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Europe

Europe

Scandinavian Discovery

25 Days

A stunning journey through Scandinavia, travelling from Stockholm to Copenhagen via Finland and northernmost Norway. Visit the Arctic Circle and discover some of the world’s most secluded townships. Experience the natural phenomenon of the ‘Midnight Sun’, ride the amazing Flåm Railway and travel through Norway’s spectacular fjords.

From $13,895 per person

General Information

Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 1. DEPART AUSTRALIA

DAY 2. ARRIVE STOCKHOLM

Welcome to Stockholm, Sweden’s elegant capital! Meet your fellow travellers and Tour Director this evening for a welcome drink.

DAY 3. STOCKHOLM

Spread across 14 islands of distinctly different character, and connected by 57 bridges, the city exudes charm and is just begging to be explored. Today we take a sightseeing tour. Highlights include the Royal Palace, Gamla Stan and the Vasa Museum – home to the infamous 17th century warship. Tonight we’ll enjoy a group welcome dinner. [B,D] 

DAY 4. UPPSALA EXCURSION

Today we take an excursion to one of Sweden’s most dynamic and oldest cities, Uppsala. Here we see its gothic cathedral, dating back to the 12th century, it is the largest and tallest cathedral in the Nordic countries. Next, we visit the beautiful Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala, Sweden’s first botanic garden. [B] 

DAY 5. STOCKHOLM – HELSINKI

Enjoy the morning at your leisure. We board the overnight ferry to Helsinki in the afternoon. [B] 

DAY 6. HELSINKI

We arrive in Finland’s harbourside capital, Helsinki, this morning. Understatedly elegant and with a legendary design scene, there is much to explore. Today we’ll visit the neoclassical Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, the Underground Temple and Parliament House. [B]

DAY 7. HELSINKI

Set on a cluster of islands connected by bridges, this morning we’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Suomenlinna Fortress. [B] 

DAY 8. HELSINKI – ROVANIEMI

Today we fly to Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland. Rovaniemi is the gateway to the Arctic and the official home of Santa Claus, so we’ll make a quick stop at his village. [B]

Special Experience:   This afternoon we’ll visit a husky mushers’ camp and learn how the dogs are trained.

DAY 9. ROVANIEMI – INARI

We tour the Arktikum Science Centre and Museum this morning to learn more about the culture and history of Lapland and life in the Arctic. Travelling north to the town of Inari, we stop en route in Luosto to visit a working amethyst mine where we’ll be able to dig for our own gemstone. [B,D] 

DAY 10. INARI

This morning we visit the Siida Museum to learn about the Finnish Sami culture. Reindeer are an essential part of life in Sami Lapland, and after a cruise on Lake Inari this afternoon we’ll visit a farm to meet some. [B,L,D] 

DAY 11. INARI – HONNINGSVÅG

Today we cross the border into Norway and explore the tiny township of Karasjok to experience Sami culture firsthand. We’ll then venture further north to Honningsvåg. [B,D]

Special Experience:   Enjoy a drink in an ice bar where everything is made of ice!

 

Special Experience:   This evening we’ll enjoy dinner at a gallery as we visit North Cape, Europe’s northernmost point and the perfect place to experience the phenomenon of the Midnight Sun. 

DAY 12. HONNINGSVÅG – ALTA

We wind our way through stunning mountainous scenery on our way to Alta. Alta is home to northern Europe’s largest concentration of rock art. [B,D]

DAY 13. ALTA – TROMSØ

Continuing south, we make our way through the breathtaking archipelago to Tromsø, the ‘Arctic Capital’, characterised by its snow-capped peaks and centuries-old wooden architecture. Tonight we take an evening cable car ride to the top of Mount Storsteinen for stunning vistas over the city. [B]

DAY 14. TROMSØ

Today we visit the iconic Arctic Cathedral, and tour the city’s museum and gardens. [B]

DAY 15. TROMSØ – OSLO

We fly to Oslo, Norway’s artistic capital. [B]

DAY 16. OSLO

Our morning sightseeing tour includes the Viking Ship Museum, Vigeland’s Park, Karl Johans gate and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, where we’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Oslofjord. [B]

DAY 17. OSLO – LÆRDAL

Today we travel to Lærdal via Borgund, stopping at the stave church, a medieval wooden structure unique to Norway. [B,D]

DAY 18. LÆRDAL – BERGEN

We enjoy a stunning cruise along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøyfjord to Gudvangen this morning. We’ll also stop at Undredal for an indulgent cheese tasting. [B]

Special Experience:   Ride the famous Flåm Railway, enjoying some of Norway’s most dramatic scenery.

DAY 19. BERGEN

We discover colourful Bergen on a walking tour of the Hanseatic Bryggen quarter and visit St Mary’s Church. We’ll then take the funicular railway to the top of Mt Fløyen in the afternoon for incredible views. [B]

DAY 20. BERGEN – VRÅDAL

Today we see the striking Steinsdalsfossen and Fossen Bratte waterfalls. We’ll also visit a local cider farm where we learn about cider making and enjoy a delicious lunch. Next we head to Kvanndal to catch a ferry and  continue to charming Vrådal. [B,L,D]

DAY 21. VRÅDAL – AALBORG

We board the ferry to Denmark. [B]

DAY 22. AALBORG – COPENHAGEN

On our way to Copenhagen, we visit Odense, named after Odin, the Norse god of war. It is also the birthplace of the famous fairytale author, Hans Christian Andersen. [B,D]

Special Experience:   Tonight we ‘Dine with a Dane’, as we split into groups, visiting homes of local Danish families who will host home-cooked dinners.

DAY 23. COPENHAGEN

Today we explore cosmopolitan Copenhagen. Highlights include the National Museum and Amalienborg Palace. We’ll also visit the beautiful Nyhavn quarter, before a scenic cruise along the Stromma Canal. Tonight
we’ll enjoy a group farewell dinner. [B,D]

DAY 24. DEPART COPENHAGEN

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

DAY 25. ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

Inclusions

TRAVEL

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Europe. Taxes included
  • Economy-class flight within Finland
  • Economy-class flight within Norway
  • Overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki
  • Ferry from Kvanndal to Utne
  • Ferry from Norway to Denmark
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring conducted in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping Made Easy, $260pp pre-paid

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

  • 21 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 1 night on-board the overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki in an outside cabin with private facilities
  • 22 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 9 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

TOUR GUIDES

  • English-speaking locally based tour director
  • English-speaking locally based guides

SIGHTSEEING

Elegant Stockholm

  • Take a sightseeing tour of Stockholm including Gamla Stan with its maze of cobblestone streets, the Royal Palace and City Hall, Parliament, Opera House and the green island of Djurgården.
  • Visit the Vasa Museum, home to the only preserved 17th century ship in the world – the 64-gun warship Vasa.
  • Visit one of Sweden’s most dynamic and oldest cities, Uppsala and see its Linnaean Gardens gothic cathedral, dating back to the 12th century.
  • Board an overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki.

The land of forests and lakes

  • Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Helsinki, the World Design Capital for 2012, including the Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, Parliament House, Finlandia Hall, Sibelius Park & Monument and the Underground Temple.
  • Tour the Suomenlinna Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site situated on a small group of islands near Helsinki.
  • Visit the great man himself at his official home at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi.
  • Visit a Husky musher’s camp and learn how the dogs are trained.
  • Take a tour of Rovaniemi’s Arktikum Science Centre and Museum.
  • Dig for your own precious gemstone at Luosto amethyst mine.
  • Visit the Siida Museum to learn more about the Finnish Sami Culture.
  • Enjoy a scenic cruise on Lake Inari.
  • Reindeer are an essential part of life in Sami Lapland and you’ll visit a farm to meet some.

Ships & Scenery

  • Gear up and enjoy a drink in the Artico Ice Bar where everything is made of ice, even the glasses!
  • Visit the North Cape, the northernmost point in mainland Europe, and experience the phenomena of the midnight sun.
  • Visit the Alta Museum and tour the UNESCO World Heritage-listed rock paintings and carvings here that were made between 7,000 and 2,000 years ago.
  • Take a walk in the Midnight Sun up to Mt Komsa to enjoy the stunning views over Alta and the surrounding mountains.
  • Ride a cable car to the top of Mount Storsteinen and enjoy the magnificent views over Tromsø and the surrounding archipelago.
  • Visit the iconic Arctic Cathedral, Tromsø’s most famous landmark, and the Tromsø Museum, which houses the world’s northernmost botanical garden.
  • Admire the exterior of the architectural award-winning Oslo Opera House.
  • Explore the Viking Ship Museum, where the 9th century Oseberg burial ship is housed.
  • See the world’s largest sculpture park by a single artist – Vigeland’s Park, and visit the ski jumping arena at Holmenkollen for beautiful views of the Oslofjord.
  • Visit Borgund’s famous stave church, a medieval wooden structure unique to Norway.
  • Travel through the world’s longest road tunnel, the Lærdal Tunnel.
  • Enjoy a stunning cruise along the Nærøyfjord to Gudvangen.
  • Admire the scenic views of the Norwegian countryside on the famous Flåm Railway that winds its way through the high mountains and fjords.
  • Tour Bergen’s hanseatic Bryggen quarter, the old quayside that is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Visit Troldhaugen, home to the composer Edvard Grieg, and Håkon’s Hall, a stone hall built by King Håkon in the 1200s.
  • Ride to the top of Mt Fløyen by funicular and enjoy some spectacular views over the city and landscape beyond.
  • See the magnificent Låtefossen waterfall.

Danish Delights

  • Visit the Old Town of Aarhus in Denmark.
  • ‘Dine with a Dane’, visiting the home of a local Danish family who will host a home-cooked dinner.
  • Tour the city of Copenhagen and see City Hall Square, New Carlsberg Glypotheque, National Museum, Old Stock Exchange, Naval Church, Kings New Square and the Canal area of Nyhavn. Visit Gefion Fountain and stop for a photo opportunity at the Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish Royal Family.
  • Admire Copenhagen from a different perspective on a cruise along the Stromma Canal.
  • Visit the famous Tivoli Gardens, the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world.
Accommodation

ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

SCANDIC DOWNTOWN CAMPER, STOCKHOLM

Located in the very heart of Stockholm, the boutique Scandic Downtown Camper hotel is the perfect base for exploring stylish Stockholm. The property is within walking distance of the Central Station, the city’s best shopping, restaurants, parks, theatres and museums. The hotel features inspiring and thoughtful Scandinavian design, a spacious and character-filled lobby with games and activities area, and a grill and bar.

Facilities: free wifi; safe deposit box

 

HOTEL KATAJANOKKA, HELSINKI

Located just a short 15 min stroll from downtown Helsinki, this historic building dates back to 1837 where it operated as a prison, making the outer walls now the perfect noise breaker. There are plenty of eating options, from the Restaurant Jailbird serving 2kg of fillet mignon, to the Jailyard Terrace for a quick bite with some live music or drop into the Oluthuone Pub for a nice cold beer!

Facilities: free internet access; minibar/fridge; electric kettle; gym; sauna

HOTEL SANTA CLAUS, ROVANIEMI

Located in the centre of Rovaniemi, Santa Claus Hotel offers 3 restaurants along with a coffee shop/café and a bar/lounge.

Facilities: free wifi (public areas); tv; minibar/fridge; safe deposit box; air-conditioning; adjustable heating; rooftop terrace; sauna

 

HOTELLI INARI KULTAHOVI, INARI

Situated alongside the River Juutua, Hotel Inarin Kultahovi offers guests an experience in to the rich colours of the Saami culture. Built in 1956, on the foundations of the original tourist hotel destroyed during World War II, its cosy interior is adorned with handwoven rugs.

Facilities: free wifi

 

SCANDIC NORDKAPP

Located in the very North of Norway, Scandic Nordkapp is located right outside Honningsvåg. The North Cape Park can be reached within 30 km from the property. The hotel is surrounded by spectacular landscapes, with magnificent nature as far as the eye can see.

Facilities: free wifi (public areas); safe deposit box (reception)

 

THON HOTEL, ALTA

Located in the heart of Alta’s town centre, the modern Thon Hotel is the perfect base for exploring Alta and its Arctic surroundings. The property also features an indoor swimming pool and an adjoining pizza bar.

Facilities: free wifi; fridge/minibar; indoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

 

RADISSON BLU HOTEL, TROMSØ

Situated by Tromsø Harbour, this hotel offers air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen TV and tea/coffee facilities. The 10th-floor fitness room and sauna are free and provide great city and mountain views.

Most of Radisson Blu Hotel Tromsø’s rooms offer views of the city, the Arctic Cathedral or Tromsø Sound. All are decorated in warm, soothing tones.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; safe deposit box; fitness centre

 

THON HOTEL OPERA, OSLO

This hotel is conveniently located only 100 m from Oslo Central Station and 300 m from Oslo Opera House. A large breakfast buffet and a bar specialising in Gin-based drinks are featured.

Facilities: minibar; free wifi; fitness centre

 

LINDSTROM HOTEL, LAERDAL

The charming Lindstrom Hotel is located in the idyllic old village centre of Laerdal, in the innermost part of the Sognefjord. The property boasts comfortable rooms decorated in a modern traditional style, a restaurant, bar and shops. Relax in the beautiful garden or explore the historical local roads by foot or bicycle.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar

 

HOTEL ZANDER K, BERGEN

Located adjacent to the Bergen railway station, the Hotel Zander K features a distinctly modern design and character with organic charm. The property boasts a bar which also serves local snacks, fitness suite, free bicycle hire and ironing rooms.

Facilities: free wifi; free bike hire; fitness centre; heating

 

QUALITY HOTEL & RESORT STRAAND, VRÅDAL

This 5th generation family-run hotel dates back to 1864. Located by Lake Nisser in Vrådal, it offers vintage boat cruises and free access to a sauna, gym and indoor pool.

All rooms at Quality Straand Hotel feature traditional décor and private bathrooms.

Facilities: free wifi; fridge/minibar; TV

 

RADISSON BLU LIMFJORD HOTEL, AALBORG

Ideally located by Jomfru Ane Gade, Aalborg’s renowned pedestrian street, the Radisson Blu Limfjord is the perfect starting point for diving into the city’s rich culture – shops, bars, cafes and eateries. The modern property features a restaurant, piano bar, sauna and fitness room, and on-site casino.

Facilities: free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box (reception); tea & coffee making facilities

 

COMFORT VESTREBO HOTEL, COPENHAGEN

Located in the heart of central Copenhagen, the modern First Hotel Vesterbro is decorated with a Scandinavian style of polished floorboards and a splash of lively colour. Sound proof panoramic windows ensure a grand view of the vibrant main street, gorgeous atrium or the lush urban areas, without the noise that can follow.

Facilities: free wifi; complimentary tea & coffee