Tourists in Norway will soon be able to whale watch from land

Nov 13, 2019

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Norway should be on every traveler’s must-see list: It’s a stunning  destination with mountains, fjords, contemporary cities and natural phenomena like the midnight sun and northern lights.

And come 2022, there will be yet another reason to plan a trip to this Nordic land. It’s called The Whale, and according to Lonely Planet, it will “enable visitors [on the] island of Andøya to see migrating whales up close.”

Whale watching is a huge tourist attraction in Norway, and more than 50,000 visitors already flock to Andenes every year, Lonely Planet said, which is where The Whale is being constructed. Windswept Andenes is considered an especially excellent destination for whale watching due to the cold, squid-filled waters that attract sperm whales.

Danish architecture firm Dorte Mandrup won the competition to design The Whale. Børre Berglund, CEO of the project and head of the jury for the competition, called it at once “poetic and low-key” and “exciting and unusual.”

The Whale will overlook the island’s rocky coast, and offer uninterrupted views of the North Atlantic from the roof. The curved, stone-covered structure will be home to exhibition spaces, a café and a store, and has been created to look like a natural extension of the rugged landscape.

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Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup
Image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup

Even though The Whale won’t open before 2022, it’s not too soon to start planning your trip there. Fortunately, Norway is pretty easy to get to on points and miles, thanks to frequent flights by Star Alliance member Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). You’ll want to check out Aeroplan, one of our favorite ways for finding Star Alliance award availability, to get there.

While you can go whale watching from basically any country with a coastline, there are certain places where the chances of sightings are particularly high and the whales come conveniently close to shore. So, if Norway isn’t a fit for you, consider one of our other favorite destinations on Earth for whale watching.

Featured image courtesy of Dorte Mandrup.

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