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AdventureSmith Explorations Suggests Cruising Greenland and Iceland in September To Witness 11-Year Peak of Aurora Borealis

Story by AdventureSmith Explorations

Posted: April 15, 2013

The Aurora Borealis over Greenland

The active travel company securing matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small expedition ships, AdventureSmith Explorations, offers four journeys this fall to witness the Aurora Borealis which is experiencing the peak of an 11-year solar cycle.

“The sun has a heartbeat and every 11 years or so it beats the strongest, increasing the amount of solar radiation released into space,” explains AdventureSmith Explorations director and founder Todd Smith.  “When this energy reaches earth it manifests itself in the form of spectacular aurora displays, also known as the northern lights, that can best be seen in northern locations such as the Arctic and Alaska.”

Here are four cruise programs that will feature prime Aurora Borealis viewing:

Greenland Aurora Borealis Cruise is 8 or 15 days aboard the 32-passenger, three-mast schooner S/V Rembrandt van Rijn sailing south along Greenland’s west coast. This voyage starts in Aasiaat and ends in Nuuk (8-day itinerary) or Narsarsuaq (15-day itinerary). Highlights beyond viewing the incredible Northern Lights will be spotting musk oxen, sailing by the enormous icebergs of the Jakobshavn Glacier, visiting old dwellings of Greenland’s Thule culture (dating from the 11th century) and bathing in a large hot spring surrounded by icebergs. The per person double rate for the shorter trip is from $2,400 and for the 15-day program from $3,640. 2013 departures are Sept. 9, 19 and 26. See here

Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis Cruise is seven days departing Sept. 6 after a scenic bus tour from Reykjavik, Iceland, across northern Iceland to the port of embarkation in Akureyri. Guests board the 114-guest Plancius then cruise across the Arctic Circle to Scoresby Sund,East Greenland, the longest fjord in the world where conditions will be optimal to experience the Northern Lights. Time at sea is perfect for witnessing the Aurora Borealis; shore and zodiac excursions focus on wildlife, culture and icebergs.Greenland and its surrounding waters are home to an impressive array of wildlife. There are about 50 bird species on the island such as gyrfalcon, snowy owl, and barnacle and pink-footed goose. The per person double rate is from $5,300. See here

Greenland Explorer takes cruise passengers aboard the 112-guest Sea Spirit to the home of the world’s greatest fjords and most active glaciers outside of Antarctica. From the Fjord of Eternity to the Arctic ghost town of Skoldungen,Greenland rewards with sights and experiences unlike any other place on Earth. Dog sledding settlements and cultural shows offer a connection to the people who live here, while whale-watching, tundra hiking and exploring one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers get visitors close to nature.Greenland remains largely untouched by humans, a rare treat - ideally suited for expedition travel. Late summer cruises may offer excellent views of the Aurora Borealis. A special offer allows savings up to 20 percent.  See here

Eastern Greenland - The autumn and winter skies above Greenland’s eastern coast are renowned for putting on some of the best Aurora displays in the world. Ideal for more active travelers, this cruise aboard the Sea Spirit provides lengthy shore excursions, walking and hiking across the pristine wilderness of Greenland. A special promotion offers up to 20 percent off. See here

Smith suggests that friends traveling together consider the price savings of booking triple and quad rooms. Also he suggests to always ask for an upgrade when checking in.

“Often managers will provide upgrades to unsold cabins that were restricted during the booking process,” Smith says. “You just need to ask.”