FAQ

 

  1. Is this only for freedivers ?
  2. Do I need to be certified as a freediver?
  3. I’m a strong swimmer, can I join?
  4. Do I have to get in the water?
  5. What age do I need to be?
  6. Are orca / humpback whale sightings 100% guaranteed?
  7. Northern Norway…Won’t I freeze to death?
  8. I’ve heard the survival time in North Sea is around 5 minutes…isn’t snorkelling/freediving a bit ridiculous?
  9. What kind of freediving/snorkelling equipment will I need?
  10. Can I bring a camera underwater?
  11. How close will we be getting to the animals / Is it Safe?
  12. Can I touch the animals?
  13. I’ve never used a Stand Up Paddle board. Is it difficult?
  14. How do I get there?
  15. Ok, I want in! How do I book?
  16. Do you cater for vegetarians / vegans diets?
  17. I heard there is no light during winter. How will we see anything?
  18. Do I need a visa to enter Norway?
  19. Is this an all-inclusive expedition?
  20. Can I request a different schedule/dates than the ones listed?

Is this only for freedivers ?

The water activities are primarily aimed at individuals who are confident in the water as freedivers or experienced snorkelers, including comfort with full dive equipment suitable for colder water. The reason for this is that we want to offer guests the best possible experience and therefore cannot directly supervise anyone during the dives who is not comfortable / requires constant assistance. If you would simply like to just be watching the animals and scenery in the comfort of our luxury catamaran, you are of course more than welcome!

Do I need to be certified as a freediver?

To have the best experience we advise anyone planning to join to try and join at least a beginner freediving course with a recognised agency (for example SSI, AIDA, FII) before arriving. This usually takes two to three days and there are schools throughout the world – have a look at the SSI Level 1 course as offered by Freedive International who has centres in Dahab, Tenerife, Thailand etc. Here you will learn the basics to get started (you’ll dive comfortably to at least 10 meters / max 20 meters by the end of the course) and can then do additional training with friends / a center to build up even more confidence.

I’m a strong swimmer, can I join?

Please refer to the question above. Being a strong swimmer does not necessarily mean clients will be comfortable with snorkelling while using the required equipment for colder water. Therefore we urge clients to be have enough experience to join us in the water (either while snorkelling or freediving).

Should any client prove unable to take part in the in-water activities without direct supervision / assistance they will not be allowed to enter the water.

Do I have to get in the water?

Not at all. Some of our guests are perfectly happy watching the animals and scenery from the comfort of our luxury catamaran. In some cases a spouse might not want to dive or perhaps parents would like to bring their kids along.

What age do I need to be?

Anyone can join the trips although the minimum age for all in water activities on our trips follows international diving standards and is set at 16 years of age (with parental consent). For this reason we will unfortunately not be able allow anyone under the age of 16 to enter the water to snorkel/dive although they would be allowed to use the two Stand Up Paddle Boards we have on-board under direct supervision (if the conditions allow).

Are orca / humpback whale sightings 100% guaranteed?

Almost… Orca and humpback whale activity is directly linked to the arrival of herring to the north of Norway during winter. Seeing the whales is pretty much guaranteed during season (end of November until end of January), unless the herring does not arrive which is always a possibility (similar to the Sardine run in SA), although this hasn’t happened in at least the last 6 years.

Northern Norway…Won’t I freeze to death? 

One of the most common questions we get asked!

Although it goes without saying that proper winter clothing is essential, you might be surprised how little concern you will have with the outside temperature during your expedition.

Our luxury catamaran is fully heated and you can move around the whole interior without even realising you are right next to the Arctic Circle. Fully equipped with hot showers (inside and outside), it’s as comfortable as can be.

I’ve heard the survival time in North Sea is around 5 minutes…isn’t snorkelling/freediving a bit ridiculous?

With the proper freediving/snorkelling equipment (see below) you will be nearly oblivious to the water temperature when freediving / snorkelling in northern Norway. Arctic Freediving partner, freediving expert and guide Jacques de Vos has been in the water for hours on end during trips and will be happy to assist clients in choosing the right equipment for their trip.

What kind of freediving/snorkelling equipment will I need?

Clients who wish to take part in any in water activities will be required to bring their own diving or snorkelling equipment as we do not have rental equipment available. The diving or snorkelling equipment should be of sufficient quality and specifications for use in arctic weather and ocean diving. This includes:

  • Proper fitting full body Exposure suit with a hood. The following types are recommended as a minimum:
    • Open Cell Freediving suit of at least 7mm thickness
    • Drysuit suitable for arctic snorkelling
    • Wetsuit or Semidry wetsuit of at least 8mm thickness
  • Thick, full coverage diving gloves with a minimum thickness of 6mm
  • Diving socks (minimum 3mm) OR dive booties if using open heeled fins
  • Fins suitable for snorkelling / freediving
  • A rubber or elastic weight belt (weights will be provided if needed)
  • Diving Mask
  • Snorkel with a highly visible marked tip (waterproof quality, reflective tape is advised)
  • It is strongly recommended to have a windbreaker or jacket to wear over the wetsuit in between dives.

Can I bring a camera underwater?

Of course! As long as the camera is of a reasonable size (does not require assistance to move / use) and does not pose a hazard to other clients. When interacting with whales and/or dolphins, the use of excessive external lighting (strobes, flashes etc) is prohibited where it would cause stress or harm to the animals.

How close will we be getting to the animals / Is it Safe? 

How close they get is entirely up to the animals although it’s not unusual for humpback whales to swim right alongside our catamaran or for orca to pass within less than a 5 meters of our guests.

Boreal Yachting crew members all undergo training in order to practice safe whale watching by placing the comfort and safety of the animals first. All diving activities are performed in a manner which does not interfere with the normal activities of the animals and strict guidelines will be followed to ensure this while still offering guests an experience of a lifetime.

Can I touch the animals?

Absolutely not (please refer to the question above).

I’ve never used a Stand Up Paddle board. Is it difficult?

We have two SUP boards onbaord and clients are more than welcome to use them when conditions / activities permit. Most people learn to use the boards in a matter of minutes and using them in a seated position is also possible. It is a great way to explore the fjords or to see the animals up close from a different perspective.

How do I get there?

Your arrival airport will be Tromsø (airport code: TOS). Most major airlines have connecting flights here so it is very easy to reach.

Ok, I want in! How do I book?

Use the contact section of our website to start your booking. We will be happy to answer any questions you might have and can supply additional information where needed. Clients will be asked to read, sign and return a client agreement covering all the relevant terms and conditions as well as send an initial deposit.

A booking only comes into effect once the signed agreement AND initial deposit has been received.

Do you cater for vegetarians / vegans diets?

All food is prepared on-board and we do our best to cater to everyones needs. Should you prefer a vegetarian / vegan menu please indicate this at the time of booking.
I heard there is no light during winter. How will we see anything?

Although the days in Norway are much shorter during winter, there is still enough light during the scheduled trips to enjoy the amazing scenery.

Do I need a visa to enter Norway?

We encourage clients to check with the Norwegian embassy / consulate in their country for more information regarding visas.

Is this an all-inclusive expedition?

Each expedition includes:

  • 2 Nights in a guesthouse
  • 5 Nights on board the yacht (2 berth cabin)
  • Experienced skipper with local knowledge
  • Experienced diving guide
  • High quality local food prepared on board
  • Beverages (not alcohol)
  • Transport to and from airport/hotel/yacht
  • Fuel, gas, and harbour fees
  • One night In Tromsø hotel (night before departure)
  • Farewell dinner

 This means that from the moment you arrive at Tromsø airport until the last morning of the expedition, pretty much everything is covered.

Can I request a different schedule/dates than the ones listed?

 The dates indicated on our website are all fixed and can unfortunately not be moved. For more information on available weeks, please refer to the price and availability section of our website.

 

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