Tromso, Norway

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The best way to see its full glory is to take a cable car 480 metres up to the top of Mount Storsteinen, which affords spectacular views out over the city to the surrounding mountains. You’re just 400km from the Arctic Circle in Tromsø, but there’s no need to get out your polar gear. Thanks to its position on the Gulf Stream, this lively city (said to have the greatest number of bars per capita in Norway) is relatively mild for its latitude.

If you're fascinated by the world of snow and ice, the city's Polaria Science Museum is the place to find out all about it. Within its iceberg-shaped walls, you can meet the local wildlife at a vast aquarium, experience an Arctic snowstorm or take a virtual trek through the frozen wilderness to encounter polar bears and see the mystical Northern Lights.

Tromso also has a centuries-old heart and some impressive modern architecture, including the beautifully austere, peaked Arctic Cathedral with its icy shards of concrete and glass.

Please note snow-based shore excursions are not available on autumn cruises.