Norway - Whales & Aurora Borealis
- Departure Tromsø
- Duration 7 days
- Month November
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Follow the herring and the whales North of the Polar Circle and view the Aurora Borealis
Norway has a spectacular coastline, its fjords and mountains are renowned for their beauty. In the far north, about 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle we find the island of Kvaløya, the whale island. In early winter enormous schools of Herring from the Barents Sea come together here in the fjords to winter. The Herring attracts large numbers of whales, as they feed on it. On an exploratory voyage in 2015 about 100 Orcas and 60 Humpback Whales were seen in one single fjord at Kvaløya. Therefore this voyage will be dedicated to meeting these giants of the seas. During the voyage the fjords and islands around Kvaløya and Ringvassøya will be explored. Three days will be spent in the fjords near Kvaløya to see the whales. The other days offer plenty of opportunities to sail under canvas and to explore some of these remote islands on foot. In winter the amount of daylight is limited but during the dark hours we have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. This amazing phenomena can only be seen when it is dark and the sky is clear, with not much light pollution around. The voyage will offer ample opportunities to admire the Aurora Borealis from the remote bays where we will be staying for the night. A typical itinerary to North Norway is illustrated below. This itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Day 1: Embark in Noorderlicht in Tromsø and sail the next morning.
The voyage starts in the town of Tromsø, also called 'the Paris of the North' because of its nice atmosphere. Here the 100 year old two mast schooner Noorderlicht will be waiting in the harbour. In the evening there is time to explore the town.
Day 2: Hike up a trail to the 306 metres high hill Storheia
Early in the morning we will depart from Tromsø and sail towards the north-east, into Langsundet. In this magnificent fjord we plan to land at the small village of Hansnes from where we will attempt to hike up a trail to the 306 metres high hill Storheia to admire the view across the fjord. We will spend the night in Dyrsfjorden at the northern tip of the island Ringvassøya.
Day 3 - 5: Orcas and Humpback Whales and also good chances to see White-Tailed Eagles
The next three days we will spend in Vengsøyfjorden and Kaldfjorden, the area where many whales have been seen in recent years. Besides Orcas and Humpback Whales there are also good chances to see White-Tailed Eagles, as they also want their share in the herring frenzy. This eagle is one of the largest birds of Europe and a resident in northern Norway. In the afternoon, when the daylight is over, we plan to make small hikes in the area and hope for some clear sky in order to see the ‘Tricky Lady, as the Aurora is sometimes called.
Day 6: Opportunities to see the Northern Lights
Then we continue our circumnavigation of Kvaløya and sail to the small island of Sommarøy. Also here there are good opportunities to see the Northern Lights and the island offers good hiking possibilities. Therefore we spend the daytime of the last expedition day on this lovely island to explore the coastline with its small bays and white beaches and maybe even climb to the top of the 211 metre high Mount Hillesøya. From here there are excellent panoramic views of the rugged coastline.
Day 7 - 8 Complete our circumnavigation of Kvaløya and disembark in Tromsø
In the afternoon we sail back to Tromsø and complete our circumnavigation of Kvaløya. We spend the last night on board in Tromsø, where we disembark the vessel in the morning on day 8.
This is one of Adventure Sailing’s ‘big boat’ operators, running two vessels that accommodate 33 and 20 passengers. We’ve picked it especially for guests looking for a little added comfort yet with the feel of adventure under sail
Owner-operated since 1996, the company has an excellent reputation, winning awards along the way as it expanded its unique, small-group, exploratory and environmentally friendly, polar expedition programs. They are ideal for those who want to actively enjoy the spectacular scenery, nature and wildlife in some of the world’s most stunning and pristine shorelines.
They aim to maximize your time ashore, with short sailing times and two landings per day. Their inflatable Zodiacs are ready in no time as taxi shuttles, for exploring the ice-floes and viewing local wildlife. The daily guided excursions and on-board educational lectures (in several languages) will really enhance your nature and wildlife experience and there is a range of industry-leading equipment for additional adventure activities.
You can expect a relaxed atmosphere amongst an international group of like-minded travellers; comfortable accommodation and an exceptional standard of service from the international crew, expedition and hotel staff.
The company owns and operates modern small ice-strengthened expedition vessels which comply with highest international safety standards.
This vessel is largely based in Norway for voyages to the remote Arctic locations of Spitsbergen and the Lofoten Islands, cruising among the small islands there. On offer are daily landings, wildlife viewing opportunities and shore-based expeditions which are usually 3-6 hours over untracked ground but you are equally welcome to remain aboard.
The ship was built in 1910 in Germany and served for a time as a light-vessel on the Baltic. In 1991 the present owners purchased, re-rigged and refitted her thoroughly. She is now a well-balanced, two-masted schooner, with good open decks, even under sail.
She has a sea-staff of five: three sailors who will require your help helming, keeping watch and for sail changes during the day and night; a cook, and an expedition leader.
At 46 meters (153 feet) there is ample accommodation for 20 guests in comfortable, heated twin cabins. All have upper and lower berths, a cupboard and washbasin with hot and cold water and shared shower (4) and toilet (5) facilities.
This 56m (168’) ship is well suited for expedition cruising among the fjords and islands of Greenland where she is largely based; the reinforced bow is helpful here among the icebergs!
She provides good, open deck viewing areas even when under sail. Her two inflatable dinghies enable plenty of landing and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise inaccessible areas but you are welcome to stay aboard instead.
If ships could talk, then this one, built early in the last century would certainly have some interesting tales to tell of her past life as a herring lugger. Rebuilt in 1994 as a three-masted passenger schooner she then sailed as widely as Spitsbergen and the Galápagos Islands. In 2011 she underwent a complete refit program in which the communication and navigation equipment was completely renewed according to the latest SOLAS regulations but in essence being aboard will feel like sailing back in time.
Looking after up to 33 passengers is an experienced crew of twelve – sailors, a cook and two tour guides who provide interesting, knowledgeable commentary on the surrounding wildlife, geography and history. Meals are served buffet-style in the restaurant and there is a bar onboard.
There are 15 twin and one triple, comfortable internal and external en-suite cabins.
29th October to 5th November 2017
5th November to 12th November 2017
19th November to 26th November 2017
26th November to 3rd December 2017
What's not included
Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
AECO fees and governmental taxes
Comprehensive pre-departure material
What's not included
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post- land arrangements
Transfers to / from the vessel
Passport and visa expenses
Government arrival and departure taxes
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory)
Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
"This voyage will offer ample opportunities to admire the amazing Aurora Borealis from the remote bays where we will be staying for the night."
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