Our boats are specially equipped as whale watching vessels in order to give you the best possible experience at sea. Safety on board is a priority and every year the vessels are inspected by Norwegian authorities before necessary certificates are issued. In addition to the authorities’ requirements, we also have own standards to improve safety. This applies not only to the boats, but the crew and our maritime operations as well.
“Safety will always have the highest priority”Captain M/S ``Reine``
The construction of M/S Reine began before the second world war. Because of the war, the constraction of the boat was first completed in 1949. Originally Reine was going to be used as seal hunting vessel, but because of the delay, the orginal plan never began. Reine was instead sold to Vesteraalens Steamship Company and used as a passenger boat in Lofoten and Vesterålen.
Over the years Reine underwent several refits and then used as a guard and fishing vessel. When Maan Sjøfart A/S purchased it in 1991, the boat was not in a good shape any more. A significant work effort and funding were necessary to refit and renew the vessel, and in 1992 it started its adventure with Whalesafari A/S. Since then it has been the main whale watching vessel. Reine has been upgraded and adapted continuously in terms of safety and comfort for our passengers.
In 2001 we installed two hydrophones being today the most important pieces of equipment to find whales. Hydrophones are simply underwater microphones that enable us to hear underwater sounds. When we reach the whale ground, we turn the hydrophones on and start listening for echo location clicks produced by sperm whales when they communicate, navigate and search for prey. By hearing these clicks, we manage to follow the whales from the surface until they come up again to the surface to breath. This is an advantage for us and the whales. When following the whales, the engine is always at very low power so we do not disturb the whales (advantage for the whales). By using the hydrophones we always know if we have a whale underwater, and when the whale surfaces we are normally 100-200 metres away, so it is very easy to approach the whale (advantage for us). So our technique is to wait on the surface for the whale to show up again. In case the whale clicks are clear, we always play them on the loudspeakers so everybody can hear them.
Cummins, 6 cylindres, 640 BHP (471 kW)
M/S ”Reine” is available for rental during the off season. Contact us for more information.
M/S “MAAN EXPLORER“
M / S “Maan Explorer” (at the time M/S “Varangervekteren”) was originally built as police / patrol boat and operated mainly in eastern Finnmark with Kirkenes as a base. The vessel was built in 1984 and was in police operations until 2008 when the vessel was sold to Maan Sjøfart AS who planned to use it for whale safari. However Maan Sjøfart AS resold the vessel before it was converted to whale safari when the company got another boat named M / S “Maan Dolphin” in operation instead.
After Maan Sjøfart AS sold the boat it was converted to carry passengers and was named M / S “Arctic Whale 1”. In 2014, the company that owned the boat closed down its operations and Maan Sjøfart AS used the opportunity to buy the boat for the second time. After some needed upgrading the vessel was put into operation for Hvalsafari AS (Whalesafari Andenes) 18. July 2015. M/S “Maan Explorer” will continue to be further upgraded and adapted for whale safari with installation of new hydrophones and other things that will improve the vessels performance.
2 x GM 16V-92TA, 16 cylinders, 968 BHP (711 kW)
M/S ”Maan Explorer is available for rental during the off season. Contact us for more information.