We were a family of 4 (husband and I in a midship club balcony suite and my 86-year-old mother-in-law and young sister-in-law a little further along the corridor in adjoining forward club balconies). We had three nights in Tromso pre cruise at the Clarion Collection With hotel – we have stayed here before for four nights in early 2020 in a quest to see the Northern lights and it is warm and homely, but it is the waterfront location and included breakfast, fika and evening meal that make it excellent value and well-deserving of a return stay.
Embarkation: long but well organised queue at 11:30 for luggage drop off then check in meaning it was around 1:45 pm when we boarded. If I had my time again, I would select a late boarding as our cabin overlooked the area and after the initial rush the queue shrunk to nothing by mid-afternoon and our departure time was 8 pm. I noticed that we left most ports promptly at the listed return time and some even a bit early.
The ship looked well maintained and clean. Our last cruise on the Star was in 2018 out of Venice not too long after a big refurbishment and she still looks similar. Crew members seem to be painting touch ups around the exterior regularly. Our midship cabin felt steady: I am prone to sea sickness – I’m often queasy on the Manly ferry – yet only needed to take a tablet twice in these two week despite some high seas.
Quiet cabin with nice bathroom. One recliner plus two chairs on balcony.
My travelling companions found the botanic gardens and café up adjacent to university very good. There are two supermarkets just out of town about 12 minutes’ walk. People who visited the Forest Lagoon hot pools raved about how good this was.
Enjoyable laid-back town with lots of excellent museums and gorgeous views and a nice café at the top of the cable car. Lovely Botanic Gardens very close to cruise terminal on other side of main road (take underpass) go towards university on left. 10 minutes’ walk. Terminal is a short bus ride from town centre – use subway to cross to the other side of the main road if coming from terminal. People we met reported seeing Northern Lights from top of cable car on August 25th just before the cruise so worth a try even if you are here before winter. (We were here for four nights in 2020 but did not get lucky in Tromso and needed to do a bus excursion that went into Finland to see them.)
We docked right in port. This was not the Lofotens unfortunately where we wanted to be but it was a pleasant town with a delightful stroll around the water with viewing points to see an historic church Trondenes. The church was closed but the museum and adjacent farm were interesting. I took lots of photos of the fjord and green countryside this day.
A stunning Art Nouveau town to explore. Nice walk with lots of steps up Aksla viewing point. Interesting museum and art gallery in town explaining the history of the town which was virtually destroyed by fire in 1904.
Gorgeous city: easily explored on foot. Lovely views and walks from top of funicular. Good seafood market and restaurants along the harbour.
Long wait to get off boat with queues due to immigration process for entering UK plus tenders. We rented a car as above and explored the island. Lots of cute horses and a jewellery manufacturing area and galleries and gorgeous island scenery
Painful, crowded and long tender process with long waits and big queues both getting off and on. The friendly and efficient but very crowded Lothian public shuttle buses are 12 GBP for a day pass, pay by cash or card on bus or from ticket sellers outside. We walked along the Royal Mile to the castle and had a great lunch at Albanach pub. When you get off the bus in town, make sure you listen to driver’s announcement of the timing last bus back to the port. He said the ship will wait for arrival of the last shuttle bus so you won’t need to worry about missing the ship if you make that bus. The ship left quite late anyway on this day due to VERY long queues for the tenders back.