Day 18 |
Jun 29, 2008

Tromso, Norway

By Daniil Elterman

And here comes the last day! It’s unbelievable how quickly time goes by, especially good times. It seems that we left London only yesterday, and yet here we are – at our final destination – Tromso, Norway.

Our day started with the last recap in The Theatre on Deck 6. Our Expedition Leader, Brad Rhees, in his speech went through the whole voyage resurrecting in our minds each day’s events and emotions. Then our photographer, Sharon Shafer, took her turn and presented us with her vision of the voyage, concentrating on the images of the wildlife we encountered, breathtaking scenery of the places we visited and our excited faces and happy smiles. Each of the Expedition Team members took a turn to come on the stage to share their thoughts about the voyage. It was really interesting to find out what were their highlights and how they felt about the whole experience. Just after recap, we came alongside the pier in the port of Tromso, and as soon as the ship was cleared, we were free to go out to this beautiful town, well hidden among picturesque fjords of the Norwegian north.

Most of Tromso, including the compact city center with its concentration of historic wooden houses, is located on the small island of Tromsoya in the county of Troms, 350 km (or 217 miles) inside the Arctic Circle. The island is connected to the mainland by the Tromso Bridge and the Tromsoysund Tunnel. The city is warmer than most other places located on the same latitude due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream, and we were lucky with the weather as the sun was shining and we could get the idea of what the summer is like so far north. 

Those of us who were up for sightseeing ended up visiting The Polar Museum, situated in the old wharf house; the Tromso Cathedral, which is Norway’s only wooden cathedral; or the modern Arctic Cathedral. Tromso Museum and Norway’s oldest cinema Verdensteatret were also open for us. Bust most of us ended up in local bars and cafés to watch the Germany – Spain soccer game that was taking place in Austria. We were not restricted with time at all, so each of us found something to do for themselves here in Tromso.

Those who stayed onboard enjoyed, as always, pre-dinner cocktails with our charismatic pianist Daryl, and then headed to The Restaurant to have the most delicious dinner, as the chefs on the Prince Albert II never failed to impress us with their culinary talents.

Back on board, we all had to finish packing our suitcases so that for the last time on this voyage we could return to our warm beds, full of the last 18 days’ emotions. Tomorrow – we fly home, but we hope to come back again soon for another portion of unforgettable sights, new friends and new adventures…