Let’s see: what should I order? A sundowner? No, the sun’s low on the horizon but won’t really set. And the Midnight Sun is anything but a downer.
It’s not quite the time for a tequila sunrise either.
The sun’s dip and almost instant rebound from the horizon is nature’s summer floor show above the Arctic Circle and Sojourn’s Observation Lounge is packed.
As the midnight hour gets closer it might as well have been New Year’s Eve with passengers in a party mood in this elegant lounge with a wraparound view at the bow of the ship.
The pianist is tactfully fending off a would-be Elton John who’d like to join him on the stage to do an impromptu version of Crocodile Rock. Karaoke would be a distraction on a magical night like this.
Seabourn’s bar staff always know what you’re drinking, your tab is gratis, and they make sure your glass never runs dry. That lets passengers devote full attention to mingling and sharing toasts to the good life and the day trips they did today—or was it yesterday?– to Norway’s North Cape.
Nature is cooperating beautifully, with pristine skies all day and only a few distant clouds on the horizon this evening. The angelic wisps of white that are in the sky just add to the effect, and as the sun gets lower white and grey clouds take on colorful glows in spectrums of orange and pink. Because the sun’s rays reflect off the bottom of clouds and shine through the top they can create remarkable 3D effects in the sky.
We take intermittent breaks from the swell party inside to foray out on deck to capture images on cameras or iPhones or just take deep mental notes and breathe in a scene that changes by the moment. I’ll let some pictures tell the story:
Somehow it’s gotten to be 2 a.m. And the party’s only now winding down. I’m still mesmerized by the shifting pastel colors in the sky.
Seabourn’s parties are always memorable experiences. But now it’s time for bed.
Good night. See you later this morning.
If you’re planning a cruise to the land of the midnight sun, here are some facts to keep in mind:
The midnight sun is visible at the Arctic Circle from June 12 until July 1. The further north you go the longer this period extends.
Cruises that sail to Alaska typically only go as far north as Anchorage, which at 61 degrees north is just above the Arctic Circle. Cruises to the North Cape of Norway reach much further north: 71 degrees.
At the North Cape–the northern-most point of continental Europe–the sun is visible at midnight from mid-May to the end of July. Some cruises go further to the Svalbard archipelago further north where the white nights extend even longer, from about April 20 to August 20.
Some people might find it more difficult to get to sleep during a night that’s more like day. Seabourn fortunately has blackout curtains in the rooms. So when you finally retire you can easily fool your body clock into slumber.