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Reindeer & husky sledding in Tromsø – the adventurous side of Norway

Famed as a spot to see the Northern Lights, the Arctic Gateway of Tromsø, with its endless polar nights, is also the perfect place to go sledding even if it isn’t Christmas.

Words by Karen Pasquali Jones

Home to 1,000 fjords and some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, Norway is the capital of adventure as well as beauty.

Top of the list after sailing through a UNESCO-protected fjord, marvelling at the towering mountains and world’s most unspoilt natural wonders, is to learn about the Sami culture and experience a Reindeer sled ride – even if it isn’t Christmas. 

Join a Sami reindeer herding family in Troms​ø, who have been living and working with reindeer for generations.

Enjoy a 30-minute sledding ride with a guide, feed 300 of the reindeer before heading inside a gamme tent to eat a traditional Sami meal around a fire. Listen to traditional stories, joiking (singing Sami songs) and hoping to catch a glimpse of those mesmerising Northern Lights.

Of course, Reindeer aren’t the only means of sledding here, 250 miles inside the Arctic circle. Alaskan Huskies are arguably just as cute and more than capable of competing in the annual Finnmarksløpet dog sled race. 

Take a scenic drive across Tromsø to Kvaløya Island, which is also known as Whale Island – taken from the Sami direct translation thanks to its cluster of central mountains resembling the majestic mammals. its name translates from Sami to “Whale Island” thanks to its cluster of central mountains.

Here the dogs and puppies who compete in the world’s most northernmost and Europe’s longest sled dog race live in the Husky Wilderness Camp.

Known for its frozen landscape or rivers, lakes, mountains and tundra, and low temperatures, which drop to -49 degrees F, this is the toughest race on the planet.

The dogs and musher cover more than 600 miles over four to five days beginning on the first weekend of March, but the Huskies at the camp are ready to welcome visitors the rest of the time. 

After cuddling and being licked by the Huskies – no sneaking a puppy under your coat!– head back to Tromsø, Norway’s most lively city which it is said to have the most bars per capita in the country. 

Learn the history of the great Norwegian explorers and hunters at the Polar Museum. Housed in a warehouse built in 1830, the museum has exhibits, artefacts and vintage equipment including scientific instruments, skis and weapons on display. 

Walk along the Arctic Walkway at the Polaria Arctic Centre, where you can meet bearded seals, and take a virtual trek through the frozen wilderness, visit the ultra-modern Arctic Cathedral that is made out of glass, steel and concrete and resembles a geometric glacier, or catch the cable car for an exhilarating ride up Mt. Storsteinen for panoramic views over Tromsø, Troms Island, and the surrounding mountains. 

Set Sail

Norwegian Fjord & Arctic Circle with Celebrity Cruises

Duration: 12 nights

Where: Southampton, UK | Stavanger, Norway | Olden, Norway | Flam, Norway | Tromso, Norway | Honningsvag, Norway | Kristiansand, Norway | Southampton, UK

Ship: Celebrity Apex

Price: $2,899 pp

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Published 03.03.22