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Travel Trade

Why Tony chose swimming with killer whales instead of Wall Street

See the amazing images from his recent expedition to Norway.

Originally, Tony Wu (49) was destined to choose another life path. For many years he enjoyed his success as a businessman, trading on Wall Street and running his own cosmetics company from Singapore.

But 15 years ago, a magic meeting with a sperm whale during a diving trip changed his life. Today Wu travels around the world shooting award winning underwater photos of whales.

Earlier this winter he visited Norway, where he sat down with the magazine D2 to tell the story of why he dedicated his life to swimming with the gentle giants.

The magazine met Wu aboard Barba, a private Norwegian vessel based out of Hamn in Senja – where they also shot this exciting video:


This was Tony Wu’s first winter expedition to Norway, and more spectacular images can be found on this blog. The ship’s captain has also published a few other videos, among them of a freedive with a subwing while the orcas come in for a closer look. Looks fun (and a bit scary)!



Over the past few years, Northern Norway has experienced a tremendous growth in tourism, and the opportunities for whale watching seems to be an important factor. One of the companies offering whale safaris in Andenes (Hvalsafari AS) has seen a 400 per cent growth in revenue from 2014 to 2015.

Meanwhile, the hotels in Northern Norway received 25 per cent more foreign guests in 2015 compared to 2011, according to Dagens Næringsliv, Norway’s leading business newspaper. Suddenly, the airports in the North get requests for landing permits for private planes from all over the world.

Social anthropologist Eugene Guriby has researched the relationship between humans and animals. He regards the increasing popularity of whale watching as a sign of the times:

“Nature itself is the new zoo. To seek close encounters with wild animals has become an industry. People don’t want cages and glass barriers anymore,” says Guriby to Dagens Næringsliv.


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