Tromsø, Norway, Northern lights
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Northern Lights iStock.com / Nitrogliserin
Tromsø, Norway, waterfront
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Tromsø Waterfront iStock.com / vichie81
Tromsø, Norway, Tulips in a Tromsø park
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Tulips in a Tromsø Park iStock.com / Boddill
Tromsø, Norway, Ishavskatedralen
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Ishavskatedralen iStock.com / vichie81
Tromsø, Norway, Smørbrød
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Smørbrød iStock.com / olgna
Tromsø, Norway, Mountains outside Tromsø
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Tromsø, Norway, Boathouses in winter
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Tromsø

Tromsø, Norway, Cairns by a fjord Cairns by a Fjord Near Tromsø iStock.com / Mehdi33300

A gateway to the Arctic, Tromsø was made famous as the launching point for Arctic expeditions. Today, it's still a base for adventurers of the leisure type: Northern Lights hunters and winter sports lovers. As a big university town, there’s a lively atmosphere with lots of shops, bars, and restaurants. Stop in for a beer at one of the world’s most northernmost breweries for some well-deserved bragging rights.

What We Love

Polar Museum: Polar History 101 is taught at this excellent museum with exhibits on Fridtjof Nansen’s and Roald Amundsen’s world-famous expeditions (one was the first to reach the South Pole; the other made the first Greenland interior crossing); Wanny Woldstad, the first woman to winter in the Arctic; and the region’s history of seal hunting.

Arctic Cathedral: This striking structure evokes a Sami tent or icy glaciers. It’s a must-see (and you will when you arrive in port) for the enormous stained glass windows and nearly 3,000-pipe organ.

Best Known For

Winter Activities: Whether you’re mushing a dogsled or snowmobiling on frozen fjords, there are many opportunities for polar adventures in Tromsø and its surrounds. 

Polaria Museum: You can’t miss this unusual museum, constructed to look like tumbling ice floes. Inside, an Arctic aquarium harbors bearded seals and exhibits on the polar region’s changing landscape.

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Who It's Best For

Northern Lights Hunters: Tromsø is located in prime Northern Lights territory, so the chances of getting a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis is high, particularly between the months of September and April.

Polar History Buffs: Tromsø has a rich history of intrepid adventurers — hunters, trappers, and researchers, including Roald Amundsen, the first explorer to reach the South Pole.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

Prices are High: Nothing is Norway comes cheaply, so be prepared to pay a premium.

Kim Foley MacKinnon

Kim Foley MacKinnon is a Boston-based writer for ShermansCruise whose work has also appeared in The Boston Globe.

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Itineraries Including Tromsø
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