A unique trip combining the highlights of the Norwegian winter. Orcas, Humpback whales and the Northern lights.
Norway Cruises and Expeditions
Discover Northern Norway during an expedition cruise in winter and combine seeing the Aurora Borealis with whale watching! Our Cruises in Northern Norway depart from Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic situated 350km above the Arctic circle. We venture of for the trip of a lifetime on board one of our comfortable small expedition ships. During our expedition cruises in Northern Norway you'll have a chance to snorkel with orcas and whales and to see the northern lights while sailing through the beautiful fjords.Our expedition cruises in Northern Norway take you off the beaten path to places where only small expedition vessels can come. Our ships take a maximum of 22 passengers on board, creating a cosy and personal atmosphere. Choose the vessel that suits your preferences, going from comfortable expedition style to spacious and luxurious, and embark on the most adventurous cruise in Northern Norway!
We offer three different types of expedition cruises in Northern Norway. From November to January we have our Winter Whales of Norway Expeditions with small ships, where our goal is to go snorkelng with orcas. By the end of January we start our Northern Lights Cruises and sail the Norwegian fjords in search of the Aurora Borealis. Throughout the year there's also the opportunity for Norwegian coastal cruises on board larger expedition ships that visit the highlights of Norway's beautiful coast.
- Mieke (Winter Whales of Norway, November 2019)
"We have had a great experience with Waterproof Expeditions. The vessel and accommodation on the vessel were very good. Very friendly staff and great guides during the expedition."
The highlights of the Norwegian winter fjords. Northern Lights, whales watching and an amazing scenery!
Discover the Norwegian coastal route with 34 ports of call, sailing past more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains
Gateway to the Arctic!
The starting point of your voyages in Arctic Norway is Tromsø. This small city is situated on the island Tromsøya, high above the arctic circle at 69° north. From here, cruises depart for adventurous expeditions in Northern Norway. Most ships dock very close to the city center and are easy to reach from your hotel.
It's definitely worth spending a few days in Tromsø. There's a long shopping street that runs right through the center of town, and lots of cosy bars and restaurants for you to try out. Be certain to visit the Polar Museum, which gives you a good insight in the history and culture of Arctic Norway. You can also cross the bridge to the mainland for a ride up Fjellheisen, a cable car that will bring you up to 420m above sea level, or to visit the iconic Arctic Cathedral.
Orcas & Whales in Norway
Whale watching & snorkeling with orcas
Even though its' cold and harsh environment, Northern Norway holds a lot of natural beauty. During our winter expedition cruises we specifically look for wildlife. We head out to find orcas and humpback whales that come to Norway in search of large schools of herring. This is a yearly wildlife spectacle from November until January, that draws numerous whales to the deep fjords of Northern Norway. On our Winter Whales of Norway Expedition Cruise we hope to encounter many orcas and whales, and if the weather is favourable, you will even get the opportunity to snorkel with them. We work with expert guides and an experienced crew on board to ensure a safe and sustainable whale watching experience. You don't need any diving experience to join our snorkeling expeditions in Norway, just a healthy dose of adventurous spirit.
Chasing Northern Lights
View the Aurora Borealis in Northern Norway
Northern Norway is one of the best places in the world for viewing the Northern Lights. It is situated right below the 'northern lights oval' and in winter there is very little daylight, ideal circumstances for experiencing this unique natural light show. On our Northern Lights & Whale Watching Cruises in January we sail through the fjords to find the most beautiful parts of Northern Norway during the day, while at night we gaze at the skies to witness the dancing Northern Lights. Depending on the location of the ship at that moment, you will either watch them from deck, or go on land to have a good view. Don't worry you'll miss them, the guides or crew will alert you when they spot the green lights. You also don't have to be an expert to photograph the Northern Lights in Norway, you can even capture them with your phone!
Discover our top reasons to visit Norway in January or find the answer to all your questions about the Northern Lights on our blog.
Weather & daylight in Northern Norway
When choosing an expedition cruise to Northern Norway, be prepared for cold but rewarding days out in the fjords. In winter, the days are short and you will only have a few hours of daylight. From the end of October, the number of daylight hours drops rapidly and by the end of November there's only twilight left to enjoy. It's during these twilight hours that you can have the most magical experiences. The sky often turns into incredible pink and violet colours, creating amazing photography opportunities. Towards the end of January, the sun returns above the horizon again and days lengthen quickly.
Although Northern Norway is part of the Arctic, it is often not as cold as you might expect. Usually the temperatures are slightly below freezing during the day, though at night it can get very cold. But weather can be unpredictable this high north. You may encounter strong winds and high swell out at sea, while a few hours later you might be enjoying calm weather inside a sheltered fjord. With proper layers of clothing you will have no problems challenging these Arctic conditions.
Our small expedition ships in Norway
MS Freya - 16 pax
One of our favorite vessels for the Winter Whale Cruises in Norway. Strong and spacious with lots of deckspace for the keen photographer and activity equipment.
MS Polarfront - 16 pax
A sturdy yet luxurious small expedition vessel, ready to challenge the arctic waters and allow you to get close to nature.
MS Malmö - 12 pax
A wonderful little ship for small groups and amazing wildlife experiences. Totally refitted in 2014 as a comfortable and ice-strengthened expedition yacht.
Information related to Northern Norway Cruises & Expeditions
What to pack
Get tips from our experts on what to pack for a polar expedtion cruise.
Learn more about Polar Snorkeling for a great experience above and below the surface!
Find more information and answers to your questions about our Norway expedition cruises.
Sustainable Whale Expeditions
We are committed to provide you the best possible experience in a sustainable way.
Husky Safari Tromsø
Complete your Norway experience with a thrilling Husky safari and drive your own sled!
Enter the Norwegian Alps on your snowmobile and see what scenery Norway has to offer as you drive through it's landscape.