Whale Watching Safari in Tromsø

9 min read

Whale Watching in Tromsø

Want to experience the majestic whales in their natural habitat? Northern Norway is one of the best places in the world to spot different whales. In Tromsø you can see humpback and killer whales (orca) as well as harbour porpoises, fin whales and other species.

Increase Your Chances by Going on a Whale Watching Tour

The whales can be somewhat shy, so don’t expect them to swim to shore to say hi you just because you’re in town. They go where the food is, and they eat fish, especially herring. By joining a whale safari, you increase your chances of catching these gigantic and extraordinary mammals first hand. During winter time Tromsø offers daily departures with whale watching from the city centre.

The Best time to See Whales in Tromsø

The whale watching season In Tromsø varies from year to year but the peak time is usually between November and January. In the beginning of the season, the whale is very hungry and the activity is more intense than later in the season.

If you want to go whale watching in Tromsø make sure you choose a trip with an early morning departure in order to take advantage of the few hours of daylight Tromsø has during wintertime.

What Type of Whales Can you See in Tromsø?

Orcas can be seen all year, but you are more likely to see larger accumulations in areas and periods when there is lots of. The humpback whales, on the other hand, spend their summers in the warm waters in Caribbean – the perfect place to mate and give birth to their calves. There is, however, not much food there, so they have an urgent need to replenish their fat reserves, and they travel to the north to find fish. This journey takes about three months each way. Porpoises also very common around the Norwegian coast, and sometimes you can even see fin whales or other species.

From late October to early February, the herring comes to spawn in the coastal areas off Tromsø. The whale follows the herring, meaning that the largest single accumulation of killer whales and humpback whales appears in these waters in this period. The Atlantic Herring is one of the most important food resources for whales in the northern areas and no other fish plays such a large role in feeding them in these waters.

Whale & Arctic Wildlife Safari

Onboard the ship we will serve coffee and tea. You can also buy snacks or bring along your own food. In the comfortable and warm lounge you can enjoy the views of the beautiful winter landscape and outside there are several decks where you can stay and keep a lookout for the majestic whales.

The captain will also put his ultimate whale scouting skills to the test, and if there is anything worth seeing in the waters he will let you know where to look. The friendly and enthusiastic guides are more than willing to tell you all about the local wildlife, marine life and the nature surrounding us.

The destinations we decide to go to on the tour will differ from day to day. The tour schedule is based on the weather conditions and the probability to observe the whales.

Note: If you don't see any whales on the Whale & Arctic Wildlife Safari tour, you can book a second tour for free. (Subject to availability on the next tour).

Dress according to the season and in layers when going on a whale safari in Tromsø. This makes it easier to adjust your clothing to the weather conditions. If you need an extra layer, we can offer you a warm winter overall suit.

Silent Whale Watching

In Tromsø you can go whale watching with minimal intrusion of the wildlife – using a vessel with a hybrid engine. Once we spot whales, we will switch to a silent electric engine to be able to get closer to the majestic mammals with minimal disturbance.

We’ll set sail from Tromsø Harbour at 8 am to enjoy the few hours of polar daylight the Tromsø has to offer during this time. We’ll then head off to the whale watchers paradise – the orca and humpback feeding grounds.

It may take some time to spot the whales but the experienced crew has a couple of tricks up their sleeve when it comes to locating them. The captain will keep an eye out for the whales at all times and our experienced guides will share stories about the wildlife and nature surrounding us.

During the trip we’ll launch an underwater drone and hydrophone that captures the images and sounds of the whales as they team up to hunt for food in the herring.

In our comfortable salons with panoramic windows, you can enjoy the beautiful views of the coastal scenery of Arctic Norway.

This tour is conducted by Brim Explorer. Brim means “breaking wave” in Old Norse.

The vessel is built in recycled aluminium which makes the ship light and energy-efficient. This made it possible to build a ship that is both sustainable and the ultimate platform for experiencing nature.

The duration of the tour depends on the location of the whales and therefore varies between 6-7 hours. Our onboard cafe has a selection of warm drinks, hot lunches, sandwiches and pastries available for purchase.

First in Line at the Ocean Herring Buffet

To watch a humpback whale feed is an extraordinary experience. They open their mouths wide and gulp enormous mouthfuls of seawater; their prey gets caught amongst the baleen plates as the whales force the water back out through them.

In recent years, the herring shoals have been moving further and further north, and the whales follow them. For a long time the fjords of Senja and Tromsø were the best places to go whale watching during winter, but recently, many whales have been seen in the fjords of Skjervøy. This is part of the excitement of going whale watching; you never know where the whales will go next!

What are the Chances of Seeing a Whale?

Of course, we can never guarantee whale spotting on any of our tours, but we can guarantee something unique on every trip. We will show you the fantastic fjords and mountains that brutally rise from the sea reaching more than 1000 meters above sea level and tell you all you need to know about the local marine and wildlife surrounding you. At the same time you get the chance to spot wildlife such as sea eagles, otters, seals, porpoises and herring.

Our guides are knowledgeable and will involve you in your quest to spot the Arctic wildlife. Many people travel the world to see whales, and our guests are well aware that nature can not be controlled. If we have the capacity, we often offer our guests to join a new tour to increase the opportunities to fulfil the desire to experience this wonderful sight.

Unique, Graceful, and Mysterious

Nowadays, more and more people would much rather experience wild animals in their own habitats, and not behind glass windows or barred cages at the zoo. The striking whales have captured more people’s attention over the past decades. They are unique, graceful, beautiful and mysterious. They bond, sing, nurture, play and cooperate with one another. They also have a lot of things in common with us human beings.

The whales are social, air-breathing mammals who nurse their babies, take extraordinarily good care of their young and teach them life skills. No wonder so many people around the world want to experience these giant magnificent mammals in their natural habit

At the end of the trip we want our guests to feel that they have learned something about the whale, the sea, the ecosystem, the culture and the area we are sailing through. We want you to get involved in the quest of trying to spot different wildlife. Once you step off the boat back in Tromsø, we hope that you have increased your understanding of how the sea, wildlife and humans are connected.

Tour highlights

  • Our vessels are the fastest and most seaworthy. This means a greater chance of reaching the whales, a shorter transportation time, and more time to spend with the whales.

  • We have very experienced crew and guides with great knowledge of the ecosystem, the whales and how to find the animals

  • Our trips are more than just a whale safari. It is also a guided fjord cruise that gives our guests added value whether we see whales or not.

  • We are working hard to further develop our experiences and will come up with several new elements in the experience for the upcoming season.

Tromsø has a lot to offer

The light in the winter period in Tromsø is magical and creates an atmosphere you only get to experience in the area. Locally this is called “the blue hour”. Tromsø has from ancient times been referred to as the Arctic Gateway, and is the natural hub for experiences in the area.

Known as the Paris of the North, Tromsø has a lot to offer, both when it comes to Arctic activities and city and nightlife. Here you get the best of both worlds! You will find daily departures, both morning and evening tours by husky, snowmobile and reindeer. The evening tours also offer the option of spotting the Northern Lights.

Tromsø is one of the best places in the world to see nature’s own fireworks. There are different evening cruises, bus tours and camp experiences allowing you to chase Aurora Borealis, so no matter what your preferences are you should be able to find a favourite in Tromsø.

The city itself has loads of restaurants, a bustling nightlife and a huge range of different cultural events. There are also plenty of different festivals happening throughout the year. Every year you can take part in the Tromsø International Film Festival (TIFF) and there are numerous music festivals happening almost every month. Welcome to the Arctic Capital!

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