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Northern Europe & RussiaRegional Journey
Welcome to Oslo.
On arrival at Oslo airport, your transfer will leave for the hotel at 09:30, 12:00 or 14:30. Join your Travel Director and fellow guests at 17:30, to enjoy a Welcome Dinner with wine.
In the morning, sightseeing with a Local Expert will show you the spires and ramparts of medieval Akershus Castle guarding the harbour, as well as the Royal Palace and an included visit to the Viking Ship Museum. Wander through Frogner Park, housing the intriguing sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. The afternoon is at your leisure, maybe explore City Hall where the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony is held, or walk upon the famous architecture of Oslo Opera House?
Oslo city to coastal Bergen.
Journey across the Hardanger Plateau, Europe's greatest mountain plateau and the largest national park in the Nordic countries, before arriving at your hotel in the historic port of Bergen. In the evening, savour a delicious dinner at Zupperia Matbørsen, a local restaurant offering traditional Norwegian and European flavours with an Asian fusion.
Ancient Hanseatic port of Bergen.
A Local Expert introduces you to Bergen. The ancient Hanseatic port city still largely looks to the sea for its living, as evidenced by the picturesque and lively Fish Market, set in a charming location in the heart of the city. The market also has stalls selling a colourful variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, handicrafts and souvenirs. After seeing the 13th century Haakon’s Hall, there will be time to explore all that this exciting town has to offer. Perhaps spend a leisurely afternoon on the traditional-style train of the Flåm Railway?
A Coastline like no Other.
Enjoy the morning at leisure to ascend Mount Fløyen by the only funicular in Scandinavia or alternatively visit the home of composer Edward Grieg, located alongside the beautiful lake Nordås. Afterwards, travel along this incredible coastline and sail across fjords passing an abundance of islands. Arrive in Stavanger, one of Norway’s oldest cities founded almost 900 years ago. The city has continued to evolve with changing times and now the headquarters of the Norwegian oil industry, Stavanger is a fusion of old world charm and cosmopolitan flair.
The Wonders of Lysefjord.
Cruise Lysefjord, one of Norway's most breathtaking fjords. See Preikestolen, the Pulpit Rock, known as one of the most iconic destinations in the world! You will also view Vagabond's Cave, old mountain farms, idyllic islands and majestic scenery. Enjoy the fjord landscape through panoramic windows or from the sundeck. The afternoon is at your leisure to relax or continue exploring Stavanger.
Onwards to Kristiansand.
Relax and enjoy the scenic drive as you round the southern cape of Norway. Upon arrival in Kristiansand, your orientation walk of the city centre will show you the Dom Kirke and the Nupen Fountain.
Kristiansand to Aarhus.
Say farewell to Norway as you sail across the Skagerrak to Hirtshals, Denmark. Your journey continues to Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city and one of Europe's cultural treasures with world-class museums and modern art. Visit Den Gamle By with your Local Expert to learn about this city’s Viking Heritage as you explore this open-air museum of urban history and culture in Denmark.
A vibrant mix of youthful energy and a blast from the past makes Aarhus a city with an energetic beat of the pulse. Join your Local Expert for an exploration of the city centre. See the City Hall, the modern art museum ARoS Aarhus ART Museum topped with an immense, interactive artwork and Dokk1, the largest public library in Scandinavia. Walk through the area surrounding the cathedral and visit the new township for splendid views of Aarhus Bay. The afternoon is free for you to explore at your own pace. Join your fellow travellers for a Farm-to-Table Dinner of delicious Danish dishes made from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Odense and the Fairytales of Fyn.
Cross the Jutland Peninsula to the town of Odense, on the island of Fyn. In the restored old district, visit the Hans Christian Andersen House, a museum dedicated to his life and works. Learn all about the famous fairytale writer as you follow his career, travels and love life. Perhaps explore the Tivoli Gardens for an evening of lights, flowers and sensory delights.
Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen.
Your Local Expert will reveal the charm of Denmark's capital. Meet Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid gazing wistfully across the harbour and see Christiansborg Palace, the seat of the Danish Government. Continue on to see Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg Palace, the Renaissance Stock Exchange and Copenhagen Cathedral, where the Crown Prince of Denmark married Princess Mary. View the unusual Round Tower a 17th century round tower and the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. The afternoon is at your leisure. In the evening, dine with your newfound friends and delight in a delicious Highlight Dinner.
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?
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 view from the comfort of your A-class, sea-view cabin, while the northern sun hangs over the horizon, showing almost no sign of setting in mid-summer.
Helsinki is known as a global trendsetter in design, fashion, stunning architecture and luscious parks. Disembark your Baltic cruise to meet your Local Expert. Wander through the aromatic stalls of a traditional food market and sample local produce like liquorice or smoked reindeer. 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?
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. Adjoining the hotel is the well-revered Grillsson Steakhouse & Bar, known for their homely atmosphere. Sit back and relax as you are treated to a delicious, freshly-prepared, three-course meal offering, quinoa and goat's cheese to start, warming flank steak with Borderlaise sauce for a main and a refreshing lime posset for dessert.
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. Your travels continue to Rovaniemi, the modern capital of the region.
Rovaniemi and Lapland.
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 which celebrates the Christmas spirit year-round. Meet Santa at his post office, where you can arrange to send a special letter from Santa to loved ones back home in time for the following Christmas. Don’t forget to take a beautiful photo to capture the magic of Christmas. With the afternoon at leisure perhaps you may want to visit the open-air museum and Arktikum?
Across the Arctic Circle to Ivalo.
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, cross the Arctic Circle and receive a certificate to prove you were there! 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.
The North Cape.
Cross nature reserves into Norway and stop at Karasjok, the seat of the Sami Parliament and a centre of Sami culture. Visit a Sami National Museum before continuing along the beautiful Porsanger Fjord to reach the quaint settlement of Honningsvag. Enjoy the picturesque harbour at your leisure or perhaps set out on a sea bird and arctic cruise adventure? This Optional Experience includes a cruise around the Gjesværstappen, a necklace of islands that's a protected nesting area for millions of Puffins, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots, White Tailed Eagles and even a chance of a Grey Seal or Porpoise. Tonight we journey in search of the midnight sun on your included experience of Nordkapp, the northernmost point of mainland Europe, where you will enjoy a glass of bubbles and caviar in one of the most special places on Earth.
Through Finnmark to Alta.
Enjoy a relaxed start before continuing your escorted journey through Norway’s most Northern County of ‘Finnmark’, covered in unique topography of rolling tundra and isolated dwellings. This afternoon experience the town of Alta at your leisure, made famous for its fishing and mining history. Why not visit the Northern Lights Cathedral or consider taking a wilderness trip on the Alta River itself?
A World of Adventure in Alta.
With a leisurely morning start, why not explore the town centre or check out the Rock Art of Alta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of prehistoric rock carvings. 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. Meet some of Trine's Husky puppies, that may grow to be the best racing dogs in the country. If you wish, spend time playing with these adorable pups. Afterwards,delight in a wonderful oven-baked Highlight Dinner of local seasonal specialities,such as salmon or the nutritious local game, reindeer, served with fresh salads and wine.
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. With the evening free for you to explore on your own, perhaps join an Optional Experience and take in stunning views aboard neighbouring Sweden's iron-ore railway. Pass surrounding fjords as the Ofot Railway clings to the mountainside - constructed over 100 years ago, it's an incredible feat of engineering.
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.
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.
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. Cross the Dovre Mountains, as you journey through Dovrefjell National Park. Travel via lakes and snow-capped peaks to Lom, home to one of Norway’s most beautiful stave churches. 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.
Geiranger at Leisure.
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.
Oslo, the Capital.
Journey through the countryside immortalised by Ibsen in 'Peer Gynt' and inspiration for Edvard Grieg. Continue to Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Winter Olympics, for an orientation with your Travel Director. Then it’s on to the modern Norwegian capital of Oslo. Round off your travels with a Celebration Dinner, and raise your glass to toast to your adventures.
Out of Oslo.
Your departure transfer arrives at Oslo Airport at 07:15 or 10:15.
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 trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Step aboard the polar ship Fram, the strongest wooden ship ever built, to experience the life and work of Norway's famous Arctic explorers. The expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen come to life in the interactive exhibitions of this museum, which also houses the Gjøa, the first ship to navigate the entire Northwest Passage.
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
Aboard this iconic rail journey on Europe's steepest regular gauge railway, we'll explore snow-capped mountains and road-less countryside. First the Bergen-Oslo line takes us up to the Flaam train at Myrdal. Then we'll descend slowly through the mountains, with a stop for photos at the thundering waterfall of Kjosfossen. Please Note: This Optional Experience is subject to seasonal availability.
Adult Price: EUR 95.00
Visit Troldhaugen, the idyllic summer home of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s national composer and creator of the famous Peer Gynt music. Situated on a promontory jutting into Lake Nordaas with outstanding views over the water, it offered the composer total tranquillity and inspiration for his music.
Adult Price: EUR 31.00
Aarhus is situated in the middle of some of the most beautiful farm lands in Denmark. Tonight we'll enjoy a local dinner that incorporates some of the best traditions of Danish cuisine.
Adult Price: EUR 69.00
Explore life as if you were one of the first humans in the North and get an exciting insight into their harsh way of life. Walk through ancient Aros with a real Viking and meet the Grauballe man, a 2200 year old Dane. “The Wild Side” offers a fascinating look into Danish anthropology.
Adult Price: EUR 42.00
This evening, we dine "Swedish Style." Savour a succulent three-course meal with beer, wine & soft drinks. Soak up the atmosphere of the traditional surroundings while enjoying its history and design.
Adult Price: EUR 65.00
When the Vasa was launched in 1628, it was arguably the world's most powerful warship. Bristling with 64 cannon and carrying some 300 men, it was built to strike the fear of God into the enemy. Unfortunately, it sank on its maiden voyage. Raised from Stockholm harbour in 1961, this grand galleon remains almost wholly preserved, along with 700 wooden sculptures and ornaments. Your visit will provide a unique insight into early shipbuilding techniques and everyday life on board a 17c naval vessel.
Adult Price: EUR 38.00
As the capital city in a former Grand Duchy of the Russian Tsarist empire, Helsinki has always been famous for its Russian restaurants – even amongst the Russians. Tonight we enjoy an evening of authentic, pre-revolution Russian cuisine in an atmosphere of times gone by.
Adult Price: EUR 65.00
An exclusive chance to enjoy Helsinki from above. This three-part grand-slam tour begins with a state-of-the-art Cinematic Experience which takes you virtually on a flight over Helsinki. Flying Cinema Helsinki is the newest attraction in a city renowned for its cutting-edge technology and daring design. Afterwards, we'll savour a some local Finnish delicacies and refreshments before commencing our ride inside a glass pod of the Helsinki Sky Wheel, Helsinki’s answer to the London Eye! A unique and exciting introduction to Helsinki and to Finland.
Adult Price: EUR 49.00
A visit to the Arctic wildlife park where more than 50 species of nordic animals live in their natural habitat. Our local guide introduces us to the unique wildlife of Northern Scandinavia.
Adult Price: EUR 59.00
Visit a pioneer farm, now converted into a museum, for a fascinating glimpse into rural life and traditions from the 19th Century, where we'll also light refreshments. Continue to the tubular glass frame of the Arktikum, a one-stop cultural centre for all things Arctic. This is the world's first museum dedicated to the demanding conditions and challenge of coping with life in the dark, cold and barren Arctic.
Adult Price: EUR 45.00
Leave the 20th century behind and join a family from Lapland at their farm situated on the Arctic Circle. Meet Rudolf and his brothers and learn all about reindeer husbandry. During the evening you are initiated into the local culture with a traditional dinner.
Adult Price: EUR 67.00
First a guided visit to the UNESCO-listed Alta Museum to see world-famous rock carvings. Continue with a stunning stroll along the beautiful shore of the Alta Fjord where you'll learn about life here six-thousand years ago. Meet a local artisan and slate cutter who'll share stories about his craft, then become a slate cutter yourself and create your very own masterpiece to take home. An interactive and charming experience!
Adult Price: EUR 55.00
Embark upon a journey across an almost 'lunar' landscape to reach one of the most northerly fishing villages in the world. From here we'll set sail upon a 90-minute Arctic Adventure around the Gjesværstappen, a necklace of islands that's a protected nesting area for Puffins, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots and White Tailed Eagles! Other potential fauna sightings include Grey Seal and Porpoise. Transportation and survival suits are provided.
Adult Price: EUR 112.00
Enjoy warm drinks and Norwegian waffles by the campfire at Sorrisniva, the site of the world-famous Igloo Hotel. Then, an exciting ride up the Alta River in a traditional river boat for scenery and thrills! A true north outdoor experience!
Adult Price: EUR 61.00
We take a railway ride on the Ofot Railway, an incredible engineering feat, constructed over 100 years ago to transport supplies of iron ore from Kiruna to Narvik for shipment around the world. The journey offers us incredible views of the surrounding fjords as the train clings to the mountainside.
Adult Price: EUR 34.00
Your tour of Geiranger includes a scenic drive up the Eagle’s Road, offering amazing views of the Geiranger Fjord and the stunning Seven Sisters Waterfall. At the small village of Eidsdal, cross the fjord by ferry and climb up through the abundant fruit growing valleys. Leave civilisation behind as you venture high above the tree line for some of the most breathtaking scenery. Now on to the Troll’s Road, a masterpiece of engineering built over 70 years ago. (This optional is seasonal)
Adult Price: EUR 51.00
In the comfort of your coach, climb 1500 metres to the highest possible fjord view in Europe at Dalsnibba mountain. Enjoy breathtaking views of the famous Geiranger fjord and the surrounding glacier topped mountains. For the bold, test your nerve on the Geiranger Skywalk suspended over a 500 metre drop. (Weather permitting and Seasonal)
Adult Price: EUR 31.00
Oslo (Traditional) - Norway
Bergen (Contemporary) - Norway
Stavanger (Contemporary) - Norway
The Radisson Blu Atlantic Hotel, Stavanger is perfectly located in the heart of the city, with the Old Town and Norway's oldest cathedral just a few minutes walk. Rooms feature trendy, yet comfortable furnishings and free WiFi allows you to stay in contact with friends and family while travelling.
KRISTIANSAND (Traditional) - NORWAY
The eco-friendly Hotel Norge is ideally located within Kristiansand's city centre borough of Kvadraturen. Room and public areas, are all decorated with a collection of 1,300 original works by famous Norwegian artists.
Aarhus (Contemporary) - Denmark
The contemporarily designed, eco-friendly Comwell Hotel Aarhus is conveniently located within Aarhus City Centre. Each of the state-of-the-art rooms feature unique, Danish design and offer views of either the city, harbour, forest or beach.
Copenhagen (Contemporary) - Denmark
Rising high above the city skyline, Radisson Blu Scandinavia hotel affords stunning views of the ancient City Hall, the gilded church towers of Christianshavn and the picturesque coast.
Stockholm (Contemporary) - Sweden
Set within an 1880s building located in the happening hub of Norrmalm, you'll find the New York inspired Grand Central by Scandic. This trendy hotel offers contemporary, comfortable rooms and a variety of venues to unwind with cocktail and enjoy some music.
STOCKHOLM (Overnight Cruising) - SWEDEN
Enjoy the additional comfort of A-Class cabins onboard your overnight cruise from Stockholm to Helsinki.
Helsinki (Historic) - Finland
GLO Hotel Art is a charming hotel, built around a century-old art nouveau castle. It is in the centre of Helsinki surrounded by the vivid Design District.
Kuopio (Traditional) - Finland
Centrally located within Kuopio's shopping district, the Scandic Atlas is conveniently positioned beside the city's market square, Kauppatori, allowing you to make the most of your overnight stay. With complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel, you'll be able to easily stay in touch with friends and family back home throughout your travels.
ROVANIEMI (Traditional) - Finland
Santa's Hotel Santa Claus is set right in the very centre of the town of Rovaniemi next to the main shopping areas, only a few kilometres away from the Arctic Circle and Santa Claus Village.
Ivalo (Traditional) - Finland
Hotel Ivalo is a meeting place for Lapland travellers who expect quality. An international atmosphere is present every part of the year in the hotel, originally built 1982 and expanded in 1990.
Honnninsvag (Traditional) - Norway
Scandic Honningsvåg is located in central Honningsvåg, a charming village which is the most northern in Norway and the world.
Alta (Traditional) - Norway
Scandic Alta is located in central Alta, the gateway to the Finnmark region, and combines an arctic experience with a modern and comfortable hotel stay.
Narvik (Contemporary) - Norway
Scandic Narvik is one of Narvik’s most modern and tallest buildings in northern Norway and offers a stunning view of central Narvik, the Ofotfjorden and the surrounding mountains.
Mosjøen (Traditional) - Norway
The traditional Fru Haugans Hotel is in a picturesque location. It offers all the comforts of a modern hotel and is characterised by excellent personal service.
Trondheim (Contemporary) - Norway
Clarion Hotel & Congress Trondheim is ideally located on Brattøra, a man-made on the harbour overlooking the fjord and fast becoming Trondheim's vibrant place to be. Take a moment to enjoy the views from Astrum, the hotel's Skybar, or simply unwind in your comfortable room.
Geiranger (Historic) - Norway
There is no better scenic location, than the Hotel Union Geiranger. Insight Vacations guests enjoy upgraded rooms set against a fabulous backdrop of breathtaking fjord scenery and mountains.
Oslo (Contemporary) - Norway