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Old February 5th, 2008, 12:58 PM
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Default Northern Lights in September?

As a first-time cruiser - and first time to Alaska - I'm wondering if there's any chance of seeing the aurora from the ship in early September? I think that's probably a little early for a good chance to see it, but my real question is, would the lights on the ship be too bright, or do you get a good view of the night sky? (seems like on all the movies with ships the romantic couples are out on deck in the near-dark, aren't they?) Anyway, we occasionally see the northern lights here in upper Michigan, but what a thrill it would be to see them from the ship! Thanks for any input anyone has on this --

Sandy
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Old February 5th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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When I cruised Alaska, early Sept., they were saying that they were visible. It was around midnight, so I missed it, but it is possible.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 07:47 AM
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Thanks, Donna - I'll keep my fingers crossed then!

Sandy :-)
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Old February 6th, 2008, 08:25 AM
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Where is your ship??? I've seen Northern Lights ONCE from a cruiseship. And yes, overall they are too light. Best are ships with front dark decks below the bridge.

IF a priority, then I strongly suggest you DAILY check the Fairbanks U Geophysical web site for predictions, you need an active, otherwise forget it. Along with the favorable prediction, you also need a CLEAR DARK night, meaning full view of stars. You need to be open to getting out for several hours in the middle of the night. Sometimes, you can get a bridge call, but do not count on it. Having an accessable ship naturalist is also a big plus. Get friendly with him/her early in your sailing.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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Thanks, Karen - not exactly a priority, but it's one of the things I strongly associate with Alaska so I was wondering what the chances would be. I "googled" Alaska Northern Lights and found that early Sept. is a fairly active period for the aurora, so who knows -- maybe I'll get lucky!

Sandy
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Old February 7th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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This is the low point on the 11-year aurora cycle, though, so we're seeing them very, very little. The next high point is 2011-2012
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Old February 7th, 2008, 12:26 PM
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No problem - I'll just plan to come back then! Hopefully I'll be retired by then and will have more time.
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Old February 7th, 2008, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Northern Lights in September?

Sandy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You
As a first-time cruiser - and first time to Alaska - I'm wondering if there's any chance of seeing the aurora from the ship in early September? I think that's probably a little early for a good chance to see it, but my real question is, would the lights on the ship be too bright, or do you get a good view of the night sky? (seems like on all the movies with ships the romantic couples are out on deck in the near-dark, aren't they?) Anyway, we occasionally see the northern lights here in upper Michigan, but what a thrill it would be to see them from the ship! Thanks for any input anyone has on this --
There are a lot of lights on the public decks of a cruise ship, so it's often difficult to see the stars from there -- but there is one other option. If you have a balcony that's flush with the side of the ship (so you don't get lights from the decks or other balconies below) on the northward side of the ship, you can turn out the lights in your room and go out onto your balcony for a good view of the stars and, if you are lucky, the aurora borealis.

Norm.
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Old February 8th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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Hi Norm - I had a feeling things were going to be pretty bright on the ship...

I've never actually seen anyone confess this on these boards, but we've booked an inside cabin
I guess I'll have to make friends with someone with the type of balcony you described!

Sandy

(Waiting for my ship to come in so I can book a better cabin!)
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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandyBreit
Hi Norm - I had a feeling things were going to be pretty bright on the ship...

I've never actually seen anyone confess this on these boards, but we've booked an inside cabin
I guess I'll have to make friends with someone with the type of balcony you described!

Sandy

(Waiting for my ship to come in so I can book a better cabin!)
I confess I go with insides all the time!!!
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Old February 9th, 2008, 05:35 PM
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Thank you, Karen!

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