We can’t quite believe that it’s been 20 years since Omega Holidays first started offering flights to see the amazing phenomenon that is the Northern Lights and the legendary Sir Patrick Moore was our expert astronomer!
The Aurora Borealis, or as its more commonly known, the Northern Lights, is a natural light show resulting from an interaction between the magnetic fields of the Earth and the Sun. The Aurora’s appearance can vary from a weak glow to a breathtaking, sky-filling spectacle, and even though the best views may be had from ground level, visibility can be hampered by surrounding light pollution, bad weather or an inconveniently cloudy night.
We are delighted that once again our main guest astronomer for this special anniversary excursion will be Pete Lawrence. A Northern Lights favourite, Pete appears regularly in the BBC’s long-running Sky at Night programme as their observing expert. He recently featured in the incredibly popular BBC Star Gazing Live series and is highly regarded as a world-class astrophotographer. Pete has also been our principle astronomer and advisor on all our Solar Eclipse holidays since our first venture to Turkey in 2006.
Joining Pete on Omega’s expert astronomy team will be Nigel Bradbury, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and an active amateur astronomer for over 40 years who has joined many of our previous Northern Lights flights. Nigel was also outdoor 'live' commentator on the Total Solar Eclipse in 2006, in Belek, Southern Turkey.
Another one our experts is Dr Lee Sproats, who has also appeared on the BBC Sky at Night programme, speaking about the Halley's Comet return from his (then) backyard observatory and was on the live Giotto spacecraft Halley encounter broadcast from the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
And if all of this isn’t enough, Jon Culshaw, famous impressionist, comedian and guest on The Sky at Night, will also join us on this special 20th anniversary flight to provide a little extra entertainment to the evening.
This really is a unique and special experience not to be missed!
As this is a day trip there is no accommodation provided for this break.
Make your own way to the Mercure Leeds Parkway Hotel and enjoy a welcome drink. Before dinner we enjoy illustrated briefings given by our expert astronomers with the help of Jon Culshaw who will entertain us and reflect on the historic first flight of 1998. Our briefing concludes with a forecast of our chance of seeing a display on our flight - though we should emphasise that what actually proves to be visible might be completely different from the forecast! We then enjoy our 3 course dinner before making our own way to the airport for the flight.
About 25 minutes before we reach our holding point the cabin is made as dark as possible, allowing time for our eyes to adapt to the darkness for optimal viewing of the night sky*.
In order to give all passengers an equal chance of viewing the aurora from a window seat, everyone is required to rotate seats with the other passengers in their row of two or three seats. Please be aware that this needs to be done in virtual total darkness. Instruction will be given when it is time to swap seats, and this is normally repeated several times to ensure that everyone gets a chance to see what’s being described outside. As we head southwards a glass of complimentary bubbly will be served to celebrate the occasion.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
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Omega was established in 1979 and they carry the same ethos as they did back then. They believe in great customer service, fabulous value-for-money short breaks and longer holidays with quality hotels and interest-packed itineraries.
They offer a huge range of escorted breaks in Europe and the UK, where transport and accommodation is included, as well as excursions and some or all meals. If you want to get the most out of your holiday destination, but you want a fixed base for the duration of your stay, or you only want to move hotel once, an Omega holiday may be the ideal option for you.
If you are interested in having a unique celestial experience, their new range of tours are sure to provide some truly special memories; whether you are viewing the beautiful Northern Lights from the sky, or experiencing meteor showers in Spain.
Travel options with Omega include air, rail, coach or a ‘make your own way' option.
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