As soon as I heard about the possibility to swim with Orcas (also referred to as Killer Whales), it immediately ended up on the bucket list!
Now you probably think about swimming with orcas in captivity, like it is often done with dolphins as well.
Now to be clear, after seeing the movie/documentary Blackfish, I changed my idea about Orcas in captivity completely and I have no intention of swimming with Orcas in a pool.
What I am referring to, is swimming with Killer Whales in the wild, without disturbing their environment.
This great thrillseekeing activity can be done in Norway and is becoming more and more popular among people looking for new adventures, because other than cage swimming which is often done with sharks, you will be in open water next to the orcas.
Even though Orcas are no real whales, but family of the dolphin, they are still huge animals that can easily kill preys bigger than humans.
However, even though I am sure that I would be very scared, there is actually no reason to be scared. Thousands of people have done it before and can still tell their stories about it 🙂
The amout of cases where Orcas hurt humans in wild is extremely little, especially in comparison with the incidents that have happened in captivity.
Nevertheless, I wouldn’t advise you to rent a boat and go swimming with them on your own.
Their are a couple of agencies that organize swimming, snorkling and diving expeditions in the northern part of Norway and if a one day trip isn’t satisfying enough, you will even be able to find Orca safari’s that take up to 1 week.
Important to know is that the winter period (January, February) is the best period to see and find the Orcas, when the Killer Whales are following the herring migration along the Norwegian coast. Winter in Norway means very cold, so make sure to bring enough warm clothing (read: thermal underwear and gloves!) for on the boat and the snorkling and swimming gear will be provided by the organization.
Of course there is still the possibility that you won’t see any Orca, because other than in captivity, the killer whales do not just come when you call them 😉
The snorkling expeditions can be done by anyone, but if you would like to go diving you will need an Advanced Open Water certificate.
Even though I am tempted by upgrading my Open Water certificate to an Advanced one, I am sure that snorkling will already be good enough to enjoy the experience and be at the same level and in the natural environment as these magnificent creatures. And if going into the water seems a bit too frightning, it can also still be interesting to join an expedition and watch them closely from the boat.
Soon I hope to be able to write about my own Killer Whale encounter experiences! 🙂
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