About Sorrisniva

Sorrisniva is a family Arctic wilderness experience, ice hotel and quality dining establishment located on the banks of the world famous Alta River in Norway’s high Arctic. The name Sorrisniva is derived from Finnish and refers to the burbling of the river as it flows past this unique location.

Sorrisniva is a year-round adventure and food business located on the banks of the Alta River, only 20 minutes from the center of Alta.

The company is run by two brothers, Hans Ulrik and Tor Kjetil Wisløff. They were born on the shores of the Alta River, surrounded by dense fir forest.

The name and the brand Sorrisniva derives from the Finnish immigration and means cascading stream.

The name is derived from the well-known fishing spot right outside the company and was established by their father in 1989.

Our History

Christian B. Wisløff came to Alta around 1885 and settled in Sorrisniva . The next generations Wisløff subsisted on agriculture, slate and salmon in the Alta River. In 1970 Ulrik Wisløff (third generation) started up Alta Riverboat Service, and organized boat trips with forays along the river. Ulrik Wisløff`s three children; Tor Kjetil, Randi and Hans-Ulrik Wisløff formed Alta Recreation Park (AFP) AS in 1989. AFP was mainland Norway’s first business that sold organized snowmobile safaris. 

In 1992, the restaurant Laksestua was built and service building next door. In 2000 Alta Recreation Park built the Alta Igloo Hotel, the only snow and ice hotel for the first time. The unique structure is set up every winter when the snow comes and then melt down in the spring. As per date AFP has 60 snowmobiles and can dress up 450 people in warm winter clothes (snowmobile suits, boots, socks, hat and gloves). 250 guests can be accommodated in our Nordic tipis in comfortable sleeping bags.

Alta Recreation and Park made a major expansion which was completed in November 2004. The new service facility is built firmly in the restaurant Laksestua. Alta Recreation Park has a restaurant, a new modern kitchen, changing rooms/toilets, shower/sauna, meeting facilities, concierge m/souvenir shop under the same roof. We also have an outdoor bathing area with 2 hot tubs. In 2009 celebrated Igloo Hotel 10th anniversary, and while the company was renamed and the new profile. Alta Recreation Park was now sorrisniva Ltd (AS).

The next Igloo Hotel will open the 15th December 2017.

Our History

The Wisløff family have lived at Sorrisniva since 1885 originally farming and salmon fishing. The name Sorrisniva comes from the early Finnish immigration to the Alta River and describes the burbling of the river as it flows past. The third generation brothers of Hans Ulrik and Tor Kjetil have progressively developed their tourism offering starting with riverboat safaris on the spectacular Alta river and canyon in 1970. Sorrisniva offered the first Norwegian snowmobile safaris in 1989 and added the iconic Laksestua restaurant, whose design reflects the Sami tent, in 1992.

In 2000 the Igloo Hotel, Norway’s first ice hotel, was built. Each year the ice hotel is built in early winter and offers overnight accommodation through until April, subject to spring weather conditions. The ice hotel is built by local craftsman and features amazing ice sculptures, an ice bar and an ice chapel which is popular for weddings and christenings. Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel is the world's northernmost ice hotel.

Sorrisniva is famous for it’s a la carte... cuisine which is based upon local foods and products including salmon, cod, locally smoked or cured fish, reindeer, moose and wild berries. Sorrisniva is now developing the Arctic Wilderness Lodge which will create a unique Arctic lodge experience for discerning guests wishing to experience the traditional Sorrisniva seasonal offerings including the Ice Hotel, Northern Lights, Midnight Sun, snowmobile safaris and river boat excursions whilst staying in a premium quality lodge enjoying the world famous Sorrisniva cuisine and hospitality.

What We Offer

Sorrisniva currently offers guests a true Arctic wilderness adventure with the world’s northern most ice hotel, renowned local cuisine, Northern light safaris, snowmobile and reindeer safaris, Sami culture adventures including visiting a traditional Sami tent. In summer we offer exhilarating river boat trips on the spectacular Alta River.

We cater for private guests as well as large groups for special events and team experiences. Our experiences are tailored to our guests wishes for comfort and adventure whilst always ensuring your safety.

We pride ourselves on our  a la carte restaurant which offers excellent local cuisine in the iconic Laksestua restaurant. We cater for year round special occasions for up to 150 guests including an exceptional Norwegian XMas dinner each year in early winter.  

From October 2021 Sorrisniva will offer year round scenic premium lodge accommodation with new restaurant and lounge facilities together with year round Arctic adventures and experiences.

Accommodation in Europe’s largest and the world’s northernmost ice hotel, dinner in the restaurant for groups and à la carte throughout the year.

We have activities such as snowmobile safaris on the Finnmark plateau, accommodation in sami tent (Lavvo camp) and lodges, ice fishing, Northern Lights tours, Reindeer sleigh and Sami adventures.

We customize adventures for groups.



Awarded by the Norwegian Language Council


Awarded by Innovation Norway


Awarded Sorrisniva chef Johnny Trasti of Norway’s National Association


Awarded by the Norwegian Language Council


Award for the best experience concept based on local raw
materials in 2009, awarded by Innovation Norway


Awarded by Alta Municipality


Sparebank 1 Nord Norway


Awarded by the Norwegian Language Council


Awarded by Alta Municipality


Alta Business Association

Contact us


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Phone number
Email address
Visiting address
Sorrisniva 20, 9518 Alta
Reception hours
08.30 - 16.00 GMT+1