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Orcas in Norway

Tromsø, Norway 

Photo by Grant Thomas

Trip Details

When

November 15-21, 2025


Length

7 Days & 6 Nights 

Price

$6350 shared twin cabin

$6750 single cabin

*Please note that starting in June 2025, there will be a price increase of $350 for any new bookings

Where

Tromsø, Norway 

Group Size
12 people


Experience

Confident Swimmer with Basic Snorkeling

 Expedition in participation with HeyOrca

*No Scuba Diving experience is necessary for wildlife interaction 
*Photos seen on this page by: Grant Thomas, Melissa Fredrik, Tobias Friedric, Lars Mikkelsen, Rasmus Raahauge & Henrik Hindborg

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Between October and February, extensive schools of herring embark on a migration journey from the Atlantic Ocean to the northwestern shores of Norway. Here, they settle in the fjords for the winter before eventually moving south along the coast for spawning. The presence of these herring gatherings lures in significant populations of orcas, humpbacks, and fin whales. These majestic marine creatures venture deep into the fjords to indulge in this abundant food supply. This unique phenomenon presents exceptional opportunities for snorkeling and freediving experiences alongside these magnificent sea giants.

Embark on an Arctic Expedition to northern Norway, where we push beyond the Polar Circle, offering you the chance to swim alongside majestic orcas, humpback whales, and fin whales. Your home base is our cozy expedition ship, where our skilled and welcoming crew ensures you feel at ease. The Norwegian fjords, adorned with snow-capped mountains and a pastel-colored sky, create a breathtaking backdrop for your adventure. This scenic beauty is only eclipsed by the enchanting northern lights, transforming the Arctic night into a spectacular display of radiant hues.

Undoubtedly, Norway stands out as the premier destination globally for successful swimming experiences with whales. However, as whales trail the migrating herring, pinpointing the specific fjords where the activity unfolds proves challenging. Opting for a liveaboard enables us to seamlessly navigate with the dynamic whale movements. Furthermore, in the face of unpredictable weather conditions, we have the flexibility to plan overnight stays in the most sheltered areas, ensuring uninterrupted exploration while others may find themselves confined to land for extended periods. The ship-based approach grants us the freedom to chart our own course, steering clear of other boats and avoiding crowded scenes, as we seek out tranquil encounters with relaxed animals.

ORCAS & CAROUSEL FEEDING 

As the largest dolphins and formidable predators on Earth, orcas reach lengths of up to 10 meters and weigh around 9 tons. These intelligent and curious animals form family groups of up to 40 members. Marked by distinctive black and white patterns, as well as the impressive 2-meter dorsal fin in males, orcas stand out as one of the most striking and dramatic creatures in our oceans.

 

In Norway, orcas display remarkable hunting behavior, corralling herring into large baitballs. Employing a technique known as "carousel feeding," they take turns stunning the fish with powerful tail slaps before consuming them one by one. Witnessing this awe-inspiring spectacle is truly remarkable!

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NORTHERN LIGHTS

As the Aurora Borealis illuminates the Arctic skies during the orca season, we eagerly anticipate the opportunity to witness this mesmerizing natural display. All that's needed is a canvas of clear skies to reveal the dancing lights overhead. To enhance your experience, we have planned guided evening walks into the fjell, where the Norwegian mountains provide a perfect vantage point. Here, away from the interference of city lights, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the celestial spectacle and capture the magic through your lens. The combination of the Northern Lights and the striking landscapes creates a truly unforgettable and enchanting experience.

LUNGE FEEDING
HUMPBACK & FIN WHALES 

Humpback whales reach lengths of up to 19 meters and weigh around 40 tons, while Fin Whales, as the second-largest whales globally, can grow up to 27 meters and weigh an impressive 70 tonnes! Both species are baleen whales, sustaining themselves on krill, plankton, and smaller fish.

 

In Norway, these whales engage in feeding frenzies on herring baitballs, often "stealing" them from designated areas. The spectacle unfolds when the whales rapidly ascend from beneath the surface, causing the water to churn as herring attempt to flee. Within moments, the massive open mouths of the whales break through, engulfing as many fish as possible. Encountering these ocean giants up close is a truly awe-inspiring experience. If you're fortunate enough to witness a lunge feeding event, the sight is nothing short of breathtaking, etching an indelible memory in your mind.

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Day 1: 

Board the ship in the afternoon between 5-6 pm in Tromso. Welcome briefing and dinner followed by a night cruise to the best area for whales at the given time of your orca expedition. 

Day 2- 6: 

We spend 5 full days searching for areas and whales to swim with. We use all daylight so you will get the best chances of encounters. First day starts with a "check swim" to get everybody comfortable with gear and zodiacs. 

Every day, our skilled crew do their utmost to locate the whales and get you in a position to dive into their world. You are welcome to join the search from the viewing platforms on the ship or if you prefer you can stay warm inside the expedition ship and enjoy the dramatic fjord landscape with a hot cup of coffee. Hot lunch is waiting when daylight fades and you can then relax in the lounges or in your cabin. After dinner we will lead walking trips away from light pollution to give you the best chances of the magical northern lights. 

Last day we start cruising back to Tromso during the late afternoon and spend the night in port. 

Day 7:

After breakfast, it's time to say goodbye and disembark the ship latest at 9 am. 

Itinerary

INCLUDED

  • 7 days & 6 nights on liveaboard

  • 5 ocean days searching for whales & orcas

  • 2 Scandinavian expedition leaders fluent in English

  • 2 Zodiacs each with 1 in-water guide and 1 skipper

  • All meals

  • Water/tea/coffee

  • Accommodation (Double Occupancy)

  • Weights & weight belt

  • Thermal oversuit for scouting on ship & land tours

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NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare (Airport Code - TOS)

  • Non specified meals and beverages

  • Transfers in Norway

  • Optional equipment rental 

  • Travel Insurance (required)

  • Gratuity (for Captains and Guides)

THE SHIP

M/S Freya is a heavy duty expedition ship built in 1981 to Lloyds Ice Class lA. Being 45 meters long and 10 meters wide, she is a big ship with lots of space. 

The ship comfortably accommodates 12 guests in an intimate and cozy atmosphere. And our 9 experienced and friendly expedition leaders and crew will complete your arctic adventure. 

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