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Whales and Northern Lights in Northern Norway 2024

Join us on an exciting voyage in true expedition style on board the 12-passenger ship M/S Stockholm, a vessel with history and character! We head into the fjords outside Alta to enjoy a magnificent natural wonderland and hopefully see the majestic Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). In recent years, family groups of orca and humpback whales have gathered in search of the large herring shoals that overwinter in the region. If we are lucky, this expedition will offer truly immersive and unforgettable encounters with these remarkable animals!

  • Good chances of seeing orcas and humpback whales
  • Good chances of seeing the Northern Lights
  • True expedition cruising
  • Experience magnificent sceneries and fjord landscapes
  • 12 passengers only
  • The charming settlement of Alta
Accommodation: Cabin on board M/S Stockholm, hotel. Transport: Expedition ship, Zodiac. Ship: M/S Stockholm. Guides: 2 guides. Passengers: 12 passengers. Languages: Swedish and English. Length: 7 days, 5 nights on ship. Price: From USD 4 790. Departures: 28 October 2024, 19 November 2024, 24 November 2024


Day 1: Alta, Norway

Arrive independently to the Norwegian city of Alta, located about 380 km north of the Arctic Circle. Check in at a centrally located hotel, with proximity to some famous sights, such as the northern light cathedral.

Day 2: Alta

Explore Alta individually. In the afternoon you meet up with your guides, board the small expedition ship M/S Stockholm and settle in. The expedition cruise has started!

Day 3-6: Expedition

We are now on an expedition cruise and the itinerary the following days is flexible due to weather and wildlife. We travel in late October and November, just before the polar darkness settles over Alta and when there are still some hours of daylight. Even when the sun is below the horizon, we can enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. For those who are interested in photography, the light at this time of year is captivating. In clear weather we have good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) dance in the sky. Alta is known to be one of the best destinations to visit if you dream of watching this fascinating phenomenon.

Since 2010, huge shoals of herring have overwintered in the fjords in Northern Norway, which has attracted many orcas and humpbacks. As with any wild animals, it is hard to predict if and where to they will return, but with some luck we will experience unforgettable encounters with these incredible mammals. The area is also a popular haunt for white-tailed eagles. They can be seen soaring above us with their impressive wingspans.


During the trip, we hope to be fortunate to see both Northern Lights and whales, and when the opportunity arises, we head out on exciting Zodiac cruises and refreshing hikes to explore the dramatic landscapes. Øksfjorden, Stjernøya and Loppa are examples of places we hope to explore. Perhaps the first snow has fallen and settled over the high mountain peaks, offering marvellous sceneries together with the small, picturesque houses and the beautiful fjords.

On board, we listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy delicious meals, and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on deck. For those who are interested in fishing, there will be opportunities to try your luck from the ship.

Day 7: Alta

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

Please note: The exact route will depend on weather and possible wildlife encounters. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will do everything to maximise our experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

The ship M/S Stockholm

  • Christian Engelke
  • Emma Nilsson
  • Emma Nilsson
  • Emma Nilsson
  • Emma Nilsson
  • Erik Edvardsson
  • Beau Pruneau

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 4 790
Twin cabin for single use (Bunk bed, Shower/WC) USD 9 090

Price includes

  • 1 night in hotel in Alta
  • 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

Not included

  • Flight to and from Alta
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Gratuity to the ship’s crew

Departures & booking

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

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Departure Return
28 October 2024 3 November 2024
19 November 2024 25 November 2024
24 November 2024 30 November 2024

Our travelers' experiences

"Because of the spirit of PolarQuest. I mean the organisation ( the administration and on board)are so professional and attentive. They care a lot about everything. Because we were so lucky about the nature (orcas,whales, northern lights)Because we had so lovely guides, Christian and Beau, who knew how to do where and when, and take decision ,so it’s a talent to be a guide like that. They communicated passion and happiness! The crew was perfect with very good quiet ambiance .And finally Because it’s like a little sweden family that we had during few days and it was so Nice." Hélène Darrieutort & Florence Garoscio
"Absolutely wonderful trip. Atmospheric boat and everyone working on it was great". Russel Brimelow & Philippa Marshall