Nowadays, people would much rather experience wild animals in their own habitats, and not behind glass windows or barred cages. Nature itself has indeed become the new zoo. Northern Norway is one of the best places in the world to watch different whale species in their natural habitat. At different times of the year you can spot orcas, or killer whales, as well as humpbacks, porpoises, sperm whales, minke whales, blue whales and many other types of whales. The best way to avoid disappointment is to make sure you have done some good research beforehand about where and when to go to be able to see your preferred choice of whale species.
Whales are animals that have captured more and more of people’s attention and imagination over the past decades. They are unique, graceful, beautiful and mysterious. They bond, sing, nurture, play and cooperate with one another. They also have a lot of things in common with us human beings.
The whales are social, air-breathing mammals who nurse their babies with their own milk, take extraordinarily good care of their young and teach them life skills. No wonder so many people around the world want to experience these giant magnificent mammals in their natural habitat.
During winter there are a lot of plankton and krill along the coast and in the fjords of Northern Norway. They attract the fish, which again attract the whales back to the Norwegian waters. To watch a humpback whale feed is an extraordinary experience.
They open their mouths wide and gulp enormous mouthfuls of seawater; their prey gets caught amongst the baleen plates as the whales force the water back out through them.
In the fjords of Northern Norway in winter months you can also spot a lot of orcas and the occasional finback whale, the world’s second largest animal.
In recent years, the herring shoals have been moving further and further north, and the whales follow them. In winter, the fjords of Senja and Tromsø have been the best places to go whale watching for some years, but recently, many whales have been seen in the fjords of Skjervøy. This is part of the excitement of going whale watching; you never know where the whales will go next!