Day 1: Australia – – Oslo
Depart Australia for spectacular Scandinavia.
Day 2: Oslo (D)
Land in Oslo, the capital of Norway, and head to the hotel. You will have the opportunity to meet with the tour guide and your fellow travellers tonight over a welcome dinner.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 3: Oslo (B)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and then set out to discover Oslo on a walking tour. This grand city stroll takes in must-see sights including Fråm Museum, Vigeland Sculpture Park, Viking Ship Museum, Oslo Opera House and the Holmenkollbakken ski jump. The tour also utilises local public transport to get around.
Day 4: Oslo – Flam (B,D)
It is an early breakfast before boarding the morning Norway in a Nutshell train. This scenic train journey ventures through the Flåm Valley, travelling from Oslo to Myrdal. On arrival in Myrdal, you will change onto the Flåm Rail which takes travellers past incredible landscape, including fjords. The evening is spent in Flåm.
Day 5: Flam – Bergen (B)
Catch the ferry from Flåm to Gudvangen, passing through the narrow Nærøyfjord. From Gudvangen, the journey continues by bus to Voss. The valley leading towards Voss is lined with waterfalls. The last leg of the Norway in a Nutshell journey is another train, this time travelling to Bergen. Arrive in the afternoon and then enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Day 6: Bergen – Norwegian Coastal Voyage (B,D)
The morning is free time. An English-speaking guide picks up the group from the hotel in the afternoon for a tour of Bergen, which passes by St. Mary’s Church, Haakon Hall, the fish markets and the Hanseatic wharf at Brygge. There is also a visit to Troldhaugen, the home of Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Grieg. The tour concludes at Bergen pier where the group boards the Hurtigruten ship, ready to cruise towards Florø and Ålesund.
Day 7: Alesund (B,L,D)
The cruise passes by islands and skerries as it sails towards Ålesund. It makes several brief stops along the way. Explore Ålesund, a town known for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. The ship travels to Trondheim overnight.
Day 8: Trondheim (B,L,D)
See Scandinavia’s largest medieval building, Nidaros Cathedral, when the boat calls into Trondheim. This city was once Norway’s capital and is easily explored by foot. Make sure to walk along the river to see the colourful storehouses lining the waterfront.
Day 9: The Arctic Circle & Lofoten Islands (B,L,D)
Today the cruise crosses the Arctic Circle – one of the many highlights of the tour – to reach the Lofoten Islands. See the islands’ small fishing villages, majestic granite cliffs and white-sand beaches. Now that the group is officially past the Arctic Circle, the search for the Northern Lights begins to heat up. Some travellers may even catch a glimpse of the dancing lights this evening. The cruise continues through the dramatically narrow Raftsundet and, weather allowing, sails to the entrance of the Trollfjord.
Day 10: Tromso (B,L,D)
A morning stop in Finnsnes is followed by a visit to Tromsø, the Arctic capital and getaway to what lies beyond. Tromsø is a popular vantage point for viewing the Northern Lights, and the city has a historic centre distinguished by its centuries-old wooden houses.
Day 11: Honningsvag & the North Cape (B,L,D)
Visit Honningsvåg today, the nearest port to the North Cape that is located 2000 kilometres away from the North Pole. Its permanent population numbers only 2500 people and it operates primarily as a fishing community. The afternoon and evening takes travellers onto Kjøllefjord and on the way, you may be able to see the Northern Lights again if the sky is clear.
Day 12: Kirkenes – Inari – Saariselka (B,L,D)
Admire the dramatic coastal scenery as the cruise approaches Kirkenes and the tour disembarks. There is a short drive through the town to learn about its history and there is also a stop at the Russian border. It is then onto the Finnish Lapland and the village of Inari, home to the Sámi people. Here, visit the SIIDA Sami Museum and learn about local culture. Then continue to Saariselkä to check into your accommodation for the next two nights.
Day 13: Saariselka (B,L)
This morning’s visit is to a husky farm*. Be welcomed by a chorus of barks from the farm’s residents and then meet the head musher to talk about the life and training of these dogs. There is also opportunity to take photos of the surrounding landscape.
*This visit may include a husky wagon or sled ride for departures from December, however it is weather dependant.
Day 14: Saariselka – Sinnetta (Glass Igloos) (B,D)
Depart Saariselkä and visit Santa’s Village (perhaps taking a photo with the man himself) on the way to Sinnettä. Tonight’s accommodation is truly one-of-a-kind: a luxury, glass-domed igloo. Look up at the night sky while lying in bed and keep your fingers crossed that the Northern Lights puts on its dazzling performance this evening.
Day 15: Glass Igloos – Rovaniemi (B)
The travels through the Arctic Circle continue; this morning to Rovaniemi. The town was destroyed during WWII and has been rebuilt to plans designed by Alvar Aalto. The major streets are shaped like a reindeer’s head and antlers. Explore the town with free time.
Day 16: Rovaniemi – Jarvisydan (B,D)
Make for Järvisydän, a hotel resort spa in the Finnish wilderness. Relax in the afternoon and take up one of the lavish spa treatments, or strap on snow boots and head out for one of the hotel’s outdoor activities.
Day 17: Jarvisydan – Helsinki (B)
Leave the Finnish wilderness behind and make for the capital, Helsinki, by coach. Arrive in the afternoon and become familiar with the city with a half-day tour. Check in to the hotel and then spend the evening at your leisure.
Day 18: Helsinki –– Tallinn –– Helsinki (B,D)
Sail over the border by ferry from Finland into Estonia for an excursion to Tallinn. See this medieval town with a bus-and-walking tour, taking in Kadriorg Park, Tallinn Song Festival Grounds and the seaside district of Pirita. Also wander along the cobbled streets of the old town; cross Toompea Hill and see the palace there. You will have some free time before boarding the return ferry to Helsinki. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner with the group.
Day 19: Helsinki – – Australia (B)
The tour ends after breakfast at the hotel. You will be transferred to the airport to board a flight back to Australia.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the hotel to your next travel arrangements.
Day 20: Australia
Arrive home today.
Please note: Some flights may arrive 1 day later due to airfare schedules.