Orcas and Northern Lights photography holiday with Roger Brendhagen

4 – 8 November 2023

Location: Norway

Join Nikon ambassador Roger Brendhagen this November on an exciting journey to some of Norway’s beautiful fjords to photograph orcas and humpback whales as they chase massive shoals of herring during their annual spawning migration. During this trip, we will have the privilege of staying aboard the M/S Quest, a first-class ship that offers us the flexibility to track the whales day and night. If we are lucky with the weather, we may also have the opportunity to photograph the amazing northern lights dancing across the mountain ranges.

orcas in norway

Image credit: Roger Brendhagen


  • Photographing orcas and humpback whales.
  • Immersing yourself in and capturing breath-taking fjord landscapes.
  • The chance to photograph the mesmerizing northern lights.
  • Enjoying a stay at sea aboard the M/S Quest.
  • Embarking on exciting excursions and photographing from zodiac boats.
  • Photography tutorial and lecture by Roger Brendhagen.
northern lights in norway

Image credit: Roger Brendhagen

Orcas and Northern Lights Itinerary

Day 1 (4/11) –  M/S Quest sets off

Gather at 16:00 at the Norwegian Travel Basecamp located in the centre of Tromsø, and board the M/S Quest, our base for the duration of the trip. After making yourself at home on board, Roger will provide a lecture and offer valuable photography tips for the upcoming days. Following the lecture, a delightful three-course welcome dinner will be served, providing an opportunity to socialize with fellow participants.

After dinner, we will embark on a cable car ride to the summit of Storsteinen Mountain via the Fjellheisen, offering a breath-taking panoramic view of Tromsø and its fjords. If the weather is in our favour, there will be excellent opportunities to capture stunning photographs of the northern lights.

After returning to the ship, the M/S Quest will set sail, taking us towards the scenic Lyngen Mountains and the best whale watching spots. The captain will determine the precise route based on prevailing weather conditions and reports of whale and orca sightings. (D)

Days 2-4 (5-7/11) –  In search of Orcas

Over the next few days, we will venture into the stunningly beautiful fjord landscape at sea. We will navigate at a relaxed pace within the region spanning from Ringvassøya to Kvaløya, selecting our route based on the optimal opportunities for whale sightings and photography. The waters surrounding Kvaløya have become a haven for orcas and humpback whales in recent years, thanks to the abundant herring population. This has established it as one of the premier locations to capture stunning images of these magnificent creatures amidst the awe-inspiring surroundings.

Throughout the journey, Roger will be readily available to offer expert guidance and assist in refining your photography skills. In addition to capturing photographs from the M/S Quest, we will also embark on excursions using small zodiac boats, weather permitting. This will provide you with the unique opportunity to get even closer to the whales.

We will also visit Havnnes, a 19th-century trading post situated among some of the most beautiful scenery, and visit a historically significant photo gallery. One evening, we will have the opportunity to visit Aurora Spirits, the northernmost distillery, where we will gain insights into their intriguing whisky maturation process.

As the sun sets in the evenings, with a bit of luck, we will be able to experience and photograph the northern lights, one of the most spectacular natural phenomena that will create lasting memories. During our days at sea, Roger will deliver several lectures and we will also work on image processing. (B, L, D)

Day 5 (8/11) – Returning Home

After experiencing several incredible days at sea, filled with numerous unforgettable photo opportunities, we bid farewell to the M/S Quest in the morning to get a transfer to the airport for our individual journeys back home. (B)

orca spraying at sunset in norway

Image credit: Roger Brendhagen

Price: $2,960 / £2,363

What’s included?

  • Shared accommodation in a twin-bed cabin. Surcharge for single cabin, available upon request.
  • Meals as per the itinerary (indicated by B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Cable car trip on Fjellheisen.
  • Daily zodiac boat excursions (subject to weather conditions).
  • Visit to Havnnes.
  • Visit to the Aurora Spirit distillery.
  • Guidance, workshops, lectures, image processing and analysis from Roger Brendhagen.
  • Local taxes.
  • Travel documents and practical travel information will be provided prior to the trip.

Excluded: Return flight to Tromsø. Personal expenses, such as drinks with meals. Cancellation protection and travel insurance.

Transport to Tromsø should be organized by the participants themselves. It is recommended to arrive no later than 15:00 on November 4th and to avoid booking a return journey earlier than 13:00 on November 8th.

orca fin showing above the water as the whale dives down

Image credit: Roger Brendhagen

What should I bring?

  • Your camera.
  • Telephoto lenses up to 500mm or mid-length lenses around 70-200mm.
  • Monopod or tripod.
  • A laptop with image editing software
  • Extra batteries, chargers etc.

A more detailed equipment list will be provided in the information material you will receive prior to the trip.

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