Norway Dive Travel Guide - Bluewater Dive Travel


A pod of orcas swims in Norwegian waters.

swimming with orcas & Diving in norway

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Experience the one of the most unforgettable marine encounters in the world: swimming with orcas in their natural habitat in Norway. These incredible apex predators can be spotted on many whale watching tours from the Arctic to Antarctic, however, safely run tours in Norway allow visitors to enter the water with these majestic creatures. Witness the killer whales as they feed, play, and communicate with the other members of their pod underwater.

An estimated 1,500 orcas thrive in the seas off the Norwegian coastline, with hundreds of them congregating with the herring migration in Norway’s northern fjords from late October to January.

Interested in cold water diving? Check out our guide to diving the tectonic plates of Silfra in Iceland here.

For another incredible marine life interaction, book a tour to interact with Pacific gray whales in San Ignacio Lagoon, Mexico.


Intro to norway

A picturesque country on Europe’s Scandinavian peninsula, Norway is a nature lover’s paradise. Orca trips depart from Skjervöy, a five-hour bus ride from Tromsö, which is in the Arctic Circle. This region of Norway features spectacular scenery and unique experiences including the aurora borealis (northern lights).

Norway’s northern fjords host a variety of impressive wildlife including the sought-after killer whale and humpback whales. Orca Norway’s expeditions include nightly presentations by scientists from the USEA (Undersea Soft Encounter Alliance) Academy. Embrace the cold and experience the magic of entering the water with the magnificent orcas, with up to 50-60 orcas and humpback whales visible at one time. 

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norway orcas and DIVING INFORMATION

Snorkel among huge pods of killer whales and dive into Norway's frigid waters to explore the fascinating underwater topography and unique marine life. Norway may be one of the most underrated scuba diving destinations on the planet and is well worth a visit to experience its unique dive sites. Swimming with orcas is an adventure that belongs on everyone's bucket list.

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norway orcas

Experience the highlight of Norway: snorkeling with pods of orcas in the cold northern fjords. Visitors can also view the orcas from the boat and experienced cold-water divers can enjoy night dives in the bay after the sun sets in the early afternoon.

The North Atlantic Type 1 orcas are found in the waters around Iceland, Norway, Scotland, and the Faroe Islands. These orcas range in size from 16-26 feet (5-8 meters), weigh up to 12,000 pounds (5,500 kilograms), and their straight dorsal fin can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 meters). Males can live 30-50 years and females can live more than 80 years. Orcas have a complex social structure, living in matrilineal family pods consisting of several related females and their offspring. The pod structure provides social stability and facilities cooperative hunting and communication.

Norway Orca Expedition

Witness their unique behaviors as the orcas communicate and hunt together, either from the boat or in the water with mask and snorkel. Huge numbers of killer whales gather in Norway from October to January to feed on the enormous population of herring.

Interested in swimming with humpback whales in Moorea, French Polynesia? Read more here


Scuba Diving in norway

Scuba diving in Norway may be an afterthought when snorkeling with orcas is the main event, however, the waters around Norway are remarkably robust. Diving during an orca expedition will often take place in nighttime conditions, as daylight hours are few and normally spent looking for orcas. Marine life includes a variety of crustaceans such as decorator crabs, hermit crabs, and shrimps as well as cod and other cold-water fish.

Scuba Diving Norway

Diving in Norway is not confined to Tromsö, and elsewhere along the coastline divers are rewarded with incredible visibility, fascinating underwater topography, and an abundance of life. Dive Norway’s kelp forests, coral reefs, shipwrecks, caves, and even the world’s strongest tidal current. Norway’s many dive sites are suitable for a range of experience levels, from beginner to advanced technical divers, so there is something for everyone comfortable in a drysuit!

Scuba diving in Norway is done both from shore and boat, so it is possible for divers to rent equipment and dive with a buddy or join a guided dive tour. Some sites have extremely challenging currents and should always be dived with an experienced local guide.

Read about Christian Skauge’s “Nudibranch Safari in Norway” here.

BEST TIME TO visit norway

The best time to snorkel with orcas in Norway is between the end of October to the middle of January, when killer whales congregate near Tromsö. Dress appropriately, as the air temperature ranges from 20 - 50°F (-7 to +10°C) and the water is about 39 - 42°F (4 - 6°C). Scuba diving in Norway can be done year-round in a drysuit, with water temperatures ranging from 36 - 72°F (2 - 22°C).

August is a great time to visit Norway to experience the most robust wildlife populations topside and more temperate climates. Consider the weather conditions and daylight hours when planning a scuba diving trip to Norway. Some regions of Norway experience continuous daylight or no daylight at all at certain times of the year.


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Norway's unique geographical position makes it a unique destination at different times of year. Visitors can experience the northern lights and minimal daylight hours, or sunshine at midnight! Deciding what you want to see and do during your trip to Norway will dictate the best time of year to visit and where to go.

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HOW TO GET TO norway

To join an orca expedition in Norway, fly into Tromsö airport (TOS) and transfer by bus to Skjervöy (approximately 5 hours). Many European hub cities offer seasonal direct flights to Tromsö, such as Amsterdam, London, Paris, and Frankfurt. For scuba diving in Norway, fly into any of Norway’s airports and rent a car to explore the expansive coastline.


HOW TO swim with orcas in norway

Swimming with orcas is done on a 3- or 6-day liveaboard expedition. The longer the trip, the more opportunities you will have to observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat! Expect basic cabins and excellent food aboard a Norway liveaboard. Observation and immersion are done from a zodiac with prolonged exposure to the elements, so be prepared to be cold on these outings. No previous snorkel experience is required, making it a fantastic trip for non-divers.

Our Norway orca tours are run by the pioneers of swimming with orcas. Orca Norway has been running these expeditions for over 30 years. Select a 3- or 6-day itinerary aboard one of their three liveaboard vessels and embark on the adventure of a lifetime! Snorkeling equipment and drysuit rentals are included.

Learn what to expect by reading Tim Yeo’s 2022 Norway trip recap here.

HOW TO scuba dive in norway

Scuba diving Norway’s vast coastline provides scuba divers with a diverse playground. Each region, from the Arctic north to the more temperate south, offers some of Norway’s best dive sites. Local dive centers will rent tanks and equipment to certified divers who wish to explore some of the easy shore dive sites. Plenty of reputable Norway dive centers run boat trips with guided dives and offer a range of scuba diving courses.

Some of Norway’s dive sites are only suitable for advanced or technical divers and should be visited with a professional guide well-experienced in the conditions. Many wrecks and Norway’s coral reef are located in depths exceeding 100 feet (30 meters). Most scuba diving in Norway is done using a drysuit due to the Arctic water temperatures, so it is important to be trained properly in drysuit diving.



Norway is an adventurer’s paradise! In addition to orca tours and scuba diving, Norway offers a bounty of outdoor activities for nature lovers, including hiking, cycling, kayaking, and canyoning. Witness the spectacle of the northern lights dancing across the night sky, explore Norway’s famous fjords, and visit some of Norway’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Northern lights in Norway

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  • Currency: Norwegian Krone (NOK)
  • Language: Scandinavian, English, and French
  • Time Zone: UTC+2
  • Electricity: 230V

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Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 or email us

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