The Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis, are a stunning natural phenomenon that occurs when electrically charged particles from the sun enter the Earth’s atmosphere and collide with gaseous particles. The result is a spectacular light show of different colors dancing in the night sky — from soft green to electric blue to vibrant purples and pinks. If you want to experience this spectacular celestial event for yourself, here are some of the best places on Earth where you can view them. From arctic glaciers to volcanic islands, from metropolitan cities to swaths of wilderness – a vast selection of places around the world provide guests with dreamy panoramas for viewing this amazing phenomenon.
An Alaska cruise with Cunard on Queen Elizabeth is one of the best ways to see the Northern Lights, especially in August or September. Alaska is located in the Aurora Oval, where the lights are most visible. A clear night at sea is the perfect place for stargazing, and the northern lights are even brighter on the water because there is no interference from ambient light from the surface. National Park Service experts are on board to provide commentary and educate visitors about what they see.
Head to the new North Pole Igloos Hotel, where you can see the Northern Light guaranteed. The hotel is a pop-up concept at the northernmost point of the Earth. Tourists stay in heated glass igloos with glass ceilings and glass walls allowing guests to view the Northern Lights from their beds. It does not come cheap, as staying there costs a lot of money, including a one-night stay at the North Pole, two nights in neighboring Svalbard, transportation, meals, and a guide.
Another way to take Aurora viewing to the next level is to board the Aurora 360 Experience. Launched in February 2019, this privately chartered 737 jet will bring visitors to eye level with the Aurora Borealis. They can also learn about the Aurora from guest speakers during the flight. This is the only flight in the world to take off within the Aurora Borealis.