The Arctic Cathedral
Polaria, the Arctic aquarium
A wooden city centre

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The city of the blue poppy

When vacationing in Norway on an MSC Cruise, you can visit the largest complex of wooden buildings north of Trondheim, just four kilometres from the port, in the centre of Tromsø.
One of the first attractions to visit during your MSC cruise of Northern Europe is Polaria. In this Arctic aquarium, you can watch the feeding, twice a day, of the sociable, peaceful bearded seals, and also admire the great variety of fish species that live in the Barents Sea and on the Svalbard.

The most handsome building in Tromsø is undoubtedly the Arctic Cathedral, built in 1965. Its triangular prism shape, with its glass mosaics, mirrors the landscape of this remote region of Norway. Another excursion during your MSC cruise of Northern Europe will take you to the top of the mountain above Storsteinen with the Fjellheisen funicular to enjoy the view, 420 metres above, of the city and the lovely surrounding landscape.

Here one also finds the northernmost botanical gardens in the world, where there are species of plants that, due to their climatic fragility, cannot grow at any other latitude, such as, for example, the Hymalayan blue poppy. Tromsø also hosts the northernmost university in the world, where you find a museum to give you an insight into northern Norway’s culture and environment, with particular attention to the Sami, to archeology, sacred art, geology and the phenomenon of the northern lights.

The polar museum instead shows visitors the harsh life of Arctic explorers. It is fitted in the dock of an old construction built in 1830. For those who like a good beer, there’s a pub like the Ølhallen, which has remained unchanged since 1928. A site not to miss is the Lyngen, an incredible wooden church in the village of Lyngseidet.

Must see places in Tromso

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    The magic of the northern lights
    The magic of the northern lights

    A holiday in Norway is a dream. A dream along a fjord, the most evocative and characteristic natural formation of this land.

    The Geirangerfjord and the Nærøyfjord are listed as part of UNESCOs World Heritage Sites, but it's also worth mentioning the longest of all the Fjords, the 204 km long Sognefjordas well as the Hardangerfjord where cherry and apple blossoms can be seen on the cliff-side during spring.

    But a Northern Europe MSC cruise also means experiencing the spectacular beauty of the Northern lights; while those of you who travel in the summer can admire the spectacular midnight sun, once north of the Arctic Circle. A cruise to Norway also means discovering the culture of two ancient populations: the Vikings, not just pirates and warriors, but merchants, explorers and colonisers who, for over three hundred years until the 11th century governed Scandinavia and the northern Atlantic: and then, the Samis, the natives of these lands, dressed in multicoloured clothes with immense herds of reindeer, who have lived in the deep North for more than 10,000 years.

    Finally, watch out for the Trolls! Many of the places you will visit are named after these legendary creatures: Trollheimen, Trollstigen (with the spectacular Troll’s path), Trollhatten and Trollveggen.