Vardo is a port town on Vardoya Island (Finnmark, Norway), located just 1,5 km (1 mi) east of mainland Norway (Varanger Peninsula). The small Hornoya Island (with the Vardo Lighthouse) is located at the same distance (1,5 km / 1 mi) to the northeast of Vardoya Island.
The island has a total area of 3,7 km2 (1,4 mi2) and is connected to the mainland by the Vardo Tunnel. The tunnel is the first of its kind in Norway, and part of Europe's highway E75, having its terminus at Vardo.
Vardo is a port town (population around 2,000) and the municipality's administrative centre. The other settlement (on the island's eastern end) is Kiberg (population around 300).
Fishing and seafood processing are Vardoya's major sources of income, although tourism is becoming an important economic factor.
The city's list of tourist attractions includes:
- Vardohus Festning - a fortress dating back to the 14th century (the present structure dates from 1734). The Vardohus Festning fortress is home to a couple of rowan trees nurtured and warmed in winter since they cannot normally survive in this cold climate. Originally, 7 trees were planted in 1960. The one which survived managed to blossom twice (in 1974 and in 1981). The tree died in 2002, but 2 new saplings have been planted in place.
- witchcraft trials memorial
- two museums - Pomor Museum and Partisan Museum
- remnants of German fortifications from WW2 (1939-1945)
- several seabird colonies
The Yukigassen (snowball fighting competition) in Vardo is a unique event in Norway. The other countries where annual tournaments are held are - Japan (Sobetsu), Finland (Kemijarvi), Australia (Mount Buller, Victoria), Sweden (Lulea), USA (Anchorage, Alaska) and Canada (Jasper Alberta, Saskatoon Saskatchewan).
Vardo cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Vardoya Island dock (anchor) at Vardo - port town on the western coast.
Vardo is one of the ferry ports along the "Express Route" - Norway's Government subsidized "Norwegian Coastal Express". This is a regularly scheduled passenger and cargo shipping service in Norway. The "ferry and cruise" itinerary is between two turnaround ports - Bergen (southmost) and Kirkenes (northmost). It connects a total of 34 ports, which are Norwegian communities without any road or air access.
Since January 2021, Norway's coastal ferry service is operated by two companies - Hurtigruten (7 ships) and Havila Shipping (4 ships). The Norwegian Government's annual subsidy for the ferry service is around USD 100 million.
The list of all ports along the northbound "Norwegian Coastal Express" itinerary includes Bergen (turnaround port), Alesund, Floro, Geiranger (Stranda), Maloy (Vagsoy), Molde, Torvik (Heroy, Leinoya Island), Kristiansund, Rorvik (Vikna), Trondheim, Bodo, Bronnoysund (Bronnoy), Nesna, Ornes (Meloy), Sandnessjoen (Alstahaug), Stamsund (Vestvagoy Island), Svolvaer (Vagan, Austvagoya Island), Trollfjorden (Hadsel), Finnsnes (Lenvik), Harstad (Hinnoya Island), Risoyhamn (Andoy Island), Skjervoy, Sortland (Langoya Island), Stokmarknes (Hadseloya Island), Tromso, Berlevag, Hammerfest, Honningsvag (Mageroya Island, Nordkapp / North Cape), Kjollefjord (Lebesby), Mehamn (Gamvik), Oksfjord (Loppa), Batsfjord, Vardo (Vardoya Island), Kirkenes (turnaround port).
Port Vardo cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Vardo, Vardoya Island Norway. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.