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Antigua Winter Schedule 2019-20 - Lofoten Isles for Orca & Aurora Borealis

orca in lofoten isles

Tall Ship Antigua spends all summer with charter guests and wildlife guides in the high Arctic where the sun never seems to set, but now she has extended her season into the depths of winter. Based from Tromso in Norway's North Cap region, she is offering short breaks on board this popular barquentine. The primary purpose is to offer excellent opportunities to see the Northern lights or Aurora Borealis. This light fantastic atmospheric display can only usually be seen in the far North, and as soon as the night comes back in the autumn there is a chance of seeing a night sky with dancing curtains of blue, green and yellow light.

Week Long Sailing Expeditions in the Winter Arctic

At 6 or 7 days this bit more hardcore than the short breaks, but if you want to spend time outdoors in the Arctic Circle with a chance of seeing the Northern Lights then being crew on a working tall ship helps keep you a bit warmer.  Sail Northwards from Bodo up the Lofoten coast to Tromso.

Navionics Chart tool - click to use zoom tool

Chase the Northern Lights in Lofoten Mountains & Fjords

Antigua is offering 2 and 4 night short breaks from Tromso. It is rare at this 69 degrees north latitude to have unfrozen seas, but the North Atlantic Drift current just about keeps these fjords open. This creates a hunting ground for whales like Orca. They love to hunt in pods, forcing the herring into vast bait balls. Larger whales also get in on the act.

Tromso sits deep in the Arctic Circle and North of the Lofoten Isles. At 69 degrees latitude North there are only a few hours of very atmospheric daylight or twilight from November to January so it is perfect for chasing the Northern Lights. There are no guarentees with phenomenon like this, but if your research around you will discover that tall ship Antigua has positioned herself in one of the best places to see them in Europe.

Sailors know the beauty of sailing at night with moon and stars, but to actively seek a sailing holiday with long hour of darkness in the frozen Arctic in the winter, takes a bit of explaining.  If you want an excellent chance to see the Northern Lights then it needs to be dark without light pollution from towns and cities. This means you either have to traipse into the wilderness for miles or set sail on a cosy sailing ship away from the bright city lights. Another bonus of signing on as charter crew on a sailing ship is that you can keep yourself busy on deck, which keeps you warm and maximises your chance of seeing incredible light displays.

Aurora Borealis

Best Chance of Seeing Killer Whale or Orca

The waters around Norway’s northern region of Tysfjord and further towards the Arctic Circle are some of the richest fishing spots in the world – and they draw large numbers of whales. Orcas in particular are here in winter, hunting the herring whales This area is one of the few places in the world where you are permitted to snorkel alongside wild orcas,

Apart from Trosmo, other good areas for Orca spotting are Valdes Peninsula in Patagonia, Alaska and Antarctica so you can see that this is a much easier place to get to. Tromso has an international airport and the Lofoten Isles are on your doorstep to explore by ship.

Whale watching on Antigua - this is not a killer whale - different dorsal fin
Whale watching on Antigua - this is not a killer whale - different dorsal fin

 

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