Snorkeling with Orcas in Winter

Snorkeling with orcas (and whales!) in Norway, surrounded by the winter herring migration, offers a unique, mesmerizing experience, enhanced by the opportunity to view the spectacular northern lights.
Travel period
January, October, November, December
Starting at
8 days from €4350,- p.p

Orcas in Norway

Imagine waking up in a typical Norwegian house located on a pristine, remote island above the Arctic Circle. Seglvik, your home for the next eight days, is a place where the Sami, indigenous herders of the Arctic, lead their reindeer to summer pastures. All around you are only vast landscapes and the vast sea. You start your day at the “Whale House” with fresh bread, pancakes or waffles for breakfast, before preparing for your snorkeling adventure with the Orcas.

Under the guidance of Rodolphe and his wife Julie, you and seven other adventurous souls will enter the icy waters of the Norwegian Sea, where orcas and humpback whales follow the annual herring migration. It is a unique opportunity to swim and snorkel up close with these amazing creatures.

After your cold snorkeling trip, return to the warm comfort of base camp. There is a Jacuzzi, sauna, and even a Sami tent (Lavu) with a bonfire to warm you up while you wait for the northern lights to dance through the sky. Besides, who knows? There is also a local reindeer population that you can groom and feed if you like. Your evenings will be filled with sharing experiences, photos and local Sami meals prepared by native chef Alfred.

This unique, eight-day trip is only available for two short periods each year: from Oct. 27 to Dec. 8, 2023, and from Jan. 4 to Jan. 26, 2024.

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Average Temperatures

Wetsuit advice for Norway

The organization provides 10 mm thick wetsuits. Suitable for snorkeling in water of about 5C.

What will you experience on this trip?

View itinerary here

Day 1 (Friday) - Arrival at Seglvik.

Today you fly to Norway, to the airport in Troms ø. Upon arrival at Tromsø airport, on Friday, catch a cab to the ferry. The Fast Liner, heading “North” to Skjervoy, leaves at 4 p.m. 

After less than 3 hours of sailing, you change ferries in Skjervoy at the same quay. The last ferry then travels 40 minutes north from Kvanaegen Fjord to Seglvik. 

Once you arrive in Seglvik, the crew AND dogs will welcome you and take you to your cabin. Time to sleep after such a long trip and tomorrow the adventure begins immediately. 

Day 2 to 7 (Sat to Thurs) - Orcas & Whales

Already early the alarm clock goes off for the next few days because the day starts at 7:30 a.m. with a hearty breakfast that is enjoyed together with the other orca enthusiasts in the “whale house”

You will receive, prior to the first day at sea, a detailed briefing on safety, equipment, behavior on the boats, respect for the sea and, of course, the animals….

You also get all your equipment, such as a thermal survival coverall (Fladen) and for those who like to snorkel, all the necessary gear and a wetsuit. There are some special boots and fishing gloves that you can buy on site if you don’t have any. When everyone is ready get on board!

Once you leave port, everyone is asked to help spot beats, fins or gulls that give us an indication of where the whales and orcas are.

If we see them, the captain will approach the orcas and/or whales slowly and sideways, never from the front or from behind. He assesses whether it is responsible to enter the water based on their behavior and weather conditions.

Now is your time………………………….

As soon as your captain shouts, “Okay, let’s go!” any hesitation you may have will be replaced by adrenaline and you will slide off the side of the boat into the water.

With your head underwater you go searching To black and white shadows among sparkling herring scales…. Then you see it before you orcas passing by or even under you. They might stop for a moment, curious as they are, to catch a glimpse of you.

Open your hoody and listen to the amazing sound of orcas…. You will truly never forget this sound.

Around 3 p.m. or perhaps earlier, depending on weather conditions, it will be time to return. After a good hot shower, you will be asked to rinse and dry your equipment yourself.

The Whale House serves fresh cake or waffles and you can enjoy your leisure time by using all the games at your disposal or sauna, jacuzzi…

On the second day, there will be a presentation on orcas and humpback whales before dinner, prepared by the friends of Norwegian Orca Survey.

Around 7:30 p.m., dinner will be served for everyone at the “Whale house.” The northern lights forecast is checked and then it is time for bed.

Every night is different so be surprised!

Disclaimer : Weather conditions can sometimes be complicated and rough, so snorkeling cannot be done every day when the orcas are passing through or else

Day 8 (Friday) - End of program.

In the late afternoon you will check out and around 9:15 p.m. the ferry will be back in Tromso. You can stay here one night until your next flight goes Or possibly travel on!

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Travel costs

What is included

This travel package is €4350 per person based on two people in one cabin. The trip can be extended as desired. A number of things are included by default in this travel package.

Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates. Flights are always based on the cheapest possible booking class.

Want to know more about the possibilities? Get in touch with us!

Included in this trip, from €4350 p.p.

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Frequently asked questions about this diving vacation

Norway is at the same latitude as Greenland, Alaska and Siberia, but because of the Gulf Stream, the climate is much more pleasant.

In winter, temperatures on the Arctic coast of northern Norway average slightly below 0°C, but it can get as cold as -10°C. air.

Merino wool undergarments (tops and long underpants) and socks are highly recommended. Suitable winter clothing should be windproof and waterproof and sturdy enough to withstand the elements and keep you warm. Don’t forget warm winter boots, a wool cap, gloves and a scarf.

Warm and waterproof gloves and boots can be purchased on site.

We more than recommend having a waterproof bag for all electronic equipment as well.

During sea excursions, you will be provided with a warm flotation suit from the Fladen brand. This is a suit for aboard that provides buoyancy in the event of a launch.

Wet suit of 10 mm.
Mask & Snorkel & Fins from Cressi
Gloves 5 mm
Boots 7mm Cressi
Weight + belt (for professionals only)

Damaged or lost material will be charged for

You will snorkel with whales and with 10mm wetsuits. Although the suits are very buoyant, it is important to be in good health and feel comfortable in the water as a swimmer.

CAUTION: The water is cold and the sea can be challenging (and tough).

There is no limit to the number of snorkeling sessions.

Because of the rough weather and open boats, only adults 18 and older are allowed.

The blue morning light and a blood-red sun below the horizon create a unique spectrum of light.

At 9 a.m. you can see the moon in the sky, at 10 a.m. dawn sets in, at 11 a.m. it is clear and at 3 p.m. it becomes dim again to become completely dark at 4 p.m.

December 22 is the darkest day of the year. From then on, it gets a little brighter every day with five to six hours of daylight in January.

There is much to discover here on the polar island, so you can; admire the northern lights, meet fishermen, discover Sami culture, taste Sami culinary specialties around a campfire in the traditional Lavvu (Sami tent), barbecue or just chat or play in the whale house.

For nature lovers; you can spot eagles flying overhead, admire the otter families that regularly come to the small local harbor or witness the Arctic foxes and ermines that regularly visit. There are also reindeer!

You will stay north of the Fjord, in a typical Norwegian shared house in a private room. You will eat your meals together at the “Whale House.” These are prepared by the best Sami chef Alfred 😉

The location is only accessible by boat and there are no stores, hotels, bars or anything. Really only the cabins where yourself are staying.

There is a great phone 4G connection by the way.

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