North Norway, Aurora Borealis and Whales

Explore the beauty of northern winter


Norway
© Valeriiaarnaud-Oceanwide Expeditions

Duration: 7 nights
Starts: Tromsø, Norway
Ends: Tromsø, Norway
Languaje: English Speaking Voyage


Included Activities


The North Norway cruise follows the path of more than one kind of whale as it travels amongst the fjords of Troms. The long Norway nights offer travellers on this expedition an excellent chance to take in the beauty and wonder of the Northern Lights.

Itinerary

© Lea Ponzle-Oceanwide Expeditions
© Lea Ponzle-Oceanwide Expeditions
© Christian Engelke-Oceanwide Expeditions

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Itineraries may mention places that require permission to land, which must be granted by the relevant national authorities. Such permission is not granted prior to the publishing of these itineraries. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Willingness to compromise on comfort is a basic requirement on board of a historic traditional sailing vessel. Important information about the sailing program: the boat is equipped with sails and these will be used in good conditions (open sea, water depth, appropriate wind conditions, time availability). This is not guaranteed. The captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or other propulsion method. If sails are used, they are operated by the crew. Guests follow the safety instructions of the team. Average cruising speed for s/v Rembrandt van Rijn is 6.5 knots.

Day 1: Paris of the North
Your adventure begins in Tromsø, nicknamed the “Paris of the North,” located in an area rich with Norse and Sámi history. Enjoy exploring this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, said to have been inhabited since the last ice age.

Day 2: In search of Norway’s whales
Early in the morning, you depart from Tromsø. The itinerary depends largely on the weather conditions, the amount of daylight during the voyage, and the expected location of the whales. You might sail clockwise or counter-clockwise around the island of Senja.

Day 3 – 6: Whales of the shelf
You spend the next several days along the north coasts of Senja and Andfjorden, areas where many whales have been spotted in recent years. Keep a look out for sperm whales and other whale species here. Near Andenes, along the edge of the continental shelf, whales dive particularly deep to feed on giant squid. You may also see white-tailed eagles, one of the largest birds of prey in Europe, vying for their share of the herring. In the afternoon, you find a place for the night in one of the scenic fishing villages nearby, such as Skrolsvik, Andenes, Gryllefjorden, or Sommarøy. Once the sun has set, you can make small hikes along the coast – and maybe even catch sight of the aurora.

Day 7 – 8: Under the northern lights
Continuing your circumnavigation of Senja, you sail to the small island of Sommarøy. Here there are good opportunities to see the northern lights as well as embark on pleasant hikes. You spend the last morning of the cruise exploring the island’s small bays and white beaches. You can even climb the 211-meter-high (692 feet) Mount Hillesøya, the summit of which affords panoramic views of the rugged coastline. That afternoon you sail back to Tromsø. After spending the night on board, you disembark the following day with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Important note: Tromsø is the base and gateway in which our voyages start and end
These voyages focus on viewing the aurora borealis and whales, and the expedition leader determines the final itinerary to be intruced during the welcome briefing on day one.

The map shows two possible routes that we may take in order to raise our chances for wildlife sightings:

One route (the described one) heads south around the island of Senja, mainly in the period from mid-January till March.

The other route (represented by the dotted line) heads north to the Kvaenangen fjord, very likely to be visited during November to mid-January.

Because of the seasonal occurrence of herring and whales in these fjords, the whale safari cruises take place in winter, when the Northern Norway days are short and the nights long.

Whale watching (orcas and humpbacks) is highly dependent on the variable herring stocks in the area, and this is ultimately unpredictable. Other whales (i.e., sperm whales) are not dependent on herring, which is why we have a good chance of seeing them in specific areas, such as along the south route near Andenes.

Our chances of seeing orcas are minimal, while the odds of encountering other species (for instance, humpbacks) are higher. The expedition leader will adapt the sailing plan to maximize your chances of seeing whales.

Additional note: The coasts and fjords of Norway are renowned for their beauty
In the far north of the country, about 350 km (217 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, lie the islands of Kvaløya and Senja. Enormous schools of herring gather in the fjords around these islands to live out the winter.

This abundance of food creates one of the largest concentrations of biomass on Earth, which in turn attracts large numbers of whales. It is these giants of the sea that this voyage is dedicated to finding.

During winter the daylight is limited, but the nighttime hours are far from wasted: North Norway is one of the best areas in the world to see the northern lights, a magical phenomenon that can only be fully appreciated when the sky is clear and dark, with minimal light pollution.

This voyage offers ample opportunities to admire the auroras from the remote bays and fishing villages where you’ll spend the night.

Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Itineraries may mention places that require permission to land, which must be granted by the relevant national authorities. Such permission is not granted prior to the publishing of these itineraries. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Willingness to compromise on comfort is a basic requirement on board of a historic traditional sailing vessel. Important information about the sailing program: the boat is equipped with sails and these will be used in good conditions (open sea, water depth, appropriate wind conditions, time availability). This is not guaranteed. The captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or other propulsion method. If sails are used, they are operated by the crew. Guests follow the safety instructions of the team. Average cruising speed for s/v Rembrandt van Rijn is 6.5 knots.

Day 1: Paris of the North
Your adventure begins in Tromsø, nicknamed the “Paris of the North,” located in an area rich with Norse and Sámi history. Enjoy exploring this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, said to have been inhabited since the last ice age.

Day 2: In search of Norway’s whales
Early in the morning, you depart from Tromsø. The itinerary depends largely on the weather conditions, the amount of daylight during the voyage, and the expected location of the whales. You might sail clockwise or counter-clockwise around the island of Senja.

Day 3 – 6: Whales of the shelf
You spend the next several days along the north coasts of Senja and Andfjorden, areas where many whales have been spotted in recent years. Keep a look out for sperm whales and other whale species here. Near Andenes, along the edge of the continental shelf, whales dive particularly deep to feed on giant squid. You may also see white-tailed eagles, one of the largest birds of prey in Europe, vying for their share of the herring. In the afternoon, you find a place for the night in one of the scenic fishing villages nearby, such as Skrolsvik, Andenes, Gryllefjorden, or Sommarøy. Once the sun has set, you can make small hikes along the coast – and maybe even catch sight of the aurora.

Day 7 – 8: Under the northern lights
Continuing your circumnavigation of Senja, you sail to the small island of Sommarøy. Here there are good opportunities to see the northern lights as well as embark on pleasant hikes. You spend the last morning of the cruise exploring the island’s small bays and white beaches. You can even climb the 211-meter-high (692 feet) Mount Hillesøya, the summit of which affords panoramic views of the rugged coastline. That afternoon you sail back to Tromsø. After spending the night on board, you disembark the following day with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Important note: Tromsø is the base and gateway in which our voyages start and end
These voyages focus on viewing the aurora borealis and whales, and the expedition leader determines the final itinerary to be intruced during the welcome briefing on day one.

The map shows two possible routes that we may take in order to raise our chances for wildlife sightings:

One route (the described one) heads south around the island of Senja, mainly in the period from mid-January till March.

The other route (represented by the dotted line) heads north to the Kvaenangen fjord, very likely to be visited during November to mid-January.

Because of the seasonal occurrence of herring and whales in these fjords, the whale safari cruises take place in winter, when the Northern Norway days are short and the nights long.

Whale watching (orcas and humpbacks) is highly dependent on the variable herring stocks in the area, and this is ultimately unpredictable. Other whales (i.e., sperm whales) are not dependent on herring, which is why we have a good chance of seeing them in specific areas, such as along the south route near Andenes.

Our chances of seeing orcas are minimal, while the odds of encountering other species (for instance, humpbacks) are higher. The expedition leader will adapt the sailing plan to maximize your chances of seeing whales.

Additional note: The coasts and fjords of Norway are renowned for their beauty
In the far north of the country, about 350 km (217 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, lie the islands of Kvaløya and Senja. Enormous schools of herring gather in the fjords around these islands to live out the winter.

This abundance of food creates one of the largest concentrations of biomass on Earth, which in turn attracts large numbers of whales. It is these giants of the sea that this voyage is dedicated to finding.

During winter the daylight is limited, but the nighttime hours are far from wasted: North Norway is one of the best areas in the world to see the northern lights, a magical phenomenon that can only be fully appreciated when the sky is clear and dark, with minimal light pollution.

This voyage offers ample opportunities to admire the auroras from the remote bays and fishing villages where you’ll spend the night.


© Lea Ponzle-Oceanwide Expeditions
© Lea Ponzle-Oceanwide Expeditions
© Christian Engelke-Oceanwide Expeditions


INCLUSIONS

-Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
-All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
-All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
-Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
-All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
-AECO fees and governmental taxes.
-Comprehensive pre-departure material.

EXCLUSIONS

-Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
-Pre- and post- land arrangements.
-Transfers to / from the vessel.
-Passport and visa expenses.
-Government arrival and departure taxes.
-Meals ashore.
-Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
-Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
-The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).


* The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.




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