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Tromso (Photo:ZinaidaSopina/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Tromso

Up until a few years ago, Tromso was a little-known city (outside of Norway), where hotels would close down over the bleak midwinter months.

Then came the 2008 BBC TV show "Joanna Lumley in the Land of the Northern Lights" -- and all that changed.

Tromso was featured heavily in the documentary and was thrust firmly into the spotlight. The city's fortunes changed overnight, with tourist numbers swelling at the very time of the year the hotels used to close -- deep midwinter -- searching for the aurora borealis.

New hotels opened, a brand-new cruise terminal -- which also houses Visit Tromso, the tourist information center -- and a number of new restaurants, shops and cultural attractions also opened to cater for this influx.

Tromso, also known as the Gateway to the Arctic and the Northern Lights Capital, is one of the largest city north of the Arctic Circle.

Spanning more than 965 square miles, this Norwegian city is nearly as large as the entire country of Luxembourg. Established in 1794, Tromso now has about 72,000 inhabitants, many of whom are students attending a handful of local institutions, including the Norwegian College of Fishery Science at the University of Tromso, one of only two colleges in the world dedicated solely to fishing as a livelihood, and the Centre for Peace Studies.

Although the locals refer to Tromso as an island, the city actually comprises the island of Tromsoya, Kvaloya and parts of the mainland to the east. (Tromsoya is connected to the mainland by the iconic Tromso Bridge, where you'll also find the iconic Arctic Cathedral.)

It's worth noting that if you think Oslo is pricy, prepare yourself for Tromso. Taxis start at 175 NOK (about $20); in the supermarket, burgers are also $20 -- and do not even think about purchasing alcohol (wine starts at around $50 a bottle). A meal for two in a restaurant can take you north of $300 with wine. This can be debilitating, particularly if you want to experience the town. Our tip is to budget accordingly.

Hurtigruten ships run year-round; other ships start calling from mid-February through December. It's well worth spending a few days in this beautiful city and getting to know it and the surrounding area. Find cruises to Tromso on our upcoming Norway cruise itineraries.

  • More about Tromso

  • Why Cruise to Tromso?

  • Tromso Cruise Port Facilities?

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More about Tromso

Why Cruise to Tromso?

Pros:

This Arctic city is one of the best places in the world to view the northern lights (best seen from September through March).

Cons:

Tromso is a small city that can become crowded with tourists -- especially during big festivals.

Bottom Line:

An excellent destination for northern lights watching, Tromso offers an alluring mix of cultural and outdoor adventures.

Tromso Cruise Port Facilities?

A purpose-built cruise terminal, which is ultramodern and designed to serve as Tromso's central transportation hub, opened in 2018. It primarily serves Hurtigruten ships, but small and midsized cruise ships from other lines, and ferries also dock here; to the south you'll find the central bus terminal. The passenger terminal has shops, restaurants and the tourist office, Visit Tromso.

There is another port, Breivka, a little further out of town. It's more of an industrial port, which serves the larger ships.

Good to Know?

Tromso is deep in the Arctic Circle and has no sunlight from mid-November to mid-January. It can get bitterly cold during the winter months, so dress accordingly. The weather changes rapidly, and you can experience several seasons in one day.

Getting Around?

By Bus: Tromso has an excellent bus network which will take you to all the main sights. You can pay as you go in NOK or buy a 24-hour pass card: 110 NOK (about $15) for adults and 55 NOK (about $10) for seniors or children ages 4 to 19.

On Foot: Most of Tromso's city center attractions can be easily reached on foot. From the port, you are not more than a few yards from the central square and the pedestrianized street, Storgata (see Don't Miss).

By Taxi: Taxis are easily available in Bergen. There is no Uber. Rates start at 175 NOK (about $20). A taxi from the airport (just 15 minutes away) will set you back up to 750 NOK (about $90).

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Norway's official currency is the Norwegian krone (NOK). There are numerous ATMs around the town, which give the best rate.

Language?

Norwegian is the official language, but English is understood and spoken almost everywhere.


Tromso Cruise Reviews
Tromso is known as probably one of the best places in the world in which to view the northern lights. It is also home to a very nice planetarium, the interesting Polaria Museum with their adorable seals, and the fun Read More
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traveltilidrop
There is plenty to do in Tromso. It is a medium sized city with lots to do and see on your own. We took advantage of the 3 hours of daylight by being out enjoying the bustling little city. There are many quaint shopsRead More
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CAMT1
What a gorgeous town Tromso is. Lovely architecture, laid-back vibe and some excellent coffee houses. Would return in a heartbeat.Read More
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steveky
Tromso was great, 5* for the town. Our tour was disorganized and all the ship tours dumped too many people at the cable car at the same time. We had to wait almost an hour and lost a lot of opportunity to enjoy beingRead More
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MkeCruzn

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