Sailing through the Aurora Borealis

The Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights, has to be the most breathtaking spectacle created by Mother Nature. The grandest light show and the most vibrant fireworks display pale in front of these iridescent colors that light up the Arctic sky. Those who have never witness it will try and describe it to you in long poetic words and fail quite miserably; and those who have seen it will tell you to stop trying since there are no words to describe this erratic, yet astounding phenomenon.

Although the Northern Lights look pretty stunning no matter where you are looking at it from, people say that it becomes even more of a spectacle if you see it by boat. The thin veil of colors that seem to be melting from the sky and dripping straight into the water make for a picture that will stay imprinted forever in your memory. Here are a few boating expeditions you ought to check out, if you are travelling to the northernmost regions of the world to holiday under the mantle of Aurora Borealis.

We begin with the “Noorderlicht” (which means Northern Light) – a 100-year-old fishing schooner that is forgotten for the rest of the year but transforms into a hotel (and a very isolated one at that) in the winters. This 10-cabin boat is 60 km from the nearest human inhabitation and can be accessed only by snowmobile or dog sledge. However, once you reach it and check it out, you’ll realize that it was well worth the effort. Owing to its unique location, you are almost certain to sight the Aurora Borealis, made even more amazing by the isolation of the setting.

The next option is for those who like to keep their toes (and the rest of the body) well warmed, snug and comfortable even in sub zero temperatures. “Vulkana”, the luxury spa boat ensures you get to see the Aurora Borealis while soaking in a deliciously cozy hot tub. The Vulkana is a 1950s whaling trawler converted to offer you luxuries such as wood-fire sauna, hamam, restaurant, and Zen lounge. This trawler is based in Tromso, a Norwegian town, and you can opt for a short trip of 2-5 hours or an extended trip of two to three days.

Finally, wildlife enthusiasts must check out the packages offered by the “Plancius” – a former oceanographic research vessel that is now used to travel the fjords along the remote east coast of Greenland. The voyages offered by Plancius are educational in nature, and while you do get to see the Northern Lights (which is, of course, your primary objective) you can also spot wildlife specific to the arctic region, such as whales, seals, walruses, arctic wolves, polar bear, and reindeer.

That’s probably the kind of thing that would appeal to me. What about you? What’s your perfect location for spotting the Aurora Borealis?

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