On this page you will get a brief introduction of what awaits those who want to go on a whale safari as well as some useful information about the whale safari trip itself.
WHERE ARE WE?
We are very easy to find since we are close to a well known landmark, namely Andenes Lighthouse. No matter which way you come from, you only need to follow the way taking you to the lighthouse and you will find our whale center 50 metres away in a grey building. Our friendly receptionists will greet you, check you in, inform about the latest offers and explain what will happen after having checked in. Basically our whale safari trip ticket consists of a guided tour in our museum and boat trip out at sea to see the whales.
“You find us close to Andenes lighthouse in a grey building”Hvalsafari AS
In the reception area there is also an exclusive souvenir shop which has a large and good selection of postcards, stuffed animals, clothes, books, jewelry and more. A café and restaurant area is also available in case you would like some refreshments or would like to buy a meal before or after the trip.
Do you need a place to stand with camper or caravan, we recommend Andenes Camping where you have a wonderful view of the sea and can enjoy the midnight sun traveling across the sky.
“It is important for us that learning is a natural part of the whale safari experience”Hvalsafari AS
GUIDED MUSEUM TOUR BEFORE DEPARTURE
Our guides must undergo a rigorous training and evaluation before they can start working for us as a guide. Many of them are whale researchers or are studying marine biology. In addition they master several languages, making them more suitable to share their knowledge and interest in whales with you.
The tour in the museum aims to teach new and updated knowledge of marine mammal biology and ecology. It includes information on whale research, the different whale species, food chain in the ocean and more. You will also know exactly why the area outside Andenes is so perfect for whale watching. We also have one of the very few sperm whale skeletons in the world that you can observe and really get an understanding of the size of whales.
The tour of the museum ends approximately half an hour before the boat departure.
Note! Sometimes it is necessary to postpone the museum guided tour until after the whale watching trip. In this case the boat departure takes place as quickly as possible after the check in. The reason may be that it is reported strong wind later and we wish therefore to run the safari earlier to offer you a better voyage.
Read more about the guiding
TO THE BOATS
The pier where the boats are is only a couple of minutes away from the whale centre if you drive or about ten minutes if you decide to walk. Our guides usually start to board the boat approximately 15 minutes before departure. It is recommended to bring warm clothes since it usually are a little bit more windy and colder out at sea. After boarding, there will be some practical information about the boat, the whale watching trip and especially about safety. This kind of information will be given in a few languages, depending on which nationalities we have on board. Please note that children under 12 will be handed out life jackets which they must wear during the entire trip.
Our boats have the required facilities for you to have a pleasant trip. We have an indoor lounge if you think it’s too cold to stay outside and of course necessary toilet facilities. Otherwise we offer free coffee, tea and biscuits during the trip.
Read more about the boats
“The safety of our passengers will always have the highest priority”Captain, M/S Reine
“Keep sharp lookout on the trip out to the whale grounds, the whales can appear when one least expects it”Captain, M/S Reine
ON THE WAY TO THE WHALES
Sailing time to the whale grounds will vary with the boat traveling with. With M / S “Reine”, it normally takes around one hour and with M / S “Maan Explorer” approximately 40 minutes. But it is not unusual that it may take longer or shorter time. Whales can move far in a short time and there are large areas to search. We therefore ask for your understanding that trips sometimes last longer than normal. Our guides informs you underway about what goes on while the crew are looking for whales with binoculars, eyes and using special underwater microphones called hydrophones.
On the trip to the whale grounds you can enjoy the arctic scenery and views with the beautiful islands of Andøya, Senja and Bleiksøya in the backgound. The island of Bleiksøya is a bird island where there is a large puffin colony. You will be able to see many of these seabirds on your trip out to the whales. The most common bird species that you can observe are fulmars, different types of gulls, shags and more.
THE WHALES APPEAR
The type of whale that we see most both summer and winter is the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus). This species is a dive master specialized on the deep sea. In the area outside Andenes the average dive time is around 30 minutes, after which the whale comes again to the surface breathe and get ready for another dive. We approach the whale cautiously when it is on the surface and get ready to watch the whale diving and disappearing into the depths again. Quite often there are several whales in the area and we can hence watch another whale instead of waiting for the same one to come up again.
If you are lucky, you can also observe other species such as killer whales, fin whales, pilot whales, white-sided dolphins and humpback whales. We can not guarantee what species we are going to observe from time to time, but we are confident that we will manage to find some kind of whale during the trip. Should it be that we for some reason don’t find any whales, you will get new possibilities due to our whale guarantee that you can read about here on our webpage.
Read more about the whales
“Read more about our unique whale guarantee…”Hvalsafari AS
“There is no love more sincere than the love of food”George Bernard Shaw
FOOD AND DRINKS AFTER THE TRIP
We would argue that it fits perfectly to end whale watching with a delicious dinner at our whale center. There you will find Riggen restaurant which have dinner buffet every day with traditional local food. Alternatively, choose something from our à la carte menu. You can enjoy both lunch and dinner with us either in relation to whale watching, as a camping tourist or just as an hungry visitor. Our restaurant can also create and facilitate anything as long as we get the order well in advance. Certainly also for larger groups. During daytime the restaurant functions as a cafe where you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee and maybe a slice of cake?
We also have a dance bar that is open every Friday and Saturday between the hours 21:00 – 02.30. Here you can sit and relax while enjoying the beautiful view towards the sea and the midnight sun.
Read more about our restaurant