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Useful information for excursion in Tromsø
Information about the cruise port, the most beautiful sights as well as many useful tips for shore excursions in and around Tromsø can all be found here.
The most beautiful sights in and around Tromsø
The city of Tromsø in northern Norway is located 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and is thus on a latitude with northern Alaska. 76,000 inhabitants are live across Tromsø, which combines an area of islands and mainland. Due to its location, Tromsø has always been one of the most important starting points for polar expeditions.
Tromsø – or the “Gateway to the Arctic Ocean” – is not only the largest city in the northern part of Norway, but it is also the scene of a magical natural spectacle. If you go to the far north, you have the privilege of capturing the magic of the colourful northern lights. In the winter months, they are frequent and give the polar city something surreal and special.
Tromsø not only has its extraordinary auroras to offer but also hosts hugely diverse wildlife. Whales, reindeer, moose, eagles and golden eagles have long been inhabitants of the polar region. But that’s not all, in Tromsø is the northernmost university, the northernmost cathedral and the northernmost brewery in the world. The city is an important cultural centre in Norway and there are also numerous festivals in the snow and ice between September and March, the bars and restaurants are lively and the nightlife pulsates. The locals do not shy away from the dark season, on the contrary, they are even more sociable.
Tromsø is on the way to certification as a “sustainable destination” – a special seal of approval for resorts that systematically counteract the negative impact of tourism on the environment. As part of this, the city is committed to providing visitors with special experiences and preserving local nature, the environment, culture and social values. Popular summer activities: kayaking, hiking, fishing and whale watching, wildlife Safaris. Popular winter activities include reindeer & husky sled tours, snowshoe & snowmobile tours, and Northern Lights hunts
The landmark of Tromsø is the Arctic Cathedral. The Seaman’s Church is located on a hill near the Tromsø Bridge and always easy to see from the city centre. The real name is “Tromsdalen Church”, but given the imposing architecture, it is not surprising that the name “Arctic Cathedral” quickly came to mind. The unusual shape of the church and the glass mosaic window, one of the largest in Europe, make it a special building. But she is also known for her fantastic concerts. Thanks to a new organ, five community choirs and other special musicians, musical events are often held there. In summer, the parish puts on midnight sun concerts, which take place just before midnight and are an absolute highlight.
Cable car Fjellheisen
The valley station of the Fjellheisen cable car is also very close to the Arctic Cathedral. The cable car was built in 1961 by the shipping company Jakobsens. It leads to the mountain Storstein. Its 418 meters to a fascinating view. The ride up takes about 4 minutes. Once at the top you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of Tromsø from the plateau, with an almost endless view of islands, fjords, mountains and the sea. At the mountain station, there is also the restaurant Fjellstua, which is a relaxed place for a snack. Tickets for the cable car can be purchased in advance online or at the valley station.
How did the hunters survive the arctic winter hundreds of years ago? How did the voyages of discovery make it through snow and ice? These and many other questions are answered by exciting photos and old exhibits in the Polar Museum, which is housed in a red wharf building, the Tollbodbrygga, from 1830. Whaling is explained, with high risks, hunting for seals, foxes and even polar bears, which were among the most important prey. In addition, the Polar Museum houses an exhibition dedicated to the expeditions of Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian sailor and polar explorer. He was the first person to reach both the South and North Poles.
Adventure Museum Polaria
The polar research revolves the experience-oriented museum Polaria, which contains several aquariums with all kinds of fish. Among them is also a “touch basin”, which allows visitors to touch marine animals. One of the highlights is the pool with seals, which entertain visitors. In addition, you can look forward to a panoramic cinema showing up to 175spectators aerial views of the Spitsbergen coast and Antarctic filming. The adventure museum has a striking construction of reinforced concrete, which is based on the shape of ice floes. In 2003, the special architecture was even awarded a prize
The northernmost botanical garden in the world is located in Tromsø and has the Arctic and Antarctic plants of all continents as well as traditional herbs of Northern Norway. Here you can admire the different flowers and plants all year round without paying for admission. Most of them start to bloom inMay. There is often snow around this time, but you can see the purple-coloured saxifrages and other colourful flowers. Various flowers bloom until it starts to snow again in October. Even in autumn, it is still colourful – white and pink berries are now visible. The Botanical Garden is located in the southeast of the campus of the University of Tromsø and thus has a beautiful view. Surrounded by mountains that are part of the north coast of
Alaska, this place has a special flair that is complemented by the Arctic breeze.
Also part of the University of Tromsø is the Tromsø Museum, which was opened in 1872 and deals with the history and culture of the so-called Sami. The Scandinavian people have been resident in this region for millennia and are presented here to visitors with the help of an exhibition. In addition, you will learn more about the northern lights, archaeology and the flora and fauna of northern Scandinavia.
If the sun stays awake all night, summer is in the far north. The midnight sun, also called “midnattssol”, takes place between the 20th of May and the 20th of July. The sun shines even at night because it does not set at all. For tourists, this is an exciting phenomenon that opens up possibilities for activities at night.
The midnight sun is in stark contrast to the polar night. Because in winter, the sun does not rise for two months and it is completely dark from 27th November to 14th January.
Located just below the Northern Lights Oval, Tromsø is the ideal place to see this with your own eyes. The northern lights are regularly visible in the dark winter months. For Tromsø, the best season for northern lights is between the end of October to March. To increase the chances of a particularly beautiful northern lights moment, it is advisable to drive out of the city to get the best view. The further away you are from the city centre, the darker and cooler it gets – ideal conditions for the northern lights. Then when the sky starts to glow and green and pink colors open, you are one of the lucky few who witness this natural spectacle – a truly magical event!
Map of the cruise port in Tromsø
The port of Tromsø is the largest fishing and cruise port in Norway. Accordingly, there is always a lot of activity here. Cruise ships of various shipping companies and freighters dock here. Of course, the Hurtigruten ships are particularly frequent, which, in addition to Tromsø, also head for Geiranger, Alesund and other Scandinavian ports.
In Tromsø there are two possible jetties for cruise ships:
Prostneset Pier: Quays 7 und 8
As a rule, only the smaller cruise ships dock here. You will be happy because this mooring is right in the city centre of Tromsø. In June 2018, the long-awaited new passenger terminal was opened in the city centre. From here you can explore downtown Tromsø on foot. The tourist office is also just around the corner.
Breivika Pier: Quays 24 und 25
Breivika is for the big cruise ships. This is where most ships start. These berths are located approximately four kilometres north of the city centre ofTromsø. As a rule, the cruise ships offer a shuttle bus service to the city centre, which stops at Kirkegata 2 tourist information centre in the city centre. At the tourist office, you can get directions and get information about the city as well as maps. Alternatively to the boat shuttle: public transport such as buses (line 42) are also available near Breivika Pier. Taxis are readily available in the mooring.
Worth knowing about shore excursions in Tromsø
Shipping companies and routes
Nordland cruises are enjoying ever greater popularity thanks to the beautiful landscapes. Most shipping companies head for Tromsø in the summer months. But even when wintertime is due, the northern lights are popular.
The major shipping companies, AIDA Cruises and TUI Cruises, offer a wide range of routes for the Scandinavian region. Among them is of course Tromsø. AIDA even goes to the port of Tromsø in wintertime. Also at Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, Costa, P & O and Phoenix in Tromsø is a popular port.
Entry and Visa
You do not need a visa for your Norway trip, even though the country is not an EU member. Your identity card or passport is enough.
However, it is always advisable to check with the cruise company concerned about the valid entry requirements of your cruise.
The currency is the Norwegian krone (NOK), which is divided into 100 Øre. 1 pound is currently about 10.76 NOK.
Taxi and public transport
Tromsø’s city centre is within easy walking distance of most of the sights, which is also the easiest way to get an overview of the city. Beautiful photo opportunities await you at various locations. For those who want to explore the city on their own, city maps and information from the local tourist office at Kirkegeta 2 are helpful. Here you will also be dropped off from the shuttle if you moored at Breivika Pier.
However, there are numerous taxis in Tromsø, because the city has more than 120 vehicles North-Norway’s largest taxi station. However, the trips cost a lot and the price depends on various factors such as time of day etc.
To move around the city with ease, the city buses of Troms fylkestrafikk are suitable. Line 42 can also be used to get from the harbour to the city centre or vice versa. The tickets can only be paid in Norwegian kroner. The price is around 50 NOK
Experts advise choosing the winter months between October and March for a Northern Lights bonus trip. But even in summer, it has its charm to Tromsø to travel, because it is rarely dark and the breathtaking scenery can be explored at pleasant temperatures.
Cruise ships usually come to Tromsø in the summer from June to September. Hurtigruten visits the harbour all year round.
Website of Port authority and Tourism Organisation
Video: Impressions of Tromsø
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