North Norway, Aurora Borealis & Whales

Explore the beauty of northern winter

North Norway, Aurora Borealis & Whales
Cruise route
Title: North Norway, Aurora Borealis & Whales
Dates:
Tripcode: RVR08-20
Duration: 7 nights
Ship: s/v Rembrandt van Rijn
Embarkation: Tromsø
Disembarkation: Tromsø
Language: English speaking voyage
More about: Arctic cruises
North Norway cruises
 
Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The onboard expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Willingness to compromise on comfort is a basic requirement on board a historic sailing vessel. Important information about the sailing program: The boat is equipped with sails to be used in good conditions (based on open sea, water depth, wind, and time). This is not guaranteed. The captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or the other propulsion method. If sails are used, the crew operates them. Guests must follow the safety instructions of the team. The average cruising speed for s/v Rembrandt van Rijn 6.5 knots.

The North Norway cruise follows the path of more than one kind of whale as it travels amongst the fjords of Troms. The long Norway nights offer travellers on this expedition an excellent chance to take in the beauty and wonder of the Northern Lights.

South route: (around Senja)

Day 1: Paris of the North

Your adventure begins in Tromsø, nicknamed the “Paris of the North,” located in an area rich with Norse and Sámi history.

Enjoy exploring this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, said to have been inhabited since the last ice age.

All voyages with s/v Rembrandt van Rijn aim at departing from Tromsø in the evening of day one, while s/v Noorderlicht will set sail in the early morning of day two. All passengers of Rembrandt are kindly asked to board the vessel by 17:00, while passengers of Noorderlicht are welcome to board the vessel between 17:00 and 23:00.

Day 2: In search of Norway’s whales

The itinerary depends largely on the weather conditions, the amount of daylight during the voyage, and the expected location of the whales.

You might sail clockwise or counter-clockwise around the island of Senja.

Day 3 – 6: Whales of the shelf

You spend the next several days along the north coasts of Senja and Andfjorden, areas where many whales have been spotted in recent years.  

Keep a look out for sperm whales and other whale species here. Near Andenes, along the edge of the continental shelf, whales dive particularly deep to feed on giant squid.

You may also see white-tailed eagles, one of the largest birds of prey in Europe, vying for their share of the herring. In the afternoon, you find a place for the night in one of the scenic fishing villages nearby, such as Skrolsvik, Andenes, Gryllefjorden, Hamn and/ or Sommarøy.

Once the sun has set, you can make short hikes along the coast or in small villages  – and maybe even catch sight of the aurora.

Day 7 – 8: Under the northern lights

Continuing your circumnavigation of Senja, you sail to the small island of Sommarøy. Here there are good opportunities to see the northern lights as well as embark on pleasant hikes.

You spend the last morning of the cruise exploring the island’s small bays and white beaches.

On day seven, you sail back to Tromsø and arrive around midday. You’ll have enough time to shop for souvenirs in town, visit a museum, or simply take a walk in the fresh winter air.

After spending the last night on board, you disembark on day eight (Saturday) with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Important note: Tromsø is the base and gateway in which our voyages start and end

These voyages focus on viewing the aurora borealis and whales, and the expedition leader determines the final itinerary to be intruced during the welcome briefing on day one.

The map shows two possible routes that we may take in order to raise our chances for wildlife sightings:

One route (the described one) heads south around the island of Senja, mainly in the period from mid-January till March.

The other route (represented by the dotted line) heads north to the Kvaenangen fjord, very likely to be visited during November to mid-January.

Because of the seasonal occurrence of herring and whales in these fjords, the whale safari cruises take place in winter, when the Northern Norway days are short and the nights long.

Whale watching (orcas and humpbacks) is highly dependent on the variable herring stocks in the area, and this is ultimately unpredictable. Other whales (i.e., sperm whales) are not dependent on herring, which is why we have a good chance of seeing them in specific areas, such as along the south route near Andenes.

Our chances of seeing orcas are minimal, while the odds of encountering other species (for instance, humpbacks) are higher. The expedition leader will adapt the sailing plan to maximize your chances of seeing whales.

Additional note: The coasts and fjords of Norway are renowned for their beauty

In the far north of the country, about 350 km (217 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, lie the islands of Kvaløya and Senja. Enormous schools of herring gather in the fjords around these islands to live out the winter.

This abundance of food creates one of the largest concentrations of biomass on Earth, which in turn attracts large numbers of whales. It is these giants of the sea that this voyage is dedicated to finding. 

During winter the daylight is limited, but the nighttime hours are far from wasted: North Norway is one of the best areas in the world to see the northern lights, a magical phenomenon that can only be fully appreciated when the sky is clear and dark, with minimal light pollution.

This voyage offers ample opportunities to admire the auroras from the remote bays and fishing villages where you’ll spend the night.

s/v Rembrandt van Rijn

Our 3 mast-schooner 'Rembrandt van Rijn' is well suited for expedition cruising among the fjords of Greenland and Spitsbergen. Full ship info >>

Cabins & Prices

Triple Private Porthole

Windows Info Info
  • 1 porthole
  • 1 upper/lower berth + 1 lower berth
  • Private shower and toilet
  • Ample storage space
Info Info Info
Sharing berth
2550 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info Info Info
Complete cabin
7650 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Twin Private Inside

Windows Windows Info
  • 1 upper / lower berth
  • Private shower and toilet
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Sharing berth
2750 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info
Single cabin
4675 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Info Info
Complete cabin
5500 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Twin Private Porthole

Windows Info
  • 1 porthole
  • 1 upper / lower berth
  • Private shower and toilet
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Sharing berth
3150 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info
Single cabin
5355 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Info Info
Complete cabin
6300 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.