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islandwoman

12-Day Search for the Northern Lights

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Has anyone been on Princess' "12 Day Search for the Northern Lights" cruise?  I would like to know whether the ship turns off its deck lights (not its navigation lights of course) so that passengers could see the Northern Lights in a dark sky.  I am concerned because on a recent trans-Pacific cruise with Princess, their onboard entertainment department offered several star-gazing programs.  We couldn't see much of anything because all of the ship's very bright deck lights remained on.

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The first cruise with this itinerary isn’t until October, so we won’t know for sure until then.  However, on the Roll Call a passenger asked the captain earlier this year and the response was that they would indeed reduce lighting and make additional accommodations in order to see the lights.

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Looking forward to this one. 😁

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3 hours ago, islandwoman said:

Has anyone been on Princess' "12 Day Search for the Northern Lights" cruise?  I would like to know whether the ship turns off its deck lights (not its navigation lights of course) so that passengers could see the Northern Lights in a dark sky.  I am concerned because on a recent trans-Pacific cruise with Princess, their onboard entertainment department offered several star-gazing programs.  We couldn't see much of anything because all of the ship's very bright deck lights remained on.

Have been to about 4 of the star gazing programs and the lights where we are do get turned off during the program.

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When we were on the Crown P in 2009 or 2010 on a WB TA, we went above the Arctic Circle for a short time one night.  Folks could ask the front desk to awaken them at 2 am (supposedly the optimum viewing time).  We did so.  It was extremely cold and windy out on deck (after all, the ship was moving, it was night and we were very far north).  And in the end all we saw was a dim green "curtain".  Disappointed to say the least.

 

As for star gazing programs, I've attended several.  At least the sky is very dark in the middle of the ocean, compared to our suburban back yard and it's a lot warmer in Jan.!  Unfortunately, the knowledge of the cruise staff is usually not particularly great so it's best if you're already able to identify the common (in the northern hemisphere or southern, as the case may be) constellations like the Big Dipper, Orion, etc.  Course it depends on the time of year, too.  The staff person is usually up there with their cell phone on an astronomy site and trying to locate the well-known constellations.  At least Princess lets you go up on that high point of the ship once during a cruise.

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Anyone  been to Norway in October?    I've read it's too early for any snow-related activities, but I'm wondering about scenery.  Any snow-capped mountains that time of year?    

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1 hour ago, cruisewiththekids said:

Anyone  been to Norway in October?    I've read it's too early for any snow-related activities, but I'm wondering about scenery.  Any snow-capped mountains that time of year?    

We were in Norway just last month.  We saw quite a bit of snow while in Geiranger.

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Having done Northern Lights cruise with P&O dont forget that when in port the Captain might reduce lights on deck to a legal minimum but as you will be in port there will be light pollution from the port so there are no guarantees even on a clear night to see Northern Lights. The best chance is to book an excursion away from towns to a dark a place as possible to increase the chance. When there is light pollution and only a poor show the human eye might only pick it up as light grey smoke and not the beautiful colours but even then if you see colours they are more dramatic on pictures than in real life.

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