Swim with killer whales and humpback whales in Norway

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2018: 26 Nov
2019: 7 Jan
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Swim with killer whales and humpback whales in Norway

Environment

To ensure we care for the natural world and provide a safe environment for both animals and visitors this “expedition of a lifetime” is carried out in a small and intimate group. With only six travellers per departure we obey safety regulations and permits for swimming with whales in Norway. To further minimise the impact on the local environment, and ensure that the whales are not disturbed, only four of six travellers have permission to enter the water. The remaining two travellers will watch these magnificent creatures from the boat.

Leading this expedition is BBC photographer and videographer Patrick Dykstra, alongside a team of marine experts and researchers. Conservation is of utmost importance to Patrick and his team. Patrick was at the forefront of blue whale documentation in Sri Lanka and worked on important research surrounding killer whales in Iceland. With years of experience from filming and photographing whales in their natural habitat Patrick and his team have all the necessary knowledge to ensure this trip is safe and sustainable. Before excursions, travellers are briefed on how to minimise impact and take care around the wildlife to avoid injury. Throughout the expedition travellers learn about conservation efforts that go into protecting the killer and humpback whales as well as specific features of the two whales.

An important feature of this trip is that we let the wildlife come to us, we do not chase or harass the whales. Instead we read the whales pattern and position the boat in the right spot, with the engine off, and let the whales swim up to the boat. The engine is off for most of the time when we are in position to minimise disturbance, the use of fuel, and limit our impact on the environment. Through this expedition we promote responsible whale watching as an opportunity to learn, inspire and educate with low impact.

Community

This bespoke whale safari contributes significantly to the local economy and community around Tormsø, Norway. Guests are staying at locally sourced, small scale, lodges and the fishing boat used for the on sea expeditions is sourced from a local fisherman. Through sourcing small scale accommodation and means of transport money is fed directly into the local community. In return travellers are rewarded with a very personal service and an insight into the lives of the local people.

For this safari the correct in water gear is essential and travellers are encouraged to rent this equipment from a local company to further benefit the area. After years of operating in the area we have a great local network, many of which are fishermen who helps us locate the whales. This allow us to further reduce the impact on the natural world as less time is spent cruising the waters to find the whales.

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