As one of the largest ports in Norway nestled on one of the largest islands, Harstad is an absolutely amazing destination. There are things to do and see that reach all the way back to the Viking Era, excursions that bring that era to life, and a chance to see the Northern Lights. Cruise guests will be thrilled by what there is to discover in this port. Three large berths will accommodate a variety of ships in the city center. Guests can walk to the city 5 minutes away and shuttles can take guests into town. The port itself does not have shopping or restaurants but the city is close enough to give it a bustling port feel.
Harstad gives visitors the chance to discover the rich history of Northern Norway and spend time among the relics of its past. The Trondenes Church, just 10 minutes from the port, is the northernmost stone church in the country. It dates back to 1250 AD and is known for being a major piece of Norwegian cultural heritage from the medieval period. Its rare and unique interior now houses artifacts from medieval history, including beautiful checkboard flooring. Nearby, the Trondenes historical center will allow visitors to delve further into the history of Northern Norway. Several exhibitions give an insightful look into history with a focus on the Viking heritage of the area. Exhibitions include archeological sites, music, scents, and sounds. Slightly further from port is the historical Trondenes army camp, housing the largest land-based canon in the world. The Adolf Gun was built during WWII for use on battleships and now sits on the army base as a historic monument. As a final stop on the historical tour of Harstad, the Rokenes Farm is the way to go. This farm is a trading post and guesthouse originally built in the 16th century and still run by the family that originally built it. Today, tours and events are hosted in the stunning main house, built in 1750, and the beautiful gallery, built in 1899.
Northern Norway is not only known for its history but also for its pristine nature. The port of Harstad offers two major attractions for the interested outdoorsman. Visitors can spend the day on the water in a fast-driving RIB boat that sails across the archipelago. On this tour, excited parties will have the opportunity to see seals, whales, and eagles. Most exciting on this tour is the chance to see a Krykkejeberget, the mountainside nesting place of the kittiwake, a red-listed rare bird. Outdoors under the stars is the main attraction of Harstad with a chance to view the Northern Lights. Visitors spend the evening at the Elgsnes beach to look at the beautiful aurora while learning about the history of the old Elgsnes farm and trading station. A professional photographer comes along with the tour, offering a unique photo experience.
The port of Harstad is a perfect option for northern Norwegian itineraries. With easy access for ships and attractions only 10 minutes from the port, this captivating Norwegian city gets high marks from cruise guests.