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Old 05-28-2008, 11:31 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: West Coast
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Going to be going to Alaska (Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan) at the end of July/beginning of August.
1. What are the chances of seeing the Northern Lights?
2. Which whales/wildlife are abundant at that time of year?

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Old 05-29-2008, 12:05 AM
Lil' Lori's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 737
As far as the lights, in my opinion you won't see them. I've only done 1 Alaska cruise, two Julys ago. I didn't see them. I lived in northern Germany right on the North Sea for 2 years, and I still never saw them, and every weekend I was coming home at prime viewing hours. Then in March of 2001, we were at the Orkney Islands, north of Scotland, we came in the wee hours of the am, after a night at the pub. The next morning, when checking out, the receptionist said "did you see the northern lights last night?". I would of given up every drop of scotch I had, just to have seen them. I was reading an article about Alaska, in a travel mag. This lady was in Alaska for 2 weeks, and never saw the lights. Part of the problem, is that they are more intense, visible after about 11 or 12 at night. Then the clouds have to be gone. When we were there in Alaska, we got quite a bit of rain, even our flightseeing tour was cancelled, due to lack of visibility. Even though, you will be very close to the earths magnetic pole, and they will be VERY intense and still swirling around, the midnight sunlight will more then likely diminish them, or prevent you from seeing them. It is worth a try though, if you really want to see them. Ask the captain, and other members who are on the bridge, if they see them at night. As far as whales, we only saw a couple of them, very far away. I subscribe to a "Aurora Borealis Forecast" website, it sends out email alerts, when and where the aurora will be visible. The alerts greatly diminish in the summer, the long hours of the sun prevent them from being seen. Well, I guess don't count on seeing them, and if you do, then I was proven wrong. Hopefully, for your sake I will be. Good luck, Lil' Lori

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Old 05-29-2008, 01:09 AM
Raoul Fiebig's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Paderborn, Germany
Posts: 8,512
Well, chances are generally much higher to see Northern Lights in Alaska than they are in Northern Germany, due to the fact that the magnetic north pole is closer to Alaska (even though the latitude might be similar)

However, during the bright summer months, chances are not particularly high and in addition to that we have just passed the solar minimum so solar activity is still very low.
Best regards,

Raoul Fiebig

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Old 05-29-2008, 06:17 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,043
September is known to be your best chance to see them in Alaska. Since the cruise lines are only up there until about mid September your chances are limited. The long days of summer in June/July/August make them harder to see. Growing up in Michigan we used to see them all the time in the summer months. In 1995 I went to Sweden in the month of April and saw beautiful Northern Lights. We traveled by motorcoach from Stockholm to Northern Sweden and watched them the whole way.
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Old 07-08-2008, 09:40 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 5
I'm going on an Alaskan cruise for the first time in about a month. I did some reading up on the Northern Lights and from what I read, you have to go up to Fairbanks Alaska to be able to really see them.

Originally posted by mytaxis:
Going to be going to Alaska (Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan) at the end of July/beginning of August.
1. What are the chances of seeing the Northern Lights?
2. Which whales/wildlife are abundant at that time of year?
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