Snorkeling with Orcas in Norway in Winter

During this vacation you will snorkel with orcas in Norway. A fantastic experience! You’ll stay on a liveaboard this trip, so you won’t miss a second of the action at sea. In addition to orcas, whales are often spotted.
Travel period
October, November, December
Starting at
7 days from €4835,- p.p

A unique experience: snorkeling with orcas!

A snorkeling trip to Norway is a very special experience, especially when it comes to snorkeling with orcas and whales. This unique snorkeling vacation takes you to Norway’s northern fjords, where nature can be admired in all its glory. Departing from Tromsø, an easily accessible airport, you will begin an unforgettable adventure.

The trip lasts seven days and six nights, aboard a liveaboard vessel specially equipped for this expedition. During these snorkeling trips, you will have the chance to get up close to orcas and whales in their natural habitat. All this takes place against the backdrop of the beautiful Arctic winter landscape, including the chance to see the northern lights.

The guides on the liveaboard are knowledgeable and will educate you on the behavior of orcas and whales so you can snorkel with them responsibly. Once the animals are located, prepare to go snorkeling. From the zodiacs, small boats that take you close to the animals, you’ll glide into the water to admire the king of the ocean up close.

Each day of the trip is adapted to weather conditions and observations, making each day unique. Besides snorkeling with orcas and whales, you can also spot other wildlife such as bald eagles and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes. Prepare for cold but extremely rewarding days at sea. With the combination of wildlife, beautiful landscapes and the northern lights, this snorkeling vacation in Norway is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.

Best travel time to snorkel with orcas.

The best time to go on snorkeling vacations to Norway is from October to December. These are the months when these snorkel expeditions are conducted, as the orcas are frequent in the area then due to the annual herring migration.

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Average Temperatures

Snorkeling with Orcas in dry suit

The organization provides snorkel dry suits from the Waterproof brand, o.v.b. that size is available. You also get 7mm neoprene gloves, water shoes, a high visibility hood as well as snorkel, fins and mask. The sizes of the dry suits available are S-M-L-XL-XXL, check the frequently asked questions (at the bottom of this trip) for the complete size chart.

What will you experience on this diving vacation?

View itinerary here

Day 1 - Arrival in Tromsø, Norway

The day begins with your arrival in Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic, located 350 km above the Arctic Circle. Tromsø is easily accessible by plane from most European countries.
After arrival, you will have the opportunity (if you arrive early) to explore the city. Tromsø is known for its beautiful Arctic cathedral, the Polarmuseum and its cozy streets with stores and cafes.

At 4:30 p.m., embarkation begins. Our expedition guides will welcome you at the agreed meeting point in Tromsø and escort you to one of our comfortable ships. Once on board, you will receive a briefing on the voyage, safety procedures and onboard facilities. This is also a good time to get acquainted with the crew and your fellow travelers.

Once everyone has settled in, we set sail for the fjords in search of orcas and humpback whales. The advantages of traveling aboard our ship are numerous, especially since we do not have to return to port, which gives us maximum time to look for whales.

Day 2 to 6 - Snorkeling with orcas & whales

During the next five days aboard this winter expedition, you will have plenty of opportunities to experience the splendor of Arctic nature and marine life.

Snorkeling with the orcas and whales: Each day you will explore the fjords, looking for schools of herring and groups of orcas and humpback whales. The expedition guides will inform you about the animals’ behavior and how to snorkel with them responsibly.

When whales or orcas are spotted nearby, prepare to jump into the icy waters. Don your drysuit and board the zodiacs to keep a safe distance from the animals.

Whale & Orca spotting from the ship: There is an excellent vantage point from the ship’s bridge to scour the horizon for wildlife. Everyone on board is notified as soon as whales and orcas are sighted. On the spacious deck you will find perfect spots to photograph whales, orcas and the beautiful scenery.

Whale & Orca spotting from the zodiac: If you choose not to snorkel, you can still enjoy a zodiac excursion to view and photograph the animals from the boat.

Educational lectures: Our guides offer an educational lecture program on whale conservation, research and other topics of interest.

The dark hours: Winter is the perfect time for spotting the northern lights. During the dark hours, we usually stay at anchor or go ashore to find a good spot to photograph the Aurora Borealis.

Relaxation on board: Enjoy the warm and cozy comfort on the expedition ship. Unwind in the sauna after a day in the cold, or enjoy stargazing from the hot-tub on the deck. Depending on weather conditions, we also offer the “Polar Plunge,” a thrilling jump into the icy polar waters.

Day 7 - End of snorkeling vacation

The journey ends where it began, in Tromsø. After breakfast on the last day, you will say goodbye to the crew and your fellow travelers.

You now have two choices, you go back home – or together we’ll see if there’s a nice extension in which you can, for example, visit the reindeer of Tromsø! You’re there now anyway….

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Choice of 3 different liveaboards

This snorkeling trip is conducted on 3 different ships

MS Polarfront

The MS Polarfront is a luxury expedition vessel designed for voyages in the harsh Arctic environment. Built in 1976 and originally serving as a Norwegian weather station until 2010, the ship was beautifully refurbished in 2018. It now offers a luxurious and high-end experience for its passengers, with 8 spacious double suites accommodating up to 16 guests. Each suite has at least two portholes and a private comfortable bathroom with shower.

An advanced stabilization system ensures a comfortable trip, unique to this type of ship, which prevents rolling. For excursions, there are 2 Zodiacs and 2 pedal boats on board. The Polarfront features a large outdoor deck, sauna and hot tub for relaxation after a day on the icy seas. Inside you will find a cozy lounge, dining area, library and gym.

A particular feature is the commitment to sustainability and environmental impact reduction. With technological improvements, including electric propulsion and noise reduction systems, fuel consumption is reduced by 35% and noise pollution to wildlife is greatly reduced. Ideal for a unique experience of snorkeling with orcas in the quiet, pristine nature of the Arctic.

Prices per cabin class:
Executive Suite €5600 p.p.
Superior Suite €5100,- p.p.
Deluxe Suite €4900 p.p.

Expedition dates for 2024:

October 27 to November 2
November 2 to November 8
November 8 to November 14
November 14 to November 20
November 20 to November 26
November 26 to December 2
December 2 to December 8

MS Virgo

The MS Virgo, completely renovated in 2021, is an ideal ship for small-scale expeditions to the Arctic region and northern Norway. It accommodates up to 12 guests in 9 cabins, with fresh Scandinavian interiors and private bathrooms. The two spacious Superior Suites and a Twin Cabin are located on the upper deck, while the lower deck houses six comfortable Single Cabins and another Twin Cabin. Each cabin has a desk, storage space and at least one porthole window.

Aboard the MS Virgo, guests will find bright, spacious interior spaces and large deck areas outside. The lounge on Deck 2, with direct access to the foredeck and large windows, offers excellent views and space for activities such as photo editing or lectures. The dining area serves tasty dishes, flexibly adapted to unexpected wildlife encounters and special dietary needs. This ship combines a warm atmosphere and friendly crew to make guests feel right at home, making it ideal for an intimate and personal snorkeling experience with orcas

Prices per cabin class:
Superior Suite €5100,- p.p.
Deluxe Cabin €4800,- p.p.
Single Cabin €5200,- p.p.

Expedition dates for 2024:

October 29 to November 4
November 4 through November 10
November 10 to November 16
November 16 to November 22
November 22 to November 28
November 28 to December 4
December 4 through December 10

Travel costs

What is included

This snorkeling vacation is available from €4835 per person based on accommodation in a Deluxe Cabin on the MS Virgo. The snorkeling 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 snorkeling with orcas? Get in touch with us! 

Included in this vacation, from €4835 p.p.

* Subject to good (weather) conditions. Safety comes first.


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Frequently asked questions about snorkeling with orcas

General information

We advise all our clients to purchase travel insurance for this trip that covers evacuation and repatriation among other things (up to USD 500,000)

The most important thing is that you hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your trip.

During the snorkeling trip in Norway, you stay relatively close to shore and there is no doctor on board. However, the advice is to make sure you have enough prescription medication – even in the event of a delay.

If you are on a boat, there is always a chance that you will get seasick. However, the water is relatively calm and sheltered among Norway’s fjords.

The new general European drone regulations came into force on Jan. 1, 2021. In Norway, you may fly in the “open category” without having to apply for a permit. However, you must meet several conditions and rules. For more information on flying your drone in Norway, please visit

Snorkeling with orcas

To participate in polar snorkeling, such as snorkeling with orcas, some snorkeling experience is recommended, but diving experience is not necessary. This activity is both fun and fascinating and accessible to anyone interested in the underwater world of the polar regions. You can see large marine animals such as whales, orcas, seals and penguins, as well as smaller creatures such as anemones and starfish.

Snorkeling in the polar regions offers a unique experience – from floating in the cold waters of Antarctica and seeing penguins shooting through the water, to swimming in the deep fjords of Norway with orcas and humpback whales just meters away.

Polar snorkeling is open to guests 16 and older, provided a dry suit is available in their size. Dry suits on board start from size small (EU women’s size 36), but you are also allowed to bring your own dry suit.

The water is pretty cold! Between 1 & 6 degrees…. but fortunately there is comfortable clothing to keep you warm!

What should you bring and what is on board?
  1. Warm clothing: thermal undergarments, fleece or wool sweaters and pants.
  2. Waterproof outerwear: a good quality waterproof and windproof jacket and pants.
  3. Headgear and gloves: waterproof gloves and warm hat or balaclava.
  4. Footwear: waterproof boots and comfortable shoes for boarding.
  5. Personal items: sunglasses, sunscreen, personal medication.
  6. Backpack or waterproof bag for excursions.
  7. Camera and extra batteries: for capturing unique moments.
  8. Swimwear: for use of the sauna or hot tub on board.

During the snorkeling expeditions, you can use high-quality pool snorkeling equipment from Waterproof International in Sweden. These items are specially designed for snorkeling in cold water.

The Waterproof Polar Snorkeling package includes:

Waterproof D9X Snorkel Drysuit: These snorkel drysuits are made of a breathable ultralight fabric with a front zipper and latex seals for the neck and wrists.

Waterproof High Visibility Hood: The High Visibility Hoods feature a bright orange surface with reflective patches for optimal visibility and detection in rough seas and low light conditions. They also offer double protection in critical heat loss areas and sliding skin seals for the neck and face.

Waterproof 7mm G1 Mittens: These 3-finger semi-dry gloves have taped seams, sliding skin interior for easy on and off and a quick-drying surface. The gloves are part of Waterproof’s “Polar Evoluted” series. These items have been tested in polar regions.

Waterproof B5 Marine Boots: Neoprene boots are a sturdy, rubber-reinforced soft boot with adjustable straps and a special “fin strap stopper” to prevent your fins from sliding off.

Fins, Snorkel and Mask: On board they offer snorkels, masks and fins, but we recommend bringing your own gear if you already have it.

Optional! Thermal overall underwear € 80 per person per trip (indicate during booking)

Be sure to bring plenty of warm clothing to wear under your dry suit, or rent the optional undergarments. The overalls are specially designed to be worn under your dry suit and to keep you warm while snorkeling in cold water. They can also be worn as a windproof outer layer, such as when you are out on deck or on a shore excursion. They are very comfortable and easy to put on. Renting the overalls also minimizes your packing weight because you don’t have to bring extra layers of undergarments and warm clothing yourself.

The following sizes are available on board:
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