During the dark winter months, Iceland is an excellent place to experience the magical Northern Lights as they dance across the skies. I’ve often stayed up late to catch a show, especially when the forecast is good, but until our recent Northern Lights boat tour (booked with the fabulous folks at Iceland Travel), I’d only ever seen them with my feet firmly on the ground!
Sailing out into the darkness to view them was quite an extraordinary and new experience. Call me romantic, but there’s just something a little more captivating about the boat tour that you just don’t get on land. I suspect it’s all down to the motion, which gives you the sensation that you’re not just watching the Northern Lights, but also dancing with them in unison, as the boat waltzes across the rolling waves.
We set out fom the Reykjavik Old Harbour area at around 9:30pm. Once onboard, we were welcomed by our lovely tour guide, who also narrated the whole trip with interesting, scientific facts. It can get quite choppy on the sea, so it’s good to know that they have plenty of quality outdoor overalls, just in case you need some extra wind-proofing – there’s also hot chocolate availalbe if you need warming on the inside. Note! If you fancy taking this tour and you suffer from motion sickness (like me), ginger-ale is a great remedy; but they also have tablets for anyone who needs them. Another tip to deal with the motion is to stand right at the front of the top deck -you don’t need to do a Kate Winslet, but it does help!
We were very lucky with the Northern Lights the night we set sail and were treated to quite an impressive show. Although the motion and the extreme darkness adds to the experience and intensity, it’s not the ideal setting for taking photos. So don’t waste too much time messing around with your camera for this tour – just enjoy the show and let those celestial lights blaze some lasting impressions into your memory instead!