A Hurtigruten ship under the Northern Lights

Meet your Astronomy Voyage lecturers

Get to know the expert astronomers who'll be sharing their insight and knowledge about the Arctic sky on your unique Astronomy Voyage.

On our 12-day Astronomy Voyage, you'll sail from Bergen to Kirkenes and back under the dancing skies of the Northern Lights, visiting 34 ports, more than 100 fjords, and 1,000 mountains.

Each sailing is accompanied up by one of our expert astronomers, who will illuminate the wonders of the night sky through a series of fascinating lectures. Whether discussing the latest space technology or age-old aurora myths and legends, they will bring our galaxy’s stars, planets, and meteors within reach.

Keep reading to learn more about our expert astronomers and get a preview of what lectures you can expect during your Astronomy Voyage.

Note: the lectures listed below are provisional and subject to change.

SAILING DATES: 28 September 2024, 23 January 2025, 11 February 2025, 22 February 2025, 18 October 2025, 16 November 2025, 1 February 2026, and 13 March 2026

Tom Kerss

The world's first Chief Aurora Chaser, Tom Kerss F.R.A.S. is an astronomer, astrophotographer, author and consultant. Having previously worked at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, he is the founder of Stargazing✦London, which delivers world-class online astronomy courses.

Tom has authored numerous best-selling astronomy books for adults and children, including Northern Lights: The Definitive Guide to Auroras, which offers a complete introduction to nature's most magical sky-illuminating phenomenon.

Tom Kerss, the Chief Aurora Chaser and Northern Lights expert for Hurtigruten

Onboard lectures

Introduction to the Northern Lights

Discover the history and mythology of the world’s most beautiful skybound phenomenon in this talk covering the extensive research in Tom’s bestselling book, Northern Lights: The Definitive Guide to Auroras.

Polar Skies – Stargazing in the Far North

Explore the constellations that rule the northern winter skies and accompany us on our voyage from the brilliant and colourful stars, to the faint and mysterious treasures hiding among them.

Auroras in Fiction – The Northern Lights in Popular Culture

Take a light-hearted look at how auroras have appeared in TV, films, and even video games. We’ll see both dreamlike representations and realistic portrayals from the world of the arts.

Diamonds Everywhere

Explore a selection of the 101 extraordinary astronomical discoveries and questions in Tom’s latest book Diamonds Everywhere, from familiar worlds across the Solar System to the farthest reaches of the observable universe.

The Big, Bold Future of Astronomy

From the James Webb Space Telescope to super-observatories in the Atacama Desert, find out how a new generation of technology will unlock the mysteries of the Universe in the next few decades.

Auroral Horizons – How Aurora-Science Goes Beyond the Earth

The Northern Lights is a beautiful phenomenon to enjoy in the sky, but it’s also a conduit to understanding what’s happening on other worlds. Explore the surprising discoveries of aurora science across the Galaxy.

Astronomer Tom Kerss standing underneath the Northern Lights in Norway
For me, seeing the Northern Lights is like going to see a unicorn. If you knew it was there, you would want to go and see it. You'd be compelled to because it's like real magic happening in front of your eyes. Photos and video don't do justice to it.

Tom Kerss

Chief Aurora Chaser

SAILING DATES: 23 September 2024, 27 October 2024, 21 February 2025, 19 September 2025, 14 October 2025, 10 January 2026, and 11 March 2026

Dr John Mason, MBE

An Applied Physicist by profession, Dr John Mason is currently the Principal Lecturer at the South Downs Planetarium in Chichester.

He has been a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society since 1976, and is a full member of the International Astronomical Union. He has appeared many times with Sir Patrick Moore on BBC TV's 'The Sky at Night.'

Dr John Mason South Downs Planetarium 5 cropped

Onboard lectures

Exploring the Arctic Night Sky

A look at some of the things we can see in the Arctic sky on clear nights.

In Search of the Northern Lights

An introduction to the aurora borealis and some of its mysteries.

All Aboard! A tour of the Planets

A whistle-stop tour of our Solar System, from Mercury to Pluto.

Observing and Imaging the Northern Lights

How to get the best from our aurora-watching sessions out on deck.

First Results from the James Webb Space Telescope

Learn more about the latest developments, discoveries, and puzzles from the largest and most sophisticated telescope in space.

Chasing the Moon’s Shadow – The Magic of Total Solar Eclipses

Following on from the Great American Eclipse in 2024, we take a first-hand look at one of nature’s greatest spectacles.

Our Violent Sun and Space Weather

We take a closer look at the changing activity of our Sun and how it causes and affects auroral displays.

Return to the Moon

John gives a fascinating introduction to Artemis, the exciting new programme that aims to land astronauts on the Moon again within the next five years.

JM in Planetarium
Travelling with Hurtigruten is a complete experience. They call it ‘The World's Most Beautiful Voyage’ and, having done it so many times, I can tell you, you never tire of it. It's like the Northern Lights itself. No two displays of Northern Lights are ever the same; no two trips on Hurtigruten are ever the same.

Dr John Mason, MBE

SAILING DATES: 25 November 2024 and 15 November 2025

Dr Sadie Jones

Dr Sadie Jones is the Astronomy Public Engagement Leader at the University of Southampton. In January 2020, she assisted members of the Space Environment Physics group on an expedition to Svalbard to observe the aurora and collect research data.

She also runs talks and school workshops on aurora research to promote ‘The Aurora Zoo’, a citizen science platform where the public analyse short videos of aurora displays.

dr sadie jones

Onboard lectures

Understanding the Aurora

We unravel the mysteries of the aurora and the physics involved in the world's greatest light show.

Searching for the Northern Lights

Sadie shares the story of her research expedition to Svalbard to take images of the Aurora for the AuroraZoo citizen project.

A Tour of the Night Sky

Learn more about the constellations, stars and planets visible from the ship.

Life in the Universe

Embark on a whistle-stop tour of the planets in our Solar System, and learn about the Exoplanets that could host life.

Black Hole Hunting

Sadie explains the science behind searching for black holes and how radio astronomy allowed us to capture the first direct image of a black hole.

Supernova Extravaganza

We take a dive into how measuring the light from exploding stars is unlocking the big questions of our Universe.

Modern Telescopes and Spin-out Technology

Learn more about new telescopes and the useful spin-out technology that has resulted from astronomy research.

IMG 2664
When the aurora takes over the whole sky, you have this sense of putting your life into perspective within the scale of the universe. It can make you think: you're part of this, you're part of this whole universe.”

Dr Sadie Jones

SAILING DATE: 23 March 2025

Dr Darren Baskill

Dr Darren Baskill has over 25 years’ experience of organising and delivering public science events. He is a lecturer and outreach officer for the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Sussex, and typically runs 100 outreach events each year for schools, colleges, and the public.

He previously worked at the Royal Observatory Greenwich science centre and planetarium in London, where he initiated the highly successful Astronomy Photographer of the Year public competition and exhibition. He was also a calibration scientist for the European XMM-Newton space telescope at the University of Leicester before that.

dr darren baskill

Onboard lectures

  • Tonight’s Night Sky

  • Astrophotography

  • The Aurora

  • Our Solar System

  • Our Galaxy

  • Our Universe

  • Modern Astronomy: Life as a Professional Astronomer & Tools of the Trade

  • Why We Are Here - A 13.8-Billion-Year Story in the Making

While it is increasingly difficult to escape the city lights to appreciate a dark night sky brimming with stars, there does remain one place where we can admire the night sky as nature intended – and that’s out at sea.

Dr Darren Baskill

Secure your spot today

Book your 12-day Astronomy Voyage today and experience the wonders of the night sky for yourself.

  • Tom Kerss: 28 September 2024, 23 January 2025, 11 February 2025, 22 February 2025, 18 October 2025, 16 November 2025, 1 February 2026, and 13 March 2026

  • Dr John Mason: 23 September 2024, 27 October 2024, 21 February 2025, 19 September 2025, 14 October 2025, 10 January 2026, and 11 March 2026

  • Dr Sadie Jones: 25 November 2024 and 15 November 2025

  • Dr Darren Baskill: 23 March 2025

Experience the Northern Lights in Norway
MS Richard With sailing in Norway in winter under the Northern Lights

Our Northern Lights Promise

Relax in the knowledge that our unmatchable Northern Lights Promise means you’ll get another chance to see the aurora if they don’t make an appearance on your voyage of 11 days or more.