Whales and Northern Lights Photography Trip – Tromsø (Norway) – January 2021

Tromsø | 23-30 January 2021

From EUR 3,950

Please fill in the form to register. Latitude Blanche, the ship operator, will then contact you to finalise the booking.

23-30 January 2021

Max. 12 participants
2 instructors

Full-board on the ship

Whales & Wildlife
Northern Lights
Winter Wonderland

Whales and Northern Lights Photography Trip

Photography trip on the Polarfront

Join us in January 2021 on board the high-end French expedition vessel Polarfront for a week-long trip searching for whales and northern lights while exploring the waters of Northern Norway.

After the long polar night, the sun is back in Tromsø, casting a beautiful light on the snowy mountains.

Whales are feeding in the fjords, and on clear nights the northern lights often make an appearance in the polar sky.

Whales

In the winter months, whales and orcas gather in the cold waters of the fjords of northern Norway to feed on the abundance of herring that are found there.

Finding whales will be the main goal of our journey.  We will do our best to avoid the areas visited by the usual day tours from Tromsø. This has a double advantage: less disturbance to the whales, and less ships on our pictures.

When we find the whales and conditions allowing, we will set the zodiacs in the water and attempt to approach them.

Of course, we always act responsibly. The Polarfront crew is well trained to approach the whales with the least disturbance.

The most likely species that we will meet are killer whales (orcas) and humpbacks.

Northern Lights

The second half of January provides a perfect balance between longer daylight after the polar night and long enough dark nights to observe the
northern lights (aka aurora borealis).

While focusing on the whales, we will plan our itinerary at night to areas where clear sky is forecast by the Norwegian weather services.

The places that we visit on this whales and northern lights photography tour are located at an ideal geomagnetic latitude, where northern lights can usually be seen on almost any clear night.

Other wildlife

Whales are not the only animals that we will attempt to see during our trip. Many birds spend most of the winter in Northern Norway so we will also be looking for those during the trip.

Among others, we can encounter Common Eiders and we will be keeping an eye open for the very colourful King Eider. Black Guillemots are also
common at this time of year in Norway as well as several gulls. Sea Eagles are also a usual sight along the coasts, and we will be looking for this majestic bird throughout our trip.

Mammals can also be found and sometimes reindeer can be seen grazing on the shore.

Who is this trip for

This whales and northern lights photography trip in Tromsø, Norway, is adequate for photographers of all levels, from beginners to the most experienced.

This trip is focused on field experiences and only limited time will be spent in a “classroom”. However, we will be giving several presentations and editing sessions in the ship’s lounge.

This trip is focused on photography. We are two very experienced nature and wildlife photographers on board. We will answer all your questions, help you with your gear and anything that you might need.

Moreover, whenever possible, we will plan landings and wildlife viewings at the right time with the best light and under the best angle for photography.

All-Inclusive whales and northern lights photography trip

This photography trip is all-inclusive. This means that there are no hidden costs for you as participants. We want you to know fully what you are getting before your trip, and in this way, there can’t be any disappointments. So we take care of everything for you from the moment you board the Polarfront ship in Tromsø, until the moment you disembark.

Only alcoholic beverages, your flights, and transfer from the airport to the ship (and back) are not included in your fee.

The Polarfront ship on an earlier whales and northern lights trip in Norway
The Polarfront in Norway
One of the Polarfront's cabins
One of the Polarfront's Suites
One of the Polarfront's cabins
One of the Polarfront's Suites

During the trip, you have unlimited access to all of the ship’s wellness areas, such as a hot-tub, a sauna and a gym.

Itinerary

Day 1
You board the ship in the afternoon in the harbour of Tromsø. While the crew gives you the safety instructions, we exit the harbour towards the fjords. We will get to know each other and our crew with drinks in the comfortable ship’s lounge before your first dinner on board. While you are having dinner, we keep an eye on the sky and hope to see the northern lights.

Day 2 to Day 7
We are sailing from fjord to fjord searching mainly for killer whales and humpback whales. There is no predefined itinerary as we don’t know in advance where the whales will be. Our playground will range from approximately Senja in the west to Alta in the east. 

We will also do some landings, weather permitting. Short hikes will allow us to visit some landmarks and improve our landscape photography skills.

And of course, we will also plan our itinerary towards clear sky in the evenings, to increase our chances to see the northern lights.

Day 8
After breakfast on board, you disembark the ship with beautiful memories and full memory cards!

Check out my blog post about my trip on Polarfront in the Tromsø area (and Lofoten) in December 2019. We had amazing encounters with both whales and northern lights!

Your whales and northern lights photography instructors

Whales and northern lights photography specialist Rayann Elzein

Rayann Elzein

Workshop leader
I am a French landscape and nature photographer. After a couple of trips on the Polarfront as a resident artist, I had the idea to organise a photo oriented trip on the ship, so here we are! I have been travelling to the polar regions for nearly 10 years, and extensively to the areas where this trip takes place, which are almost my backyard. I am fascinated by the northern lights, and you will always see me in alert on the ship's deck waiting for them to illuminate our sky.
Laura Dyer wildlife photographer

Laura Dyer

Workshop leader
Laura is a South-African wildlife photographer based in London with a love for earths open and uninhabited places, from the plains and waterways of Africa to the ice of the Arctic.She travels to photograph as much of our natural world as she can. She enjoys taking these pictures and shares her enthusiasm with all the participants.

What's included and what do you need to bring

What is included

  • One-on-one and group photography instructions from the Rayann and Laura
  • Editing time with Laura and Rayann (Adobe Lightroom)
  • All meals on board of the ship, prepared by a talented chef.

What is not included

  • Flights to and from Tromsø.
  • Any alcoholic beverages.

What you need to bring

  • Photo camera, lenses, tripod (make sure to bring extra camera batteries)
  • Warm clothes (layers!)
  • A laptop for the editing sessions

A detailed list of clothes and equipment will be sent to all participants after registration.

Northern lights after a succesful whales watching day
Aurora reflecting in the fjord just before entering Tromsø harbour

The Polarfront ship

The Polarfront is an old weather ship that was converted into a luxurious passenger vessel. She sails now under French flag. With only up to 12 passengers, we offer you an adventure at human scale, more comfortable and respectful of the environment.

There are 8 luxurious cabins on the Polarfront, each equipped with the following:

  • Hair-dryer
  • Nuxe cosmetics
  • Towels and bathrobes
  • Welcome booklet
  • Safe
Polarfront cabins plan
Polarfront's cabins plan
Polarfront's hot-tub
The hot-tub
Polarfront's library
The library
Polarfront's lounge
The lounge

Payment of your whales and northern lights photography trip

This whales and northern lights photography trip is organised in partnership with Latitude Blanche. They will handle all the payments and administrative subjects. Please fill in the form below and they will contact you with the details.

We are offering 4 types of cabins:
  • Suite Polarfront EUR 3,950
  • Suite Deluxe EUR 4,120
  • Grande Suite EUR 4,360
  • Suite Armateur EUR 4,610 – Sold out!
These prices are given per person on the basis of double occupation per cabin. Single occupation is possible with a supplement.

By clicking on “Book your Trip” you agree that I will share your data with Latitude Blanche, who will process it for your booking, in conformity with European GDPR rules on privacy.

Leave no trace

We operate this whales and northern lights photography trip in strict respect of nature and the environment. Perhaps more than anywhere in the world, the nature in the Arctic is very fragile. We ask to all participants to keep this in mind at all time. The only traces that we want to leave are our footsteps in the snow.

A Final note

You are required to have your own travel insurance, which must include repatriation, illness, etc.

Tromsø | 23-30 January 2021

From EUR 3,950

Please fill in the form to register. Latitude Blanche, the ship operator, will then contact you to finalise the booking.

Or contact me here if you have any questions.

Gallery

A mix of pictures by Laura and me taken during our respective trips to the same area.

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