Northern Lights and whale watching holiday in Norway

“Search for orcas and humpback whales amongst the fjords around Kvaløya before anchoring for soup, sauna and a chance to spot Norway's Northern Lights twisting overhead.”

Highlights

Tromso | Kvaløyvågen | Kaldfjorden | fjords at Kvaløya | orca and humpback whale spotting | scenic anchorages | comfortable conditions | whale watching ship featuring central heating, hot water and sauna | Northern Lights |

Description of Northern Lights and whale watching holiday in Norway

The chance to see the Northern Lights is a phenomenal experience, not to be missed, however, when combined with whale watching; Norway holidays totally come into their own.

The stunning natural light display of the aurora borealis has captured the imaginations of travellers and sailors down through the centuries and whale watching in Norway gives you every opportunity to enjoy a first-hand encounter to call your very own.

In recent years, Norway whale watching trips taking place amongst the fjords northwest of Tromso have achieved remarkable success with any time between November and January providing an ideal chance to see humpbacks and orcas as they follow migrating herring.

Although Norwegian winters are regarded as ‘slightly chilly’, your first sighting of a whale pod is as warming as a bowl of broth with comfortable sailing conditions, including a whale watching ship featuring central heating, hot water and even a sauna, ensuring travellers are nothing short of snug as the proverbial bugs.

Also, as this region of Norway is very well protected, rough seas are never in question with the thrill of watching whales on deck and really comfortable living conditions below deck ensuring this is one winter experience that you’ll want to remember for all the right reasons.

Please note: whale watching and Northern Lights trips are date and departure specific. This is not a year round activity.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Embarkation after 12 noon. We leave Tromsø for the anchorage in Kvaløyvågen
Day 2:Sailing towards Kaldfjorden. Whalespoting and anchoring.
Day 3:Searching for whales in the fjords at Kvaløya. Anchoring where the whales might be.
Day 4:Same as day 3 - with a possible return to Tromsø if the weather forecast is not the best.
Day 5:Return to Tromsø. Arrival in Tromsø before 12am. Disembarking.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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29 Oct 2016
NKr 8900
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05 Nov 2016
NKr 8900
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12 Nov 2016
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19 Nov 2016
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Northern Lights and whale watching holiday in Norway

Environment

Our primary aim on the Northern Lights and Whale watching trips is to give our guests an impression of "the not so very often seen" part of northern Norway – wildlife, fisheries, "abandoned" places, the magnificent landscape of the Kvaløya area and it’s people. All our voyages are made in understanding with our cultural, social and ecological surroundings. By this we mean that we shall move like a shadow through the waters. When we have left, no one shall ever see that we were there. When the wake is gone - so are we. If the wind is with us, we'll set the sails to avoid using fossil fuel an by that reducing carbon emissions. A clean an quiet voyage. The whales? Well - we'll keep a good distance and move slowly. So that they can enjoy their herring meals peacefully and quiet. If we experience that they have had enough of us, we'll slowly move to our next anchorage. For OUR dinner in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

Community

Our main dishes will basically be from fish and game (reindeer), which means that we will support local fishermen and the saami people of the North. All our other food – naturally – has to be bought in the local stores we will pass on our way. Our voyages are not actively guided voyages. We want our guests to be the curious, adventurous and an active part. We are only there to make you feel well and responsible. The area we sail is densely populated an the villages are few. If we should happen to have a night stop in one of these, there will be a fair chance for our guests to experience local fishing related activities, chat with the local fishermen, many of them alone in smaller boats (30-40 foot) working the sea during all seasons and in all kinds of weather. The gladiators of the sea! And an important part of the North Norwegian environment.

Reviews of Northern Lights and whale watching holiday in Norway

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 09 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


To be there, in a grandiose landscape, no sound, watching whales swim around the boat, going about their lives, undisturbed. You wait and wait, and here they blow, majestuous. Beautiful and changing skies, wind, snow or rain. To be in another world with very friendly fellow travelers, there for the same purpose as we are. Wonderful captain, cook, friend and fellow whale watcher in one and only person.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel light; very warm and waterproof clothes; patience. Open minds and open eyes. Traveling in a small sail boat is not as comfortable as being on a liner. But take it with the right state of mind. It is worth it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It benefited local people in the sense that we stayed in the city before and after embarking, which means local hotels and food. I believe also we consumed only local products while on-board. If we did not "reduced environmental impact", we at least did not increase it, and did not have negative effect on conservation

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A wonderful time. One of our best, most memorable holidays. Not a single negative comment. Captain Wara is a wonderful person: professional, knowledgeable, warm, available. We made a new friend

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


seeing the whales breeching and seeing 7 whales "hurding" the fish together

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take the trip in November

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed it. Thanks.

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


To be in close proximity of so many whales: humpbacks and Orcas. We experienced the incredible sight of groups of large powerful whales breaching several times. It was a very special trip. The boat was lovely, Charles and his wife have put a lot of thought and care into renovating it.

Charles was an amazing host, great cook and knowledgeable about the area and a sense of humour. We was also lucky to be part of an interesting diverse inclusive group of people.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be open to what ever the experience brings. We had quite stormy weather which added to the dramatic environment. Unfortunately we did not see the Northern Lights but the trip was still very eventful.

Don't spend too much time trying to get the perfect photo because you will rarely be facing the right direction and you miss the spontaneity of the situation.


3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Charles had a strong eco ethos and talked passionately about this and I learnt quite a bit. He scoured food locally and ensure there was very little waste. He supported the local fisherman who worked alone on the boats in some extreme weather.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A special experience - would love to do it again.

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Watching humpback whales and orcas hunting herring in their natural habitat. Just awesome!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take a hot water bottle

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes most definitely. Cetaceans should not be hunted or captured for captivity. I support any operator that allows people to watch these animals in their natural habitat without disturbance.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Ace

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Watching many humpback and orca whales chasing herring and breaching the surface around the islands and fijords near Tromso. Also sleeping on a small sailing boat for 4 nights. Charles Wara, the owner and captain, is so passionate about his boat and the whales that it made everyone on board enthusiastic too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Remember to bring as little as possible but pack clothes & shoes suitable for cold and sometimes wet & windy weather. No smart clothes needed just warm, comfortable clothes. If it is snowy when you go to Tromso, take Yak Tracks or similar (lightweight removable springs that you fit on the bottom of your boots/shoes and are a tremendous help to prevent slips and falls on snow and ice). Be prepared to have no privacy and to sleep in a confined space on board the boat. Most of all, go with an open mind and heart, and be determined to enjoy the natural world with likeminded people. Be prepared to slow right down -we live in a fast paced world and this week was so relaxing and calm it made me realise how tense we tend to be these days and how with so many electronic items available, response times get quicker so we are all living a fast life, without time to just be! This trip gives balance to that.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes to all; staying in Tromso for 3 nights supported local businesses, cafes, hotels, shops etc. The trip on the boat was environmental friendly as we stayed out for 4 nights at anchorages in fijords and were there to watch the whales in their own environment. Awareness of these gentle giants, watching them feed on herring, and protect their own young was life enhancing and made me think more deeply of how man destroys nature - something we must preserve not destroy. Talking to others about this raises further awareness and hopefully impacts on conservation opportunities in this fragile world.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Brilliant, amazing, would do it again at the drop of a hat. So very different from sun and beach, and very educational along the way.

Reviewed on 07 Dec 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing so many humpback whales and orcas so close.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take soft bag and avoid too much luggage - wear lots of layers, especially wearing thick socks/ more than one pair. The cabins and amount of storage space are not big but the holiday is really special and you won't be spending much time in your cabin.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Possibly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Spending whole days watching whales and orcas was absolutely amazing. No other whale watching trip can compare. The boat is surprisingly comfortable and Charles and Knut know how to look after their customers very well. The seas were not too rough - much of the time you are in fjords or small bays and the scenery is fabulous. The bunks are small though, although the boat is so characterful.

Reviewed on 06 Dec 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Finding ourselves in the middle of a feeding frenzy - herrings, seagulls, orcas and
humpbacks, on all sides of and under our boat. True nature in the raw. The sight of humpbacks breaching is breathtaking, the orcas stunningly beautiful and the cacophony of the birds and breathing of the whales exhilarating. The aurora
borealis was an amazing sight - almost creepy - and visible on three clear nights
despite poor forecasts. The skipper was as excited about the wildlife as we were, and his photographs second to none.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you're the kind of person to whom luxury and privacy matter, this is not the holiday for you. This is for people happy to muck in and just enjoy this very special experience.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Food was locally sourced, and there was benefit to tourism.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely first-rate. Truly memorable, but unsettling, as I want to go again!

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The sheer number of whales was just amazing! We watched and photographed them for several hours, 3 days running. Added to that the northern lights, and the fabulous food cooked by Charles, 'Skipper Extraordinaire', the holiday exceeded all expectations. I'd been a bit worried about going above the Arctic Circle in November, but dressed in lots of layers, the cold wasn't a problem. If you needed to warm up a bit, below deck it was really cosy - more like a log cabin than a boat, and being mainly within the fjords, there was no rough water. Even the light was better than I'd expected, with dawn and dusk being longer than in the UK, and the colours of the rising/setting sun reflecting on the water.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take lots of layers: thermal tops, ski pants (or similar), fleeces, padded jackets and waterproof jackets/trousers (to protect against the wind as much as rain). Boots that have plenty of room for thick socks are useful. (I took snow boots, and had cosy feet.)
Bear in mind it could be a bit slippery on deck on very cold mornings, so boots with a good grip are advisable. With the days being short at this time of the year, you may like to take a book - though there is a collection of books/DVDs etc aboard.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


This is a small company and they don't normally take more than 8 passengers, so all food is purchased locally. Cannot imagine that this boat harms the environment in any way.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent: exceeded my expectations by far. Can't recommend it highly enough. Not sure that I'm 'reborn' (see below), but I would give it at least 4 stars, maybe more.

Reviewed on 30 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Sitting on a remote anchorage at night with the Northern lights illuminating the sky with a bright green glow, constantly changing, twisting, turning, folding and falling. At the same time as this eerie display we could hear herring flapping on the surface of the water and the noise of humpback Whales blowing just metres from the boat.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take lots of layers of clothing and a torch.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Not sure

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A wonderful experience which I would not miss for the world.

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Seeing humpback and killer whales close up, without ever feeling crowded by other boats. Tromso whale industry still in its infancy. Get there before the crowds wake up to it.
Seeing the Northern Lights - spectacular display on two nights.
Beautiful sailing ship to relax in and escape from the cold.
Great food and hospitality.
Knowledgeable and welcoming skipper.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you like to socialise with a drink then buy plenty of booze at duty free (much cheaper) or the special licensed retailer in Tromso shopping centre. There is no alcholol available on the boat, and we didn't go ashore for 5 days.
Bring a good book to read. December, when the whales arrive, only has a couple of hours daylight. You can see perfectly well for a couple of hours either side of that, but by 3pm it's dark, so plenty of time below deck.
Or take advantage of the lull of a berth on water and catch up on sleep.
Make sure you bring layers and PROPER waterproof clothes. The wind chill factor at sea can make it seem very cold. Be prepared for long stints on deck in inclement weather (worth it for the scenery alone).
Aside from warm clothes - travel light as there is no one to impress and nowhere to go out to dinner.
Though Tromso itself is a lively place and good for a night out before the cruise.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Well, aside from giving the captain of the boat work during December (which used to be quiet before the whales came) we ate local food (reindeer and fish) and the whales have certainly benefitted the locality (they have only been coming to these fjords for a couple of years).
There were spaces on the boat and I think that the trip could benefit from all the exposure it can get via the website. It derserves to be pushed.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I loved the holiday. Whale watching has been something I've always wanted to do and this trip felt very 'exclusive' and personalised. As a single traveller (one of three) it was also easy to fit in as a passenger on the boat. Would thoroughly recommend it.

Reviewed on 04 Dec 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Getting so close to the whales was a truly special experience. The boat was a beaut and so cosy. The scenery was breath taking during the day and the stars/Northern Lights were beautiful at night time.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take plenty of warm things including a hot water bottle to use as a cushion on deck!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Run by independent local business so yes in that respect.
Seeing the whales close up made us care even more about their conservation.
Unsure about environment impact as we flew there and there were only a few on board

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely great :) Would give five stars but your description says it has to be the best holiday of our lives to do that and there are a few other contenders - but this is up there!

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