Magical Winterscapes of Arctic Norway
Orcas and Aurora Borealis
November 22 to December 5, 2021
Experience the magic of winter in Norway’s stunning Arctic regions. Visit and explore Tromsø, scenic Lofoten, Kvaenangen, and the Lyngen Alps as we seek out the seasonal feeding orcas and humpback whales of this region! Every winter, schools of herring congregate in the fjords north of Tromsø, and hundreds of orcas and humpback whales come to gorge on this abundance of food. This is peak season for cetacean activity, allowing you to have extraordinary encounters, along with sufficient day light for land excursions. Explore these magnificent northern fjords, alternating observations at sea with various shore excursions, wildlife viewing, day hikes, and, with the luck of the weather gods, awe-inspiring displays of the Northern Lights. Additional excursions are available for the heartiest of adventurers, including the opportunity to snorkel with these magnificent cetaceans as they go about their natural feeding behaviors, as well as learn the intricate art of dog sledding.
- Track and view cetaceans during peak activity as they gorge on schools of herring.
- Enjoy a wide variety of shore excursions including visiting small fishing villages, scenic walks and hikes, and wildlife and coastal viewing.
- Weather and meteorological conditions permitting, observe and photograph the awe-inspiring Northern Lights displays.
- Participate in optional day excursions, including snorkeling with orcas and whales, snow mobile backcountry tours, and dog sledding (costs extra).
- A night of traditional feasting and merriment with some of the remote village locals.
Ship Info Print Trip
|Nov 22||Travel to Tromsø, Norway.|
|Nov 23||Arrive in Tromsø and board the ship in the late afternoon.||Aboard our ship||D|
|Nov 24||Morning visit of Tromsø and afternoon set sail.||Aboard our ship||B, L, D|
|Nov 25-28||Search for orcas and whales in the region of Kvaenangen and beyond, dependent on cetacean locations.||Aboard our ship||B, L, D|
|Nov 29-Dec 1||Navigate the Lyngen Alps, visit the fishing village of Havnnes, and sail along the cliffs of Lyngen Point.||Aboard our ship||B, L, D|
|Dec 2||Explore the small island of Vorterøya.||Aboard our ship||B, L, D|
|Dec 3||Morning at Finnkroken for Zodiac cruising.||Aboard our ship||B, L, D|
|Dec 4||Disembark in Tromsø for flights homeward.||B|
|Dec 5||Arrive home.|
Our Trip Leaders
Scott is a professional photographer specializing in wildlife, nature, and travel. Originally trained as a wildlife and marine biologist, his research and photo assignments have taken him to the far corners of the globe and all seven continents. National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet, NY Times, and renowned magazines have used his photography. His patience for teaching and love of capturing the essence of his subjects make him one of our most popular tour leaders.
A glimpse into our journey
Arrive in Tromsø, board the ship
Arrive in time for dinner onboard. Our local agent will transfer you from the airport to the ship. If you would like to arrive earlier, we can arrange divergent airport transfers and extra nights.
Spend the day visiting Tromsø, where you can hike to the cable car to discover the panorama views from the mountain top, visit one of several interesting museums, or try your hand at dog sledding (costs extra). In the afternoon, hopefully if weather permits, observe the Northern Lights. In years past, folks have usually seen the Aurora during this time, and we’ll also have reliable forecasts for solar activity, allowing us to know about possible intense auroras three days beforehand. However, a clear sky with no clouds, is needed and this does not always come at the same time, but in December 2020, we entered a new solar activity cycle and the Northern Lights will get stronger.
Flexibility is paramount in expedition travel. Our itinerary depends on the weather, meteorological conditions, and wildlife locations. Our small group size gives us the flexibility to stay at a perfect photographic moment for however long needed according to the wildlife behavior and meteorological conditions.
Visit region of Kvaenangen
Navigate among the fjords to observe orcas and humpback whales. In recent years, the most productive fjords have been in the east of Skervøy, the region of Kvaenangen, where orcas feed on schools of fish, especially herring. You’ll also find humpback whales fishing in the swarms of gulls and petrels, which is a wild and unique spectacle. In addition to orcas and humpback whales, you may find white-beaked dolphins, porpoises, harbor seals, fish eagles, and other coastal birds. In the evenings, soak in the arctic nights in bays where the view embraces the sky, far from light pollution.
Nov 29-Dec 1
Sail the stunning landscapes of the Lyngen Alps, before discovering Uløya, where, far from traditional tourist routes you’ll discover the beautiful fishing village of Havnnes. This village is a perfectly preserved 19th century village which still practices the traditional way of drying cod. A plethora of travel photography subjects abounds as you walk among wooden houses, old docks, and drying sheds. You will visit the village, the fishery, the small museum, illustrating the life of yesteryear on the island, and stroll along the coastal path to view the exceptional panorama on the Lyngen Peninsula. In the afternoon, you’ll navigate along the cliffs of Lyngen Point and possibly land at Strupen to observe and photograph a beautiful waterfall, as well as, fish eagles. Walk by the sea to admire the chain of the Lyngen Alps, which rises to 1,833m above sea level and stretches over 90km. You also have the possibility of snowshoeing to the mountain observatory. Spend the night docked at the village, and with luck, have more opportunities to view the awe-inspiring Northern Lights.
Visit Vorterøya and Uløya
Stopover on the tiny island of Vorterøya and walk to discover the viewpoint over the Lyngen Peninsula from the top of the island. In the evening, sail to the island of Uløya to spend the night. If the conditions are favorable, you will observe the Northern Lights from the coastal path.
In the morning, land at Finnkroken on the island of Reinøya. Then Zodiac cruise in the islets to observe harbor seals and participate in ice and cod fishing, for those interested.
Disembark for flights homeward
Disembark in Tromsø to catch flights homeward.
Orcas and Aurora Borealis
Experience the magic of winter in Norway’s stunning Arctic regions complete with Northern Lights, cetaceans, and dog sledding!
We chose the most well-equipped and comfortable vessel in the small ship class. The ice-strengthened hull and shallow draft enables you to explore and photograph channels and inlets other ships simply cannot navigate. The ship is equipped with Zodiacs for cruising and shore excursions. Enjoy excellent wildlife and scenic viewing from a large, dual-level observation deck at the front, and large windows in the social areas. The spacious and comfortable lounge provides room to relax, gather socially, edit photos, and attend informative lectures. You have your own private cabin for lower deck cabins (or shared for main deck cabins), all with private bathroom facilities. With only twelve passengers, this ship is perfect for exploring places bigger ships cannot navigate.
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Cost & Payments
Costs (in US$)
|Type||Cost Per Person|
|Trip Cost, single occupancy on lower deck*||$9,600|
|Trip Cost, double occupancy on main deck||$9,600|
|*Single occupancy aboard the ship, but double occupancy at Longyearbyen hotel.|
Costs are per person, single occupancy for lower deck cabins and double occupancy for main deck cabins, not including airfare. See Included and Not Included sections for more details.
We cannot guarantee a specific cabin number, but if changes occur, we will assign a cabin of equal or greater value.
|Payment||Due Date||Amount Per Person|
|Deposit||Due now to reserve your space||$500|
|Second||August 1, 2021||Remaining Balance|
Payments are due based on the schedule above. All reservations require a deposit to confirm reservation of your space.
Until the Final Payment due date, deposits are refundable except for a cancellation fee of $300 per person, which can be applied toward another trip if reserved within six months of the cancelled trip’s departure date. Cancellations are non-transferrable. No refunds are given after the Final Payment due date.
- All leaders, transport, park entry fees, landing fees, and permits for all activities unless described as optional.
- Eleven nights on board our ship.
- Meals from Dinner on November 23 through breakfast on December 4.
- Transfers on November 23 and December 4 between the ship and Tromsø Airport.
- Trip Materials – information about flights, packing, entry and departure requirements, airport transfers, gratuities, etc.
- All airfare, airport and departure taxes, and excess baggage fees. Round-trip airfare is approximately $550 to $1,500 between the US and Tromsø, depending on origin.
- Passport and visa fees.
- We can arrange divergent airport transfers and extra hotel nights for an extra cost.
- Gratuities – tipping is always discretionary. However, we suggest budgeting about $25 per participant per day for November 23 to December 4 with our crew (about $300 total per participant) to be distributed among the ship’s crew and assistant guide. This does not include any trip extensions.
- Mandatory emergency medical and evacuation insurance. For more information see travel insurance.
- Optional trip cancellation insurance. For more information see travel insurance.
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone calls, medical costs or hospitalization, room service, alcoholic and other beverages, items not on the regular menu, etc. If you have special dietary needs, please indicate them on your Reservation Form.
Weather patterns may be highly variable, so bring appropriate attire to handle a mix of weather conditions including wind, snow, rain, and sun. Expect temperatures ranging from lows in the low-20s°F to highs in the mid-30s°F (-6°C to 2°C).
You must be able to get in and out of the Zodiacs, from the ship, via a six-foot ladder with staff assisting above and below you. Once ashore, you must be also able to get in and out of the Zodiacs onto the beach. You’ll have opportunities for a range of activities from easy, short hikes to longer, more vigorous, snowshoeing hikes for those interested. Please contact us if you have any health concerns that may make this trip challenging.
Airfare is not included in trip costs. Detailed logistical information and the contact information for our recommended flight-ticketing agent are included in the Trip Materials we will send you. Please let us know if you are arriving earlier or staying later as we are happy to assist you with any extra overnights that you might want to arrange.
Flights you (or a travel agent) book: Arrive in Tromsø, Norway (TOS) in time for dinner on November 23. Depart from Tromsø, Norway (TOS) after 11:00am on December 4.
Don’t let a fear of seasickness scare you away! The great majority of this voyage takes place within the protected bays and fjords scattered along the northern coastline. For all but the most sensitive, seasickness is rarely a problem in this region. It’s a good idea to bring medication if you get seasick or are unsure, but you may find that you do not need it after a couple days once you have your “sea legs.” Even those who have experienced seasickness reported that the incredible wildlife and overall experience were well worth the temporary discomfort. Read our suggestions for coping with seasickness at and contact us if you have any concerns.
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