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NORWAY

03/11 TO 09/11/2024

09/11 TO 15/11/2024

ITINERARY

Join us to the absolute epi-centre of orcas swimming - the fjords of Norway. The best place in the world to observe and swim with Orca, the actual king of the ocean. 

We will be going on a 7 day trip with 5 days in the water. Aboard the Norwegian expedition vessel M/V Freya we will be searching for the best Orca feeding grounds. Only when Orcas are actually found will we be going on the Zodiacs to get close to the action and swim with them. This is the most comfortable way to experience Orcas in their natural habitat.

THE WHALES

Orcas are the actual top of the food chain in the cool seas. They prey on small and large, even Great White, Tiger Sharks and Blue Whales are on their menu. Yet, there has never been an incident between humans and Orca (except under duress in captivity). They are amongst the smartest beings on this planet and they just seem to sense that we are not food.

 

The Orcas come to this area of Norway to hunt for Herring which aggregate in large schools in the fjords. While the orcas are busy with the hunt they care for nothing else, so we will be able to watch them up close. The herring season is November to February but the best season is November and January as in December the daylight hours are very short.

THE ACTIVITIES

This is a snorkel and freedive trip, no scuba diving. It is not necessary to be able to freedive but you will need to be ready to fin and swim to the action. We will be based on Zodiacs that can be a bit bumpy. 

The mothership will always be close by, so you can also wait for the action on the warm boat or even in the hot tub. This set up is by far the most comfortable way to experience the Orcas in action. The normal land-based approach means that you have to stay out all day on the boat, even if there is no action. Also, the landbased boats are restricted to one area which is why they normally only run in November. In january only the liveaboard can go where the Orcas are and we will have the action to ourselves.

Every evening we will anchor somewhere else, mostly in a fishing port. We can go out exploring the towns and pubs and try weird Norwegian food. On every clear night we will be taken out into the mountains to see the Nordic Lights aka aurora borealis.

Other activities may include sledging, a walk into the local village or a visit to a local brewery or salmon farm

On days where the water if too rough they plan short-notice for dogsledding, snowshoeing or visiting a reindeer farm at an optional extra cost.

Our hosts Alex Pham will host photo talks on whales and photography. Dont miss Alex mini-workshop on taking photos of the polar lights.

YOUR insiderS ON THese TRIPs

alex pham - week 2

 

This trip run by Alex, a whale guide, photographer and filmmaker with experience searching for whales in Norway, Timor Leste, Baja, Sri Lanka, Dominica, French Polynesia, the Cook Islands, and Tonga. 

Alex is a whale nerd who focuses on creating positive social and environmental change in an uncertain world. Alex is excited to share his love of the world’s cetaceans with others and to tell ocean conservation stories that are nuanced and impactful. Alex will coach those looking to capture images or video of the amazing whales and help those who need guidance on freediving. Don't forget to bring your tripod for the Northern Lights.

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THE COLD
It's arctic winter, no getting around talking about the cold. The water will be 5-9 degrees and the air temperature will range from -2 to +5 but can also be colder or warmer. In November is the key season for whales as it's a bit warmer than in other parts of the winter and the days are longer than in December. In December there are not trips because the day light hours are too short.
Some of the best action has been recorded in November to January so it is well worth the cold. If you are too cold you can always be brought back to the mothership to warm up with drink, food and the hot tub and come out again when orcas have been spotted.

Reviews

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THE accommodation

The M/V Freya is a classic expedition ship originally used as a lighthouse-building vessel. Her sturdy, ice-strengthened 1A hull makes her perfect for exploring the Nordic waters. With room on board for 18 passengers but only 12 guests the ship has an intimate atmosphere, and her large size gives lots of room for comfort.

There are two zodiacs for the 12 guests that offers more flexibility. Each boat is equipped with a driver and a naturalist and your Insider Diver will rotate between the boats.

The comfortable rooms are equipped with a window, table and an ensuite bathroom and shower, ensuring that you have all the necessary amenities for a pleasant and convenient stay. Freya will keep you warm after a long day
on the icey water by offering a outdoor jacuzzi and indoor Sauna!

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