Meet orcas (killer whales) and humpback whales in their natural environment and swim by their side. A unique experience as we set sail on a 20m sailboat specially designed for arctic expeditions. This small group experience is limited to just 6-7 people, so don't miss out on the opportunity to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
To relax after thrilling days, you will enjoy the on-board sauna, in the best Nordic traditions. This trip will be accompanied by Chris Schmid and Baptiste Bataille. Chris will help you develop your skills regarding outdoor and underwater photography and video. You will make the best of polar lights and Northern lights (Aurora Borealis). You will learn more about the exceptional wildlife we will meet thanks to Baptiste’s knowledge in biology and ornithology.
Dates & Price
per person and per week, in small group of 6 to 7 persons.
Minimum number of participants: 6 persons to confirm and carry out the trip.
This trip is open to adults, and to minors aged 16 or older only if they are accompanied by an adult.
Week 1Get in touch
from Friday, the 3rd to Friday, the 10th of November 2023
2 more seats left!
Week 2Get in touch
from Sunday, the 12th to Sunday, the 19th of November 2023
2 more seats left!
- 7 nights on board Qilak, twin cabin
- Full board meals onboard the sailboat (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), tea, coffee, water
- Two expedition leaders, photography guides and Sony ambassadors. One trained biologist. French and English speaking
- Highly experienced Captain and cook
- Workshops and feedback sessions
- Bedding and towels
- Sauna onboard the sailboat
- Eco-friendly shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and hair dryer available on-board
- Flights to Tromsø
- Any Visa fees
- Transfers between Tromsø and Skjervøy (ferry, bus/taxi)
- Full drysuit/semi-dry/gear equipment rental
- Crew tips
- Alcoholic beverages (you can bring your own to share with the group)
- Travel and cancellation insurance
Meeting in Skjervøy upon ferry arrival. Visit of the cabins on board of the sailboat. Security and wildlife awareness training. Diner and night on board in the harbour.
Breakfast at 7 am. From 8 am, fjord exploration to search for orcas and whales. It will be possible to swim with them when they are close. Lunch between noon and 2 pm depending on the opportunities of the day. From sunset: free time, photography and biodiversity workshops. Depending on weather conditions: sauna and cold-water swimming in fjords. Diner around 7 pm.
Breakfast at 7 am. From 8 am, fjord exploration to search for orcas and whales. It will be possible to swim with them when they are close. On-board lunch and return to Skjervøy for 2 pm, on time for the ferry’s departure to Tromsø.
Meet your guides
Chris SchmidRead Bio
Chris Schmid is a Swiss freelance wildlife cinematographer and photographer. As a Sony Europe ambassador and a National Geographic Explorer, Chris works in some of the most challenging environments on earth to raise awareness around the fragility of our planet and inspire action to preserve it. Chris loves to portray emotions within the wild beauty of nature. He is internationally recognized for over 10 years. He looks forward to sharing with you his passion for photography.
Baptiste BatailleRead bio
Baptiste Bataille is a freelance naturalist guide. Trained biologist, passionate about photography, sole proprietor, he has been a guide for trips all over the world – with a definite taste for cold and for Apex species. He has been diving in the fjords to admire the cetaceans’ ballet for 4 winters. His contagious enthusiasm and his unbounded passion for Nature makes him a guide you will want to travel again with!
Go on an adventure on board of this 20 meters long aluminium sailboat specially designed for polar areas and to respect environment. Welcoming a maximum of 12 people (among which 3 crew members and 2 guides), it will guaranty you have an exclusive experience within a small group. Its stove heated living space will allow you to observe wildlife and beautiful landscapes while comfortably sheltered from cold. This space is fitted with a 55’ screen for picture and workshop projection. You will be able to relax in the sauna and to enjoy hot showers on board. The sailboat is fitted with two tenders to easily join orcas and whales.
Weather in Skjervøy
In November, waters of the Northern Norway fjords have a temperature from +5°C to +9°C, with an average of +7.5°C. The exterior temperature usually varies from -2°C to +5°C. It is the beginning of the arctic winter, it may sometimes rain or snow. In the fjords, windy conditions may occur.
It is the best time to swim with orcas and humpback whales because tremendous schools of several millions of herrings follow the Norwegian fjord coasts. They attract orcas and whales which feed on them. During the day, the sunlight is still there, before the polar night beginning at the end of November. In this season, you can also admire Northern lights (Aurora Borealis) if solar activity is present.
To swim in the fjords, we strongly advise you to wear a diving dry suit with thermal undergarment. It is possible to swim with a semi-dry suit (minimum 7 mm), but you will probably be cold during an extended stay within water or while waiting outside. Please note that a good physical condition is essential to swim in cold water and to go up and down the tender several times a day.
A woman dry suit (Aqualung Blizzard size M) is available for rent for EUR 200 per week, more information can be obtained from Chris.
Warning: please use only soft travel bags (including hand luggage), no rigid bags, because storage room on board of the sailboat is limited.
Free Dive Equipment
- Diving dry suit or semi-dry (minimum 7mm)
- Thermal undergarment for dry suit
- 7mm neoprene hood
- 7mm neoprene gloves
- 7mm neoprene socks
- Fins adjusted to your socks
- Hardshell jacket (waterproof windproof)
- Down jacket
- Waterproof pants or ski trousers
- 2 pants (comfortable - hiking pants)
- 1-2 fleece or wool jackets
- 2 long-sleeve shirts (merino wool)
- Neck strap (to be preferred to the scarf which could get stuck in the winches)
- 1-2 insulation mid pants (merino wool)
- 1 comfortable indoor pants
- Socks (wool is best)
- 1 pair of good walking shoes (warm and waterproof)
- Swimwear for sauna or cold water swim
- Lenses (70-200mm or 100-400mm for the wildlife and a wide angle for the auroras)
- Underwater camera housing or GoPro
- Batteries (on board: usb and 230v sockets)
- Passport / identity documents travel insurance
- Earplugs if you are sensitive to noise
- Your usual medications
- Motion sickness pills
We offer a photographic tour which respects the wellbeing of the wild animals we will be lucky meeting with. You will see only wild animals living freely, without human intervention. None of these animals are tamed, feed nor made dependent of humans in any way. No pictures is worth disturbing or harming the observed species.
Thus, orcas and whales’ behavior will be carefully observed before deciding to enter the water nearby. These animals will be approached from the side and never from the front nor the back to avoid a behavior that would seem aggressive to them. Any changes in their behavior will be monitored. In case of behaviors indicating that they are stressed, we will get out of the water. More information about this will be provided to you at the beginning of the trip.
The operator reserves the right to stop an activity at any time if they think it has a harmful impact on the observed animals, without possible recurse on behalf of the trip participants.
Payment and cancellation
Payment Options & Information
We offer payment via the following methods:
- Credit card (+3% fees)
- Payment by bank transfer
Please let us know at the time of booking your preferred method.
A 30% deposit (EUR 1’350.-) is taken at the time of booking with the final 70% payable 90 days prior to departure.
We highly recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking that also covers cancellation.
We would like to ensure our guests about our risk free booking policy.
If your trip is canceled by us you can rebook on another departure free of charge or receive a full refund with no questions asked.
If the Norwegian government changes entry requirements trip will be rescheduled or fully refunded.
The operator is not responsible for any other costs like flight tickets, accommodation or any other expences for the customer. The operator will not cover for cancellations due to covid. Please take trip insurance for those situations.