Why choose a cruise to Tromsø?
Located in the Arctic Circle, winter means mostly darkness, but brings with it the chance to see the epic Northern Lights. And it’s really not that cold, thanks to the Gulf Stream keeping temperatures civilised. For two months from mid-May, the midnight sun provides almost endless daylight, and the perfect opportunity to explore the best of Tromsø. The museums and galleries have plenty to offer, there are many outdoor pursuits to experience, and come night-time (if you can call it that), there’s a lively bar scene, along with numerous excellent restaurants serving deliciously fresh Arctic seafood.
A guide to Tromsø’s hotspots
While you can never totally guarantee seeing them, the Northern Lights are frequently visible between September and April, and there are a couple of perfect spots to see them at their best. One is Parkgata, a quaint residential street close to Kongsbakken city park. With no streetlights to dampen the experience, it offers a much better view of the natural phenomenon than other brighter areas in the city. The other is beside the beautiful lake Prestvannet, which not only provides a delightful setting, but there’s no artificial lighting to disturb your view.
Taking in some local culture is a good idea at any time of year, and the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum is always a popular attraction. Here you’ll find a variety of wonderful pieces from artists like David Hockney and Edvard Munch, along with stunning landscapes painted by many talented Norwegian artists.
Another must-see is the Arctic Cathedral, just across the bridge into Tromsdalen. This modern building, designed in the ‘long church’ style, is the world’s most northerly cathedral. From there, you can take the cable car up the 1381 feet of Mount Storsteinen, where you’ll find the lovely Fjellstua Cafe, complete with cosy log fire and jaw-dropping city views.
Tromsø is also an ideal place to go whale watching, and you can spot them right up until late January or early February. If you get a chance, dog-sledding is a lot of fun too, and in Tromsø you can even have a go.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Tromsø
The best time to visit Tromsø
Winter is the time to see the Northern Lights in all their glory, and the lows of between 1˚C and -4˚C between October and March aren’t too bad. There’s around a 50% chance of snow throughout the winter.
Summers are quite cool, but the sunlight is almost 24-7 between May 20th and July 20th. June and July are the hottest months, with highs of around 16˚C, and the chance of rain dips down to 33-40%.
Did you know?
- Tromsø is home to the world’s most northerly university, botanical garden and brewery
- Settlements in Tromsø date more than 10,000 years
- Tromsø is home to the famous Midnight Sun Marathon every June. Runners set off at 8.30pm, and it’s still light when the last finishers cross the line around 2am.