The Hurtigruten cruise company definitely is part of Tromso - whether Tromso wants it or not. What started as a mail and cargo boat company has become a cruise company that offers tours from Bergen in the south of Norway to Kirkenes at the Norwegian-Russian border. It is popular mainly among German tourists (or so it seems) but the official languages on board are Norwegian, French and English next to German.
Personally I love the Hurtigruten ships but my opinion is biased as my very first solo journey was on a Hurtigruten cruise ship going from Tromso to Gamvik. However there are people who think that a Hurtigruten cruise is something for old people and yes, I was the only young passenger on the ship but nonetheless the cruise is absolutely wonderful and I'd rather enjoy the scenery than drink and party anyway (of course with my tendency to get sea-sick, drinking and dancing wouldn't be a great idea).
I can also understand Tromso people to be fed up with the cruise tourists once in a while as mostly they are the ones suddenly stopping on the pavement to take a picture. In general you have to watch out for cruise tourists in the city centre and you often find yourself zigzaging around elder people dressed in raincoat and hiking shoes and if you see a "Jack Wolfskin" label on their clothes they are most definitely German (and yes, those are the worst :D). Anyhow, the cruise tourists of course bring money to the city and I don't think that all the souvenir shops and sightseeing companies would exist without Hurtigruten but I may be wrong.
For me personally, hearing the ship's horn upon arrival every afternoon at 2.30pm reminds me of my wonderful journey through Northern Norway and is music to my ears (what a pathetic thing to say isn't it). I also have been able to watch one ship on its way to the harbour at Tromso's beach lately - most definitely awesome (but silly Van didn't bring her camera)!!
And of course I'm already planning to go back on a Hurtigruten cruise, this time to see the fabulous Lofoten islands. I'm afraid I won't be able to make it this semester (thanks to my 5 courses and a reading list of 1000000 pages) but next year for sure!