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16th May 2017
Begin your trip in the fabulous city of Oslo, Norway's capital city and cultural hub of Scandinavia. From Oslo embark on the spectacular train journey across the Hardangervidda mountain plateau to Bergen including the famous 'Norway in a Nutshell' fjord and mountain excursion featuring the iconic Flåm mountain railway. The historic port city of Bergen is a popular starting point for exploring Norway's impressive western coastline.
You will sail northwards to the stunning Lofoten Islands, a beautiful Arctic archipelago famed for its colossal granite cliiffs and picturesque fishing villages. Here you'll spend a few days among incredible Arctic scenery while discovering local charms and searching for the Northern Lights.
Board your Hurtigruten ship once more and sail further northwards to your final destination, Tromsø, a city which has become a favourite for those seeking adventure, nature, city-life and the Northern Lights - no other destination has so much to offer North of the Arctic Circle.
Arrive in Oslo and transfer to your city centre hotel. The Norwegian capital is currently having a renaissance with the help of Tjuvholmen and Oslo's Opera House injecting an edgy and contemporary side to the city. Contrasting nicely are some of Oslo's most well-loved and cultural attractions including Vigeland Sculpture Park and the Edvard Munch museum where you can get upclose to 'The Scream', one of the world's most recognisable paintings.
1 night OSLO - Comfort Hotel Børsparken *** (B) or Hotel Bristol **** (B)
Morning departure by rail for the spectacular journeys ‘Across the Roof of Norway’ from Oslo to Myrdal and 'Norway in a Nutshell' from Myrdal to Bergen featuring the Flåm Mountain Railway and journeys by boat along the Aurlands and Nærøy fjords. Your luggage will be transported directly from your hotel in Oslo to your hotel in Bergen so you only need to take a day bag with you.
1 night BERGEN - Augustin Hotel *** (B) or Clarion Admiral Hotel **** (B)
Enjoy a delicious Scandinavian breakfast before spending a full morning and afternoon exploring Norway's second largest city with its charming and colourful Hanseatic harbour (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), funicular railway to the viewing point at the top of Mount Fløyen, numerous museums and shops, cafes and restaurants clustered within easy walking distance of one another.
Independent transfer to the Hurtigruten quay where your cabin is available from 1800 onwards. Enjoy a delicious buffet supper on-board, featuring a variety of local foods.
3 nights ON-BOARD Hurtigruten ship (B,D)
Days 4 - 5
After navigating through magnificent coastal landscape, arrive in Ålesund to admire the colourful Art Nouveau architecture which contrasts beautifully against the surrounding mountainscape. In Trondheim, be sure to enjoy the views from the Old Town Bridge and Nidaros Cathedral. Between Trondheim and Bodø you cross the Arctic Circle and, for those of you who want to have fun marking the occasion, there is a celebration of the crossing which involves some rather chilly sea-water and a large ladle...!
Your ship departs from the little port of Bodø during the afternoon and crosses the great Vestfjord for its approach to the mystical Lofoten Islands and your destination, Svolvær. Dinner is served on-board prior to arrival in Svolvær's picturesque harbour at 2100. Often referred to as the capital of the Lofoten Islands, Svolvær has a unique and lively balance of cosmopolitan and fishing life for you to enjoy. Your hotel is located directly in the harbour area.
2 nights SVOLVÆR - Thon Hotel Lofoten **** (B)
Explore the Lofoten Islands by joining one of the excursions we have to offer (see excursion tab for more details), or alternatively, you can hire a car and explore at your own pace. Hiring a car is the easiest way to delve into all the nooks and crannies of these sought-after and much photographed islands.
Day free to relax and explore independently or join an optional excursion from Svolvær. We recommend having dinner in Svolvær prior to boarding Hurtigruten for your overnight sailing as the ship arrives into the town at 2100 and departs at 2200. Hopefully the Aurora Borealis will reveal herself whilst you are on board. If this does happen you will be notified by the crew who will encourage you go out on deck.
1 night ONBOARD - Hurtigruten Ship (B, L)
In the early afternoon arrive in Tromsø, the largest city in Arctic Norway. Set on an island high above the Arctic Circle and nestled below snow-capped mountains; it's true to say Tromsø is not your typical city.
Much of the city's old wooden architecture is preserved, and contrasts well with the modern Arctic Cathedral, and you will find a bustling centre of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Well worth a visit is Polaria, an arctic themed experience centre with the fascinating Ivo Caprino film ' Svalbard – Arctic Wilderness' and an arctic aquarium with bearded seals. The Polar Museum provides a fabulous insight into how polar explorers, of yesterday and today, really were and are amongst the most daring and adventurous men and women on the planet.
1 night TROMSØ - Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora *** (B) or Scandic Ishavshotel **** (B)
Independent transfer to Tromsø Langsnes Airport for your return flight to the UK.
Departure Days: Daily from Gatwick (according to flight schedules). Alternative departure airports are available subject to possible flight supplements - please ask for details).
Departure Dates: 1 Sep to 30 Nov 2016
Duration: 9 nights
Prices from: Prices based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room with shower and WC
|Dep. Dates||3* option per person||4* option per person|
|1 Sep 2016 - 30 Nov 2016||£1660||£2085|
Augustin Hotel, Bergen ***
The Augustin Hotel has an extremely handy location, centrally located but in a quieter street just set back from the main harbour area. It is a short walk to most of the city's main attractions including Bryggen (the old Hanseatic harbour), the main shopping streets, the Aquarium, the express boat terminal and the funicular railway. It is actually Bergen's oldest family-run hotel now managed by the fourth generation of the Smørås family; the oldest part of the hotel was built in Art Nouveau style in 1909, however, since then the hotel has expanded, incorporating old neighbouring houses and building new wings. The hotel has a popular intimate dinner restaurant (closed Sundays) where their excellent buffet breakfast is also served, and a lovely 400-year-old cellar bar, Altona. During the summer months (June - August) you will find free waffles served between 1600 and 1800 in the lounge area next to Reception. Free tea and coffee is also available here all year round, 24 hours per day. All bedrooms are equipped with TV, phone, hair-dryer, mini-bar and trouser press. Lift to all floors.
If you are on a fly-drive holiday with Scandinavia Only, and spending a night in Bergen with your car, we will pre-book and include car parking as part of your stay. The car park is just across the road from the hotel and is outdoor.
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.
Hotel Bristol ****
Hotel Bristol is a very traditional, historical hotel. As soon as you enter the main lobby area you experience the unique style that characterizes the hotel and an air of elegance which has been maintained since the hotel welcomed their first guests in 1920. Perfectly located just off Karl Johan’s Gate, the citys main street, with the Royal Palace at one end and Storting (Parliament) at the other. The hotel has 251 rooms (10 of which are suites) all equipped with TV, mini-bar, hairdryer, trouser press and telephone. The hotel has a spa and gym, bar, conference centre, garage, room service and wireless internet access. The hotel also has two restaurants; Bristol Grill, focusing on international and Norwegian dishes using local produce and Hambro’s Cafe, a popular Italian bistro.
Comfort Hotel Børsparken - Oslo ***
Located in the heart of the capital, Comfort Hotel Børsparken is surrounded by beautiful neo rennaissance and art nouveau architecture. This hotel provies perfect location for exploring the wonderful city of Oslo. Only two blocks from the popular shopping street Karl Johan and within walking distance from the central train station and airport shuttle. Rooms are spacious and can be accessed via an elevator, they are also equipped with cable television, wifi and ensuite bathroom.
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.
THON HOTEL LOFOTEN (4 star) - Svolvær, Lofoten Islands
Thon Hotel Lofoten is located in a beautiful position in Svolvær harbour overlooking spectacular scenery. The Norwegian Coastal Voyage quay is next to the hotel, and all of Svolvær's attractions are within walking distance.
All rooms include a private bathroom with shower, hairdryer and toiletries. You'll also have free wireless internet access, air conditioning, phone, mini-bar and flatscreen TV with a variety of channels. Furthermore all rooms are allergy friendly, and several are fitted with wooden flooring. Breakfast consists of a delicious Scandinavian buffet, ensuring you're ready and fuelled before your day's adventure!
SCANDIC ISHAVSHOTEL (4 star) - Tromsø
This hotel is something of a landmark, located directly in the harbour, with a view across the sound. This is the very heart of Tromsø and is situated amongst the city's shops, restaurants, bars and within close proximity to the airport bus stop and the Tourist Information Office. The hotel has a lovely modern restaurant, Roast Restaurant, serving delicacies from the sea and local meat. There is also cosy bar and lounge area on the first floor. All rooms are equipped with extremely comfortable beds, TV, telephone, mini-bar, trouser-press and hairdryer and all our clients receive a superior sea-view room as standard. All rooms have free WiFi. Lift to all floors. A truly fabulous buffet breakfast is served with a made-to-order omelette station, cold cuts of meat to raw fish, a cooked breakfast and fruit and muesli.
CLARION COLLECTION HOTEL AURORA (3 star plus) - Tromsø
At Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora you can experience Tromsø's beautiful surroundings. The hotel boasts stunning views, overlooking the Arctic Cathedral and Tromsø's mighty nature. All rooms are modern, spacious and equipped with en suite shower and WC, TV, WiFi, writing desk, and breakfast. The hotel include a free evening meal for all their guests which is served from 1800.
In the relaxation area, located on the fifth floor, you will find both sauna and outdoor jacuzzi. Clarion Collection Hotel Aurora is the only hotel in Tromsø with outdoor Jacuzzi and lovely views from the rooftops. From here you can see across the fjord, mountains and the Arctic, while enjoying the warm waters of the pool. What better way to start or end your day?
Fjords and Arctic Cruising
Mountain Hike in the Hjørundfjord
Enjoy a walk through the magnificent landscape with amazing views of the fjord. It's a steep climb towards the top, but you're rewarded with stunning views once you get there.
When: Sep & Oct
Price: £57 per person
Art Nouveau Walk, Ålesund
Rebuilt after the disastrous fire in 1904, the town was recreated to reflect the Art Nouveau age. This fascinating guided tour brings the town, its history and the symbolism of it architecture to life. A visit to the Art Nouveau Museum is included.
Price: £34 per person
Trondheim with Nidaros Catherdral
This sightseeing tour of the former capital and Norway's third largest city includesa visit to the famous Nidaros Cathedral, Norway's largest medieval church and a national shrine since the 11th century.
When: Sep, Oct, Nov
Price: £47 per person
RIB Safari to Saltstraumen
Travel by RIB-boat to witness the world's strongest tidal current, where millions of gallons of water are forced through the 150 m wide strait. On the way we hope to observe sea eagles, Europe's largest predatory bird.
Price: £108 per person
Lofoten Panorama Tour
Mini-bus exploration of the Lofotens with several photo stops along the way. Explore dramatic coastlines, historical fishing villages and white sand beaches, surrounded by rugged mountains. Enjoy a final stop for a traditional bacalao lunch.
Duration: 1000-1400, Tue & Fri, 1 Sep-29 Mar.
Price: £95 per person
Lofoten Nature Safari
Get to learn more about the marine life in the Lofoten Islands. The day starts with a lecture and slide show on local birds, mammals, geology and climate in Lofoten. After the lecture you board the boat and sail into the Vestfjord, and the Troll Fjord. You are very likely to get close encounters with the white tailed sea eagle and many other sea birds.
Duration: 0900-1330, Wed & Sat, 2 Sep-30 Mar, except 12 Sep, 23 & 26 Dec & 12 Mar.
Price: £110 per person
Lofoten Northern Lights Hunt
If you want to maximise your chances of seeing the Northern Lights then why not book yourself an evening of hunting for them? Learn the basics on taking good photos of the Northern Lights. Your guide will pick you up from your reception/restaurant. The tour goes by minibus to an area with the best chances to see the lights.
Duration: 4 hours (approx 2000-0000)
Price: £95 per person
Not everyone is born with skis on their feet so snowshoeing is the perfect alternative! A fun activity for everyone, and a superb way to enjoy Lofoten’s splendid nature with a guide.
Duration: 3 hours, Dec-Apr.
Price: £95 per person
Sea Eagle RIB safari
RIB boat trip along the Lofoten coastline for a close encounter with sea eagles and spectacular nature spots.
Duration: 0930-1130, Wed-Sat.
Price: £75 per person
Car hire for one day
Rental includes Unlimited Mileage, TP, CDW and tax and is based on a VW Golf or similar. Pick-up and drop-off from car hire office in centre.
5-Course Arctic Gourmet Dinner at Emma's Drømmekjøkken
Emma’s Drømmekjokken in Tromsø is one of those restaurants where you go for a special occasion. Food is based on locally sourced ingredients so expect King Crab, cod and reindeer of course. The staff at Emma’s all enjoy working there, and it shows as they present each course with obvious pride.
Price: 5-course Arctic Gourmet Dinner £75 per person. Accompanying Wine Menu £58 p.p.
Who is this holiday for?
This holiday is atttractive for people who want a little bit of everything in one trip - cities, wildlife, sightseeing, cruising and land excursions. Being able to mix a Hurtigruten voyage with some of Norway's most famous and beautiful location allows you to travel far and wide with a good level of comfort.
A very varied and delicious Scandinavian buffet breakfast is included throughout your trip. We have not included lunch or dinner because we'd like to give you the freedom to eat in places that appeal to your own tastes and budget - we will happily recommend places for you! The Hurtigruten offers high quality food and we suggest trying their evening buffet or indulge yourself in the a la carte. The Hurtigruten kitchen will always try their utmost to accommodate any dietary needs.
What sort of clothing will I need to wear?
The Arctic coast of Norway is warmed by the Gulf Stream which means that temperatures are relatively mild compared to many other Arctic regions. However, when you are spending a considerable amount of time outdoors admiring the scenery and waiting for the Northern Lights to appear it is important to be warm and dry. The layering principal is very important (base, mid, outer) with man-made thermal fibres or wool. In our opinion wool is definitely best, and merino wool is soft and cosy and certainly a good investment. A good, waterproof outdoor jacket is essential, and also over trousers are a bonus if you have them. Wool socks (we wouldn't wear anything else here), perhaps a couple of pairs, and good hiking boots or snow boots are very important. Gloves, scarf, hat and you're raring to go!