The Artisan Travel Blog

A Nordic Summer Adventure - Part 2: Whale watching from Andenes

It didn’t really occur to me until afterwards, but to see a whale in the wild is truly a magnificent experience.

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We were lucky enough to see four sperm whales up close off the coast of Norway (although, as Daniele our guide pointed out to us, your eyes play tricks with you at sea and what feels like 20 metres away is more like 80) and it makes you feel overwhelmingly humbled to witness an animal that has swum in our oceans for more than 5 million years.

On board the whale safari boat, we learned how to avoid seasickness (look at the horizon and avoid staring down at your phone or camera) and how to keep watch for whales (the guides use underwater microphones called hydrophones and will point you in the right direction – unlike sonar, these are not damaging to the whales). Sperm whales can be easily identified from their unusually angled blowholes which spurt water at a 45-degree angle. You can see them swimming at the surface, taking in the air before their lengthy dives. “DIVING!!” the guides yell, as this is when the sperm whales perform their photography moment – a slow and graceful dive into the water that flicks their tails over and above the depths, ready to be captured by the eager photographers on board.  The whales do it slowly as if performing for an audience (although Daniele advises us that they make it very clear when they want the boats to move away – mainly they just swim off, although Moby Dick was a sperm whale so it’s best to stay cautious!)

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As well as seeing the whales, these Norwegian boat safaris also provide you with a wealth of knowledge about them (sperm whales have the biggest brains and longest teeth of all mammals) and the boat trip follows a picturesque route, taking in the islands of Andøya, Senja, and Bleiksøya, ensuring plenty of Instagram-worthy scenes.


Read 'Part 3: The Idyllic Islands of Senja and Sommarøy' here

Discover more about our Nordic Summer Collection here

Read 2104 times Last modified on Monday, 26 March 2018

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