Hurtigruten commit to giving you another trip (half-a-trip actually) if you don’t see the Northern Lights on the 12-day voyage. Well, they didn’t need to worry on this trip. We saw them twice.
The first time was the evening after we’d visited Trondheim and the lights were probably more spectacular on that occasion. It has to be said that taking photos on a tripod from a moving boat with c.400 other people trying to do the same is not something I’d recommend. So much so that I retreated almost immediately to a sub-optimal location on the port (left) side of the boat. The lights were dead ahead – in front of our cabin in fact, not that we’d have seen anything from there due to the jostling and bad manners that was taking place outside our window. So bad manners is the first no-no about photographing the aurora from a boat. The second is that the boat’s moving so you don’t get a strong, stable foreground and the stars are moving as well.
That being the case, the photos are not great, but at least they’re a record of the fact we saw the Northern Lights.
It also has to be said that you can see much more from the camera sensor than you can with your naked eye, so in that respect I was really pleased to have a high-ISO huge pixel size camera to record the aurora. What some other passengers’ photos must have looked like – who knows! It was also useful to be able to use Lightroom’s spot-removal tool to remove a few “blemishes”, bits of light pollution and errant stars.
The second showing was not so strong and took place as we travelled towards Kirkenes and so these shots have no land at all in the picture. They’re also taken from the port (left) side of the boat.
So that’s it. A wonderful trip. Would we do it again? Probably not in winter. It’s said that May sometimes is the best month to do this trip as you see spring/summer in Bergen whilst it’s still winter in Kirkenes. Rather than do the Hurtigruten trip however I’d like to consider a combination of boat and car. I’d like to make use of the incredible bridges and tunnels; and use the ferries to examine the Lofoten Islands which we hardly saw in the winter light whilst we were there – it must be spectacular when the sun doesn’t set in the summer months. That’s for another year though – coronavirus permitting!