The giants below the surface: whales

For centuries, the whale has been the object of fascination for seafarers and adventurers all over the world. 

What types of whale are found in Norway?

The most common species of whale along the Norwegian coast are humpback, minke, fin, and orcas. They are most frequently found in the north of the country.

Humpbacks can be quite the exhibitionists and are most likely to put on a show. If you are really lucky and at the right place at the right time, you might see a group of humpbacks surfacing at the same time. It’s impossible not to be thrilled by that sight.

A group of humpback whales in the sea in Norway

Getting to know the kings of the ocean

Of the big animals, this is the one travellers to the Norwegian coast most want to see. But what is it that makes whales so special?


What are the different types of whales?

Toothed whales feed on larger prey such as fish and squid, while baleen whales are filter feeders, catching small prey using a special sieve in their mouth called a baleen.

A small boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

How old can whales live to be?

Whales can live to be some 250 years old. But they spend just a fraction of that time at the surface of the ocean – the only place where they can actually breathe.

Whales in Greenland

Where is the best place to see whales?

Most whales are migratory. They head to tropical waters during the Arctic and Antarctic winter, where they give birth before returning to colder waters in the spring with their calf.

An experience like no other

On a Hurtigruten voyage along the Norwegian coast, you may spot whales while on deck in the fjords, on a whale-watching boat trip or even during a kayak excursion – as close to the water you can possibly get without actually jumping in.

Killer whales (orcas) in the waters around the Lofoten Islands in Norway