Day 1: Australia – – Helsinki
Depart Australia today to begin your incredible summer Scandinavia adventure!
Day 2: Helsinki
Arrive in Helsinki and make your own way to your centrally located hotel. Tonight there is an opportunity to meet with your Tour Manager and fellow travellers to hear about our exciting adventures to come, over a welcome drink.
Day 3: Helsinki –– Rovaniemi (B)
This morning take a short walk across the road to the Helsinki Railway station, and board a train bound for Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus. A comfortable train journey through the Finnish landscapes to the Arctic circle and Finnish Lapland. After an early evening arrival in to Rovaniemi, you will be transferred your hotel.
Day 4: Rovaniemi – Inari (B,D)
This morning we will visit Santa’s village, right on the Arctic Circle. Later, we will visit Sodankyla with a special visit to Sodankyla Old Church. One of the oldest churches in Lapland, built in 1689 for the people of Middle Lapland. The church was restored in 1926, and the shingles and boarding were re-done between 1991-1995 by the National Board of Antiquities and Historic Monuments. We will then continue on to Inari, Inari is Finland’s largest, most sparsely populated municipality, with four official languages, more than any other in the country.
Day 5 Inari – Honningsvag (B,D)
This morning we visit SIIDA, The National Museum of the Finnish Sami, within walking distance of the hotel. The Sami Museum Siida is the national museum of Sami and a national museum in Finland. The Sami museum stores the spiritual and material culture of the Finnish Sami in its collections and presents it to the public through its exhibitions and publications. Its main purpose is to support the identity and the cultural self esteem of the local Sami.
After, we continue our journey, crossing the border of Finland and Norway, bound for the northernmost point of Europe, with a stop in Karasjok. We drive along Porsangerfjord, through the Nordkapp tunnel, and soon after reach Honningsvag. Honningsvag is the nearest port to the North Cape at 71° 10′ 21″ N, only 2,000 kilometers from the Geographical North Pole. In the evening, travel out to the North Cape for the highlight of the tour, an unforgettable view of the midnight sun, and certificate to mark the occasion awaits! (subject to weather conditions)
Day 6: Honningsnag – Kirkenes (B)
Today, we will travel from Honningsvag to Kirkenes. This small townof Kirkenes is in the North East of Norway, close to the Russian boarder, and it is the capital of the municipality of Sor-Varanger. Being the turnaround point for Hurtigruten Cruises for over 100 years, Kirkenes serves an an important maritime port.
Day 7: Kirkenes (B,L,D)
Today we embark on our Southward bound Hurtigruten voyage. As this ship starts its voyage south, view the stunning Arctic landscape from the deck on from the panoramic lounge. Inthe afternoon, the ship docks at Vardo, Norways easternmost port. Heading South we cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Batsfjord, before reaching Berlevag in the evening.
Day 8: Mehamn-Tromso (B,L,D)
Hammerfest was founded in 1789, and over time became Norway’s polar capital, serving as a base for hunting expeditions in to the high Arctic. After crossing open water, we make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervoy, where Hurtigruten founder, Richard With, was born. During the docking at Tromso, perhaps take a walk around Tromso town, and enjoy a local brew at one of the city’s many friendly pubs.
Day 9: Tromso-Stamsund (B,L,D)
Arrive at Harstad this morning, and admire views of the old church as we sail towards the Risoyrenna, a shallow 7m deep channel made especially for Hurtigruten in the 1920’s to provide an ‘inside route’ between Harstad and Sortland. The sand banks along the Risoyrenna are visible through the clear, green water. The island groups of Lofoten and Vesteralen offer some of the most stunning scenery seen during the entire coastal village. The daylight sailing route through the Lofoten Islands is a highlight for many. Reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only 2km long and 100m wide, surrounded by majestic mountains. Steep cliffs hug the ships sides and the dramatic landscape conjures fairy tale images of an imaginary land of trolls. Trollfjord is also the realm of the sea eagle. Continue to Samssund, and see the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten wall.
Day 10: Stamsund – Rorvik (B,L,D)
Crossing the Arctic cirlce at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’. Today celebrate the even out on the deck with a ‘taste’ of Arctic tradition, a spoonful of cod liver oil! Sail along the Helgeland Coast, passing hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls rich in local lore. On deck see the strange mountain Troghatten (rising 258m above sea level), famous for its distinctive hole right through the middle. the hole, 160m long, 35m high and 20m wide, and was created during the ice age. Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range.
Day 11: Rorvik – Alesund (B,L,D)
The ship heads out in to the majestic Trondheimsfjord, 170km long and up to 25km wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords, it is deep, plunging to 557m. Fishing is hugely important to Norwegian coastal communities. Kristiansund’s location has steadily provided the town with a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. Kristiansund is today regarded as Norway’s dried cod capital because of ots long time export of the salted dry fish.
Day 12: Alesund – Bergen (B,L)
Before docking in Bergen, there are still some more nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead, including the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedal Glacier. Here the fjord widens to the east and forges 90km inland to Loen and Olden. We navigate the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord, and enjoy superb views of the magnificent island studded coastline en-route before finally disembarking in Bergen. We meet with our local English speaking guide for a sight seeing coach and walking tour of Bergen. The tour includes a drive past St. Mary Church and Haakon Hall; a walk around the colourful and picturesque fish markets and the old Hanseatic whark at Brygge.
Day 13: Bergen –– Australia (B)
Our tour ends after breakfast at the hotel. At the appropriate time make your own way to the airport to board your flight for your homeward journey.
Day 14: Australia
Arrive home today.
Please note: some flights arrive home 1 day later.