Dancing northern lights above Tromsø at night.

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?

There is no way of telling which year, month, week, or day the best is to see the Northern Lights as  there is so many factors that must be considered and no one knows what kind of weather we will  have or what the strength of the Northern Light will be. If you search online, it will say that the  strongest Northern Light activity is in the start and at the end of the Northern Light season (Sep Oct/Mar-Apr), but even if this is correct, this doesn’t mean you can’t see strong Northern Light in the  other months.

First off, the most important factor is the weather. It can be strong Northern Light, it can be as strong  as it wants, but that doesn’t help if the sky is full of clouds. On the Northern light tours, the most  important is to find clear sky, it can be a small gap between the clouds, or it can be clear sky, if we  are able to see the stars, we have a good chance of seeing the Aurora. The weather in Tromsø  changes quickly, so we cannot tell for sure what the weather will be like, even just a week before  your Northern Light tour departures. We cannot say what kind of weather it will be like next month  or in three months. Where we drive, is decided on the same day as the tour departures as the  weather forecast changes a lot and quickly, so we want to delay our decision as long as possible to  get the best chances of finding clear sky.

Once we have found clear sky, all we can do is to wait. Some days we must wait 20 minutes and  sometimes we must wait 4 hours. This brings us to the second most important factor, the activity  level of the Northern Light. This, we cannot predict either, the same applies here as with the weather forecast. We don’t know if it will be strong Northern Light in a specific week next month or if will be a  lot of strong Northern Light in March. The difference here is that we can somewhat see what kind of  activity level it will be a few days before departure, but this is also just a forecast which means it can  and will change. There have been many times where the indicators tell us that it will be strong  Northern Light and then it is weak Northern Light instead, and vise versa.

Seeing the Northern Light is a lot about luck as the weather must be okay, the activity level has to  okay, we have to be at the correct place at the correct time and so on. The guides decide along with  the Polar Adventures Northern light team where to drive before the tour starts, but during the tour  the guide will use all their available tools and knowledge to take you where the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are the greatest.

So, the questions shouldn’t be “When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?”, but rather “What  can I do to optimize my chances of seeing the Northern Lights?”. Well, there are two things:

1. Book your Northern Light tour on your first available night

You can then book another tour if you are not successful on your first try and/or we can  move your booking to another day if the chances are low on the day you had booked, and  the chances are better on another day, this depends also on if we have available places.

2. Check the weather forecast 4-7 days before the start of the tour

If you are unsure of which days are the best, check the weather forecast, but do not only  check the weather forecast for Tromsø as we never stay on the island to see the lights. Check  the weather forecast an hour drive north, south, west, and east. We can drive quite far to  see the lights if we have too. The very best here, is to either give us a call for a nice briefing and discussion, or even better, come by our office so we can show and explain our point of  view while we take a coffee.

The third point is something you cannot do, but it is about our Northern Light policy. If we see that  the weather is very bad on the day you have booked and the chances of seeing anything are close to  none, we will cancel the tour. We will then offer you to move your booking to the first available day  also considering the weather. If you cannot change your booking to another day or we don’t have  available places on the days you have availability, we will also offer you to move your booking to  another tour. This can be the Northern Light tour by boat, Whale Safari, or our Fjord & Fishing Cruise.  If you cannot change the date or change to another tour, we will cancel your booking and provide  you with a full refund.

On the nights where the weather is tricky and the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are low, but  still present, we will inform all our guests at check-in what the plan is and how we see what our  chances are of seeing anything. After the briefing, you will be offered to leave the bus and get a full  refund or join the tour and get a 30 % discount on a new tour if we don’t see any Aurora. It is  possible to leave the bus and move your booking to another day, but the guides cannot change your  booking at check in, so this must be done the following day with our booking team.

So, in summary,there is a lot of factors that we must think of before we drive and we can never guarantee that we will see anything since the Northern Light is a natural phenomenon, but one thing  can we guarantee:

The Northern Light guides and everyone in Polar Adventures will do everything they can to make sure that you get to see the Aurora Borealis.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at booking@polaradventures.no or +47 909  89 995

Ready for your next Polar Adventure?

Welcome to Polar Adventures, your gateway to unforgettable experiences in the Arctic region. We offer a wide range of tours and activities, from thrilling dog sledding and snowmobile safaris, to scenic fjord cruises and Northern Lights chases. Our experienced guides and staff are dedicated to providing you with the best possible adventure, while ensuring your safety and comfort. Come and discover the magic of the Arctic with us!