Experience Tromsø from the water
“Wow, the fish are biting already.”
João Elias Monteiro Lemos has barely cast his first line before he’s got a bite. The hard work now begins to bring his catch onboard.
“Look at this,” he says as he lifts a cod over the gunwale.
“Maybe not the biggest, but great anyway.”
Together with Pauline Louise Araújode Lim, Lemos is on a visit to Tromsø. In addition to mountain trips, restaurant meals and city life, a boat trip is on their to-do list before they head home to Brazil.
“I quite simply adore Tromsø. It’s a city that's got everything. Now we’ve also caught a fish, our visitor experience is complete,” says Lim.
Kurt Arild Larsen is the owner of the Arctic Cruise company in Tromsø. He started the business just under five years ago and since then he has taken thousands of tourists on mini-cruises along the north coast of Norway.
He has skippered the board on most of these trips.
“Many of the people who come with us don’t even know what a fjord is. So that’s often our starting point. However, it doesn’t take long for them all to be totally besotted.”
Arctic Cruise is one of many boat tourism companies in Tromsø, and in the last couple of years, demand for this kind of experience has exploded.
The great thing about Tromsø is that you don’t need to go far out from land to experience wonderful nature experiences – close to the elements.
Larsen himself hails from Hønseby in the far northeast of Norway. As a boy, he dreamed of becoming a captain of a large cruise liner. But when his father, a fisherman, was killed in an accident at sea when Larsen was 15, he decided to change his plans.
He built a career in business instead – and was the head of an ICT company for many years involved in developing various knowledge-based solutions.
But his dream of skippering a boat never died. And on a sailing trip in the Mediterranean a few years ago, he decided to turn this dream into reality. He mortgaged his home and invested everything in his new career.
“It’s involved a huge amount of work, and I do pretty much everything myself: I skipper the boat, gut the fish, cook the soup, act as guide – and clean the toilets. There was very little money in it to begin with. But I was determined not to give up, and gradually things picked up.”
Arctic Cruise is oriented to the wealthiest tourist bracket and offers both catamaran and yacht trips. The company also has a Tesla to rent.
“I personally had barely seen a tourist or a sailing boat when I started. It was a steep learning curve, to say the least. But the most important lesson I’ve learned is to be very hands-on and look after your guests.”
Arctic Cruise arranges trips in both summer and winter. Under the midnight sun and Northern Lights.
“Some of the guests are really surprised to see icicles on the boat. It’s something they’ve never seen before. I think it’s wonderful to be able to give them these kinds of experiences. Many customers say the trip gave them far more than they could ever have dreamed of. That’s music to my ears.”
Northern Lights cruise
Experience the Northern Lights from the water. Departure from Tromsø in the evening on a guided tour that offers excellent and different views of the night sky.
Trips run from December to March.
Fjord cruise, spa & brunch on the Vulkana
An old fishing boat that has been converted into a modern boat with hot tub, sauna and steam room. The Vulkana offers a variety of different trips, such as a morning trip where you’re served brunch and can take a dip in the Arctic Sea.
RIB around Tromsø
This trip is by RIB around Tromsøya. An excellent and speedy start to a holiday break in Tromsø, with various stops where you can learn useful and fascinating information about times old and new.
Fishing trip off Tromsø
This trip goes to known and not so well-known fishing waters close to Tromsø and Kvaløya, to hunt for big fish, experience nature and memorable moments.
RIB to Hella
Step onboard a RIB to beautiful Hella, a 30-minute ride from Tromsø city center. Then take a short walk around Hella and stop off for coffee and pastries. If you're in luck, you can also experience the bird life at close quarters.
Green gold of Norway
Published: September 19, 2018