Orca coming up from the sea
©Kari Schibevaag

Whale watching safaris in the Tromsø region

Text: Linn Blekkerud

Experiencing the whale in its natural habitat is a magnificent experience. The sea areas off Skjervøy, north of Tromsø, are the whales’ hunting grounds. From November to January, these giant marine mammals migrate towards the coast in search of herring.

Several of Visit Tromsø’s activity providers offer whale experiences of various durations and forms. The most popular option starts in Tromsø and lasts all day. After travelling for several hours by minibus or boat to Skjervøy, we join experienced guides and skippers as they set off to spot the whales.

Some guests choose to travel to Skjervøy on their own and set off from there.

The cold fjords near Skjervøy are frequented by orcas, humpback whales and minke whales. You may be lucky to see the whales from land, but boat trips offer the greatest experiences. Curious animals sometimes come all the way up to the boat to explore.

No whale guarantee is offered. Our members follow strict guidelines, keep the necessary distance and ensure the whales are not disturbed. Everything takes place on nature’s terms.

More than exotic wildlife

The wildlife is not the only impressive part of whale watching safaris. You can also enjoy spectacular views that only Northern Norway can offer. The whale watching season coincides with a period of large variations in light. The Polar Night in Tromsø stretches from around 27 November to 15 January. However, there is not constant darkness. When the sky brightens for a while in the middle of the day, we get a magical mix of dusk and dawn. It’s hard to beat the sight of a whale fin in front of pink polar skies and snow-capped mountains.

Wipe the dust off your camera lens, dress warmly and join us for a nature-based experience!

Did you know that...? 

Whales follow the herring shoals. Some time ago, you could experience the marine mammals just off the coast of Tromsø. In recent years, the whales’ pantry has moved further north and, since 2017, whales have stayed in the Skjervøy area. No one knows if they will remain there next year, or in the years to come.

Book your whale watching experience here

This is why you should safely book your next adventure via Visit Tromsø:
  • You can cancel your booking up to three days before your activity takes place, with a full refund. 
  • We have a price guarantee. It is not more expensive to book through us than via our partners directly.
  • We always strive to be a good host for our guests.
  • We are the only official Tourist Information Centre in the Tromsø region, and our partners are professional organizers who deliver high-quality experiences.
  • All profits go into destination development. We continuously work to develop the Tromsø region in a sustainable direction, in harmony with nature and the local community. Any surplus is not paid out to the owners of the company.
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