Wildlife viewing trip in the Arctic Norway, with main focus on the observation of Orcas (Orcinus orca), Pilot Whales, Humpback Whales, Fin Whales and Sperm Whales during the spectacular herring migration.
- The close encounter with Orcas, the largest, fastest and most intelligent predators in the ocean.
- The other protagonists: Pilot Whales, Humpback Whales, Fin Whales and Sperm Whales.
- The Northern Lights – beyond 70°N, directly beneath the Auroral Oval in the Northern Hemisphere.
- Moving to mainland– the Eurasian Elk and the world of Reindeer (optional).
- The unspoilt and spectacular landscapes of Vesterålen – the ancient Norway at the far fringes of Europe.
- The trip will be led and accompanied by one Biosfera Itinerari expert biologist guide who will be responsible of logistics, activities and tour guidance.
Relatively maritime, with mild winters (average –1,8°C), while year average is about 4°C.
The area belongs to the Eastern North Atlantic Boreal Region, being particular as the abyssal plain extends in the close proximity of the continental shelf that rises close to shore outside the Archipelago.
Geographic Location: Norwegian Sea, island of Skjervøya around 70°N.
Physical Features:Skjervøya is a mountain island shaped by old glaciers and separated by narrow sea channels. Much of the archipelago is dominated by mountainous or high terrain forest where the climate is mild, while the “fjell” (dwarf shrub–lichen heath) covers areas with a harsh climate.
Fauna: The main target of this itinerary are Orcas, that in winter tend to aggregate in defined areas in response to seasonal herring migrations. This phenomenon attracts an array of other marine mammals, including Pilot Whales, Humpback Whales and Fin Whales. Although Puffin and Razorbill congregate in large colonies in spring, winter is the best season for spotting White tailed eagles and offers a representative array of the bird community of the region. Harbor Seals are easy to spot, while on land spotting Eurasian Elk and Reindeer (the latter in feral populations) comes remarkably easy to the hiker.
Conservation relevance: IUCN conservation status for Orcas is actually deficient, partly because the taxonomy of the genus is clearly in need to review according to the last molecular phylogenetic analyses that suggest the existence of at least two distinct forms. Seasonal migration pattern of large fish stocks is a complex and spectacular biological phenomenon that deserves conservation efforts, as it results strictly dependent on the combination or synergistic impact of changes brought about by human activities (environmental pollution, overfishing, climate change).
The trip will be led and accompanied by one Biosfera Itinerari expert biologist guide who will be responsible of logistics, activities and tour guidance.
- Double bedroom Norwegian cottage RORBU or hotel accommodation with bruch (smoking not permitted inside the house)
- All sea excursions with RIB (rigid inflatable boat)
- Full–day excursion in search of land mammals and birds
- Insurance for all sea activities (not covering accidental damages on photography equipment)
- Renting of high–tech safety, waterproof clothing for sea excursions
- A comprehensive travel insurance package
- Typical dinner in Sami tent
- International flights and airport taxes
- Cost of Procedure Management (30 euro)
- Cancelling insurance (facultative)
- Meals not mentioned in the program
- Voluntary activities and service tips, and in general everything not mentioned in section “The price includes”
Disclaimer 1: Please note this is an indicative and standard itinerary. Dates, activities and the succession and length of each part of the itinerary may change each year, and can be rearranged with the participants. Upon request by the participants, we will send the definitive and detailed programme to be evaluated at least some weeks prior to the confirmation deadline.
Disclaimer 2: We will generally honor the posted prices, but these are subject to change at any time due to action or decisions made by local authorities. In such situations, and in the hope that will not happen, we will send all the ministries official communications to all participants, free from ambiguity and in total transparency. We reserve the right to correct the final price to the fullest extent permitted by law.