Northern Lights for Christmas!

northern lights viewed in iceland

We had a wonderful display of Northern Lights just in time for the Christmas holiday.

Forecast 0% cloud cover 2/9 KP index  

Success! Sea Trips Reykjavik found the Northern Lights tonight from Reykjavik. 

It was absolutely the perfect night to go and hunt for the northern lights. The skies were absolutely clear and we could see the stars shining brightly even from the city. We all boarded the luxury yacht Amelia Rose and everyone explored the ship. She was built in 2003 as a private superyacht, and as such inside she’s all leather seats, marble surfaces, and hand-carved wooden panels. Even on stormy days, she cuts through the waves but tonight the sea was flat calm with very little wind.  

Everyone spent a lot of time up on the top deck, there are three viewing decks but the top one affords the best views, 360degrees of snow-capped mountains, islands, and then the beautiful Reykjavik cityscape. Because there were no clouds in the sky it was a cold night, but everyone stayed warm wrapped up in our snuggly blankets and ponchos, sipping our Viking Hot Chocolate, (Hot chocolate with amaretto, baileys, or 80% rum in it and lots of whipped cream on top.)   

We made our way out through the islands that keep Reykjavik harbor so calm and protected to one of our favorite spots for viewing the aurora borealis. Some people returned into the cozy wheelhouse to talk to the captain and sit in his chair, and he showed them how we track the northern lights. The captain showed them the information we get from the satellites telling us solar wind speed and density in the next half hour as well as more long-term forecasts. Others chose to remain in the main saloon to warm up. But the hardy souls that stayed out with our guides learned to name some of our favorite constellations and the myths and legends that surrounded them.  

 Northern lights cruise on a super yacht in Reykjavik, Iceland 3
A stunning swirl of lights with red flares

The northern lights started appearing as though from behind Esja, a beautiful snow-covered mountain north of Reykjavik. They were faint at first but as soon as we saw them we got everyone outside and waited patiently for them to get stronger. We were rewarded for our patience and before long the faint lights grew stronger until we had them in a huge green arc across the sky.  

It was time to turn and head back to harbor but by reading the satellite information from NASA we could see it was going to build again shortly, so we hung out a little longer and were rewarded by the lights dancing in the sky, a proper ribboning. How wonderful! The northern lights always amaze us!    

The other natural wonder people come to see in Iceland and top of the bucket list, and rightly so, are the wonderful whales we have in the harbor here. We also go out on the luxury yacht Amelia to see them and the other marine mammals here, though the view of the mountains and islands are worth it by themselves! 

Learn more at Space Weather Live


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