In the land of Northern Lights
In January, our little expedition ship M/S Quest headed out in the fjords outside Tromsø and Alta in Northern Norway, an area offering unforgettable winter adventures. Since 2010, huge shoals of herring have overwintered in the fjords, which has attracted many orcas and humpback whales. Below, please read about orcas, humpback whales and the magical Northern Lights in a blog post written by our guide Andreas.
Two days ago, we left Tromsø behind and steered east, towards the herring and where its companions gather nowadays. Last night we moored along the quay in Valanhamna. Although there are some houses on the island, there is only one person living here and he came to greet us on board, get himself a beer and to have some conversation - something he may not be too spoiled with. Mooring along the quay means excellent opportunities to both see and photograph the Northern Lights, so we took turns to keep a lookout, and it was worth it! At midnight, the sky exploded in all shades of green, white and purple. Magically, beautifully dancing over the sky and our ship.
The next day we woke up early in the morning to be ready to see the sun rise. Perhaps even whales would come forth? The mighty mountains that surrounded us on our way north in the fjord Kvaenangen were coloured pink, blue and purple. Suddenly there was a group of humpback whales and orcas in front of us. We followed them carefully with the ship but soon realised that in the calm water and the beautiful light it would be perfect to launch the Zodiacs and try to get even closer. It was an unforgettable and very powerful moment. Eventually we had to get back on board, let the whales carry on with their business, and begin our journey towards Alta and Kautokeino to explore the inland and learn more about the Sami culture.
Photos: Christian Engelke & Adam Rheborg