Aurora over Tromsø fjords
The northern lights dance over the fjords near Tromsø, Norway.
Yongyut Kumsri /

For breathtaking views of the aurora borealis — an awe-inspiring natural spectacle not to be missed — come along on Sky & Telescope’s exclusive tour offering that will carry you above the Arctic Circle on a 14-night cruise along the rugged, beautiful Norwegian coast.

Join Sky & Telescope for an unparalleled opportunity to see the Northern Lights! You’ll board Princess Cruises’ exquisite Caribbean Princess in Southampton, England, then set a course for the coastline of Norway. The cruise dates — September 24 to October 8, 2024 — will maximize your time underneath dark, moonless nighttime skies. Once the Sun has set and the skies darken, you can head for the ship’s open deck areas to watch for auroral displays — or just kick back on your cabin’s balcony and enjoy the show.

Watching the fantastic colors of the Northern Lights dance across the arctic sky is an unforgettable experience, and Norway is one of the best places to see them. Statistically, late September to early October is the best time for aurora-watching, and that’s also when the nights are full and the weather prospects better than deep winter. Although the Northern Lights are elusive and unpredictable, this cruise will coincide with the predicted maximum of the Sun’s 11-year activity cycle. Your odds of seeing one or more auroral displays will never be better!

Along the way, you’ll enjoy five stunning and uniquely diverse ports of call — Trondheim, Tromsø, Alta, the Lofoten Islands (Gravdal), and Ålesund — and you’ll also spend five days above the Arctic Circle!

Caribbean Princess and Norway route
During its 14-night sailing, the Caribbean Princess will take a leisurely route up and down the Norwegian coast.

And to keep you engaged during the cruise’s numerous days at sea, this tour features a series of presentations by S&T’s J. Kelly Beatty. He’ll offer a series of wide-ranging discussions — just for this group — that are engaging, informative, and laced with good humor. Of course, Kelly will discuss what causes auroras, how best to watch them, and tricks of the trade for capturing them with your camera or smartphone. Other presentations will cover asteroids, Mars, the search for life elsewhere, and much more.

Click below to get the full details:
• Details About the Caribbean Princess
• Itinerary for our 15-day/14-night cruise
• What is and isn’t included; what conditions to expect
• Pricing, Payments, and Terms
RESERVE NOW using this online registration form

Details About the Caribbean Princess

As the cruising world gets accustomed to ever-larger ships, the Caribbean Princess distinguishes itself as a stately mid-size vessel with room for up to 3,100 passengers. Its laid-back ambiance appeals to passengers of all genres and doesn’t necessarily feel crowded. You won’t find water slides or other heart-pounding activities aboard this ship — but you will find vibrant, well-designed spaces that cater to passengers who, like you, enjoy traveling to new places.

Caribbean Princess aerial view
Unlike newer ships that cram their outside deck space with water slides and roller coasters, the Caribbean Princess provides lots of unobstructed areas well suited to observing the northern lights.
© 2022 Jeffrey Milstein

The Caribbean Princess also boasts lots of open deck space, so there’s plenty of opportunity for finding a dark spot to watch the northern lights dance overhead. Click here to view the ship’s deck plans.

All of the tour cabins are outside staterooms with balconies. These better-quality cabins come with a comfortable queen bed (or two twin beds) and premium cotton linens, desk/chair, spacious closet, refrigerator, bathroom with shower, and digital security safe.

In addition, the tour’s all-inclusive pricing covers round-trip transfers between London’s Heathrow Airport and the ship’s terminal in Southampton, port taxes and fees, single-device WiFi for the entire cruise, staff gratuities, beverage package, and more.

Princess balcony cabin
Get a front-row seat to the beauty of Norway! Your ocean-view stateroom offers the added indulgence of a balcony (table, two chairs) and gives you more space than a standard cabin. Enjoy your own private outdoor space with a relaxing view of the inspiring scenery surrounding you,.

Itinerary for the 15-day/14-night Norwegian Aurora Cruise

DateItinerary at a GlanceArriveDepart
Tuesday, September 24Ship embarks from Southampton, England4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, September 25At Sea
Thursday, September 26At Sea
Friday, September 27Trondheim, Norway12:00 p.m.8:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 28At Sea
Sunday, September 29Tromsø, Norway9:00 a.m.11:59 p.m.
Monday, September 30Alta, Norway11:00 a.m.(overnight)
Tuesday, October 1Alta, Norway11:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 2At Sea
Thursday, October 3Lofoten Islands (Gravdal), Norway8:00 a.m.11:00 p.m.
Friday, October 4At Sea
Saturday, October 5Ålesund, Norway8:00 a.m.5:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 6At Sea
Monday, October 7At Sea
Tuesday, October 8Ship disembarks in Southampton, England7:00 a.m.
Southampton harbor
For many years Southampton, England, was home to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear. Just a two-hour drive to the south of London, the city boasts a dramatic coastline that encloses some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain.
Princess Cruises

Day 1 (September 24, 2024):  Ship Embarks from Southampton, England
Welcome to England! Once you’ve landed at Heathrow Airport, you’ll collect your luggage and clear customs. Then you’ll be met by representatives from Princes Cruises and directed to a coach bus that will transfer you to the ship in Southampton (about 2 hours away). Once aboard and in your balcony cabin, it’s time to unpack and relax. Then join the rest of the Sky & Telescope group at a welcome reception.

For those arriving on an earlier date, Spears Travel will arrange for any additional hotel nights that may be required (at an extra cost) and for your transfer to the ship of embarkation day.

Day 2 (September 25, 2024):  At Sea
After breakfast, attend a private presentation about astronomy or space exploration, then relax and enjoy your free time aboard the ship. Perhaps you’ll attend an art auction today.

Day 3 (September 26, 2024):  At Sea
After breakfast, attend a private presentation about astronomy or space exploration, then relax and enjoy your free time aboard the ship. This might be the day you slide into one of the pools or hot tubs.

Day 4 (September 27, 2024):  Trondheim, Norway
Trondheim is the third largest — and second oldest — city in Norway. The town was originally called Kaupangen upon its founding in 997 A.D. by Viking king Olav Tryggvason. Trondheim quickly became a major commercial and cultural center — and it once served as Norway’s royal capital. Trondheim’s old city features broad avenues and attractive 17th-century wood buildings — a legacy of the rebuilding that followed a disastrous fire that leveled the city in 1681.

Trondheim's colorful shoreline
Colorful houses line the shoreline of Trondheim, which lies midway up the Norwegian coast. Trondheim has a mild climate for its northerly latitude, resulting in moderate summers and winters that often remain above the freezing point in seaside areas.
Nikolai Sorokin /

Day 5 (September 28, 2024):  At Sea
After breakfast, attend a private presentation about astronomy or space exploration, then relax and enjoy your free time aboard the ship. Take the opportunity to enjoy some afternoon tea and desserts.a disastrous fire that leveled the city in 1681.

Day 6 (September 29, 2024):  Tromsø, Norway
Lying north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø has been a departure point for Arctic explorers and hunters since the 18th century. Today, this town of some 50,000 individuals is home to the northernmost university in the world, which gives Tromsø a lively cultural and street scene, highlighted by the annual Midnight Sun Marathon. Tourist tip: Ride the cable car to the summit of Mount Storsteinen for dramatic views of the city.

aurora over Tromsø
With a population of nearly 80,000, Tromsø ranks as the 12th largest municipality in Norway. But aurora-hunters are drawn here for its location — latitude +70° (above the Arctic Circle) — which makes it a prime location for viewing the aurora borealis (northern lights.)
Horiabogdan /

Day 7 (September 30, 2024):  Alta, Norway
Alta is known as the “City of the Northern Lights,” and people from around the world come here to watch the spectacular auroral displays. In 1899, the world’s first Northern Lights observatory was built nearby. Alta is the gateway to unspoiled landscapes such as the Finnmarksvidda plateau and the Sautso, often called Northern Europe’s Grand Canyon. There’s so much to explore that the ship will remain here overnight.

Day 8 (October 1, 2024):  Alta, Norway
While in Alta, you can explore the Sami, Scandinavia’s indigenous, semi-nomadic people. The Alta Museum offers many exhibits detailing Sami culture and history, including a mile-long outdoor footpath containing 85 petroglyphs. This spectacular rock art, placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, dates back thousands of years.

Alta petroglyphs
Thousands of petroglyphs in the Alta Fjord, near the Arctic Circle, bear the traces of a settlement dating from circa 4200 to 500 B.C. They add to our understanding of the environment and human activities on the fringes of the Far North in prehistoric times
Oleg Kozlov /

Day 9 (October 2, 2024):  At Sea
After breakfast, attend a private presentation about astronomy or space exploration, then relax and enjoy your free time aboard the ship. Make time after dinner to enjoy one of the glitzy musical performances.

Day 10 (October 3, 2024):  Lofoten Islands, Norway
The ship will dock at Gravdal, which serves as your gateway to the Lofoten Islands, the western remnants of great mountains that were worn away long ago by glaciers. Lying entirely above the Arctic Circle, the islands’ natural architecture of rocky peaks serve as dramatic backdrop for picturesque villages.

Buksnes Church in Gravdal
Rugged mountains dwarf the picturesque Buksnes Church in Gravdal. This town of about 1,700 residents sits near the middle of the 100-mile-long Lofoten island chain.
Princess Cruises

Day 11 (October 4, 2024):  At Sea
After breakfast, attend a private presentation about astronomy or space exploration, then relax and enjoy your free time aboard the ship. If it’s cloudy tonight, you can always watch an outdoor movie.

Day 12 (October 5,2024):  Ålesund, Norway
In 1904, a massive fire destroyed 800 buildings in this fishing port. Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II responded with immediate aid, and Ålesund was reborn. The result is one of the prettiest ports in Norway, surrounded by fjords and the stunning Sunnmøre Alps. Buildings with elegant turrets and spires line the streets of the city center.

Alesund at sunset
Ålesund is one of Norway's most important fishing harbors and the world's largest supplier of “klippfisk” (dried cod).
© oleg_mj/

Day 13 (October 6, 2024):  At Sea
After breakfast, attend a private presentation about astronomy or space exploration, then relax and enjoy your free time aboard the ship. Catch a performance by one of the ship’s featured entertainers.

Day 14 (October 7, 2024):  At Sea
After breakfast, attend a private presentation about astronomy or space exploration, then relax and enjoy your free time aboard the ship. Don’t forget to save a little energy for some late-night dancing.

Day 15 (October 8, 2024):  Ship Disembarks at Southampton, England
Welcome back to England! Once you’ve disembarked the ship and cleared customs, you’ll be directed to a coach bus that will transfer you to Heathrow Airport (about 2 hours away). There you will check in for your flight(s) home.

What the Norwegian Aurora Cruise Does & Doesn’t Include

Included in S&T’s Norwegian Aurora Cruise:

  • Ocean-view cabins with balcony (category BB/BC/BD) on Caribbean Princess
  • 14-night cruise with five ports of call in Norway
  • Roundtrip transfers between Heathrow Airport and Southampton
  • Port taxes and fees
  • Gratuities for cruise-ship staff
  • Standard single-device WiFi throughout the cruise
  • Plus Beverage Package and premium desserts
  • Select casual dining with pre-fixe meals
  • Welcome and farewell group receptions
  • Exclusive presentations by the tour’s Sky & Telescope representative

Not included in S&T’s Norwegian Aurora Cruise::

  • International airfare to and from London, England
  • Extra fees for porterage, meals, or items of a personal nature
  • On-shore excursions at the five ports of call
  • Personalized activities and/or additional nights of accommodation
  • Tips for transfer bus drivers (at your discretion)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended — we can send you a quote)
  • Medical insurance
  • Medical or quarantine expenses
  • COVID-19 testing before, during, or after the tour
  • Anything else not mentioned under “included”

What to Expect on the Cruise

This exclusive Sky & Telescope expedition is designed for travelers who are interested in experiencing nighttime displays of the aurora borealis, along with the striking geology and superb landscapes of Norway.

September-October is autumn in Norway, with typical daytime temperatures in the range of 42°-50°F and evening temperatures in the range of 36°-42°F. So layered clothing, gloves, and a wind- and rain-proof jacket suitable for cool-to-cold weather with occasional rain are recommended.

To maximize enjoyment of this experience, participants must be in good physical and mental health and be able to move through the ship. Participants requiring extraordinary assistance must be accompanied by someone who can and will provide all required assistance. Travel segments by private motorcoach will be up to 2 hours long. On-shore excursions may involve some walking over uneven terrain; those participating must be able to keep up with the pace of the group.

Pricing, Payments, and Terms for S&T’s Norwegian Aurora Cruise

Tour Pricing (per person)Double occupancySingle occupancy
14-night Norwegian aurora cruise$4,950$8,345

Pricing: All tour prices are based on costs and U.S. dollar exchange rates in effect at the time of posting. As such, prices listed here are subject to change. Spears Travel and/or AAS Sky Publishing LLC will inform clients of any changes prior to departure.

To make a reservation: A reservation request can be submitted by completing this form. Reservations are recorded and acknowledged in order of receipt. Spears Travel handles all invoicing.

Deposits and final payments: A deposit of US$1,000 per person is required to secure your reservation. Initial deposits may be charged to a credit card or by check payable to “Spears Travel” and mailed to: Spears Travel, P. O. Box 1256, Bartlesville, OK 74005. Final payment is due by July 8, 2024, and can be paid by credit card or by check payable to “Spears Travel” and mailed to the address above. Note, however, that when a credit card is used for final payment, a processing fee of 2.75% will be assessed. Reservations made after July 8, 2024, must include full payment at the time of booking.

Cancellations and Refunds:  Deposits are refundable until May 31, 2024, less an administrative fee of $250 per person. Cancellations received after May 31, 2024, but on or before June 30, 2024, are subject to a penalty of US$500 per person. Cancellations received after June 20, 2024, but on or before July 8, 2024, are subject to a penalty of US$1,000 per person. No refunds of deposits or final payments will be made after July 8, 2024. Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Spears Travel.

Terms and Conditions: In offering this tour itinerary or any other travel arrangements for sale, Spears Travel acts only as an agent. Spears Travel maintains no control over the personnel, equipment or operations of any supplier and assumes no responsibility for, and shall not be expected, asked, or required to pay for any financial loss, personal injury, property damage, other loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, or irregularity which you may experience either by reason of: (1) nonperformance by any supplier for whatever reason; (2) wrongful, carelessness, negligent or unauthorized acts or omissions on the part of any supplier or its employees or on the part of any other party not under the control of Spears Travel; or (3) any defect, breakdown or other failure of any aircraft , train, automobile, ship accommodations or other equipment or instrumentality owned, operated or otherwise used by a supplier. Spears Travel is not responsible for weather conditions causing difficulties in viewing astronomical events. Prices are subject to change without notice. Reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where necessary or deemed advisable for the comfort and well being of the passengers by Spears Travel. Spears Travel reserves the right to cancel this trip for any reason and agrees to refund all monies paid by passengers less non-refundable deposits paid to suppliers and contractors. On advancement of deposit, the depositor agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions stated. All rates quoted by the tour company are based on double occupancy and do include taxes for air, hotel or other transportation unless otherwise stated.

Release: You hereby agree to release AAS Sky Publishing LLC, Spears Travel, and their respective affiliates from any liability for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or other irregularity which may be caused by the defect of any aircraft or vehicle or the negligence or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out or performing any of the services involved, and for losses, injury, damages, or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather conditions, considerations of the safety of the transportation being used (for which the transportation operator shall be the sole judge), earthquake, strikes, local laws, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, quarantine, force majeure, injury including: eye injury, animal or insect bites, altitude related sickness, or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws of the country and jurisdiction in which they are provided.

Itinerary changes: In rare cases, Princess Cruises may decide that a change of itinerary is necessary during the cruise should weather or road conditions not allow operation of the scheduled itinerary. Certain outdoor activities may be canceled. In this case, no refund will be given but a reasonable alternative will be substituted where and whenever possible.