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4th April 2018
A magnificent tour featuring three of Western Norway's most popular resorts and one night on-board Hurtigruten.
Your journey begins in Bergen with its colourful fish market and old harbour 'Bryggen' which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It then travels along the coastline by overnight Hurtigurten vessel to Geiranger - probably Western Norway's most famous and certainly most photographed fjord, and your second UNESCO World Heritage Site on this trip.
Afterwards, you begin a spectacular journey by coach taking you around the hairpin bends of the Eagle's Road - so we ask you to hold on tight! And the tour draws to its conclusion in the picturesque fishing harbour of Ålesund overlooking the ocean and mountains - arguably Norway's prettiest town.
Day 1 - Arrive Bergen
Fly from the UK to Bergen Flesland Airport. Either take a taxi or the airport bus to your hotel (duration approximately 35 minutes, payable locally).
2 nights BERGEN - Clarion Hotel Admiral (4 star)
Day 2 - Explore Bergen
Hanseatic Berger offer much for a full day's exploration. Explore the old harbour, Bryggen, with its popular fish market, take the funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for spectacular views of the city or why not take the cable car to the summit of Mount Ulriken for panoramic views of the entire region? Bergen Aquarium is worth at least a couple of hours and the Hanseatic Museum a couple more. The choice is yours.
Day 3 - Depart Bergen onboard Hurtigruten
Late afternoon transfer to the Hurtigruten Quay in Bergen for embarkation. The ship departs at 2030 and supper is served on-board. During the night the ship travels along the coastline with short stops at the ports of Florø, Måløy and Torvik arriving in Ålesund at 0845.
1 night ONBOARD SHIP- Hurtiguten Vessel
Day 4 - Arrive Geiranger
The ship departs Ålesund at 0930 cruising into the spectacular Geirangerfjord with its sheer 800m cliffs and the lovely waterfalls known as 'The Seven Sisters', 'The Bridal Veil' and 'The Bachelor'. The transfer from the ship to the small quay in Geiranger is by small tender vessel. Met on arrival at the quay by a representative from Hotel Union.
3 nights GEIRANGER - Hotel Union (4 star)
Days 5 & 6 - Explore Geiranger
Geiranger is world famous, and justly so. The views of the Geirangerfjord from the mountain side are breathtaking with an impressive selection of marked trails for the keen walker and hiker. Norsk Fjordsenter, just across the road from your hotel, provides a wonderful insight into the cultural heritage and natural beauty of the Western Fjords and is a popular place to browse for a couple of hours. Then there is the glorious spa at the Union Hotel, perfect for unwinding and pampering on a daily basis!
Day 7 - The Eagle Road & Storfjord
Afternoon journey by coach climbing the Eagle Road, a fantastic serpentine route which climbs the mountain side with numerous exciting hairpin bends and spectacular views of the fjord. The bus crosses the Storfjorden by ferry and continues alongside the fjord to the coast and the town of Ålesund, completely rebuilt after the great fire of 1904 in the Art Nouveau style. Visit the Jugendstil Senteret for the real insight into the town's history and transformation.
2 nights ÅLESUND - Clarion Collection Hotel Bryggen (3 star)
Day 8 - Explore Ålesund
Ålesund must surely be one of Norway's prettiest little ports with it's Art Nouveau architecture. We recommend climbing the steps, yes, all 418 of them, to the top of Mount Aksla for the magnificent view of the whole town laid out over islands, surrounded by the sea. There is a cafeteria at the top for sustenance before beginning the descent........
Day 9 - Farewell Ålesund & Norway
Transfer by airport bus to Ålesund Vigra Airport for your return flight to the UK.
By Air: Daily from UK
Departure Dates: 1 June- 31 Aug
Duration: 8 nights
Price: For up-to-date prices please call 01274 875199
NB. The Clarion Collection Hotel in Ålesund includes a free evening meal for all hotel guests.
CLARION HOTEL ADMIRAL (4 star) - Bergen
Clarion Hotel Admiral is the only true waterside hotel in Bergen with the best view of Bryggen (the Hanseatic harbour) , Vågen and Fløyen. The hotel was completely renovated in 2014 and is now an extremely stylish yet supremely comfortable and easy-going hotel. Centrally located in the heart of Bergen and within a couple of minutes walk of the fish harbour and main shopping street, the hotel is actually an old storehouse which dates back to 1904. The hotel has a lovely restaurant called Kitchen and Table and an area called the Living Room both of which are, as the names suggest, places to relax with good food, either a glass of wine, a cup of tea or just with other people or perhaps a good book - the whole point is that you should feel at home! All bedrooms included in our tours are with harbour view and are equipped with satellite TV, telephone, trouser press, mini-bar and hairdryer and free WiFi. These rooms also have a small balconette directly overlooking the water. Lift to all floors.
Please note, rooms at the Admiral have twin beds which are pushed together, each with their own set of bedlinen, but which cannot be separated.
We don't like to use the word cruising for Hurtigruten since it is so much more. This is a wonderful means of transportation and accommodation; no fancy dress parties, cabarets or days at sea with no land in sight - this is a slow, gentle exploration of beautiful scenery with local food, tradition and community involvement. The true 'Norwegian Coastal Voyage'.
Hurtigruten ships have been a staple along the Norwegian coast since 1893. The current fleet consists of classic ships, ships built in the late nineties, and ships built after the millennium. The ships are regular service vessels carrying freight, mail and passengers along the 2,500 nautical miles of coastline from Bergen to Kirkenes. Accommodation is very comfortable in two, three and four berth cabins (all our clients receive outside cabins with porthole or window) and meals are of a very good standard with breakfast and lunch being substantial buffet meals and dinner being a 3-course served dinner. Particular focus is placed on locally sourced ingredients from local suppliers - chefs take the opportunity, when in port en-route, to purchase quality foods guaranteed to provide a true flavour of the destinations you visit. Please note, not all our holidays include lunch and dinner therefore do check what each holiday price includes.
The public areas of the ship offer plenty of lounge seating and there is a bar (certain ships will have more than one), cafeteria and shop.
UNION HOTEL (4 star) - Geiranger
The Hotel Union was built in 1891 by A. Shieldrop of Ålesund. The building was originally of wood, inspired by the Swiss or dragon-head style, closely linked to Art Nouveau and Jugend architecture, and identical to the timber-built hotel at Øye. In 1899, the hotel was purchased by Julie and Karl Mjelva. The Mjelvas were extremely enterprising, opening an automobile manufacturing plant, a power station and a cooker factory all on the same site. The cooker factory is still in operation today, with a new owner, but at a different location.
Today the hotel has evolved into one of the finest hotels in Norway. It is spacious with generously proportioned, stylishly furnished lounges and lobby areas, in warm, attractive colours. More than enough space for many, or simply a quiet corner for oneself. The atmosphere is relaxing. Everywhere, large panoramic windows let in light and views of the wonderful natural surroundings. Enjoy a cup of good coffee as you gaze over the Geirangerfjord, the most beautiful fjord in the world.
Hotel Union has 197 rooms, including 6 deluxe suites and 13 junior suites. All rooms are attractively furnished and decorated with care and attention to detail. Not all have views of the fjord, but all have fine views of the surrounding countryside, bringing nature right into your room.
The 6 deluxe suites are all different and individually furnished. The size of each suite varies, but all have their own bedroom and lounge, making them ideal for small meetings. The junior suites are modern and well-equipped and most suites have fjord views. Please ask for the supplement to upgrade to a suite.
When it comes to food the philosophy of the hotel is to present good Norwegian cuisine based on the very best ingredients and locally sourced produce. All food is freshly cooked, and many of the finest recipes have followed the hotel for generations. The hotel has two restaurants, Restaurant Fjorden and Restaurant Julie. Nina Grieg Terrace has spectacular views of the Geirangerfjord and the surrounding mountains and is a popular place, on a warm summer's evening to relax over a light lunch, a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. There are three bars - Vognfabrikken in the basement inspired by the hotel's unique veteran car collection, The Lobby Bar by the reception and The Nightclub, also in the basement where all the entertainment takes place including live dance music six nights per week.
Cafe Løsta is next to Union Bath & Spa, and is easily accessible for bathing guests. Enjoy a light meal in your bathrobe, or have it served inside the Union Spa. Cafe Løsta offers light meals, a salad buffet and a drinks and beverages menu.
Union Spa is the absolute icing on the cake. Here one encounters nature anew, within the framework of treatments based on the centuries-old secrets of many cultures, where the most valuable element is water. Water provides joy and pleasure for all ages! Such an experience provides mental and physical exercise and harmony, combined with positive moments in addition to feeling energized. In the swimming pool area you can swim indoors and outdoors, and relax in quiet zones in between. There is a sauna and for children there is a separate slide, grotto and games to play. A variety of treatments are available in the spa and can be pre-booked for your stay. Please telephone us on 01274 875199 for further information and prices.
CLARION COLLECTION HOTEL BRYGGEN (3 star) - Ålesund
A lovely hotel situated in the city centre by the waterfront in Ålesund's picturesque harbour district. The building was originally a warehouse and today the hotel's interior tells the story of the bacalauo clipfish industry - an important industry to the town. On the ground floor there is a well-equipped recreation area where you can relax and read your newspaper or book or try the sauna. There is no restaurant however during the afternoon there are complimentary waffles and during the evening a complimentary evening meal with bread, a hot dish/soup, fruits, vegetables and coffee/tea and juice. All rooms have shower and WC, satellite TV, telephone and free wireless internet access. Lift to all floors.
Bergen, Geiranger & Ålesund- Optional Excusions
Guided Tour of Bergen and Grieg’s Home, Troldhaugen
Description: Guided tour including the Wharf (UNESCO World Heritage list, St. Mary's Church and the University area. Also features Gamlehaugen, residence of the Norwegian Royal Family when visiting Bergen and Troldhaugen, home of the composer Edvard Grieg for 22 years.
Operates: Daily, 15/5 – 15/9 (except 17/5).
Duration: 3 hours, departs 1000.
Price: £39 per adult, £28 children under 16.
Norway in a Nutshell from Bergen
Description: Perhaps Norway’s most famous roundtrip including the rail journey to Myrdal, the Flåm Mountain Railway, boat trip along the Aurlands and Nærøy fjords and Stalheim Gorge.
Operates: Daily, all year.
Duration: 9 hours, departs 0840 or 1028.
Price: £137 per adult, £56 children 4 – 14.
Hardanger in a Nutshell from Bergen
Description: A lovely roundtrip including the train to Voss, a coach tour through farmland and delightful villages typical of Western Norway and a fjord cruise on the Hardangerfjord to Eidfjord where you can join a sightseeing tour to Vøringfoss Falls and the Hardangervidda Naturcentre. Spectacular views of towering mountains and impressive waterfalls.
Operates: Daily, 1/5 - 30/9.
Duration: 11 ½ hours (12 ½ on Sat), departs 0730.
Price: £112 per adult, £76 children under 16.
Fjordsafari by RIB Boat
Description: A thrilling sightseeing trip of the Geirangerfjord by RIB boat (Rigid Inflatable Boat). Stop at the Seven Sisters, The Bachelor and the Bridal Veil waterfalls. Safety suits and goggles included.
Operates: June to middle of September, every hour
Duration: 1 hour (45 minutes on the water)
Price: £57 per adult, child £34 (4-12 yrs)
Description: This centre is dedicated to promoting and preserving the cultural heritage and natural beauty of the Western Fjords. Through multimedia exhibitions and inventive displays the centre presents the history and diverse processes of nature which have resulted in the longest, deepest, narrowest and most beautiful fjords in the world.
Open: All year round.
Admission: NOK 100, children NOK50 (payable locally).
Description: Return journey by bus to the viewpoint at Dalsnibba mountain plateau there is an amazing view over the most beautiful of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, surrounded by rugged snow-covered moutains, with the Geirangerfjord as its centrepiece. There is a modern service centre located at the northern end of the plateau which has a shop, cafe and toilets.
Operates: 20/6- 31/8.
Duration: 2 hours.
Price: £29 per adult, child £24 (3-12 yrs).
Walking from Geiranger
Description: Geiranger is a paradise for walkers and hikers of all abilities, offering some of the most scenic routes in the region. A walking leaflet with marked routes is available from the hotel. Please note that the Union Hotel will happily prepare a packed lunch for those who wish to take one with them.
Price: NOK195 per person for a standard lunch box and NOK255 for a delux one (payable locally).
Description: The Union Hotel has a wonderful spa and swimming pool area. For further information see below. A full list of all available treatments with prices is available on request.
Skerry Cruise to Devoldfabrikken from Ålesund
Description: See Ålesund's skerries from the comfort of a sightseeing boat as it sails to the popular Devoldfabrikken in Langevåg. Go bargain shopping for famous brands at the factory outlets of Devold, Kosta Boda, Orrefors and Bergans and relax in the cafe.
Operates: 23/6 - 20/8.
Departs: Daily at 1100 and 1300.
Price: NOK150 return (includes cup of coffee/tea in the cafe). Payable locally.
Roundtrip Ålesund - Geiranger by Bus and Ferry
Description: Visit the Geirangerfjord and enjoy the views of the Sunnmøre Alps. Depart Ålesund by public bus via Sykkylven to Strand. The trip continues to Hellesylt, from where the fjord cruise to Geiranger departs. Return by bus via the Eidsdal-Linge ferry.
Operates: 2/5 - 30/9.
Duration: 10 hours.
Price: £66 per adult, children £34, seniors £40.
Ålesund Town Train Sightseeing
Description: Join the Town Train on a guided tour of Ålesund town centre and visit the top of the town mountain Aksla and the Fjellstua viewing point for panoramic views you'll never forget.
Operates: 6/6 - 20/8, Mon - Sat.
Departs: 1100, 1230, 1400 and 1530 (Mon - Sun in Jul).
Duration: 1 hour.
Price: NOK 130 per adult, children NOK65. Payable locally.