Whales and Northern Lights in Northern Norway 2017 – PolarQuest
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Orcas and Northern Lights in Northern Norway 2017

Join M/S Stockholm on an exciting trip in true expedition style! In late October and early November we heads out in the fjords outside Tromsø, where, in recent years, large groups of orcas gather in search of the great herring shoals that have chosen to overwinter here. If we are lucky this expedition will give us many exclusive encounters with these fascinating animals. Hopefully, we will also encounter humpback whales and experience the magical Northern Lights.

Accommodation: Cabin on board M/S Stockholm. Transport: Expedition ship, Zodiac. Ship: M/S Stockholm. Guides: 2 guides. Passengers: 12 passengers. Languages: English & Swedish. Length: 6 days, 5 nights on ship. Price: From USD 3 990.


Day 1: Tromsø, Norway

We arrive in the Norwegian city of Tromsø, located 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, and beautifully framed by fjords and mountains peaks. The city has been the starting point for many polar expeditions and was referred to as “the Gateway to the Arctic” in the 1800s. We enjoy our first lunch together and visit the renowned Polar Museum, where we learn more about the first explorers who travelled north to seek fame and fortune. In the afternoon we board our small expedition ship M/S Stockholm and set sail.

Day 2 - 5: Expedition

We are now on an expedition cruise. Our itinerary for the following days is flexible to capture the moments when whales are spotted.

Since 2010, huge shoals of herring have overwintered in the fjords around Kvaløya outside Tromsø, which has attracted hundreds of orcas, but also many humpbacks. The prognosis for their return this year is good. With five nights on board M/S Stockholm, we have plenty of time to explore the fjords and look out for these giant mammals. It’s an incredible experience to follow the orcas strategic hunt for herring, see the humpbacks’ characteristic flukes, and hear the sound of their breathing up close.

The herring does not only attract orcas and humpbacks, the area is also a popular haunt for white-tailed eagles. Perhaps they will show off their impressive wingspans above us.


We travel in late October and early November, before the polar darkness settles over Tromsø. The sun is still up for several hours each day and for those who are interested in photography, the light at this time of year is captivating. Even when the sun is below the horizon, we can enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. In clear weather we have good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights dance in the sky.
The trip focuses on exclusive wildlife encounters, but when the opportunity arises, we will also take exciting rubber boat cruises and refreshing hikes to explore Tromsø’s dramatic islands up close. Perhaps the first snow has fallen and settled over the high mountain peaks. Rebbenesøya, Gjossøya and Ringvassøy are islands we hope to explore.

On board, we listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy good food and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on deck.

Day 6: Tromsø

In the morning we disembark our ship and begin the journey home.

Please note: The expedition’s exact route will depend on the weather and the whales. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will do everything in their power to maximise our experience. Flexibility is the key to a sucessful expedition!

The ship M/S Stockholm

  • Emma Nilsson
  • J-P Lahall
  • J-P Lahall
  • Katharina Miller
  • Emma Nilsson
  • Emma Nilsson
  • Emma Nilsson

The M/S Stockholm

The M/S Stockholm is a classic vessel built in 1953 for the Swedish National Maritime Administration. In 1999 she was totally refitted and started her career as a comfortable polar passenger ship. The M/S Stockholm exclusively carries a maximum of 12 passengers in outside twin cabins, all with upper and lower berth and private facilities. She is a marvellous piece of maritime history with beautiful brass details and pine decks. No wonder the M/S Stockholm is loved by so many!

On board the ship you will enjoy delicious meals in the company of likeminded travellers who enjoy the natural world, and who are as fascinated by the remote areas. The food on board is of a high standard. All wine and beer are included in the trip fare. With such a small party on board, this is like travelling on a private yacht. An entirely different experience and perspective to that of a larger and more conventional vessel! The M/S Stockholm is also ideal for private parties who wish to experience a true expedition adventure.

The owner, Captain and crew of the ship have long experience, and are actively involved in making expeditions in tune with nature conservation. The crew onboard M/S Stockholm are great enthusiasts of the unique wildlife and unspoilt nature too, so do not be surprised if you suddenly see the chef ashore taking photographs or studying birds, whenever his time permits. The genuine curiosity of the crew is a prerequisite for expedition cruises of this kind. A trip on board M/S Stockholm with unique wildlife and pristine nature is an experience of a lifetime, simply hard to beat.

Cabins & prices

Cabin category Price per person
Twin cabin (Bunk bed, Shower/WC) USD 3 990
Twin cabin for single use USD 7 590

Please note: both trips are fully booked. Please let us know if you would like be on the waiting list or register your interest for future trips.

Price includes: 5 nights on board the M/S Stockholm, all meals on board, all beverages, 1 Expedition Leader and 1 guide, guiding ashore and talks on board, all excursions and activities, the customary gratuity to the ship’s crew, comprehensive information material before the expedition, an illustrated post-expedition log.

Not included: Flight to and from Tromsø, travel and cancellation insurance.

Departures & booking

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or wish to make a reservation.

Booking request
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