November 2018: In response to the whales moving further north from Tromso this winter season, Magnetic North Travel is now presenting an updated whale watching programme. The new itineraries have been designed to keep the tour operator’s non-intrusive approach to wildlife encounters at heart. This winter, wildlife enthusiasts can choose from small group experiences departing from Alta, overnight sailing expeditions from Tromso or a stay in cosy mountain lodges close to the orca’s new feeding area.
Norway’s winter whale watching season begins in late October and lasts until February and is a great way to observe whales feeding in Norway’s narrow fjords. At this time of the year, orcas are often seen in large pods as they attempt to corner the herring which beckons them to the Northern Norway’s shores each winter. The trail of the whales depends on the feeding grounds of the herring which, for the second year in a row, have moved further North to the more remote corners of the Lyngen Alps. Boat departures from Tromso now take several hours, which means that small boat journeys are no longer feasible. While there are still large boats travelling from Tromso, a new whale watching hub has emerged in the small Arctic city of Alta.
Whale watching from Alta
Alta is nestled in between the Arctic Sea and the Finnmark plateau. Its marine frontyard and mountainous backyard present travellers with a wide range of activities including RIB-boat whale watching safaris, fatbiking, snowmobiling and dog-sledding adventures. Magnetic North Travel’s new whale watching sample itinerary allows travellers to explore Alta and its surroundings during a five-night trip allowing plenty of time to spot whales, chase the Aurora Borealis and join an Arctic adventure or two.
Price: From £1225 per person (based on two guests travelling) excluding flights
- Return private meet and greet airport transfers
- Four night’s accommodation in a twin/double share room including breakfast
- Whale watching safari by RIB
- Small group full day snowmobile adventure
- Cross-country skiing or Fatbike tour
- Northern Lights hunt by road
Whale watching from a remote mountain lodge
The peaceful waters of the Lyngenfjord overlooked by the Arctic Panorama Lodge have once again attracted visitors of the marine variety. This winter the fjords near the lodge were the first place to be graced by the presence of a large pod of orcas and humpback whales. The whales have come to stay and lucky visitors may even be able to spot some whales from the comfort of the lounge featuring large fjord-facing panoramic windows. Magnetic North Travel recommends joining a whale watching expedition departing from the lodge for a close encounter with the playful mammals. From the wilderness lodge travellers can join dog-sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and Northern Lights excursions.
Price: £995 per person (based on two travelling and sharing a room)
Return transfers from Tromso Airport
Three night’s accommodation at Arctic Panorama Lodge in a double or twin room
Full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Setting sails from Tromso
Depart Tromso on a small catamaran in the evening to wake up in whale territory in the morning. This overnight expedition cruise welcomes a maximum of eight passengers and is a unique opportunity to view the Northern Lights from a small sailing boat- one for the memory box. Travellers enjoy a traditional Norwegian dinner on board as they glide through the gentle fjord waters.
Trips run from 15.11. 2018.-15.1.2019.
Book it: £865pp person excluding flights
- Authentic, small group, Arctic overnight sailing experience with certified professional staff
- Guided evening sailing tour and northern lights chase on a comfortable catamaran
- Guided “Whale Safari”, an ultimate Whale & Wildlife sailing tour in the Norwegian fjords
- The opportunity to try sea fishing
- Accommodation in warm comfortable en-suite cabins
- Homemade Norwegian dinner, breakfast and lunch
- Small bites, coffee & tea
- Warm Safety Suits
- Access to a base camp lounge and baggage storage in central Tromsø
- One night accommodation at the Clarion Hotel The Edge, in a Standard room on a Bed and Breakfast basis at the end of the cruise
All Magnetic North Travel holidays include a 24/7 emergency line, concierge service and access to a personalised travel app containing documents as well as bespoke recommendations. To book call 01664 400 103 or seehttps://www.magneticnorthtravel.com
NOTES FOR EDITORS: Based in Leicestershire, Magnetic North Travel is a UK-based boutique tour operator specialising in Canada, Scandinavia and the Nordic countries. Founded in 2009 by Laura Greenman after honeymooning in Sweden, the company’s focus is primarily wilderness, nature, and outdoor adventures for independent travellers and small groups. The company’s specialism is unique experiences that immerse guests into the region, whether it be with a local guide, a food experience or nature-based adventure.