King Crab

10 min read

The king crab is the largest crab in the world. Also known as the kamchatka or red king crab, this monstrous beast has a physical appearance only a mother could love. Arctic King Crab safaris are more popular than ever and people travel the world to come to Norway and help pull this beast out of the Barents Sea.

King Crab Safari in Kirkenes

King crab fishing in Kirkenes has never been more popular – which is why it has been dubbed the King Crab City! In a region that’s frozen half the year, you sometimes have to be creative when it comes to securing the catch of the day and there is no such thing as letting the season stop you from doing so! Both summer and winter you have a unique chance to take part in this experience and help pull the beast ashore. You can join us for an Arctic King Crab Safari whenever it’s suitable for you.

Earlier the king crab could only be found in the North Pacific. Later it was introduced to the Murmansk Fjord to provide a new valuable catch for the local population. Since then this fast breeder has spread to areas of the Barents Sea, including parts of the Norwegian coast. The red king crab can now be found throughout the coastal areas of Finnmark – perfect for anyone looking for a unique king crab fishing experience.

In Norway you can go king crab fishing all year around! There are many different excursions to choose from, both morning and evening. During summer the midnight sun will light up the waters for you as you go. In the darker months, from mid September to mid March the Northern lights may appear in the sky above you, making the experience even more unforgettable.

In summertime you can go out to sea on a state of the art high speed RIB boat and help the professional fisherman pull the crab pots onboard. A little marine sightseeing will be included in our trips where you sometimes will see porpoises (arctic dolphins) play in the waters.

During wintertime you can join a snowmobile tour out on the fjord ice where you pull up the crab pots through a hole in the ice. All of our tours end with a delicious crab meal served in Snowhotel Kirkenes’ authentic boathouse restaurant. The crabs we serve are caught wild and fresh, with your help, straight from the sea, into the casserole and onto your plate.

How Big Can a King Crab get?

The crab is a cold water species that thrives in temperatures between 1 and 4ºC, and it’s found at depths from approxImately 10 to 400 meters. Way off the coast, not where we go fishing, but way out in real deep waters, they have found red King Crab species with legs that stretch out to the length of two meters, or 200 centimeters, – equivalent to just about 6,5 feet! The biggest one we caught on one of our trips was 1.8 metres from leg to leg. Each leg bigger than a lobster and full of delicious juicy meat.

A King Crab Fishing Safari is Perfectly safe

You may have seen fishermen catch Alaskan king crab on the popular TV show Deadliest Catch. The show title is derived from the high risk associated with this line of work. Cold waters, rough seas, harsh weather conditions and heavy machinery are reasons why this is considered dangerous work.If you go on an organized king crab fishing safari in the Barents Sea, you can be rest assured that you’ll be perfectly safe. The guides will take all necessary precautions and the boat won't leave the shore if a storm is brewing up. If you need to borrow warm clothes, that will be taken care of as well. All you need to go on a king crab adventure is a strong appetite and a thirst for adventure.

When going on a king crab fishing trip, you get to see this monstrous creature up close. To watch the guide take the catch out of the water, either through a hole in the ice as they do in wintertime or, in summer, onboard a boat – and set your eyes on these strange creatures is an adventure in itself.

A King Crab Selfie is Mandatory

In most urban shops, delivering dull convenience, we only see a parted king crab, perhaps just a part of a leg. It's an entirely different experience to see the giant crabs arrive live from the deep right in front of you. The guides on our trips are trained to do the required job and kill them instantly before you get to hold it, feel its size, study the amazing details and, of course, snap a selfie of you and the monster.

A Proper King Crab Meal

You obviously can’t go on a king crab safari without tasting this delicious delicacy. Back on land, you’ll get to experience a proper king crab meal in Showhotel Kirkenes’ rustic boathouse restaurant.

As soon as the boiling water is ready, the guide prepares the crab the perfect way. No sauce. No nonsense. Nothing but fresh crab, straight from the sea into the casserole and up on your plate. Okay, you will get rice or white bread, mayonnaise and some lemon. The tools are your hands, a pair of scissors and paper towels to keep you clean. That’s it.

This is a promise: You will never, ever have a fresher and more tasty crab meal than the one you helped catch yourself. Our portions are very generous so you can be rest assured no one will go hungry!

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