Spotting a whale or a pod of orcas can be difficult even under the best conditions! Sea eagles and beautiful fjords are added bonuses while we cruised out to the Arctic Ocean in search of these amazingly large, mystical mammals. Most importantly, you need a little patience.
When is a good time to spot these whales?
Every year from October to February, the orcas and humpback whales would come to the coast just outside of Tromsø to fill themselves up with herring. The high concentration of herring attracts a variety of whale species that gather in the region’s fjord to feed before migrating to warmer waters. This gives us an excellent opportunity to observe them in full activity.
As we journey outside of Kvaløya with our cozy group of 7, including the captain and first captain, we were squinting for anything that breaks the surface of the water, signaling signs of marine mammals. Anything that spouts or blows that can look like puffs of smoke over the horizon would mean that there is a whale nearby. Even seagulls can often be seen wherever a group of whales are feeding, taking advantage of the abundance of herring rounded up by the whales.
From afar, our Captain spotted a pod of orcas in a feeding frenzy! You can see them circling around their meal. It’s amazing to witness these apex predators working together using a combination of air bubbles and belly flashes to herd schools of small fishes, such as herring, into a tight ball near the surface of the water. The orcas would stun the fish by slapping the ball with their tails, which makes it easier to gulp down in mouthfuls.
They are also such curious creatures, often bobbing their heads out of the water to check out their surroundings. They call this behavior “spyhopping”.
The humpback whales were elusive and we thought they were playing hide forever let us seek! Just as we were about to give up on the search, we caught a quick glimpse of a tail popping up from the waters before it swiftly disappeared into the depths of the cold Arctic Ocean.
We held each other’s hands tightly and let out a sigh. It felt like a tease for such a long wait! What a spectacular sight. To be able to have such a unique experience of viewing this phenomena surrounded by fjords is breathtaking. Tromsø, you are filled with nature’s greatest marvels. You’ve been kind and it has been mind-blowing.
Begin your adventures now and discover the extraordinary wonders of Tromsø in this whale watching trip.
Whale Watching Safari
Board the MS Senjafjell for an exciting whale expedition in the Arctic Ocean with Solbø Maritime Adventure.
On top of the Whale Safari, they also offer Fishing Trips and a Northern Lights Fjord Cruise! Cook up your own self-caught fish and serve it in a traditional Norwegian style, or sail away from light pollution and view the Aurora from the warm and cozy cabin.
Adult 1,200 NOK / Child 600 NOK
If you’re lucky, the captain of the MS Senjafjell would even let you steer the vessel back to land.
The cheapest and fastest way is to catch a budget flight from Oslo to Tromsø. There are more than 5 flights from low-cost airlines such as Norwegian or SAS that flies daily. The journey takes almost two hours.
Otherwise, an alternative route is to take a flight to Oslo, switch to a train to Bodo and finally, drive/bus to Tromsø.