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Antarctica Leopard Seals on Ice Flow dreamstime m 32184394 opt

pen ink well goldA note from Dom  ...  Polar Expeditions with Snorkeling & Diving

From the King Penguins to Arctic Reindeer  ...  from swimming with Leopard Seals to cavorting with Narwhals  ...  these trips never cease to amaze.   Only the best operators & the moist exhilarating trips .... some of which are led by world renowned photograhpers.    Can we add your name to the list of intrepid explorers who have ventured to the Arctic and Antarctic ?

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Viking Sea Orca Expedition

New Zealand 2 orcasA feeding frenzy unlike any other
Norway orcas & humpback whales
November 6 - 12, 2020 ... 3090 € to 3490 €

Join this 6-night orca adventure aboard the M.S. Stronstad for 5 days of snorkelling with orcas & humpbacks, exploring the fjords and experiencing Norway's wildlife and exotic Northern Lights.  The expedition will led by photographer Werner Thiele who will provide photo tips for all interested photographers.

Follow the herring ...

Every year from mid-October to the end of January, huge herring swarms are found in the sea around Norway's coast.  The herring migration can easily compete with the world-famous sardine run in South Africa in terms of biomass.

The huge and seasonally limited food supply is clearly the reason that orcas and humpback whales and many other marine animals visit the fjords around Tromsø in great numbers.  They all arrive from the Arctic and usually reach the area in the last week of October. 

From the beginning to the middle of November, photographers and filmmakers will experience fantastic underwater and above water encounters with these ocean titans.  The week this expedition takes place offers the perfect timing for the whales, the herring and normally for natural light for good photography. The fjords in the winter are breathtakingly beautiful and the flat light offers photographers optimal conditions.

A bit about the animals

Orcas are the largest species in the dolphin family and are counted amongst the fiercest predators in the world. In Norway they of herring. They can measure up to 10 meters long, weighing up to 9 tons and are considered extremely social and intelligent animals living in families of up to 40 members.

You will often encounter family groups with males, females and babies, hunting the huge herring swarms together in a very coordinated fashion. The orcas have developed a special technique in which they stun the herring with powerful tail strokes to then eat them individually.

Also joining the fray are humpback whales, measuring up to 19 meters long and weighing up to 40 tons. Sometimes the whales "steal" the rounded up herring from the orcas. The humpbacks come from below where the orcas are working. The surface starts to “boil” with herring swarm jumping to avoid certain death … and the humpbacks simply open wide as they come to the surface and swallow as many fish as possible at once!

Orcas and humpbacks are naturally curious mammals which means that your chance for a once-in-a-lifetime face-to-face encounter with them in this environment is excellent.

Your itinerary

Day 1 - November 6

If you've chosen to fly in a bit early, you'll still have most of the day to explore Tromsø before the short transfer to M.S. Strønstad at around 5:00pm.   The leaves at 7:00pm. After the detailed briefing it's time for a hearty dinner and the beginning of your great adventure under (hopefully) a sky filled with northern lights.

Day 2 - 6 - November 7 - 11
Probably the best known area of ​​herring migration is near Skjervøy, which is where the M.S. Strønstad is likely to head for the night.  Exact locations will, of course, depend on the experience of the day before and the reports of other boats and fishermen about the current year's herring migration.

During these days you will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding fjords and the Mainland coast and many offshore islands, always on the lookout for orcas, humpback whales and other marine animals.  In addition to eagles, there are many species of seabirds.  With a little luck you'll also find sea otters and other marine mammals looking to take part in the "herring feast".

For five full days your experienced team will do its best find the orcas and the other whales in their feeding frenzy.  The first half of November, in recent years, has been absolutely Prime Time for this experience.  It's late enough in the season for the herring to be there in full force ... but early enough for you have at least a few hours of daylight or the fair chance
good conditions for observing and photographing.

Day 7 - November 12
After a last night on board, you'll return directly to the airport of Tromsø with departure in the morning .... or as an alternative you can also stay for a few days to see more of Norway.


Availability & rates

see all trips with available spaces

MS Stronstad

NORWAY MSSTROMSTAD Special Expedition Interior Set opt

About the vessel

The 26m long and 6m wide former ferry, M.S. Strønstad, has been a small expedition cruiser since its total renovation in 1993. It offers space for 16 guests in four double and two quad cabins.

The M.S. Strønstad is not a luxurious ship, but clean, functional and great for this type of expedition. Safety and comfort for nature cruises in a harsh climatic zone were the primary design motivations. The ship is state-of-the-art in terms of safety and technology: satellite phone, VHF radio, deep sonar, radar, GPS, smoke detector & extinguishing equipment, EPIRB and 2 offshore rescue islands, oxygen & first aid kit are available as well as WiFi, TV, stero and 220V electricity.

Whether you spend your day snorkeling, whale watching or just relaxing & enjoying, the M.S. Strønstad will always make you feel comfortable. The viewing platform, a crow's nest on the main mast, and the decks all invite you to keep an eye out for the coveted orca & whale sightings.  When you need to warm up, a cozy sofa area in both salons and a restaurant area are available … plus there’s an Jacuzzi to finish up that warm-up!   The "dark" hours of the long polar nights are used by most guests to spend hours studying the spectacular starry skies and marveling at the phenomenal Northern Lights.

The food is Norwegian cuisine with fresh fish or even reindeer as the main course.  Special dietary requests will be honored as far as it is possible given the region. Please let us know in advance of your needs.

Two dinghies are always ready for direct encounters.

Accommodation & rates

The vessel carries a maximum of 16 guests

4  double cabins  ....  3490€ per person double occupancy
2 quad cabins  ....  3090€ per person

What's included ... what's extra

Prices are per person and based on double occupancy and include:

airport transfer to & from vessel
accommodation, full board, coffee and tea
all activities
English-speaking group leader / photo-pro with 75 - 100 pictures for private use
protective suits (suits), lead and lead belts are provided
DIVESAFE diving insurance DiveAssure

Price do not include:

international and domestic flights
excess baggage charges on flight
rental equipment
marine park fees
all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar drinks, soft drinks, telecommunication charges
(we recommend buying spirits at Duty Free in the airport)

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