Have a whale of a time in Norway

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spyhop.jpgOne of the most magical excursions I have ever undertaken was a whale-watching safari in northern Norway.
It was November and snowing almost continuously; there were only a few hours of daylight. Travelling by a Hurtigruten ship from Tromsø to a Lofoten Islands hotel converted from fishermen’s huts, I togged up in warm, protective clothing and joined a converted trawler to sail back towards the mainland and Tysfjord, where killer whales gathered each year.
We saw a group of whales engaged in their trademark carousel feeding – where they round up a shoal of herring into a whirling ball and then stun them by slapping their tails against the water.
And in the most enchanting moment I captured a mother Orca and calf watching us watching them (above) – spy-hopping, it’s called. Sadly, after a couple of hours at sea my camera lens had become encrusted with salt and I was snapping away oblivious to the fact my pictures would turn out as if I had been shooting them through a net curtain.
That particular excursion is no longer included in Hurtigruten’s brochures but I was delighted to see a new one announced this week.
This time it’s for a different whale – and Hurtigruten accept there’s a 10 per cent chance of not actually seeing any. But I would sign up again in a moment.
The excursion is available on day five of the Voyage North and travels to the whale spotting area outside Andenes in Nordland County. Participants disembark early in the morning at Risøyhamn and head to Andenes by coach to join the sturdy whale-watching vessel MS Reine.
The boat travels out to the edge of the continental shelf where sperm whales feed on the nutrients and creatures such as octopus welling up from below. Andenes is one of the few places in the world, let alone Norway, where the continental shelf is so close to the mainland.
After a few hours at sea, it’s back to land and onward towards Finnsnes to rejoin the ship, just before lunch. En route there is a ferry journey across Andsfjord to enjoy a different perspective of the northern coastal scenery, and see how these communities are connected by the ocean.
The entire excursion lasts approximately seven hours and costs £250.
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By | 2017-06-15T15:59:33+00:00 22 May 2013|Cruise destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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