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orca whale watching tromso norway


Sailing, Northern Lights, Dog Sledding, Whale Watching, and Reindeer

An unforgettable combination of natural wonders & cultural experiences. 

Tromsø, located in northern Norway (350km north of the arctic circle) is a popular destination for various unique and captivating experiences, including whale watching, viewing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis), dog sledding, interacting with reindeer, and learning about Sami culture. Our multi-day winter sailing trip aboard S/Y Stella Oceana can offer an unforgettable combination of these natural wonders and cultural experiences, in one of the most beautiful and remote regions of the world. 

World Sea Explorers TripAdvisor Reviews
World Sea Explorers Stella Oceana Reviews

Me and 6 other guys spent a week onboard Stella Oceana watching for orcas and humpback whales. Both the yacht and the service excelled! Sachi and Kenneth were always there when we needed them - for help and advice, thank you so much. As a diver with 22 years of experience I've been to many live-abords around the world, some of them very luxurious , but I've never got such personal care which I got on Stella Oceana. As soon as you are ready for a trip to Norway, go for this yacht!

NOK 55,250

per person


Monday 12:00pm - Saturday 12:00pm


Start/End Location


Upcoming Departures

25-30 November 2024
30 Dec 2024 - 4 Jan 2025

2025 24-29 November 2025 22-27 December 2025 29 Dec 2025 - 3 Jan 2026

Things you'll do on this tour


Tromsø is known for its excellent opportunities to witness majestic whales in their natural habitat. The best time for whale watching in Tromsø is typically from late November to early January when the whales migrate to the waters around the city to feed on herring. The potential for a once-in-a-lifetime experience makes it a worthwhile endeavor for many nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The most common whale species you might encounter include orcas (also known as killer whales) and humpback whales. Witnessing these majestic marine mammals in their natural habitat is awe-inspiring. Orcas, in particular, are known for their intelligence and fascinating social behaviors, such as hunting in packs. Witnessing these behaviors firsthand is an incredible experience. 

Embarking on a whale-watching expedition provides a sense of adventure and exploration. You'll be out at sea, experiencing the elements and the excitement of searching for and encountering wildlife amongst the breathtaking fjords, islands, and rugged coastline which provide a stunning backdrop for your whale-watching adventure. The combination of the marine environment and the surrounding nature makes for a picturesque journey. Observing marine life in its natural habitat can foster a deep sense of connection with the natural world. It's a chance to appreciate the beauty and wonder of our planet's oceans and the life that inhabits them. The absence of urban noise offers a serene and tranquil atmosphere, making it a perfect opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

whale watching in tromso


Northern Norway is one of the best places in the world to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights. Sailing on the Arctic waters allows you to view this natural phenomenon in its full glory, far away from light pollution. The Norwegian coastline is known for its breathtaking beauty, with snow-covered mountains, fjords, and picturesque villages. Sailing through these landscapes offers a perspective that you can't get from land. So long as there are clear skies, there's a very high chance that you will see the Northern Lights.

northern lights in tromso


Dog sledding is a thrilling way to experience the Arctic wilderness in Tromsø. You can mush through snowy landscapes while being pulled by a team of energetic and well-trained sled dogs. Dog sledding allow you to connect with the natural surroundings and appreciate the traditional methods of transportation used in this region for centuries. The tour typically include instructions on how to handle the sled, interact with the dogs, and enjoy the ride safely. These experiences often take you through breathtaking landscapes, giving you the chance to enjoy the serene beauty of the Arctic wilderness.

dog sledding in tromso


The Sami people are indigenous to the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, and they have a deep cultural and historical connection with reindeer herding. Tromsø is located within the traditional lands of the Sami people. Reindeer herding is an important aspect of Sami culture and livelihood, and many Sami communities in the Tromsø region are involved in reindeer herding. Reindeer herding has been a way of life for the Sami people for centuries, providing them with meat, hides, and other resources. The herding practices are closely tied to the seasons, as the reindeer migrate between their summer and winter grazing areas. During our 6-day tour, you have the opportunity to interact with reindeer, try reindeer sledding and learn about Sami culture.

sami reindeer tromso


A multi-day sailing trip offers a unique way to immerse yourself in local communities and experience their way of life, which is deeply connected to the sea and the Arctic environment. Being on a small group tour on a spacious yacht offers the luxury of avoiding crowds, allowing you to have a more intimate and personable experience with the natural surroundings. 


You'll have the chance to learn from our experienced and knowledgeable crew members about the local culture, history, environment and marine life.  They can offer insights into the behavior, biology, and conservation efforts related to the whales and other marine species you might encounter. World Sea Explorers follow strict guidelines to ensure responsible and sustainable tourism. We prioritize the well-being of the animals and their habitat, minimizing any potential disturbances to the animals while still offering visitors an unforgettable experience.


Tour Map

Meet Your Crew

All multi-day tours have our 2 resident crew + up to 2 additional crew members.

world sea explorers crew

Kenneth Tårnes

Sea Captain

Kenneth is a world class Sea Captain with the highest international designation by SOLAS, the United Nations International Maritime Organization.  As a Sea Captain, he is a licensed medic and marriage officiant. He served as a sea Captain in the Royal Norwegian Navy and since his retirement, he has continued to captain a variety of charter vessels and sailing yachts. He has sailed around the world on a 98 m sailing ship, Statsraad Lehmkuhl and in 2007, set a world record for the fastest sailing time (without engine) from Tromsø to Kristiansand in Norway. This route normally takes an average of 6-7 days and he still holds this record! Kenneth’s passion is to connect people to the ocean and the natural world. Sharing his knowledge and experiences so they can see what our beautiful planet has to offer and how important it is to take care of it.  He has been the official Captain of Stella Oceana since 2019.

world sea explorers crew

Sachi Maekawa

Solo Stew/Guide

Sachi speaks English, Japanese, Norwegian and some Spanish. On board, she cooks, serves, cleans, helps on deck, organizes activities, guides the guests on excursions and manages the catering, provisions, and interior. She ensures that guests have the very best experience from start to finish. She is passionate about the care of the natural world and has a love of the ocean. From being on the US National Team for synchronized swimming to working at scuba diving centers, Sachi is an advocate for wild animals, marine conservation, free-diving and sustainable living. She has been the official host aboard Stella Oceana in arctic Norway since 2019.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can you see orcas in Norway?

If you want to spot an orca in Northern Norway, the best time is from November until January when they gather in huge numbers to feed on herring.

Where is the best place to see orcas in Norway?

The best place is between Skjervøy and Andøya. The killer whale is a fascinating and intelligent animal, spending about 40% of its time travelling. When they are in arctic Norway, they move around within the fjord system looking for herring, this is why our trip is ideal, having multiple days to look for them compared to short day cruises.

Is there a minimum number of participants for the tour?

Yes, we have a minimum viable number of 5 guests to run the public tour. If the minimum number of participants is not reached within 45 days of the departure date then the tour may be cancelled or rescheduled, but in most cases, we are still able to run the tour without additional charges, and may ask for your cooperation to make modifications to your tour itinerary, but keeping the original tour start and end dates. When the number of participants is below the critical level, we will inform you 6 weeks prior to the departure date and consult you with your options, which can include additional supplements for the cabins (depending on the number of participants).

If the tour is cancelled you will receive a full refund of all payments made including the deposit made at the time of booking and the remaining balance that was paid 90 days prior to the departure date. We cancel because it is both financially and ecologically unsustainable to do a cruise with too few participants. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility.

Will I get seasick and what if I need medical attention?

We can't guarantee that you won't get seasick, but most people don't experience this discomfort because the boat is so stable.  However, in the small chance that you do get seasick, the crew has a lot of experience and can help you so you can enjoy your trip.  Northern Norway tends to seem remote and isolated, however, we will always be sailing along the coast where help is never far away.  There are local rescue ships and the Norwegian Coast Guard is always operating throughout the entire coast.


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