It’s official: Northern Lights season is back

Sep 26, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

If you’ve been dreaming about seeing the Northern Lights, we’ve got good news: Aurora-viewing season is back.

The days have been getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere since late June, and there are now more than enough hours of darkness to see the shimmering, colorful auroras. Best of all, September and October are still relatively mild, so for travelers pursuing the elusive Northern Lights early in the season, you don’t have to stand outside in freezing temperatures waiting for a solar flare to pierce the Earth’s magnetic field.

This year, Off the Map Travel — a luxury travel company that crafts tailor-made trip and specializes in Northern Lights itineraries — is kicking off the 2019 to 2020 winter season with a slew of new itineraries in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland. With an emphasis on viewing the aurora borealis from the water, the trips range from relaxing at a floating Arctic spa to glamping in a yurt alongside the Bothnian Sea.

(Photo courtesy of Off the Map Travels)
(Photo courtesy of Off the Map Travels)

“We have found that water can enhance the experience of hunting for the Northern Lights, adding relaxation, excitement and even spirituality,” Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel, said in a statement.

Off the Map’s lineup of Northern Lights adventures also includes hunting for the elusive celestial event in kayaks; a houseboat-like ferry; and a luxury catamaran. Or, for something more rugged, consider floating in a frozen lake wearing only a dry suit. In Iceland, travelers can even join an expert photography guide on a journey to capture the so-called “double shot”: the auroras cast back in the reflection from a waterfall.

Related: The 7 best starter credit cards

Of course, you don’t have to book a high-end vacation package or even fly to Europe for your chance to see the Northern Lights. In fact, you can sometimes see them over parts of North America when the weather is favorable (think: dark, clear nights) and there’s a particularly powerful solar storm. TPG’s editor-at-large Zach Honig has even planned a trip to see the Northern Lights in Coldfoot, Alaska, next month with Northern Alaska Tour Company.

If you’re ready to plan a trip to see the Northern Lights this year, remember that vacation packages should be booked with a credit card that maximizes your spend, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, both of which earn 3x points on travel (on the first $150,000 in combine purchases each cardmember year on the Ink Business Preferred).

Featured photo by Sjo/Getty Images.

American Express® Green Card

WELCOME OFFER: 30,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: up to $100 annual CLEAR statement credit, up to $100 annual LoungeBuddy statement credit, 3x points on travel and transit, 3x points on restaurants worldwide

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide.
  • Receive up to $100 per year in statement credits when you use the American Express® Green Card to pay for your CLEAR® membership at select airports and stadiums across the U.S. and Permissible Biometric Scanning Technology terms: eye scanning, irises scanning and fingerprints scanning.
  • Use the American Express® Green Card to purchase lounge access through LoungeBuddy to any of the lounges in the LoungeBuddy network – no memberships, elite statuses, or first class tickets required. Earn up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year on your LoungeBuddy purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $150 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
See Rates & Fees
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.