Whales, Reindeer & Aurora In Tromsø

Travel Diary

I’ve enjoyed sharing some photos from my trip to Norway in 2014, but decided to combine the last few days in one post. Norway was so beautiful, I took literally hundreds of photos and picking ones to share for these posts has been hard as there are so many moments I loved.

After seeing the Northern Lights I was on cloud nine and didn’t think anything could come close to that experience, but still I was excited at the prospect of seeing whales -one of my favourite animals- in the wild. We set off on a freezing morning to a fjord outside of Tromsø and I hoped to catch a glimpse of a whale in the distance, blowing it’s spout or maybe it’s fluke disappearing into the water.

We put on our protective clothing -which weighted a collective stone- and boarded the RIB to go out on the fjord. To my amazement within a few minutes a spout was seen very close to the boat. The skipper told us to watch the water carefully where fish were jumping frantically out of the water, we all jumped a mile when a gigantic whale mouth came flying out the water.

The whales were bubble net feeding in a pod of 4, something they only do in a few parts of the world. Humpback whales only come together to hunt and mate so to not only see them in the wild but to see them in groups was unbelievable!


Humpback whales are my favourite species, but I also love Orcas and after watching Blackfish that year and reading up about the horrible cruelty they face in captivity, I knew seeing them happy and in the wild would be an amazing experience. We were joined by a pod of adults and infants, who playfully swam up to and around the boat.


The Orca whales moved so quickly, we were totally transfixed on them. As we watched, a humpback whale swam under the small RIB boat and emerged from the other side. It was absolutely huge and couldn’t really have been any closer to the boat, to see one so close was just amazing. They spouted close to the boat and I learned that whales have really bad, fishy breath.


Seeing the whales was on a level with the Northern lights. I couldn’t believe I had managed to see two of my ‘bucket list’ things whilst on this trip and having whale watched since in other countries, I’ve realised just how special our experience was. By being in a RIB we could just float in the fjord and let the whales come to us, getting a far closer look, but also the time of year we went and the location meant we got to see them doing pretty unique things it’s difficult to see elsewhere. The polar night sunset we saw whilst whale watching was incredible in its own right and seeing the whales against the coast which was so close as we were in a fjord, helped show how huge and majestic they really were.

On our last day in Tromsø we drove for three hours inland, where the temperature dropped significantly. The coldest temperature recorded there was -50°C although thankfully it was nothing like that when we went! We drove to meet a Sami reindeer herder on his winter land and got to see his reindeer and feed them.


Hearing how the Sami live today, still very traditionally, was incredible. I can’t imagine living that way in such a harsh landscape but it was fascinating to hear about and to meet them.


When we got back to Tromsø, we felt sad at having to leave the next day and so decided we would spend our last night Aurora hunting again. The weather wasn’t so favourable so we drove to the coast in the hope of the clouds clearing. On a cliff on Sommarøy island we waited patiently watching a green tinge in the hope it would turn into a full on display again … We weren’t disappointed.



Norway was full of incredible experiences and memories. It made me fall in love with Arctic countries and want to visit them all. It wasn’t relaxing and we had a few scary moments in terms of the icy roads, cold weather and harsh landscape but we learned so much from our trip that I don’t think traveling has ever been the same since. All the photos from places I’ve been are up on my Exposure page –www.amy.photos– If you want to see more.

  • missgetaway

    Oh WOW what an amazing post! It’s insane what you’ve all encountered. The deers look so cute and that whale, wow amazing!

    Love, Kerstin

    • Amy

      Thanks Kerstin! It was one of my favourite trips for sure 🙂 x

  • https://beccairelandsilva.blogspot.co.uk Rebecca Ireland-Silva

    WOW! That’s really amazing – I work for a travel agency and we always tell people it’s so hard to see whales AND the northern lights (in iceland) on the same trip, because their seasons don’t exactly coincide. This looks like such a great experience!

    • Amy

      Ah this was in Norway 🙂 I’ve been lucky enough to see whales and the Northern lights in Iceland but you’re spot on, never at the same time 🙂

  • http://www.thestylerawr.com/ TheStyleRawr

    Eeeep! This makes me SO excited. I will definitely pick your brains after the wedding, if that’s okay? Your photos are ridiculous! We saw whales in Oz and they came right up to our catamaran = magic.

    T xx

    • Amy

      Of course :). Ahhh that sounds so amazing! x

  • https://www.diagonsally.com Sally

    I still can’t believe you got to see the Northern Lights. I definitely need to return to Norway! Also those whales and reindeer, what a beautiful places. It looks like you had the most incredible time and have give me a feeling of wanderlust! x

    Sally – DiagonSally

    • Amy

      We’re planning to return for a few days next year whilst in that part of Europe :). Ah I’m glad, your travel posts had the same effect 🙂 x

  • http://www.throughneweyesx.com Tamsin Swann

    This all looks absolutely amazing!!! Would love to experience something like this at some point in my life. All the reindeers look beautiful! x

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

    • Amy

      Thanks Tamsin 🙂

  • http://www.simplydavelyn.com Mikéla Davelyn

    How exciting!! Whale watching is so fun! I went to Mexico years ago to pet gray whales in the wild. Would love to get this close to Orcas and a Humpback!

    Great pictures!

    xo, mikéla / simplydavelyn.com

    • Amy

      I would love to visit Mexico! Thanks Mikela 🙂

  • http://www.xtinagsays.blogspot.co.uk Christina Marie

    Could this trip be any more perfect? I would absolutely love to visit one day. Whale watching sounds amazing (and like you say, it’s so much better seeing them in their natural habitat.. I couldn’t bring myself to finish Blackfish). The Northern Lights must have been so brill too x

    Xtina G Says..

    • Amy

      It was such an amazing place! Blackfish was grim :(. It really was xx

  • http://icecreamandclara.blogspot.co.uk/ elizabeth

    Wow, Amy, your photos are gorgeous! I cannot fathom how amazing it must be to be that close to the whales, aswell as the Northern Lights, it must be lovely to see them in their natural habitat. I would love love to visit Norway! 😀 xx

    elizabeth ♡ “Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    follow for follow on bloglovin’? 😀

    • Amy

      Thanks Elizabeth! It really was. I hope you get to go! x

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    Oh my goodness, these are some of the most beautiful photos I’ve ever seen! <3 I would love to visit one day… I can't believe how close you were to the whales, that must have been such an exciting experience! <3 Thank you for sharing. 🙂


    • Amy

      Ah thanks Kay! I hope you get to visit 🙂

  • ✨Rachieface✨

    Whale watching sounds amazing and as usual your photos look awesome! You’ve made me really want to visit Norway and also Iceland 🙂

    Hey Rachieface xx

    • Amy

      I hope you get to go! Japan is so high on my list now thanks to you haha 🙂

  • Sarah Laird

    Orcas and Northern Lights – I’m so jealous, this sounds like an amazing trip! Gorgeous photos too 🙂 x

    Viva Epernay

    • Amy

      It really was 🙂 Thanks Sarah! x