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whale watching in lofoten

Whale watching in Norway this Summer 2024

Embarking on a whale watching adventure during the summer in Norway offers an unparalleled experience, especially in prime locations like Andenes in Northern Norway. With the opportunity to spot species such as sperm whales and orcas in their natural habitat, Norway's summer months present a unique opportunity for enthusiasts and casual observers alike. Additionally, responsible whale watching practices are emphasized, ensuring these magnificent creatures are protected while providing an educational and thrilling experience for visitors.

Preparing for whale watching in Norway during the summertime requires a bit of planning. Tours from Svolvær and Tromsø to Andenes, high up in the Arctic Circle, offer breathtaking encounters with the giants of the sea, conducted on Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) to ensure both safety and comfort.

From Svolvær, this is a day trip, and you are back in Svolvær in the evening. Remember, due to the length and distances involved, a tour from Tromsø to Andenes requires an overnight stay in Andenes (not included on your whale watching tour), revealing the adventure’s logistical aspects and underscoring the importance of preparation for an unforgettable experience.

Best time for Whale Watching in Northern Norway during summertime

If you’re planning a whale-watching trip to Northern Norway, timing is crucial to maximize your chances of seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. Northern Norway offers whale watching opportunities during the summer as well.

The best times during the summer months in Northern Norway are the months between early June and September. You can witness a variety of whales including porpoises, minke whales, pilot whales, dolphins, and the impressive orcas (killer whales).

whale watching in lofoten in the summer

If you are located in Svolvær (Lofoten) and don’t want to rent a car and go through the hassle of driving and parking, the Arctic Route buses bring you from Svolvær centre (Hurtigruten Terminal bus stop) or Svinøya Rorbuer, all the way to Andenes (Vesterålen), the area where the whales are located, leaving early in the morning (07:25 in Svolvær Centre and 07:30 at Svinøya Rorbuer).

This tour lasts about 14 hours, with an age limit of 8 years old, due to safety and comfort reasons during the whale waching trip.

The whale watching tour is done with Rigid Inflatable Boats and includes bus transportation from Svolvær to Andenes and back on the same day, with the Arctic Route buses (free Wifi onboard, charging points, and toilet), a 20-minute ferry crossing between Lofoten and Vesterålen, the whale-watching Safari by RIB (with a small group up to 12 people for about 3 hours), warm safety suits and knowledgable English-speaking marine guide.

A light lunch bag is included, prepared at a unique lodge, during one of the photo stops we make along the way.

You will be back to Svolvær on the same day around 21:30.

Click here to read more about this tour.

Summer in Norway

If you are in Tromsø, whale watching is now possible during the summer months as well! Between the 15th of June to the 31st of August, the Arctic Route buses will drive you from Tromsø to Andenes, in the Vesterålen area, for your whale-watching tour!

This tour is done with Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs), therefore the minimum age is 8 years and the minimum height is 120 cm. You get picked up in Tromsø city center early in the morning, at 08:30, and arrive at Andenes at 16:50. The RIB tour starts the morning after at 09:00. Therefore an overnight in Andenes needs to be booked by you.

The tour lasts about 3 hours, with lunch included and you will be back to Tromsø on the second day at around 20:15.

Click here to read more about this tour.

boat with whale

This tour, leaving from Andenes, in Vesterålen, lasts about 3 to 5 hours (at sea), plus 1 hour of guided pre-tour in the Whale museum. You can choose between the morning tour (09:15) and the afternoon tour (14:15). On both tours, lunch is included (vegetable soup with bread rolls), as well as cookies, hot drinks, and warm clothes (overalls/fleece blankets).

            This tour starts with a pre-guided tour of the Whale Museum in Andenes, to give you the full insight into the life of sea mammals and a better understanding of what to see and experience later out on the ocean, above the unique undersea canyon Bleik.

            You will board M/S Reine, a big, steady, comfortable boat, with a capacity for up to 80 guests, which will bring you to the area with the highest chance of spotting the whales. In case you don’t spot any whales, you will be entitled to a new tour, free of charge.

            Click here to read more about this tour.

What to expect on a Whale Watching tour

Responsible whale watching practices

When you embark on a whale watching tour in Northern Norway, expect to be guided by responsible practices that ensure the safety and preservation of marine life. Tours emphasize the importance of observing whales without disrupting their natural behaviours.

You’ll learn about the marine environment and the challenges these magnificent creatures face. Operators strictly adhere to guidelines like maintaining a safe distance from the whales to avoid disturbance.

Engaging experiences and wildlife observations

Prepare for a holistic nature experience; whale watching tours in Norway often include visits to whale museums (like our  Whale Safari by big boat from Andenes)  and provide stunning views of the Arctic fjords and landscapes.

The main attraction, the whales themselves, are known for their distinct loud clicking sounds and deep diving capabilities. Besides whales, keep your eyes peeled for other wildlife such as birds and white-tailed eagles.

Practical tips for tour participants

To maximize your whale watching experience, dress warmly and consider bringing snacks and seasickness precautions, especially if you’re prone to motion sickness. Using a camera with a telephoto lens is recommended for capturing distant whale sightings effectively.

For those joining tours from Tromsø to Andenes, the journey includes comfortable bus rides via the Arctic Route, but you have to book an overnight stay in Andenes, due to the travel distances involved. This ensures you have ample time to enjoy your whale watching adventure, rest, and go back to Tromsø the day after.

Eco-friendly whale watching

Norway emphasizes marine conservation with eco-friendly whale watching experiences. By choosing responsible tour operators, you contribute to the preservation of marine life while enjoying a memorable encounter with these ocean giants.

Ethical practices

Choosing the right tour operator is crucial for an ethical and enjoyable whale watching experience. Best Arctic emphasizes sustainable practices that respect the marine environment.

Our tours use Rigid Inflatable Boats, which are noted for their safety and minimal environmental impact. These tours not only provide intimate encounters with whales with minimum disturbance for the wildlife.

Embarking on a whale watching journey in Northern Norway, particularly during the summer months, provides an invaluable opportunity to witness the majesty of the ocean’s giants in their natural habitat.

These tours, conducted on Rigid Inflatable Boats designed for safety and minimal environmental impact, emphasize the significance of sustainable tourism practices, ensuring the well-being of the marine life observed.

The whale watching endeavors in regions like Tromsø, Andenes, and the broader Vesterålen and Lofoten areas not only serve as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of marine biodiversity but also highlight the critical importance of eco-conscious tourism. By selecting tours that prioritize environmental responsibility, visitors play a role in the ongoing efforts to preserve these magnificent creatures and their habitats.

What to do in Lofoten during Summer 2024

What to do in Lofoten during Summer 2024

Discovering what to do in Lofoten this summer 2024 is the key to unlocking an unforgettable Norwegian adventure. From the picturesque beauty of the Lofoten Islands to immersive experiences like kayaking, whale watching in Andenes, and exploring the Viking museum, Lofoten beckons with open arms.

What to do in Tromsø during May

What to do in Tromsø during May

Tromsø, known as the “Gateway to the Arctic,” awaits your exploration during the vibrant month of May, offering a unique blend of cultural and outdoor activities. From embarking on boat tours to experience the Arctic fjords, ascending the mountain via the cable car for breathtaking views, to immersing yourself in local history and culture at the Polaria and Polar museum, your visit to Tromsø is guaranteed to be memorable.

The history behind the Arctic Route

The history behind the Arctic Route

Embarking on the Arctic Route opens a gateway from the magnificent beauty of Tromsø, Norway, and beyond to the stunning landscapes of Northern Norway and Finland. This travel service/ hop-on/hop-off bus, born in 2016 from the collaboration of Bussring, Best Arctic, Innovation Norway, Eskelisen Lapin Linjat, and VY, aims to provide you with an eco-friendly journey across the Arctic, underpinned by a commitment to environmental stewardship, boasting features like Ecolighthouse certification and ISO 14001 standards. It connects Tromsø with destinations like Lyngen, Narvik, Skjervøy, Storslett, and further to Rovaniemi in Finland, during winter. During summer, the Arctic Route connects Tromsø with Lofoten, Narvik (and Evenes Airport) with Lofoten, and within Lofoten, with several bus stops. It’s a testament to the brand’s commitment to sustainability, easing travel stress, and fostering local tourism by making remote locations accessible.