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Deciding when to go on your epic Arctic adventure is a tough one, so we have composed an easy list of some of the highlights of not each season, but the Arctic phenomena of eternal day or eternal night.
The Polar Night usually spans from November until February up in Spitsbergen while in Tromsø it lasts for about six weeks over the New Year. The Polar Night comes about because of the inclination of the Earth - when Winter comes around, the Northern Hemisphere is the furthest from the sun and so right up at the Earth's most northerly tip, the light is very limited.
In truth, not all towns are thrown into complete darkness and the further from the North Pole you are, the more the darkness is that of a Polar Twilight. Instead of complete darkness, places like Tromsø have gorgeous sunset-like colours smeared across the sky for hours on end to the south, while to the north, they sky is a deep ocean blue. In Svalbard there is a period of 'true' polar night around Christmas, with the islands thrown into complete darkness for a few weeks.
In May to August in some parts of Norway, there is very little to no darkness. This is known as the time of the Midnight Sun and presents many wonderful opportunities to travellers. There is no longer enough ice and snow for skiing or sledging up north but instead other wonderful activities are available - without your thick winter jacket on!
Similar to the Polar Night, in the bridging days leading up to complete lightness, the sky is awash with streaks of reds, blues, purples, oranges and it is truly the day that never ends. It is an equally enchanting phenomenon and has inspired artists for years.
“Night was coming on again; the sun just dipped into the sea and rose again, red, refreshed, as if it had been down to drink. I could feel more strangely on those nights than anyone would believe...”
Knut Hamsuns in Pan (1894).
No matter what time of year you visit Norway, onboard a Hurtigruten voyage, you're guaranteed the chance to embrace your inner explorer!