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The beauty of the Aurora Borealis.

North Norway - Whale Safari, Aurora Borealis

Harstad - Harstad - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Noorderlicht
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Board the Noorderlicht in Harstad, Norway for an incredible 8-day cruise in search of whales and the northern lights. Reknowned for its beauty, Norway's northern coastlines are rugged and dynamic. Cruise into the western fjords of Troms, around the island of Senja, and back to Harstad. The voyage offers ample opportunities to admire whales feeding on schools of herring and the Aurora borealis from the remote bays where the ship overnights. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Harstad
Day 2 : Senja
Days 3-5 : Fjords of Northern Norway
Day 6 : Gisundet
Day 7 : Finnsnes
Day 8 : Disembark in Harstad


  • Watch as whales, gulls, and eagles take part in a herring feeding frenzy
  • Marvel at the beautiful colors of the northern lights
  • Enjoy shore-based walking along the beautiful beaches of Sommarøy
  • Snowshoe in the snow-covered forests above Finnsnes



Places Visited


Trip Type

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

The beauty of the Aurora Borealis. A humpback Zodiac divers getting ready Hiking in the arctic. A humpback whale passes by the expedition ship

Day 1 Embark in Harstad

Arrive at the airport of Evenes and take a scheduled bus to the port of Harstad (Vesterålen). Take time to wander around Harstad and then embark on the Noorderlicht. 

Day 2 Senja

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail north towards Senja. Depending on the weather conditions west of Senja and information about whales, the ship either goes clockwise or counter clockwise around the islands. Most of the short day is spent sailing. Just before sunset arrive at Gryllefjord, where you might see the first humpback and killer whales. Spend the night at Gryllefjord, a small village in a beautiful fjord. In the twilight, there is an option to take a short walk deeper into the fjord. 

Day 3-5 Fjords of Northern Norway

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Spend the next days searching for whales along the west coast of Senja and in the fjords to the north like Vengsøyfjorden, Ersfjorden, and Kattfjorden. Observe the feeding behaviors of killer and humpback whales who often work together to get to the schools of herring which are plentiful this time of year. Gulls and white-tailed eagles are also attracted to the herring, resulting in a feeding frenzy. In the evenings, spend the nights in scenic vilages on Sommarøy and enjoy shore-based walks on the island's lovely beaches. 

Day 6 Gisundet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning there is time to look for whales, but around lunchtime the ship sails south. Sailing along the eastern side of Senja through Gisundet, admire the narrow sound between Senja and mainland Norway, thought to be one of the most beautiful waterways in the region. Spend the night in Finnsnes, a quaint town on mainland Norway. 

Day 7 Finnsnes

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, walk through the snow-covered forest above Finnsnes before continuing on to Harstad. The Noorderlicht carries snowshoes for all so walking is relatively easy. Sail back to Harstad, arriving in the evening, and prepare for disembarkation the following morning. 

Day 8 Disembark in Harstad

  • 1 Breakfast
From Harstad passengers can again take the scheduled bus to Evenes where scheduled flights go to Oslo and beyond. 


Per person starting at
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Twin Non Private
The ‘Noorderlicht’ provides accommodation for 20 travellers in comfortable twin cabins. All cabins have upper and lower berths, a cupboard and wash basin with hot and cold water. Shared shower (4) and toilet (5) facilities are conveniently located.


- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Noorderlicht - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.

- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of snowshoes on Noorderlicht
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- AECO fees and governmental taxes
- Comprehensive pre-departure material

Not Included:
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangements
- Transfers to / from the vessel
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory)
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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