Whale Watching in Norway

9 min read

Watching the majesties of the deep blue sea up close is defintiely a moment you won’t forget. In Norway you are most likely to spot humpback and killer whales enjoying the waves in the cool winter sea, but you can also spot species like fin whale, pilot whale, minke whale and porpoise.

Where to go Whale Watching in Norway

If you want to see whales in Norway, the northern part is the place to go. These waters hold the whales’ ultimate feeding ground and playground in this part of the world. If you want to see the whales your best bet is to go out on a boat and meet them in their quarters – the whales coming up to shore are rather rare. Tromso and Andenes are both great places for whale spotting.

Whale Watching in Tromso

During winter the humpback whales travel from the warm Caribbean coast to the cool waters off the Northern Norwegian coast to take part in an ultimate herring feastt. The whales follow the fish, and this time of year huge accumulations of herring spawn in this area. The orcas also come to join in on the food fest – which is great news for anyone dreaming of seeing the killer whale up close. Read more about whale watching safaris in Tromso.

Dubbed the Arctic Gateway, Tromso is a natural base for a range of Arctic activities. Go dog sledding and let a team of fluffy new friends lead the way through the crisp snow. Drive your own snowmobile through the Arctic landscapes or go reindeer sledding and learn about the Sami culture. Watch the Northern Lights dance above you all night. The blue winter light sets the perfect mood for a true Arctic adventure in this area.

Whale Watching in Andoya

Andoya has long been a great location for whale watching due to the island's proximity to the areas with large accumulations of whales. Known as the “Whale Kingdom of the North”, this has long been a popular destination for travelers wanting a meet and greet with the majesties of the ocean.

Andoya also has spectacular nature experiences to be explored. Go for a stroll on endless white beaches and take in the scenery. Go for a hike in the mountains, pick berries and enjoy the views. Bring your fishing gear and catch your own dinner. Join a cruise and go on a seal or bird safari. Marvel at the midnight sun during summer and watch the Northern Lights dance in the winter.

Can You go Whale Watching in Lofoten?

A few years back Lofoten was known as a prime spot to see whales enjoying themselves and playing in the waves. Today there are no organized whale watching safaris in this area, and the reason for this is that in recent years the herring is moving further and further north. Right now there are not enough whale aggregations for the tour operators to organise whale safaris in this area, but this could always change in the future. If the herring starts moving south again, the whales will not hesitate to follow – they go where the food is. Learn more about whale watching in Lofoten.

Of course, there is still a chance you might spot whales in Lofoten – one never really knows where the whales will swim. By going on a fjord cruise or wildlife cruises an orca or humpback whale could pop up and say hello as an added bonus.

What type of whales can you see in Norway?

In the deep blue seas of the Norwegian waters you can find species such as minke whale, pilot whale, sperm whale and porpoises. The most common species to spot is by far the orcas (killer whales) and the humpback whales. These two species have herrings as a huge part of their diet, which the coastal areas in Northern Norway are rich with during wintertime.

What is the Best Month to go on a Whale Safari?

The whale watching season In Tromso and Northern Norway varies each year but the peak time is usually between November and January. The whales follow the fish so their presence is hugely dependent on when and where the herring spawns. In general the winter season is the best time for whale spotting in Norway, and this is also when the whale safari tours are organised.

Whale Watching Safari Tours in Norway

The best way to increase your chances of spotting the kings and queens of the ocean is by going on an organised tour. During winter you will not see much daylight in Northern Norway. Make sure you choose a tour with an early departure to make the most out of the limited light this time of year.

Popular Winter Activities in Northern Norway

As long as you are setting out to locate the sea majesties you may want to check out other activities in the area. In the north you can choose between a range of exciting activities. Visit one of the snow hotels, sleep on a block of ice and dream of a late checkout. Conquer the Arctic in new and exciting ways – make new fluffy friends as a team of huskies pull the sled through the snowy terrain. Go snowmobiling and catch the Arctic wind as you take the steering wheel through the woods. Take it easy in the back of the sled as the reindeer whisk you away. Watch lady Aurora dance in the sky and wish for an encore.

The Northern Lights Dancing in Tromso
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