Welcome to Tromso cruise port, the gateway to Norway’s natural wonders, cultural richness, and enchanting Northern Lights. Located in the northwest of Norway, Tromso is the second largest city north of the Arctic Circle and is known as the “Gateway to the Arctic”. Tromso welcomes you with stunning fjords, snow-kissed peaks, and a lively cityscape.
Your cruise ship will dock either in the city center or a 10-minute drive from there, so you’ll be within a short distance from the city’s main landmarks such as the iconic Arctic Cathedral, Polaria aquarium, and cable car. In this article, we’ll dive into practical information about the Tromso cruise terminal and uncover the 8 best things to do in Tromso port.
Tromso Cruise Port
Cruise ships dock at two docking locations in Tromso: Prostneset area, located in the heart of the city, and Breivika docks, situated a 13-minute drive northeast of the city center.
The Prostneset cruise terminal consists of two quays (Quay 7, berth length 190 m, exclusively reserved for Hurtigruten and Havila Kystruten vessels; and Quay 8, berth length 300 m). This terminal features modernly designed terminal buildings where you can find a tourist information center, currency exchange, public transportation, taxis, and a parking area. The beautiful waterfront area offers easy access to Tromso’s shops, eateries, museums and attractions, located within a few minutes’ walk from the port.
Breivika docks are located around 5 km/3 miles (a 13-minute drive) from the city center. Breivika South area consists of 6 docks (Quay 20, berth length 194 m; and Quays 21-24 with berth length 410 m in total). If your cruise ship docks here, shuttle buses are typically provided by the cruise line to take you to the city center. There is also a public bus #42 that will take you to Tromso downtown in less than 20 minutes. A taxi to the city center costs around 15 EUR per vehicle one way and can be paid by card.
- The official currency in Norway is the Norwegian krone, also known as kroner (NOK). 1 USD equals 10.29 NOK. 1 EUR equals 11.29 NOK. Local currency and credit/debit cards are widely accepted. See the currency converter
- Public buses are a convenient way of getting around and are easily accessible from the port. You can purchase the tickets from ticket machines, kiosks, and sale points (Tourist information center), or in the app Troms Billett. You can also pay for the ticket directly on the bus only with cash. Most buses are wheelchair accessible. You can check the timetables, route maps and prices on the official public transport webpage.
- The cruise high season in Tromso is between May and September. The best time to see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis) is from mid-September until early April. For useful cruise packing tips, have a look at my article What to Pack for a Cruise – Top 55 Cruise Essentials
- Major cruise lines sailing to Tromso include Oceania Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Scenic Luxury Ocean, Atlas Ocean Voyages, Ponant, Hurtigruten, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Seabourn Cruise Line.
- Explore Tromso tours and activities
- Check out private transfer deals
8 Best Things to Do in Tromso Cruise Port
From the dazzling Northern Lights to cultural gems and outdoor adventures, Tromso is filled with treasures waiting to be discovered!
1. Tromso Cathedral (Tromsø domkirke)
Tromso Cathedral, also known as Tromsø domkirke, stands as a testament to the city’s rich cultural and historical heritage. The cathedral is a short walk from the cruise port, allowing you to take a leisurely stroll through Troms’ picturesque streets.
Built in 1861, the cathedral features a fascinating blend of Gothic and neoclassical architectural styles. The serene atmosphere and intricate details of the interior create a sense of reverence and wonder as you step inside. Admire the beautiful stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and overall grandeur that reflect this landmark’s cultural significance. Take the time to appreciate the cathedral’s significance in the city’s history, as it is the world’s northernmost Protestant cathedral.
2. Polaria Aquarium
Polaria, the northernmost aquarium in the world, is located only a 10-minute walk from the cruise terminal and serves as a gateway to the wonders of the Arctic’s marine life and environment. Discover the fascinating world beneath the icy waters that surround Tromso through interactive exhibits and engaging displays, and step into the fascinating world of underwater life, where the Arctic’s unique ecosystems come to life.
The panoramic Arctic aquarium, which provides an up-close encounter with the rich marine life that thrives in these icy waters, is undoubtedly the highlight of Polaria. The center also has educational presentations and documentaries on the Arctic ecosystem, its delicate balance, and the importance of conservation. Polaria, with its playful seals and breathtaking marine environments, provides a thrilling experience for guests of all ages, combining entertainment and environmental knowledge.
3. Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen)
Located around 2.7 km/1.7 miles (a 10-minute drive) from the port of Tromso, you can admire the spectacular modern architecture of the Arctic Cathedral, also known as Ishavskatedralen. This famous landmark stands against a backdrop of magnificent surroundings, offering you to experience a blend of contemporary architecture and the pristine beauty of Tromso.
The cathedral’s unique triangular shape and expansive glass front create a captivating visual spectacle. Set against the Arctic landscape, the play of light on the cathedral’s surface adds an ethereal touch to the experience. Step inside to discover the minimalist interior, adorned with beautiful mosaics and a stunning glass mosaic window. The Arctic Cathedral serves as a cultural and spiritual hub, hosting various events and concerts throughout the year, making it a vibrant part of Tromso’s cultural scene.
You can either walk or take a taxi/bus to the cathedral. For those who love the outdoors, a scenic 25-minute walk from the port allows you to immerse yourself in the fresh Arctic air and take in the scenic vistas along the way. If you prefer a faster way, a short taxi trip will get you there quickly, giving you more time to see the cathedral. You can also take bus #26, #28, #150, or #412 at the cruise terminal, and in 10 minutes you’ll reach the cathedral. Many shore excursions also include a stop here.
4. Fjellheisen cable car
Tromso cable car (Fjellheisen cable car) offers a breathtaking journey to the top of Mount Storsteinen, 421 m/1.381 ft above sea level. It is one of the most popular attractions in Tromso best known for its stunning views of the city and the beautiful Aurora Borealis – the breathtaking Northern Lights that you can spot in the winter. Besides the spectacular vistas, visitors can grab a bite at the Fjellstua restaurant at the mountain’s summit, or go mountain hiking.
The cable car station is located a 15-minute drive from the Tromso cruise terminal. You can take a taxi or bus #26, #28, #412 at the cruise port and get off at the Fjellheisen stop. The ride takes up to 25-30 minutes. The cable car ride lasts only 4 minutes and offers unique panoramic views of Tromsø, its surrounding islands, and the breathtaking Arctic landscape.
5. Tromso City Center
Tromso’s vibrant city center is conveniently located just a short walk from the cruise terminal. As you enter the city center, you’ll be surrounded by a delightful mix of local businesses, pleasant cafés, and a bustling environment. Explore the charming alleyways lined with colorful buildings that house a diverse range of stores, galleries, and cafés. Whether you’re looking for Arctic souvenirs, local cuisine, or simply want to take in the atmosphere, downtown Tromso has something for everyone!
Don’t miss the chance to discover the city’s iconic landmarks, from historic buildings to modern architectural gems. Besides Tromso Cathedral and Polaria, which are situated a stone’s throw from the port, you can visit the Northern Norwegian Art Museum, The Polar Museum, or Perspective Museum, offering a unique insight into Tromso’s cultural and natural heritage.
6. The Arctic University Museum of Norway
Explore the rich cultural and natural history at the Arctic University Museum of Norway, which is conveniently located around 3 km/1.9 miles (a 10-minute drive) from the cruise port. This intriguing museum allows visitors to explore exhibits that dive into the region’s rich history and the unique environment that shapes Tromso.
Engage with displays that showcase the Arctic’s unique ecosystems, wildlife, and the human history ingrained in this northern landscape. The museum’s exhibitions vary from ancient artifacts to contemporary insights, catering to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re interested in indigenous traditions, Arctic wildlife, or geological discoveries, the Arctic University Museum of Norway offers an in-depth look at Tromso’s history and present.
7. Reindeer Sledding
Reindeer sledding offers a magical and authentic Arctic experience in which visitors embark on a journey through snow-covered landscapes, guided by Sami herders and their reindeer teams. This traditional mode of transport allows a deep connection with nature, as the sleds glide silently through pristine snow. The experience often includes a stop at a cozy lavvu (Sami tent), where participants can warm up by an open fire, enjoy hot beverages, and learn about Sami culture.
8. Northern Lights
Tromso is renowned as one of the prime locations to witness the mesmerizing Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. The best time to observe this natural spectacle is during the winter months, particularly from September to March when the nights are longest and the skies darkest. The vivid dance of colors is most likely to occur on clear, crisp nights away from city lights.
Various locations around Tromso offer excellent viewing opportunities, including Sommarøy village, Kvaløya Island, and Tromvik, all located up to 1-hour drive from the cruise port. Guided Northern Lights tours and excursions are also available, enhancing the experience with expert insights and cozy settings.
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