The purpose of the guidelines is to ensure animal welfare, service, safety and good experiences for the customers and the companies’ profits. The guidelines have been developed by destination companies and whale watching operators in Northern Norway and are based on the principle of a responsible development of tourism that both safeguards nature, environment, local conditions as well as the employees in the tourism industry and the customers. The guidelines are to be understood as a minimum requirement for operators that offer whale watching. Local destination companies can demand guidelines stricter than what is demanded in the national guidelines.
Tromsø region: All in-water activities (swimming, diving, snorkeling) with whales are discouraged.
In other regions, the guidelines for snorkeling with orcas in winter apply. Snorkeling with other whale species and at other times of the year is discouraged.
Sperm whales: Whale watching for sperm whales requires extra caution, since sperm whales have a great need to relax on the surface to breath sufficiently and get ready for another dive. Therefore, separate guidelines for whale watching for sperm whales have been developed.