In Search of the Northern Lights


Northern lights in Tromso, Norway The northern lights over Alta city, Norway

Departed 21 Dec 2023


14 nights


Your cruise at a glance

Hand-crafted highlights

This adventure into the Arctic wilderness includes chances to spot the colourful ribbons of the Northern Lights. You will cruise past the Seven Sisters mountains and Torghatten, a mountain with a hole through its centre, before crossing the Arctic Circle – all while enjoying Christmas Day festivities on board. Ashore you can get closer to nature on a dog sledding tour, connect with the local Sami culture, or perhaps visit the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel, where an ice sculptor will explain how they helped shape the interior. Balmoral’s smaller size makes it possible to take a scenic shortcut through the Tjeldsundet Strait, before reaching Ålesund for New Year’s Eve fireworks.

Explore the Itinerary


Northern Lights

Witness the Northern Lights

This special winter sailing on board Balmoral has been planned to offer you the best chance of seeing the mysterious Northern Lights at Christmas. Throughout your cruise, Professor Glen Patrick will be delivering insightful talks about the science behind this natural phenomenon while professional photographer, Paul Howard, will be on hand to help you capture them on camera. During your time ashore in Alta, you will have the opportunity to embark on a scenic drive joined by a knowledgeable guide in search of the best spots to experience them. You can also enjoy a snowmobile adventure through the Artic wilderness up onto a plateau where little light pollution will maximise your chance of seeing Mother Nature’s elusive light show.

L2328 husky ride

The Arctic Way of Life

As you explore the Arctic from Balmoral, you will have the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the Arctic way of life. As we call into Narvik, you are perfectly placed to visit Kvernmoen where you will have the chance to participate in an authentic Sámi Shaman ceremony and experience the ancient culture of the Sámi people. During your time ashore in Tromsø, you will have the opportunity to meet friendly huskies and go dog sledding - an ancient form of transport still used today in the freezing arctic conditions. In Alta, you can choose to visit the Sámi village of Maze where you will meet members of a reindeer-herding family and climb aboard reindeer-pulled sleds for a peaceful ride along a frozen river, and even participate in a snowshoe trek through Alta’s forests to a wilderness camp. Here, you can participate in ice fishing and enjoy traditional refreshments around a warming fire inside a Sámi tent.

WW2 wreckage

Discover World War II History 

This particular cruise has been planned to allow you to discover more about Norway’s significant World War II history. Throughout your journey, you will be joined by Dr. Fenella Bazin, whose father-in-law was the commanding officer of the IX Squadron which helped sink the Tirpitz warship. In Narvik, join us on a shore tour to discover the region’s WWII legacy with visits to the war cemetery, Chapel of Peace, and War Museum. During your time ashore in Alta, you will have the opportunity to visit the Tirpitz Museum and learn all about the making and the sinking of the German battleship.


Cruise Itinerary

Explore the Itinerary
Map Image

Life On Board

Introducing Balmoral

Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate some of Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral retains a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open deck space.

Fred. Olsen ship Balmoral sailing at dawn


Beautiful Balmoral is small enough to navigate Europe’s most picturesque waterways so guests can enjoy hours of scenic cruising. Balmoral offers a warm, civilised atmosphere and features comfortable accommodation, stylish restaurants and plenty of open-deck space.

710 cabins
1,325 guests
551 crew
43,537 GT
16kts max speed
Explore Balmoral

Our Signature Experiences

To make your experience even more special, our Journey Planners have designed a unique programme of Signature Experiences which will allow you to discover real insights about the culture and nature of the places we are visiting, so you can arrive in each destination fully prepared to get the most out of your visit.

Itinerary Insights

We have carefully curated a programme of events to give you a deeper understanding of each of the destinations you will be visiting

Scenic Discoveries

Our Scenic Discoveries are designed to allow you to enjoy seeing the world from the unique perspective of our ships

The Ship and the Sea

Maritime is in our DNA - our history in shipping goes back almost 200 years

The Sky at Sea

There’s very little in the natural world more beautiful than a clear night sky, sunrise or sunset seen at sea

Treats of the Region

We love to bring a taste of the region's food, drink, local tastes and culinary traditions to life on board

Sample Shore Tours

At each port of call on your cruise, we carefully research and hand pick Shore Tour options for you, designed for you see as many of the world's best destinations as possible.

Below, you will find some sample Shore Tours which will give you an example of what to expect on your cruise. Your Shore Tours will be available to book approximately 8-13 weeks prior to departure via your My Cruises account.

 Isogaisa Sami Experience

Isogaisa Sámi Experience

Visit Kvernmoen for a unique opportunity to participate in an ancient Sámi Shaman ceremony. Be welcomed into the lavvu, a traditional Sámi tent, by the Shaman, and discover the history of the Sámi people and their way of life before enjoying a traditional drumming ceremony.



 Aurora Photo Safari

Aurora Photo Safari

As you seek out the elusive Northern Lights, your experienced local guides will explain the history and science behind the Aurora, helping you to capture photographs of them should they make an appearance.



Snowshoe Hike

Snowshoe Hike

Embark on a snowshoe trek through the spectacular landscapes of Tromsøya Island, hiking through beautiful forests and frozen landscapes, with a knowledgeable guide. 



Self-Mushing Husky Experience

Self-Mushing Husky Experience

Journey deep within the mountains where you will leave in pairs and head out into the winter landscape on a sled ride led by friendly huskies.



Treats & Pastimes

In addition to our Signature Experiences, we have a selection of lovely Treats & Pastimes for you to enjoy when on board. Just check your Daily Times each day for full details.

Discover our Treats & Pastimes

Cabins, Prices & Offers

Cabin Options On Your Cruise

This cruise has now set sail

What's Included


As well as our Signature Experiences, there is a host of other treats to enjoy on board our ships.

Enhance your cruise

Each of our cruises has been carefully designed for you to get the very best out of your time on board; and now you can enhance your cruise to make it even more special.

Explore all extras

Need Some Help?

Take a look at our FAQs

View All FAQs