Can You See Northern Lights From an Alaskan Cruise Ship?

By Alice Nichols

One of the most spectacular natural displays in the world is the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis. It is a beautiful display of light created by the sun’s magnetic particles that interact with Earth’s atmosphere.

When these particles enter our atmosphere, they create a mesmerizing light show that can be seen from many places around the world, including Alaska.

The best way to see this incredible sight is to take a cruise ship tour to Alaska. Not only will you get to see some of the most stunning views in nature, but you will also get to witness the Northern Lights from your ship. Cruise ships have an advantage over traditional land-based viewing points due to their elevated view and large windows that allow for better visibility of the lights.

The Northern Lights are visible year-round in Alaska, however they are most visible during winter months when there is less daylight. The best time to view them is typically between late August and early April, when there are fewer hours of daylight and more darkness for optimal viewing conditions. It’s important to note that you may not see the Northern Lights during every cruise; the intensity of the lights varies from night to night depending on auroral activity.

If you’re lucky enough to be on board your Alaskan cruise ship when they are visible, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of seeing them:

  • Check auroral forecasts: Using online auroral forecasting tools like Aurorasaurus or NOAA’s OVATION Prime Model can help you plan your trip around peak viewing times.
  • Dress warmly: Since it can be cold on deck at night, dress warmly with hats and gloves so you can stay out as long as possible.
  • Get away from lights: Find a spot away from any artificial lights on board so that your eyes adjust faster and you don’t miss any of the show.

A cruise ship tour is a great way to experience Alaska and its natural beauty. And if you’re lucky enough, you may even get a chance to witness one of nature’s most incredible displays – the Northern Lights!


Yes, it is possible to see Northern Lights from an Alaskan Cruise Ship! To increase your chances of seeing them while onboard, check aurora forecasts online before your trip, dress warmly for deck viewing at night and try to find a spot away from any artificial lights. With these tips in mind, there’s no reason why an Alaskan cruise won’t be one of your most memorable experiences!