itinerary', which means we will choose the best nights for you to go out to see the Aurora, a service exclusively offered by Chasing Lights. This is different from other companies that will pre-book you on a specific date and take you out, even if chances to see the Aurora are low.
All packages also come with a number of other fun activities to ensure you have an unforgettable experience.
Which package should I choose?
We recommend our Classic Arctic Holiday or our Aurora Lover's Holiday for the best and very best chances to see the lights. While we can never guarantee sightings, we estimate from our experience that your chances to see Northern Lights with those packages are around 90% and 95%. This means that out of a 100 people around 10 (Classic Arctic Holiday) or 5 (Aurora Lover's Holiday) will not get to see any Northern Lights at all, due to bad weather and / or low activity.
How reliable are Northern Lights forecasts?
Northern Lights forecasts are not reliable. Besides that, it takes a lot of knowledge to fully understand what the forecasts are actually trying to predict. Just because the kp-index shows 0, it doesn't mean that there will be no Northern Lights. It just means that the activity will probably be mostly visible on the northern horizon. It doesn't tell you if the Aurora will be strong or faint or not visible at all. On the other hand, if the kp-index is high, the Aurora might be all around us, but that doesn't mean that it will be strong. It might not even be visible at all. Don't listen to "good forecasts, as they are likely to disappoint you. Don't listen to "bad forecasts" and stay in the hotel, as you might miss a great show. We had many of our greatest shows when the forecast predicted low activity.
Moon or no moon?
Many rumors are spread about moon light affecting your chances to see the Northern Lights.
Some say you can't even see the Northern Lights if the moon is up.
Don't worry, that's not true at all. Moon light has no negative effect on sightings.
When the moon is up, it will put a beautiful light on our fjords, mountains and forests. Especially for photographers this can create a magnificent foreground lightning.
On the new moon nights you will witness extreme darkness and after adjusting your eyes to the darkness and if the sky is clear, you will see millions of stars, galaxies and even some planets.
No matter if you decide to be our guest on nights with or without moon light, seeing a good Northern Lights show is always spectacular.
How do I get to Tromsø?
The easiest and fastest way to get to Tromsø is by airplane. Tromsø TOS Intl. Airport is served by Norwegian Air Shuttle (www.norwegian.com) and Scandinavian Airlines (www.fly-sas.com) with several flights a day from Oslo. The flight time is 1h 45mins. Have a safe trip and see you soon! :)