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Explore More - Expedition Cruising

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58 VIKING.COM EXPLORE

58 VIKING.COM EXPLORE MORE 2020

TRAVEL smoky waves of light drifted from the peaks like an eruption of emerald lava. Not wanting my mother to miss it, I raced back down to the lounge where she was sitting and insisted she join us outside on the deck. We got lost on our way back up and ended up coming out on a different level of the ship. But her face upon seeing the Off the ship, optional excursions included concerts, ice fishing, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, helicopter rides, curling lessons, dogsledding and even a stay in Alta’s famous Igloo Hotel. By the time we reached Stavanger it felt like a gentle re-entry into real life. The ship docked right in the center of town, and we spent an enjoyable GLOWING STREAKS OF GREEN SWEPT ACROSS THE SKY, THEN VANISHED, ONLY TO BE REPLACED WITH RIBBONS OF PURPLE Clockwise, from above: Viking Star sails close to the Lofoten Islands; mountains dusted in snow form an atmospheric backdrop to this adventurous journey spectacle was worth it. The lights appeared directly above the ship for around an hour, then moved off south and were gone entirely. We found my father in a corridor comparing pictures with other delighted guests. Experts from the Royal Astronomical Society and some of Britain’s best universities had been on hand throughout the previous days with photography tips, and it had paid dividends. The lights were so bright that evening they were seen as far south as Aberdeen, in Scotland. And they returned the night after for a briefer yet similarly impressive performance. The next day we sailed on to Stavanger. There was plenty to do on board, from yoga classes to massages and beauty treatments, games, concerts, wine tasting, films and talks, to name but a few. morning browsing the chic stores and coffee shops before setting sail across the North Sea and back home to the UK. As we disembarked at Tilbury—unexpectedly simple compared to most cruises—we all agreed we could have stayed longer, and had made some fabulous memories. Captain Bengt-Owe Gustafsson insisted on saying goodbye to each guest as we left. GETTING THERE: The 13-day In Search of the Northern Lights itinerary sails from Bergen to London, or in reverse. Go online: Watch a video of the In Search of the Northern Lights itinerary at voc.com/videos EXPLORE MORE 2020 VIKING.COM 59