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Day 12 - August 4, 2009 - Tromso, Norway

By Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Biologist

Co-ordinates: 69 38 N, 18 57 E
Weather: sunny
Air Temperature: 22 C

Leaving behind us the Mageroy Islands with the stunning scenery of Storstappen and Northkapp, the Prince Albert II took the inner passage through the Norwegian Fjords towards Tromso. On a beautiful sunny morning we were sailing along these fjords with their gentle, rounded hills formed by the massive ice age glaciers that covered the land some 12,000 years ago.

The first highlight, apart the wonderful landscape, was the presentation from our Expedition Leader Robin West about the history of the Prince Albert II and Silversea Expeditions. The Theatre was nearly full and it was very interesting to hear the “life history” of our ship, from the early beginnings to the last refitting just before she started her voyages under the Silversea flag. Shortly after the presentation by Robin, Kristine our onboard photographer showed her masterpiece of this voyage, and sincerely spoken it was a brilliant documentation, recollection and artwork of a really impressive expedition cruise.

At approximately 11.30 we reached Tromso and we went alongside at the bunkering harbor to take up fuel. Due to safety reasons nobody was allowed to go ashore. After bunkering was done we changed our berth and the new berthing place was just some 5 minutes walk away from Tromso centre. In the afternoon, our guests could explore the city on their own.

Tromso is a place with lots of interesting sights to see like the Polaria, a house where you will find an Arctic aquarium with bearded seals, interesting knowledge-based exhibits and a panoramic cinema displaying a film from Svalbard. The architecture of this house represents ice floes that have been pressed up on land by rough seas of the Arctic.

Other interesting places to visit are the Polar Museum, containing exhibits about Arctic history and polar explorations; and the Arctic Cathedral, built in 1965 by Jan Inge Hovig and reflecting Norwegian nature, culture and faith. The Arctic Botanical Garden, the northernmost botanical Garden of the world, has a good representation of plants from the Arctic. And if you’d like to have a beautiful view of the town and the surroundings, you have to take the cable car up Mount Storsteinen (421m). Although Tromso is situated on the Norwegian mainland, it is, through its museums and scientific institutions, the door to the Arctic.

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