1. Brim Explorer
  2. Whale Watching
  3. Our whale watching philosophy
Humpback whales & Orcas

Responsible whale watching in Tromsø & Skjervøy

Whales are magnificent animals. Intelligent, beautiful and mysterious. Around Tromsø & Skjervøy we are lucky to have a unique environment where different species of whales feed side by side. This behaviour of the whales is not found in many places around the world. Brim Explorer’s wish is to educate and show you and those who come in the future on our whale watching tours this little piece of spectacular nature.

The whales live in a fragile eco-system. Some whale species are endangered while others are barely keeping up or are just starting to recover. Climate change, pollution, over-fishing, noise pollution and many other threats make the whales especially vulnerable. Even whale watching can be harmful for whales.

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Gentle Giants and their important feeding season

When we are whale watching we are in the natural habitat and feeding territory of the whales. This period of feeding is enormously important for the whales and it is the reason why they migrate thousands of kilometres north. In just a few short months the whales need to feed enough to build reserves for much of the rest of the year. Disturbing this can have devastating effects on the whales.

In order to do our whale watching tours responsibly, we have set out specific guidelines and measures for ourselves for whale watching and animal welfare which centre around minimal disturbance and interruption. Some of these measures are guidelines we follow when we are whale watching, while we took other measures are implemented during the design of our ship. When whale watching, we consider ourselves visitors. We are observers, not disturbers.

Whale watching approach zone

Our guidelines and measures

  • We will use our silent electric engine as much as possible during our whale watching tour and always when the whales are around the boat. This minimizes noise and vibration from the boat.
  • Our boats are purpose built and designed to create extraordinary whale watching and nature experiences, with several large outside decks, panoramic windows in both out indoor saloons. Enabling the guests to get a completely different closeness to the whales without us having to intrude too close the these gentle giants.
  • We always operate in very slow speed around the whales.
  • We approach the whales carefully from the side of their swimming direction and sail slowly in parallel with them. We never cross their path or speed after them.
  • When the whales swim up towards the boat and come very close to the boat, we either turn of the engine or put it in neutral mode.
  • We take the number of boats in the whale area into account and try to avoid watching the whales in areas that are crowded with many other vessels. In addition, we try to limit our time spent around individual whales or groups in order to reduce the disturbance even more.
  • All our employees who are working on the whale watching will be required to learn about our measures and actively participate in implementing them.
  • We will educate our guests and share in debt knowledge about the marine life, climate and whales in particular.
  • We support and share information with researchers and universities.
  • We actively report whales and animals in distress to the authorities in cooperation with the department of fisheries.
  • We communicate, share information and work together with other vessels when whale watching to coordinate the operation in best possible way.
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Our continued work towards better and more responsible whale watching tourism

With these measures, we hope to lead by example and inspire others in the industry to implement similar measures to protect the whales and marine wildlife. As of 2022 there is no national or industry wide recognized and enforced regulation for whale watching in Norway. Something we are advocating for. As Brim Explorer we believe we have a moral obligation to protect, preserve and promote the well-being of the whales so that we can continue to share their beauty and educate our guests about their fragile existence.We believe this is the ethical way forward and hope that our guests respect and support our approach and that it inspired others in the industry to implement similar guidelines. More importantly, by publishing this, we hope that our guests and others will hold us accountable for our actions.