Grey silhouette of a person's head and shoulders

Sharon Parsons


Voyage to the Arctic Circle on Cunard’s elegant Queen Victoria and experience spectacular scenery, fascinating destinations, starry night skies – and even, perhaps, the spellbinding Northern Lights.


An unforgettable  Northern Lights cruise on Queen Victoria takes guests from Norway’s dreamlike fjords to its most remote northern regions. As the ship makes her way slowly through this otherworldly land, guests are exhilarated by the crisp, clean air and magnificent surroundings, viewed from the many comfortable vantage points on board.


A packed itinerary, including special guest speakers, expert talks and photography masterclasses promises fascinating days at sea, but it’s at night when the magic truly happens. After a wonderful dinner, guests wrap up warm and go on deck, perhaps enjoying a delicious hot toddy, while our astronomy expert points out the wonders of the celestial bodies above. And while the Aurora Borealis can often remain elusive, there is always a chance that what is arguably nature’s most spectacular phenomenon will deliver a theatrical light show never to be forgotten.

Grey silhouette of a person's head and shoulders

"The voyage is an amazing experience. The lights seem to be constantly in motion, appearing and disappearing… or dancing around the night sky."

Harry Fletcher, port presenter

The Aurora Borealis

Being on board provides the best chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis. Queen Victoria spends around five days within the Arctic Circle, and everything is geared to the possibility of experiencing this incredible phenomenon: the officers on the bridge are constantly watching out for signs of the Aurora. There are updated Northern Lights forecasts on the televisions on board, and the lights are dimmed as we sail through the region in readiness. There’s a real sense of anticipation and excitement throughout the ship.




You never know when you might see the Northern Lights – and they’re different every time. I first saw them on our third day in the Arctic Circle, sailing between Tromsø and Narvik. At around 5pm, an announcement from the bridge told us the lights had been sighted, and everyone excitedly headed up on deck, cameras in hand. It took a while for the full show to begin: first of all, there were swirls of white that seemed to be emerging from beneath the dark sky. After a while, light suddenly filled the sky, dancing across it with flashes of pink and green. After this burst of activity, they suddenly disappeared, as if it had been the final act in a show. It was such a privilege for us all to witness them and feel immersed in this incredible natural spectacle. 


We stop at some unique destinations on the voyage. In the Arctic Circle itself, it really feels like another world when you see the lights from the towns of Narvik and Tromsø glittering in the polar night. You can take a cable car* high into the mountains to get a better perspective of their extraordinary settings, too – the views are simply amazing.



The Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø

One of my favourite places to visit is the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø. At night, it’s really something when you arrive to see the spectacular stained-glass windows lit up under the starry night sky in the shadow of the mountains. The interior is simple and elegant, and guests enjoy a recital of traditional Norwegian songs, which helps to create a wonderful atmosphere. The experience offers an insight into how the local people create light and community in this remote part of the world. Sometimes, you may even be lucky enough to see a sliver of green Aurora light appear in the sky above the church.


Discover the world with Cunard