1. Brim Explorer
  2. Tromsø boat tours
  3. Silent Whale Watching from Tromsø
Highlights
  • Orcas & Humpback whales

  • Arctic Fjords

  • Prioritising animal wellfare

Whale-Watching-Tromsø-1

Daily whale tours from Tromsø

We depart from Tromsø at 08:00 in the crisp arctic morning air. Our destination is a whale watcher's dream, the feeding grounds of both Orcas and Humpback whales. We arrive in time to enjoy the few hours of polar daylight that the Tromsø winter season gives us. On the way to the whale watching area, you can take in the breathtaking views of the Tromsø fjords and frozen landscapes of the arctic fjords from our hybrid-electric boat.

Our captain will keep an eye out for the whales. Sometimes it takes a little longer to spot an Orca or Humpback, but our guides have some nifty tricks to spot them. While we search for the whales, our passionate guides will share their personal stories from the Tromsø area and interesting sights that we can see from the fjords. Of course, a whale watching tour would not be complete without an abundance of information about the Orca & Humpback Whale.

Whale-Watching-Tromsø

Whale watching tour with minimal intrusion

Once the whales have been spotted, we will switch to our electric and silent engine to minimize disturbance to the whales. The vibrations and noise from the engines have been cited by researchers as a large disturbance to marine life and whales.

Designed for whale watching, our boat has comfortable, warm lounges with panoramic windows, so that you will have a front-row seat to the whales from wherever you are. You’ll find a selection of food and drinks for purchase onboard.

*Please note that the duration of this tour depends on the whales’ location and can range from 6-8 hours. The exact season varies year to year but is usually between November and January. Our crew will do their best to find the whales but we can not guarantee whales sightings.

Know before you go

Tour info

  • Time & Duration

    08:00 - 15:30 ( 7-8 hours)

  • Meeting point

    The pier outside Clarion The Edge Hotel in Tromsø (Kaigata 6).
    Meet 15 minutes before departure.

  • Group size

    8 - 130

  • Season

    Daily
    05 November 2021 - 31 January 2022

  • Important things to note

    Whale sightings are not guaranteed

  • Cancellation policy

    More than 48 hours in advance – 100% refund.
    Less than 48 hours in advance - No refund

  • Safety measures for Covid-19

    Staff and guests adhere to local and national rules.

  • Electric Use

    About 15% of this tour is on our electric engine

Inclusion & facilities

  • Cruise to the area where the whales are

  • English and Norwegian speaking guides

  • Fully licensed bar with drinks for sale

  • Cafe with food & beverages for purchase

  • Free Wi-Fi

  • Wheelchair access

  • Toilets

  • Warm indoor saloons

Price

  • Adult (17+)

    1490 NOK

  • Youth (12-16)

    1190 NOK

  • Student

    1190 NOK

  • Child (3-11)

    990 NOK

  • Infant (0-2)

    0 NOK

The migrating herring controls the whale watching season

Whales have come to Tromsø for years to feed. It is a crucial time for the whales as the whales intake much of their yearly required nutrition in the short 3-4 months of their stay. This builds a thick layer of fat, which is the whales 'winter fur'. They depend on this reserve of energy for much of the year. Their favourite snack is herring, due to its high-fat content. The location of the whales (and therefore the area where we go for whale watching), depends on where the herring schools are. The herring themselves migrate over Norway. To spawn in one location and eat in another, but not always do the herring go to the same fjord, and so the location of the whale's changes over the years.

It has a high-fat content, especially when it migrates to the Norwegian coast to spawn in winter and spring. Whales depend on eating up to a good fat reserve, and building a thick layer of fat under the skin, which is marine mammals' "winter fur". Therefore, this period is important for them to survive through an otherwise lean winter.

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Tips and tricks for whale watching

In order to be successful at whale watching, we use a number of methods and tricks to find the whales. The most famous is probably to watch the whale blow. This is the sea spray that the whale blows up over the water crust when the whale comes to the surface to breathe. For the trained eye, you can also determine the species of whale based on how the spray looks. For the trained nose, you can even distinguish the species of a whale by the smell of their blow! More commonly though, is to recognize if it is a humpback whale or an Orca by the dorsal fin. The killer whale (Orca), ahs a prominent black fin that is easily recognizable, while the Humpback whale has a smaller dorsal fin further back on the body.

If the weather is quiet, you can sometimes even hear the sound of the blow. Weirdly enough, it sounds similar to the sound of a person blowing water out of their mouth.

Another, easier way of spotting where whales might be, is the presence of birds such as the seagulls. They feed on the herring that are pushed to the surface by the whales working together to feed. Since herring is also a common source of food for us, we work together with the herring fishing boats to gather information on where the whales have been spotted most recently.

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Experience the polar night sky

On our journey to and from the whales' feeding area, we will pass through beautiful landscapes, filled with mountains & fjords. Much of the whale watching season corresponds with 'Polar night', a unique period of the year above the Arctic Circle when the sun does not rise above the horizon. This sometimes brings unique skies with colours of blue, pink and purple. While the sun will not rise, it won't be completely dark as the light still makes its way around the curve of the earth. Especially when the sun is 'at its highest', the exact time we plan to be surrounded by Orcas and Humpback whales.

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Facts about the whales in Tromsø

Humpback Whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae)

Humpback whales belong to the Rorquals (Balaenopteridae) family, which are the largest baleen whales. It is therefore related to the blue whale, the world's largest animal. With an average length of 14 meters and a weight of about 60.000 kilograms, the humpback whale is a giant to be reckoned with, in the waters of Tromsø.

The humpback whale can get up to 50 years old. Its tail fin is unique to each individual with distinct colour patterns and protrusions on the tip (similar to human fingerprints), making it possible to identify each humpback whale by its fin.

The humpback whale is known for its clever ways of catching prey. The "bubble net" method is used when several humpback whales work together to catch shoal fish, such as herring. Some humpback whales will blow air bubbles underwater to fence in the fish in the bubble net, which allows the other whales to gun up from below and take a big bite. In return, this gives us a view of life above water.

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Killer Whale or Orca (Orcinus Orca)

The Orca, or killer whale, is actually not a whale, but the world's largest dolphin. It is often mistaken for a whale due to its name, which was wrongly translated from Latin, to 'killer whale', instead of 'whale killer'.

The whale killer makes true to its name and reigns at the top of the food chain in the sea with its scary teeth. It has an average length of 8-9 meters, weighs 3 to 5.000 kilogram, and can get very old. The 'granny', an orca on the west coast of North America was estimated to be 105 years old(1) at his death in 2016. But life expectancy is between 30-90 years. The males are largest, but still significantly smaller than the humpback whale. However, its strength lies in its numbers. The whale killer is a very social and intelligent whale and hunts in larger matrilineal flocks, led by the oldest female. It specialised in its hunting methods based on its prey and the part of the world. In Northern Norway, the whale killer is known for its 'carousel hunt' where the orcas herd the herring school together with other orcas in a 'carousel'. Then they scare the herring with sound and blows from the fail that makes the fish paralysed/faint.

While the Orca is known to hunt whales, it is 'rather lazy than tired' and will go for easier prey such as herring instead of going through the effort of hunting down a whale.

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Silent Whale Watching tour

How close do you get to go to the whales?

How do you know where to find the whales?

Can you see whales on every tour?

When does the Whale Watching season end?

How long does the whale watching tour from Tromsø take

Where does the whale watching tour go?

Does the Whale Watching tour depart from Tromsø?

Do you have rib boats?

How many whales can be seen at most on a single trip?

What is the best time for whale watching in Tromso?

We are travelling with children, is whale watching in Tromsø a family-friendly tour?

Which whales are most common to see on whale safaris in Tromsø?

Is it possible to arrange private whale watching charter cruises?

Watch whales from tromso. Our silent ship does reduces disturbance the whales during their feeding

Check availability for whale watching in Tromsø

Join our Silent Whale Watching this winter! The bright orange "Book this trip" button has followed you all the way down this page, ready to be clicked. A whale-watching trip with us will not disappoint you! Our hybrid electric ships are designed for sightseeing. It is comfortable and will give a good view of the whales almost anywhere from the boat! With our quiet, electric motors, we will limit the noise and disturbance to the whales, which provides a calmer experience for both you and the fantastic killer whales and humpback whales.