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 DOLPHIN“
M/S «Maan Dolphin» (earlier M/S “Røværfjord”) was built in 2000 as passenger ship, to operate the route between Haugesund and the island community of Røvær. The boat carried then both people and other types of cargo necessary to daily life; it was even possible to take a car, on the aft lower deck. The ship operated route traffic until 2019, when it was sold to Maan Sjøfart AS.
Maan Sjøfart bought the ship to use it for whale safaris and thus substitute M/S “Maan Explorer”, which had been used together with M/S “Reine” since 2015. M/S “Maan Dolphin” is newer, has better facilities, and will in that way contribute to give our passengers a better experience out at sea, especially when the weather isn’t the best. Then it will be possible to spend the time needed to reach the whale grounds, and to come back from there, in a warm and dry lounge, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee.
In addition, Maan Dolphin has been equipped with hydrophones like our other boats, in order to listen to sperm whales.
For those who think that the name “Maan Dolphin” sounds familiar, it is true, since a catamaran with the same name was used in the period 2008-2014.
2 x CAT 3412E, 16 cylindres 878 BHP (646 kW)
M/S ”Maan Dolphin” is available for rental during the off season. Contact us for more information.