• Killer whale holiday

Everything you need to know about killer whales

Lowering yourself into the cold waters of Norway, you ready yourself to swim with one of the most powerful predators in the world, the killer whale (orca). The first few strokes of your arms through the water are tentative, yet you become more confident as you familiarise yourself with these large marine mammals and they become used to your presence.


Commonly referred to as killer whales and, less often, blackfish, orcas are the largest of the dolphin family and one of the world's most powerful predators; their only enemy being humans. Orcas are highly social, intelligent and immediately recognizable by their distinctive black-and-white colouring. One of the best times to see orcas in the ice-cold waters of Norway is between November and January - see our safari itinerary for more details.


• Browse our Norway holidays
• Download our free whale guide
• Contact our Destination Specialist for advice


expert view: Arabella Worthington

expert view: Arabella Worthington

We have some very special departures with a focus on seeing orcas in Norway. If you want to hear a first-hand account of what it's like to share the waters with these magnificent marine mammals, take a look at the blogs listed below.

Killer whale research

the killer whale

Highly trainable, these beautiful creatures have controversially been featured in many aquarium shows, as well as blockbusters such as ‘Free Willy’ back in 1993. They have stable family groups of five to thirty, hunting together to bring down tasty prey that ranges from squid and fish, to seals and sea lions. They work together to tip animals resting on floating ice into the water, deliberately beach themselves to scare prey and even hunt other whales.

Killer whales are known to use advanced levels of communication with different dialects used by each group, passed down through the generations. They use echolocation, making noises that travel underwater, reflecting back the size and distance of any given object.

When it comes to movement, they can dive as deep as a hundred feet in search of prey, often swimming as fast as possible to the surface, breaching and making noise as they pierce the waters. They can also be seen slapping their tails and spy-hopping (poking their head out of the water to look around) which can be excellent to witness.

Never being thought of as an immediate threat to humans, they have played a huge part in mythology around the world, sometimes even thought to be the souls of humans.

Cta Grid

Why book with us

We are destination specialists

Our team of specialists have extensive on-the-ground knowledge and have all lived, guided or explored in great detail the destinations that they sell. They will design your journey around you, at the right place at the right time.

We are wildlife specialists

As a leading specialist operator we have excellent partnerships with naturalists and conservationists. We know our wildlife and do what we can to preserve its natural habitat.

We really care about our destinations

At Natural World Safaris we frequently monitor the social, economic and environmental impact of our travel operations to ensure we are at the forefront of a sustainable and ethical tourism industry. 

Swimming with blue whales in Sri Lanka

Your Next Steps

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on seeing whales in the wild.