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Winter Snorkel Expeditions, Norway

At 69 degrees North, Tromsø lies some 350 kilometres above of the Arctic Circle and is Norway’s gateway to the High Arctic.

Every winter, snorkelers and wildlife enthusiasts alike witness to one of the great wildlife spectacles on the planet—orcas and humpbacks congregating in northern Norwegian fjords to feed on vast schools of herring. The herring usually arrive in the northern fjords of Norway in early November. Hundreds of orcas congregate in the northern fjords, followed by humpbacks—and, this is what the excitement is all about…

Orcas and humpbacks follow the herring, creating bait balls as they hunt for food. Relying upon local experts and the science community, we stay in touch about the location of the whales, hoping to witness them while feeding on the fish.

Team Sedna will spend a week aboard the MV Freya, snorkelling with orcas and humpbacks during the winter herring run and undertaking scientific research which includes: the photographic, acoustic and genetic identification of orcas; ocean conditions (conductivity density and salinity); marine geology; micro-plastics and plankton analyses.

Our expert snorkel guides provided by our partner, Waterproof Cruises & Expeditions, will educate us about the orcas’ behavior, including describing how to snorkel with these whales in a safe and non-disturbing way. These experts will provide a ship-based educational lecture program about orca conservation and research and other interesting topics on local wildlife.

Daylight hours are short at the end of November, and we’ll experience twilight during part of the day. At night, the aurora borealis will dance across the northern skies.

Women’s Leadership Program

Prior to embarking on our live-aboard expedition vessel, to snorkel with orcas and humpbacks, the Sedna Epic will run a 2 ½ day women’s leadership program in Tromsø to discuss the growing representation of women in exploration and STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine) careers. Sedna’s Indigenous team members, including Saami from Scandinavia and Inuit from Greenland and Nunavut, Canada, will provide insights about the unique issues that Inuit women face in circumpolar countries.

During the leadership program we’ll connect with Sami women—much like we’ve connected with Inuit women and girls during Sedna’s expeditions—to better understand this part of the Arctic, its history, geography, and the culture and traditions of its Indigenous people.

The November 2019 expedition is a pilot for Sedna’s two back-to-back Women’s Leadership Programs and Winter Snorkel Expeditions to Tromsø in November 2020. We still have a few spots left in our 2020 expeditions, and are actively recruiting team members. If you’re interested in joining us, please send an email to info@sednaepic.com.

Winter Whales of Norway