Welcome To Scoresby Sund: Gateway to our Northern Lights Cruises in Greenland

Our Northern Lights cruises in Greenland offer a way to explore with just 12 guests and witness one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world. Experience the colourful wonder of the northern lights as nature intended in a remote wilderness area with zero light pollution, surrounded by jaw dropping scenery.

Our Best Northern Lights Cruises In Greenland

Why Experience The Northern Lights In Greenland?

  • Experience the Northern Lights in an area with zero light pollution. Scoresby Sund is located hundreds of miles from the nearest town making it a haven for dark skies. When the sky is clear the colours are astounding.
  • Witness the aurora in amongst iceberg filled fjords and epic mountainous landscapes. Perfect for photographers and nature lovers.
  • During the days explore the wilderness of Scoresby Sund, the longest natural fjord system on the planet on a small ship expedition with just 12 guests.

To find out more about viewing the Northern Lights in Greenland please see our guide.

What causes the Northern Lights?

The northern lights or aurora borealis are polar lights  – natural phenomena that cause coloured lights to dance across the sky. The same phenomena also occur in the southern hemisphere as the southern lights or aurora australis. These celestial lights are the result of collisions between gaseous particles in the Earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere.

They can appear in smaller patches, or large, swirling light streams often most commonly in green hues, although on rare occasions they can appear as red, yellow, pink, blue or purple too.

Where Is the Best Place to See the Northern Lights in Greenland?

The Northern lights can be seen all over Greenland. For the best chance to see the Northern Lights, you need to go somewhere with a latitude of over 66 degrees north – roughly the same as the Arctic Circle.

Scoresby Sund has a latitude of  70° north and no light pollution which makes it one of the best destinations for seeing the Northern Lights in Greenland along with its majestic scenery. Our Northern Lights cruises in Greenland offer the perfect way to see this spectacular show.

When is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Greenland?

The Northern lights can be seen  during the autumn and winter months from September onwards when there are longer darkness hours.

We often see the Northern lights in September on our East Greenland Explorer Expedition Micro Cruise and Northern Lights Photo Tour.

For more information please see our guide.

What Is the Best Way to Photograph the Northern Lights?

You’ll need a reasonably decent camera to do the northern lights justice – ideally a full-frame camera with a wide-angle lens, and a tripod for keeping the camera steady. Full frame cameras are better for low light photography, and the wide-angle lens will let you capture the stunning Tromsø landscape, as well the northern lights as they shimmer above. If possible, bring a lens that can be set to a fast aperture of a minimum of f4.

Switch to manual mode and turn off the flash, and you’ll have to adapt the shutter speed according to the brightness of the lights on the night. Obviously, it’s not possible to predict the speed or brightness of the northern lights. But, as a guide, if the aurora is bright and fast-moving, then try a shutter speed of between five and ten seconds, between 12-20 seconds if they’re moving more slowly and if it’s very faint then try a speed of around 20-25 seconds.

For the best chance of photographing the Northern Lights see our Northern Lights Photo Tour to explore Scoresby Sund.

FAQ

What to pack for Northern Lights cruises in Greenland?

Our expedition vessel is very warm and cosy, but when it comes to packing for a northern lights cruise, it’s all about layers. Of course, you’ll need a decent coat (as well as hats, scarves, gloves, etc), but plenty of layers are the key to staying warm as you gaze up at the northern lights.

Make sure to pack:

  • A base layer: Non-breathable fabrics like polyester to keep the heat on your body while drawing sweat off the skin to the exterior of the materia,l so it will evaporate more easily.
  •  Middle layer: Your core insulation, like sweaters, hoodies, down jackets, or fleeces that aren’t too tight under your outer layer.
  • Outer layer: This layer has to weather storms, or at least deal with wind and rain. Unlike your baselayer – you do want your coat to be breathable, so material like gore-tex is a good shout.

Pack thick wool socks to keep the heat in, and a pair of warm, waterproof winter walking boots, ideally with removable spikes for extra grip.

Read more on our What To Pack for an Arctic Cruise post.

Will I definitely see the Northern Lights on my cruise?

Like all natural phenomena we can never guarantee it but when it appears  Scoresby Sund is one of the best places in the world for witnessing the northern lights.

If witnessing the Northern Lights is your main objective we recommend a cruise in the middle to later half of September.

Travelling in a small group is a more enriching experience than a larger tour group, there’s no crowds to disturb the peace or waiting around to go ashore – there’s space for the whole group in our Zodiacs. And once you’re there, you’ll experience the Arctic wilderness without rushing, in the company of like-minded guests.

Why Choose an Expedition Micro Cruise?

We believe our northern lights cruises on a small ship are the best way to experience Greenland’s wildlife and natural wonders in an intimate, personal and lower-impact way in a warm, comfortable environment.  Our 2 onboard expert expedition guides will take you to explore some of Scoresby Sund’s most remote and beautiful places. With a small group of just 12 guests, our guides will have plenty of time to share their expertise and answer your questions about the geography, history, and wildlife of Norway.

See All Our Northern Lights Cruises Here