Home Special offers Newsletter About us Ships Responsible tourism Small ship cruise collection on facebook Small ship cruise collection on twitter
The Small Cruise Ship Collection

Trip Finder

Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway

Join a unique winter adventure in Northern Norway! We will head into the fjords outside the small towns Tromsø and Alta to enjoy a grand natural wonderland and hopefully experience the magical Northern Lights. If we are lucky this expedition will also offer exclusive encounters with orcas and humpback whales. In addition, we visit the coastal town of Alta and the village of Kautokeino in Northern Sápmi (Lapland). We stay at an ice hotel, learn more about the Sami culture and visit the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral. (More information under cabins and prices.)

For those who are interested in photography, the light this time of year is captivating. Even when the sun is below the horizon, we can enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. In clear weather we have a great chance to see the spectacular Northern Lights (aurora borealis) dance in the sky. This region is known as a particularly good destination to see the aurora. Watching the greenish light dancing above our ship in the smooth, protected waters of the fjords is an extraordinary experience!

Huge shoals of herring overwinter in the fjords around Tromsø and Alta, which has attracted many orcas and humpback whales. As with any wild animals, it is difficult to predict if they will return but with some luck we will experience unforgettable encounters with these incredible marine mammals.

We will head out on exciting Zodiac cruises and go ashore to explore Tromsø’s dramatic islands up close. The snow-covered mountain peaks offer marvellous scenery together with the small picturesque houses and the beautiful fjords. The area is also a popular haunt for white-tailed eagles. Rebbenesøya, Skorpa, Ringvassøya and Seiland are examples on places we hope to explore.

On board, we listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy delicious food and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on deck.

Price includes
+4 nights on board MS Quest
+1 night ice hotel in Alta
+1 night Thon Hotel Kautokeino
+All meals
+Coffee and tea
+Experienced and knowleadgeable guides
+Guiding ashore and all excursions
+ Talks and lectures on board

Program 17 – 23 January 2020
Day 1: Embarkation in Tromsø at 16:00.
Day 2 – 4: Expedition cruise.
Day 5: We arrive in Alta and travel by bus to Kautokeino where we stay one night at Thon Hotel.
Day 6: It is time to head back for Alta and stay one night at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel.
Day 7: After breakfast, a transfer takes us to the airport in Alta and we begin our journey home.

Program 19 – 25 January 2020
Day 1: At 11:30 we gather for lunch in Alta and stay at Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel during the night. (If you choose to arrive one day earlier, PolarQuest can help with hotel arrangements.)
Day 2: We travel by bus to Kautokeino where we stay at Thon Hotel.
Day 3: It is time to head back for Alta where we embark our expediton ship.
Day 4 – 6: Expedition cruise.
Day 7: After breakfast, a transfer takes us to the airport in Tromsø and we begin our journey home.

17 January, 2020 to 23 January, 2020 Make a booking request for Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway, departing on 17 January, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Triple Cabin £ 2872 GBP pp
The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin £ 3512 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin Superior £ 3672 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin £ 3672 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin Superior £ 3992 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV.
view cabin photo
Owners Cabin £ 4312 GBP pp
In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin Solo £ 5752 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo
19 January, 2020 to 25 January, 2020 (reverse) Make a booking request for Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway, departing on 19 January, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Triple Cabin £ 2872 GBP pp
The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin £ 3512 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin £ 3672 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin Superior £ 3672 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV.
view cabin photo
Double Cabin Superior £ 3992 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV.
view cabin photo
Owners Cabin £ 4312 GBP pp
In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV.
view cabin photo
Twin Cabin Solo £ 5752 GBP pp
Cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage.
view cabin photo

Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
About the itinerary
During this expedition we spend four nights on board the small and comfortable expedition ship M/S Quest. In true expedition style, the itinerary is flexible due to weather and possible whale encounters. We also stay one night at the ice hotel in Alta and one in the remote village of Kautokeino in the heart of Lapland at the beginning or the end of the trip, depending on departure date.
Tromsø
The expedition starts or ends in the city of Tromsø (see departures), located 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, and beautifully framed by fjords and mountains peaks. The city has been the starting point for many polar expeditions and was referred to as “the Gateway to the Arctic” in the 1800s.
Expedition cruising with M/S Quest
We are now on an expedition cruise and our itinerary is flexible due to weather and wildlife. We travel during the second half of January, when the sun has just returned, giving us direct sunlight for a short time each day. For those who are interested in photography, the light this time of year is captivating. Even when the sun is below the horizon, we can enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. In clear weather we have good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights (aurora borealis) dance in the sky. This region is known as one of the best destinations if you dream about watching this fascinating phenomenon. Watching the greenish light dancing above our ship in the smooth, protected waters of the fjords is an extraordinary experience! Since 2010, huge shoals of herring have overwintered in the fjords around Tromsø and Alta, which has attracted many orcas, but also humpback whales. As with any wild animals, it is difficult to predict if they will return the winter of 2019/2020, but with some luck we will experience unforgettable encounters with these incredible marine mammals. During the trip, we hope to see both Northern Lights and whales, but when the opportunity arises, we will head out on exciting Zodiac cruises and go ashore to explore Tromsø’s dramatic islands up close. The snow-covered mountain peaks offer marvellous sceneries together with the small picturesque houses and the beautiful fjords. The area is also a popular haunt for white-tailed eagles. Rebbenesøya, Skorpa, Ringvassøya and Seiland are examples on places we hope to explore. On board, we listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy delicious food and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on deck.
Alta – The Ice Hotel & the Cathedral
The little coastal town of Alta, framed by high mountains and beautiful fjords is located an overnight journey with ship from Tromsø. The town is also known as the city of the Northern Lights. Here you have great chances of seeing the Northern Lights, but it was also in Alta that Kristian Birkeland in 1899 built the world’s first Northern Lights observatory. Of course, we explore the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral! Alta has a long history of slate and during the day we visit a slate quarry to learn more about the handcraft. Our day ends with a dinner composed of local ingredients and a good night’s sleep at the Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel – made of snow and ice. It is an unforgettable and surreal experience to fall asleep in a warm sleeping bag surrounded by ice.
Kautokeino – Wilderness & Sami culture
This day, we head out in the wilderness of Finnmarken. After a couple of hours bus ride from Alta we reach a Sami camp, located in the heart of Sápmi (Lapland) - the region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people. Here we learn more about the Sami culture and enjoy a typical Sami lunch in a Lavvu. We then check in at the beautifully located Thon Hotel Kautokeino, where we spend the night, enjoy a delicious dinner and keep a look out for the Northern Lights.
Please note:
The exact route will depend on weather and possible whale encounters. The captain and the expedition leader will do everything to maximise our experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Day 1: Tromsø

In the morning we disembark our ship and start the journey home or you may be continuing on to further adventures.

Day 2: Alta – Sami culture and the Northern Lights Cathedral

Today we head out on a full day outing to explore Alta and its surroundings. This little costal town, framed by high mountains and beautiful fjords, can be reached with an overnight journey on board our ship from Tromsø. Alta is also known as the city of the Northern Lights. Here you have great chances of seeing the Northern Lights, but it was also in Alta that Kristian Birkeland in 1899 built the world's first Northern Lights observatory. After breakfast, we leave the ship and after a couple of hours bus drive we reach a Sami camp, located in the heart of Sápmi - the region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people. Here we learn more about the Sami culture and enjoy a typical Sami lunch in a Lavvu. We then return to Alta, where we get guided tour in the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral. In connection to the cathedral we also find an interesting exhibition that tells us more about this colourful natural phenomenon.

Day 3 - 3: Expedition

We are now on an expedition cruise and our itinerary the following days is flexible due to weather and wildlife. We will travel in the middle of January, when the sun has only just returned, giving us direct sunlight for a short period each day. For those who are interested in photography, the light at this time of year is captivating. Even when the sun is below the horizon, we can enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. In clear weather we have good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) dance in the sky. Tromsø is known as one of the best destinations if you dream about watching this fascinating phenomenon. Watching the greenish light dancing above from our ship in the smooth, protected waters of the fjords is an extraordinary experience! Since 2010, huge shoals of herring have overwintered in the fjords around Tromsø, which has attracted many orcas, but also humpbacks. As with any wild animals, it is hard to predict if they will return the 2018-2019 season, but with some luck we will experience unforgettable encounters with these incredible marine mammals. During the trip, we hope to be fortunate to see both Northern Lights and whales, but when the opportunity arises, we will head out on exciting Zodiac cruises and go ashore to explore Tromsø’s dramatic islands up close. Perhaps the first snow has fallen and settled over the high mountain peaks, offering marvellous sceneries together with the small picturesque houses and the beautiful fjords. The area is also a popular haunt for white-tailed eagles. Rebbenesøya, Gjossøya, Ringvassøya and Seiland are examples on places we hope to explore. On board, we will listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy delicious food and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on deck.

Day 4: Tromsø, Norway

We arrive in the Norwegian city of Tromsø, located 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, and beautifully framed by fjords and mountains peaks. The city has been the starting point for many polar expeditions and was referred to as “the Gateway to the Arctic” in the 1800s. During the afternoon we board the ship and settle into our comfortable cabins. After our first tasty dinner on board, we visit the Arctic Cathedral and take the cable car up to Fjellheisen, where we enjoy the magnificent view of Tromsø sparkling in the night. Back on board, it is time to head out in the fjord system – the expedition cruise has started!

Please note:

The exact route will depend on weather and possible wildlife encounters. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will do everything to maximise our experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

* = Indicative
Map for Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway
Quest, the ship servicing Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway

Quest

Length: 66 metres

Passenger Capacity: 53

Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2005 / 2018

M/S Quest was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland`s west-coast. In 2004/2005 she was redesigned as an expedition ship and has now a career as a small and comfortable expedition vessel. She was extensively renovated in 2018. Quest takes 53 passengers in 26 cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. The triple cabins on deck 3 have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you also find a desk with chair and ample storage space for clothes and equipment. The superior cabins on deck 3 and 4 are spacious and have a separate sitting area and TV/DVD. The Owner`s cabin, next to the Captain`s cabin, on deck 4 has a double bed, two large picture windows, a sitting area and TV/DVD.

In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the surrounding polar landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining lectures on the area`s flora, fauna, history and glaciology. In the lounge you also find a well-stocked bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas and search for seabirds, whales and polar bears. The ship has a European Captain and there is a friendly and informal atmosphere on board. Travelling with this small expedition ship offers an entirely different experience and perspective than you get on a larger and more conventional cruise ship.

It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

Polar Quest Cabin | SundquistPolar Quest Dining | Sundquist

Accessing the zodiacs on POlar Quest. Copyright J SundquistVessel Type:  Expedition

Cabin layout for Quest
• Have good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights (aurora borealis) dance in the sky

• Head out on exciting Zodiac cruises and go ashore to explore Tromsø’s dramatic islands up close

• Head out in the wilderness of Finnmarken
Enquire now about Northern Lights and whales Tour in Northern Norway

Travel on the Quest

You may be interested in...


Expedition Svalbard 2020
Join a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in one of the world's most remote wildernesses! In July the summer has arrived, the midnight sun reigns supreme and the purple saxifrage decorates the slopes. ......click here to read more.

Expedition Svalbard 2020
Join a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in one of the world's most remote wildernesses! In July the summer has arrived, the midnight sun reigns supreme and the purple saxifrage decorates the slopes. ......click here to read more.

Expedition Svalbard 2020
Join a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in one of the world's most remote wildernesses! In July the summer has arrived, the midnight sun reigns supreme and the purple saxifrage decorates the slopes. ......click here to read more.