Northern Europe and Russia

Northern Europe & Russia

Regional Journey

Grand Scandinavia (Summer 2018)

Duration: 21 days Visiting: Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden

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Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Sail the Baltic Sea, crossing rolling tundra and glassy fjords in your search for the midnight sun, all the while enjoying the local culture, history and striking scenery.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Copenhagen.

    On arrival at Copenhagen Airport, your transfer shuttle service will leave for your hotel at 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00. Join your Travel Director at 17:30, for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, followed by a visit to the glittering lights and enchanting atmosphere of the world-famous Tivoli Gardens.

  3. Day 3

    Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen.

    Start the day by meeting your Local Expert and see Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid, gazing wistfully across the harbour. Follow this with a visit inside the Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Government, to marvel at the opulent interior. See the the Renaissance Stock Exchange, Rosenborg Castle and Amalienborg Palace, home of the royal family. The rest of the day is at leisure to continue exploring as you wish.

  4. Day 4

    On to Stockholm, City of Islands.

    Travel from Denmark to Sweden by crossing the incredible Øresund Bridge. Spanning 16km over the Flinte channel it’s the longest road and rail bridge in Europe. Pass through the artificial island of Peberholm which has become a haven for flora and fauna and continue through the Skåne region, which gave its name to Scandinavia. Enjoy views of the patchwork of fertile farmlands as you journey along the shores of Lake Vättern to the Swedish capital, Stockholm, which is set on 14 beautiful islands. In the evening, perhaps try the local cuisine served in traditional surroundings?

  5. Day 5

    Stockholm and Baltic Sea Cruise.

    Join a Local Expert for your visit to the City Hall's marvellous Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall, and the Blå hallen, the Blue Hall, where the Nobel Prize banquets are held. Continue to Gamla Stan, the medieval heart of the city. View the cathedral and walk through the Old Town to see the Royal Palace. With the afternoon at leisure, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Vasa Galleon, a marvellous impression of life on board a 17th century naval vessel. In the evening, board your Baltic cruise to Finland and voyage through the largest archipelago in the world. Enjoy dinner onboard and enjoy the seemingly endless sea views from the comfort of your high-class, sea-view cabin, while the northern sun hangs over the horizon, showing almost no sign of setting in mid-summer.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    Fashionable Helsinki.

    (Relaxed Start) Helsinki is known as a global trendsetter in design, fashion, stunning architecture and luscious parks. Disembark your Baltic cruise to meet your Local Expert. Visit the astonishing modern Church in the Rock and see the Sibelius Monument and Finlandia Hall. Afterwards, enjoy time to explore on your own. Why not stop for lunch at the colourful market located by the harbour and spend time browsing the vast array of stalls selling local souvenirs, handicrafts as well as fruits, vegetables and world-class pancakes?

  7. Day 7

    Lakes and Forests to Kuopio.

    Finland is a land of beautiful lakes and enchanting forests. Sit back and relax as you take in the spectacular scenery. On arrival in Kuopio, ascend Puijo Tower for a splendid panorama that will reveal why Finland is called the land of a thousand lakes.

  8. Day 8

    The Road to Rovaniemi.

    As you journey towards the Arctic, travel through Lapland, native home to the nomadic Sami people. Visit Oulu, Northern Finland's oldest city. It is also the largest general port in the Bothnian Bay, made up of 3 harbours. Enjoy time to explore the centre of the city that is spread across several islands, connected by pedestrian bridges and cycleways, considered one of the best in Europe. You travels continue to Rovaniemi, the modern capital of the region.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Rovaniemi and Lapland.

    (Relaxed Start) With your Local Expert, see the Town Hall designed by Aalvar Aalto and visit Rovaniemi Church. Next, a delight for the young at heart! Visit the Santa Claus Village where it is Christmas all year round. Meet Santa, visit the post office and cross the Arctic Circle - you'll receive a certificate to prove you were there! With the afternoon at leisure perhaps you may want to visit the open-air museum and Arktikum?

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Across the Arctic Circle to Ivalo.

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning enjoy a relaxed start or perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit Ranua Wildlife Park, for the chance to see polar bears, lynxes or even a wolverine. Later, continue your journey north along the Four Winds' Road where you may see herds of reindeer roaming freely as you head for one of the oldest churches in Lapland. Travel through Europe’s last great wilderness to see the Urho Kekkonen National Park near the gold centre of Tankavaara.

  11. Day 11

    The North Cape.

    Cross the rolling tundra into Norway and stop at Karasjok, the seat of the Sami Parliament and a centre of Sami culture. Visit a Sami folk museum before continuing through the unique scenery on the way to North Cape, locally known as Nordkapp. With only the Svalbard Islands separating you from the North Pole, it literally feels like you are at the end of the world. In the evening, journey to the northernmost point of mainland Europe in search of the midnight sun, where you will enjoy a glass of bubbles and caviar in one of the most special places on Earth.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    Through Finnmark to Alta.

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed start or perhaps set out on a sea bird and arctic cruise adventure? This Optional Experience include a cruise around the Gjesværstappen, a necklace of islands that's a protected nesting area for millions of Puffins, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots and White Tailed Eagles. You may even get the chance to spot a Grey Seal or Porpoise. Once returned to the mainland, continue your escorted journey to Alta.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    A World of Adventure in Alta.

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy the morning at leisure to explore Alta as you wish. Maybe check out the Rock Art of Alta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of prehistoric rock carvings, or consider taking a wilderness trip on the river? Later, visit a working Husky farm to meet Trine Lyrek, a champion dog sledder. Learn about her Alaskan Huskies and the challenges she faces competing in marathon Arctic dog sled races. Trine's dogs are so highly trained that they are only allowed to bark when they know it's time for running! They're also very friendly and you'll be able to have a play if you wish. Afterwards, delight in a wonderful barbecue Highlight Dinner of local specialties including salmon and the nutritious local game, reindeer, served with fresh salads and wine.

  14. Day 14

    Narvik.

    Pass Kåfjord where the German battleship Tirpitz was once stationed and hear tales of one of the first large-scale battles of World War II. As you travel south, see the marvellous Lyngen Alps in the distance. They're 90 kilometers of mountains and glaciers that really are stunning all year round. Continue to Narvik, surrounded by majestic mountains.

  15. Day 15

    Across Tysfjord to Mosjøen.

    Board a ferry to cross Tysfjord, then continue past Rago National Park, its fjords cut deep into the landscape. Bid farewell to the Arctic before reaching Mosjøen, a pleasant town on the Vefsnfjord that has a large concentration of historic, 19th century wooden buildings and Norway’s oldest octagonal church.

  16. Day 16

    Laksfoss Falls to Trondheim.

    Drive through Namdalen then watch for salmon leaping upstream as they travel to their spawning-grounds at the mighty Laksfoss Falls. Continue past the village of Hell to Trondheim, once the seat of the ancient Viking kings and Norway's third largest city. Trondheim has always reflected the changing fortunes of Norway and is full of interest. See the Market Square dominated by its statue of Olav Tryggvason and the Nidaros Cathedral, Norway’s national shrine. Tyholttårnet, or Tyholt Tower rises high above the city and the Old Town Bridge is locally known as Lykkens Portal, which means Portal of Happiness.

  17. Day 17

    Geiranger, Jewel of the Fjords.

    Begin one of the most scenic days you will ever experience. Norwegian Fjordland is a dream world of soaring mountains, icy glaciers and rivers which cascade hundreds of metres into the green valleys below. Travel via lakes and snow-capped peaks to Lom, home to one of Norway’s most beautiful stave churches. Cross the Dovre Mountains, which form Norway’s oldest national park, Rondane National Park. Arrive at the mirror-smooth waters of Geirangerfjord to embark on a spectacular cruise beneath towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls. Your hotel is in a superb setting overlooking the beautiful Norwegian Fjord landscape.

  18. Day 18 - Relaxed Start

    Geiranger at Leisure.

    (Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed start and a whole day free for you to explore the fjords and mountains of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perhaps join an Optional Experience and take an incredible scenic drive along the amazing Trollstigen, or Troll's Road. The road itself was a masterpiece of engineering when it was built over 70 years ago and the spectacular views will leave you speechless.

  19. Day 19

    Oslo, the Capital.

    Journey through the countryside immortalised by Ibsen in 'Peer Gynt' and inspiration for Greig. Continue to Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Then it's on to the modern Norwegian capital of Oslo.

  20. Day 20

    Cosmopolitan Oslo.

    Your Local Expert will show you the spires and ramparts of the medieval Akershus Castle guarding the harbour. See the Royal Palace and visit the Viking Ship Museum. Explore Frogner Park, housing the intriguing sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax by the harbour or continue exploring as you wish. Round off your travels with a Celebration Dinner. During a delicious meal with wine, raise your glass to toast your adventures with your newfound friends.

  21. Day 21

    Out of Oslo.

    Your departure transfer arrives at Oslo Airport at 07:15 or 10:15.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Alta: Meet Trine Lyrek at her working husky farm. Gain an insight to the challenges Trine and her Alaskan Huskies face when competing in marathon Arctic dog sled races. There's also time to have a play with these gorgeous pups.
  • Rovaniemi: Meet Santa Clause when you visit his village where it is Christmas all year round! From his post office, you can make sure that Santa sends Christmas letters to friends and family back home come December.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Copenhagen: Make the most of the long summer nights at Tivoli Gardens, the famous entertainment park.
  • Karasjok: Visit the museum devoted to Sami history and culture, offering a glimpse into the old Sami lifestyle.
  • North Cape: Journey to mainland Europe's most northern point to see something that doesn’t happen - sunset! Even at midnight, the sun clings to the horizon. This once-in-a-lifetime unique experience is accompanied by champagne and caviar to make it even more special.
  • Geiranger: Cruise along the deep, blue waters of majestic Geirangerfjord, surrounded by snow-covered mountains, gushing waterfalls and lush green vegetation.
  • Oslo: Stand beneath the scrolled prows and handcut hulls of 9th century ships that carried Viking nobles to the afterlife and learn about their traditions and culture when you visit the Viking Ship Museum.
  • Oslo: Guided by your Local Expert, see the impressive Akershus Castle and the Royal Palace. Take a moment to contemplate the interesting Vigeland sculptures when you visit Frogner Park.
  • Copenhagen: Explore with your Local Expert. See Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid on the harbour, the Renaissance Stock Exchange, Rosenborg Castle and Amalienborg Palace.
  • Copenhagen: With a Local Expert, witness the regal interior of Christiansborg Palace, with its stunning tapestries, furnishings and decor.
  • Øresund Bridge: Cross this magnificent fiat of engineering. It's the longest road and rail bridge in Europe, spanning 8 kilometres.
  • Cruise: Admire the beautiful views from your high-class, sea-view cabin as your cruise through the largest archipelago in the world, from Stockholm to Helsinki.
  • Stockholm: Wander through Gamla Stan, the Old Town, with your Local Expert to see the cathedral and the Royal Palace.
  • Stockholm: With a Local Expert, step inside the City Hall where the fabulous Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall is covered by 18 million gilded mosaic tiles. You'll also see the Blå hallen, the Blue Hall, where the Nobel Prize banquets are held.
  • Helsinki: Your Local Expert will show you the sights of the harbour city. Visit the Church in the Rock, admire the interesting Sibelius Monument and see Finlandia Hall.
  • Kuopio: Admire the spectacular panoramic views from atop Puijo Tower.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Alta: Savour a delicious barbecue Highlight Dinner of local specialties of fresh salmon and the local's favourite, reindeer, served with fresh salads and wine.
  • Oslo: Scandinavian hospitality is matched with fine food and a glass of wine at your Celebration Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 19 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 8 Dinners (D) and 3 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Radisson Blu Scandinavia Copenhagen

Copenhagen (Central) - Denmark

Radisson Blu Scandinavia, Copenhagen.

Hilton Slussen

Stockholm (Central) - Sweden

Cruising

(Crusie) - India

Glo Hotel Art Helsinki

Helsinki (Central) - Finland

Cumulus Kuopio Hotel

Cumulus Kuopio Hotel.

Santa Claus Hotel Rovaniemi

Rovaniemi (Central) - Finland

Santa Claus Hotel, Rovaniemi

Hotel Ivalo

Ivalo (Scenic) - Finland

Scandic Honningsvag

Honningsvag (Central) - Norway

Scandic Alta

Alta (Central) - Norway

Scandic Narvik

Narvik (Central) - Norway

Fru Haugans Hotel Mosjen

Mosjoen (Scenic) - Norway

Clarion Hotel Congress Trondheim

Clarion Hotel & Congress Trondheim.

Hotel Union Geiranger

Hotel Union Geiranger.

Thon Hotel Opera Oslo

Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo.

  • Amazing

    4 out of 5

    Thirroul, Australia

    Our trip was amazing. Every day was special in some way. Our tour guide Franko was wonderful, humorous, entertaining, informative and practical. His knowledge of the people, traditions and culture was very helpful and insightful. Our bus driver Lazslo was also amazing. Again helpful and very professional. Our friends have been in awe of how much we saw and did. Loved every minute. Thank you.

    56 out of 58 people found this comment useful

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  • Fantastic

    5 out of 5

    Capalaba, Australia

    The Grand Tour of Scandinavia tour was excellent. Our tour director and bus driver were excellent, looking after us all, we felt vey safe. All the tours including optional tours were fantastic. I would recommend this tour and Insight Vacations to friends and acquaintances.

    28 out of 28 people found this comment useful

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  • Great trip

    5 out of 5

    Howell (MI), United States

    Wonderful tour. Great itinerary. Can not say how happy I was that this was a land tour rather than just a cruise into the fjords. The scenery is gorgeous. The side tours were all worth taking. Our guide, Perri, was very knowledgeable and had a delightful sense of humor. And the coach and driver were supreme. Really enjoyed our fellow travelers, too. The mix of Americans, Brits, Aussies, Canadiens, and So. Africans was so much fun. They were such a good, responsible, on time group. I would highly recommend this trip.

    35 out of 36 people found this comment useful

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  • Great time in Scandinavia

    4 out of 5

    Baulkham Hills, Australia

    This was our 10th tour with Insight Vacations and it did not disappoint. We had a wonderful trip with like minded people. A terrific guide and fantastic driver. The sites were amazing and the whole experience was fantastic.

    47 out of 47 people found this comment useful

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  • Scandinavian Odyssey

    5 out of 5

    Berremangra, Australia

    The four countries visited, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, spectacular, cities, towns, villages, remote areas and scenery. Clean with welcoming people, good English. Tour time with the natural beauty, wildlife and snow added a highlight to this tour. Needless all was brought together by tour director Peter, coach driver Lsazlo. Highly recommended.

    37 out of 39 people found this comment useful

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  • Terrific Experience

    4 out of 5

    Gin Gin, Australia

    Thanks to the wonderful tour director and driver who helped make this a truly terrific experience. Each day offered different opportunities to explore the range of cultures, diverse scenery etc. The Arctic Circle experience was special and really loved Geiranger. In all a great tour and would recommend it to anyone wanting to go to Scandinavia.

    30 out of 31 people found this comment useful

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  • awesome scandinavia

    5 out of 5

    Morganville, United States

    On the grand tour of scandinavia, the sights to be experienced and location of the lodging accommodations were the best. A grand tour indeed.

    26 out of 26 people found this comment useful

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  • A Grand Introduction

    4 out of 5

    Tarboro, United States

    I enjoyed my trip (second to Norway, first for Denmark, Finland, and Sweden) very much. Seeing the VASA was the main purpose of the trip. I wish there had been more time in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki. It was my second trip to Oslo, so I had a chance to visit the Historic Museum, which I had not had time to visit on my first trip. I have several recommendations: 1) Start the trip with a stop in Oslo to change money before going to Copenhagen, since banks do not change more anymore, and finding a place to change money proved to be A REAL PAIN. 2) Advise everyone to have a credit card with a pin, something new that the cards I took with me DID NOT HAVE. That's why changing money in Norway was VERY important for me. 3) I was told that carry-ons with wheels and telescoping handles were not allowed, but a number of people had them, and there was room for them in the bottom of the bus. Clarification would be helpful, especially since I plan on going to Scotland in August after two weeks in London. 4) I would like to see a trip specializing on Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki since I wold like to spend more time in these cities.

    64 out of 73 people found this comment useful

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  • Great vacation

    5 out of 5

    Midway, United States

    Just returned from Grand Tour of Scandinavia with Chad Hartin as our Tour Director. Wonderful experience. Chad was both knowledgable and professional and his expertise enhanced our entire vacation. This tour shows the very best of Scandinavia and our trip exceeded our expectations. As s repeat Insight traveler, I would rate this tour as showing us the very best of Demark, Finland, Sweden and Norway.

    21 out of 24 people found this comment useful

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  • A fantastic tour of wonderful Scandinavia

    5 out of 5

    Lindisfarne, Australia

    Sometimes words are superfluous. What can I say? Tour director Rob Lintott and driver Oleg Siffer were a brilliant duo who helped to make this 20-day tour a very special holiday to remember. The scenery was spectacular, the weather....well the Sun just kept on shining for us, even throughout our stay within the Arctic Circle, and the friendliness that evolved throughout the 40 people in our tour group was fabulous. There were many occasions that our dynamic tour director added little and delightful surprises to fend of the tedium of the necessary long days we had on the bus. Thanks Rob! I'd thoroughly recommend this tour, especially as we were a lucky group who genuinely saw the Midnight Sun at midnight!!! Yippee!

    53 out of 54 people found this comment useful

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  • Fantastic Scenery

    5 out of 5

    Glenelg, Australia

    The Tour Director Lene and driver Bertie we exceptional and made for a fantastic stress free holiday. The tour provided a broad contrast between great cities and the vastness of the wilderness areas. Lapland was exceptional and to see the Sami people way of live and history was very special. Scenery was fantastic from the vast forests to the barren tundra to the magnificent fjords of Norway. One but cannot forget the midnight sun at the north cape and the Trolls road being the highlights. A thoroughly recommended tour despite some of the travel days being long.

    76 out of 80 people found this comment useful

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  • SCANDAFASTIC

    5 out of 5

    Greensborough, Australia

    A thoroughly enjoyable tour, fantastic tour director and coach driver. Could not fault a thing, taking into consideration some of the remote towns the accommodation was the best on offer, at other places the hotels were excellent. The meals very good at all times. The optional tours offered were well worth it. All the travellers became friends almost immediately and were very considerate with seat rotation when some were affected by motion sickness.

    57 out of 59 people found this comment useful

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  • Grand Tour of Scandinavia

    0 out of 5

    Ladera Ranch, United States

    We really enjoyed this tour. Our Tour Director (Laura) and the driver (Julian) were the best. Julian would stand by the door and help everyone to get on and get off the coach. He is very safe driver. He has pleasant personality. Laura is very well organized and always the smiling face. She is knowledgeable and entertaining. She kept everyone interested in the history of the area and people. Laura and Julian made sure that our luggage was delivered to our rooms right away. We like Insight much better than other tour companies. The tours were better planned, covered many things that other companies don't cover. All the best hotels of the area were selected, at good locations, normally in the city centers.

    55 out of 55 people found this comment useful

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  • Best Ever Tour.

    5 out of 5

    Morayfield, Australia

    We had the best ever time from day one in Copenhagen, the tour is easy paced with only about 2 long travelling days which I enjoy looking at all the new scenery.Our tour guide was so well organised & every thing went to plan & his information sessions are great. We were well looked after right up to departure time in Oslo so one can ask for no more than that we also met a lot of new friends. I would recommend Insight Vacations to anyone.

    70 out of 71 people found this comment useful

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NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Red Hot Deal (discounts are not combinable).
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