Last Updated on by vincent
Since the time I come to Tromso I sometimes forget to be a tourist and to see something else than the Northern Lights. However, there is a lot of activities to do, especially in winter (as you can see in this article). But voilà, having done them a long time ago, I had to update myself and make Mrs. discover them. Like discovering the region of Tromso by boat. I had done it a long time ago, I kept a good memory of it. And I just did it again. Spoiler: it’s still great!
There are several possibilities, agencies, types of boats. I propose you to see that together, and also to discover if this activity is made for you. Let’s see it all!
Why take a boat tour of Tromso Fjords
First of all, because the area is beautiful, of course! We discover in general Kvaloya by car, following the roads of Tromvik and Sommaroy in particular. But when you don’t have a car, discovering the region is very complicated.
That’s why a short day cruise in the fjords of Tromso is for me an excellent idea. It gives a very good overview of the region, without getting too tired.
Then, because you can see different things. Already, the views from the boat are beautiful and other than what we can see from the land. But also in term of animal life, we can observe eagles and sometimes dolphins.
Finally, to have some fun, it will be possible to fish. Some will have more success than others, but it is a nice activity!
What is the route of the different boats in the fjords
At first I thought north of Kvaloya could be visited, like Tromvik, Sommaroy or Grotfjord, but in fact it’s not possible at all because it’s super far by boat (some suggest to do the beginning by bus and go to Ersfjord). So the different boats have almost all the same route:
- to go along the east and south coast of Kvaloya
- to observe the eagles and possibly the seals
- to go down along Malangen
- to go in Ramfjord
- quiet return to Tromso with a fishing trip
Frankly it is nice, varied. The trip will also depend a lot on the conditions and how frozen the fjord is
Other boats like Brim Explorer, in this cruise, can do a slightly different route. You’ll see the remains of a warship, a fishing museum, and Ersfjord.
What are the different agencies
- Polar Adventures: fairly large boat, more room outside, classic boat, not too charming. Very nice crew. The one I took last time. 120€
- Brim Explorer: bigger boat, hybrid, more recent. I haven’t tested it yet but it has an excellent reputation. And they have an underwater drone! 110€
- Pukka Travels: a nice sailboat, and therefore smaller groups, which is not bad at all. Fishing trip included too. 150€
- Northern Yachting: more luxurious catamaran to discover the fjords and to fish, 105€
- Northern Yachting: catamaran and small group outing to see the northern Lights, 145€
How to choose a boat tour in Tromso
So we will find several companies, several boats, and we will have to make a choice according to several criteria:
- the size and the type of the boat: inevitably, the less expensive it is, the more people there are. The two main companies, Polar Adventures and Brim Explorer take up to 50 people. It’s rarely full, but it can be a bit crowded, especially at the beginning when everyone is outside (I reassure you, the less adventurous ones get in quickly and there’s plenty of room). While the the sailboat and the catamaran are small groups, maybe 8/12 but are a bit more expensive.
- the type of engine: at Polar Adventures, there is a classic motor boat. At Brim, it is a hybrid, while we have a sailboat (which still has a motor) and a catamaran. It’s diversified but for some reasons, we must prefer one or the other.
- the price: as you can see, there is not a huge difference in price. From 110€ for the hybrid boat to 150€ for the sailboat in a small group, we stay in a certain price range
- the content: some offer fishing, others to see the Northern Lights, and some nothing more than exploration (which is already good!), so it’s up to you if you want to add a little something, but fishing is generally included almost everywhere
See the Northern Lights by boat!
This is a nice option (weather permitting!). You can go on a cruise around Tromso to see the landscapes and especially the northern lights.
Well, as I said earlier, it will depend on the weather. But even if the boats are not as flexible as the minibuses of the agencies, they can go far and walk in the fjords and around Kvaloya to find clear sky.
So frankly why not! We kill two birds with one stone:
- a northern lights excursion
- and a boat trip
For that we have several providers who are worth but with services a little different:
- Norwegian Travel, a classic boat, with jacuzzi, which offers the possibility to come again for free if you don’t see the aurora, 90€
- Brim Explorer, a hybrid electric boat, therefore quieter and more modern, and which also offers a good dinner, 140€
- Pukka Travel, which offers a nice sailboat to see the Northern Lights, 125€
Not easy! All the options are good and the boats have a good reputation. I would probably prefer the hybrid boat Brim Explorer for its engine and the newer boat. Well, I say that, but I recently booked with Polar Adventures. The route is the same, the price is almost the same, but just a different type of boat. Newer but also bigger at Brim.
After that, the most expensive option is the sailboat, but it looks pretty good!
But if you want something different, don’t hesitate to take the boat at night to to see the northern lights i really think it’s a good option, provided that the weather is rather clear 🙂
Some tips and information to discover the surroundings of Tromso by boat
- Price: as we just saw, the main companies, the classic ones, are priced between 110 and 120€. For a sailboat or a catamaran, we will be rather between 130 and 150€. It is expensive, but less than the other activities in Tromso.
- In what season: well, unlike the dog sledding, whale whatching or others, you can visit the fjords of Tromso all year round! The experience is different in winter or in summer, not the same colors, not the same temperature, no snow, but each season is a great option 🙂
- Who is it for: everyone! well almost, unfortunately the boats I saw are not equipped for wheelchairs. Except maybe Brim Explorer, their boat is recent and on their website they say to contact them in advance. For children, no problem, no age limit. You will have to keep an eye on them outside.
- Seeing animals: depending on the season and your luck, you may see dolphins. Whales might be more complicated because they are further away. But you can see eagles!
- Seasickness: the boats do not go to the open sea. They stay in channels or fjords, where frankly it is never really agitated. So no worries! Within the whole group, nobody was sick.
- Strong wind and cancellation: the sailing conditions are regulated. If the wind is too strong, then the trip is cancelled, which has already happened to me and happens from time to time. They don’t mess around with that.
See whales and orcas in Tromso
I explain it in much more detail in this article but between the beginning of November and the end of January/beginning of February, your sea trips will be mainly dedicated to see whales and orcas. It is an activity that takes more time, that goes further because the whales are not in Tromso itself but in Skjervoy (but I reassure you, you go by boat!), a little more expensive because from 140€. And it is something really top. Majestic. And for this trip, I rather advise Brim Explorer (that you can discover here) because you go in a hybrid boat, better for the animals
There you go, you know everything or almost! In addition to being a nice and refreshing sea trip (if we ever needed it in Tromso!), discovering the fjords of Tromso is something possible all year round. So you’ve seen the different options, I hope this will have convinced you, it’s not something as expensive as the other activities, but it’s just as nice, and more relaxing!