Northern Lights Iceland;
Northern Lights Iceland luxury yacht trip from Reykjavik
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Success! Sea Trips Reykjavik found the Northern Lights tonight from Reykjavik.
Tonight was stunning, a clear cold night and a full moon. Sometimes the light pollution from the full moon affects the visibility of the aurora but tonight it just added to the splendour of the evening.
Everyone was on board the superyacht Amelia Rose and we departed Reykjavik Old harbour on time to go and hunt for the northern lights. After the safety briefing everyone went off exploring the ship, down into the cabins all hand carved and with marble surfaces or up into the wheelhouse to chat with the captain and sit in his chair. From the wheelhouse you can see the information we get from satellites that indicate the density and speed of the solar winds along with a whole load more information from NASA.
The sea was nice and calm, and we gracefully slipped out of the harbour and through the islands to find the perfect place to view the northern lights. Once we had stopped everyone came up from the warm cabin up onto the top viewing deck, still snug in the blankets and ponchos we provide. It has 360degree views up there and the views of the snow-capped mountains and islands around us were spectacular, the moonlight making the snow sparkle. We go far enough away from Reykjavik so that the light pollution doesn’t affect us but we can still see the beautiful cityscape in the distance.
It wasn’t too long before we saw the lights start to appear, so we made sure everyone was out from the cosy main and front saloons and on deck, Viking hot chocolates in hand (Hot chocolate with amaretto, baileys or 80%rum in them.) The lights grew brighter and brighter, at first they were an arc, then the arc started to ripple and ribbon in bright green, then, before we knew it we have a huge corona overhead, a giant spiral in the clear sky. Everyone took wonderful photos of it and it was a real joy to show this amazing natural wonder to people from all over the world! The northern lights bring everyone together in amazement at their beauty.
During the day we take the yacht Amelia Rose out to look for whales and other marine mammals in Faxa Bay, departing from Reykjavik old harbour. Seeing the Northern Lights and Whale Watching are the two top things on people‘s Icelandic bucket list and we love helping people fulfil their dreams.
So if you have already bought a ticket to see the northern lights with us you can come out whale watching for half price. The most common species of whale we see are minke whales, humpback whales, white beaked dolphins and porpoises, though we never really know what we will see, and in the last few months we’ve had basking sharks, pilot whales, killer whales (orca) and even blue whales!
Sea Trips sail daily from Reykjavik Old harbour, Iceland. Our yacht Amelia Rose was built as a super yacht in 2003 and as such she is extremely stable, however if you feel you need them we always have motion sickness tablets for free at the bar, just ask our friendly crew. We recommend you dress warmly as it is always colder at sea than on land however we also have ponchos and blankets available around the boat for your use.
Please call us if you have any questions about the facilities on board our ships.
What are the Northern Lights?
Sten Odenwald, author of The 23rd Cycle: learning to live with a stormy star (New York, Columbia University Press, c2001), explains it thus;
“The origin of the aurora begins on the surface of the sun when solar activity ejects a cloud of gas. Scientists call this a coronal mass ejection (CME). If one of these reaches earth, taking about 2 to 3 days, it collides with the Earth’s magnetic field. This field is invisible, and if you could see its shape, it would make Earth look like a comet with a long magnetic ‘tail’ stretching a million miles behind Earth in the opposite direction of the sun.
When a coronal mass ejection collides with the magnetic field, it causes complex changes to happen to the magnetic tail region. These changes generate currents of charged particles, which then flow along lines of magnetic force into the Polar Regions. These particles are boosted in energy in Earth’s upper atmosphere, and when they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms, they produce dazzling auroral light.“
If you are interested in learning more we recommend these websites, https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/ and http://www.aurora-service.eu/ They have a lot of extra learning materials as well as real time satellite information.