Across the Arctic Circle

Across the Arctic Circle

A wonderful journey across the Arctic Circle from the ancient capital of Trondheim, via the Lofoten Islands, to the great Arctic capital, Tromsø.

This holiday really suits those people who like a little bit of ‘texture’ in their journeys, with a mixture of transportation, accommodation, scenery and unforgettable experiences.

Your experience begins in the ancient city of Trondheim with its wonderful gothic Nidaros Cathedral and picturesque wharfside buildings. A journey by rail then carries you Across the Arctic Circle to the little port of Bodø, famous for its Sea Eagles, before you sail across the Vestfjord to the magical Lofoten Islands, surrounded by majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. An overnight journey on-board Hurtigruten carries you past the beautiful Trollfjord and through the spectacular and narrow Raftsund strait to Tromsø, the great Arctic capital.

Across the Arctic Circle 2017
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Sightseeing and Culture, 9 nights

Prices from: £2140

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Day 1

Fly from the UK to Trondheim via Oslo. We recommend you take the airport flybuss to the city centre and your hotel. 

2 nights TRONDHEIM - Scandic Nidelven (B)

Day 2

A full day to explore the lovely city of Trondheim, Norway's former ancient capital city and home to the beautiful Gothic Nidaros Cathedral. 

Day 3

An early departure by rail for a full day’s journey through the provinces of Trøndelag and Nordland, crossing the Arctic Circle just north of Mo-i-Rana, arriving in the little port of Bodø during early evening. Lunch included on the train.

1 night BODØ - Thon Hotel Nordlys (B)

Day 4

Morning at leisure in Bodø, noted for its white-tailed sea eagles and Aviation Museum. If you're into art museums then we highly recommend Bodøgaard Art & Culture gallery, it's very quirky and also listed on the Norwegian Cultural Heritage list.

At 1500 depart Bodø on-board Hurtigruten for the leisurely journey across the Vestfjord to the Lofoten Islands.  This magical approach to the islands showcases them perfectly and a delicious dinner is included in the ship's restaurant.  On arrival you will be met and transferred to Svinøya Rorbuer and your fisherman's rorbu.

3 nights SVOLVÆR - Svinøya Rorbuer (B)

Want to know more about your hosts - Meet the People, Svinøya Rorbuer

Days 5 & 6

Two full days to explore this world famous Arctic archipelago.  We recommend a Sea Eagle safari by RIB boat, the Viking museum, Lofotr and using the local bus service for a truly local sightseeing experience.

Day 7

Why not spend most of today pottering about in Svolvær? The little town has a few good shops with local crafts and for real outside atmosphere you can always just sit on the boardwalk outside Bacalao Bar/Restaurant with a coffee and cake. This evening we have included a delicious 3-course farewell dinner at Børsen Spiseri prior to your transfer to the quay for your departure by Hurtigruten ship at 2200 bound for Tromsø.

1 night ON-BOARD SHIP - Hurtigruten vessel (B,L)

Day 8

A relaxing morning at sea precedes mid-afternoon arrival in Tromsø. Lunch included on-board.

2 nights TROMSØ - Scandic Ishavshotel (B)

Day 9

A full day to explore the lovely city of Tromsø with its imposing Arctic Cathedral or join one of our featured optional excursions.

Day 10

Transfer (not included) to Tromsø Airport for your return flight to the UK. 

Departure Day: Daily from UK
Dates: 1 May - 30 Sep 2017
Duration: 9 nights
Prices from:  Prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room in hotels and a rorbu for two people on the islands.

Dep. Date Prices from
Single supp.
1 May - 30 Sep 2017 £2140 On Request

Price includes:

  • Scheduled flights with SAS in SAS Go class from Heathrow to Trondheim (via Oslo) and from Tromsø to Heathrow (via Oslo) including taxes. 23kgs of checked luggage plus one piece of hand-luggage per person.
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation based on two people sharing a double/twin room with shower and WC including breakfast.  Harbour view rooms included in Bodø and Tromsø.
  • Rail journey from Trondheim to Bodø based on reserved seats in comfort Class including lunch.
  • Hurtigruten journey from Bodø to Svolvær including dinner.
  • Return transfer from the quay in Svolvær to Svinøya Rorbuer.
  • 3 nights fisherman's rorbu accommodation at Svinøya Rorbuer including breakfast.
  • 3-course quality dinner at Børsen Spiseri, Svinøya Rorbuer's gourmet restaurant.
  • Overnight Hurtigruten journey from Svolvær to Tromsø based on two people sharing an outside unspecified cabin with shower and WC including breakfast and lunch.

Svinøya Rorbuer***

Svinoya Rorbuer

30 original and newly built rorbu cabins of a high standard. Each cabin has from one to three double bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchenette in conjunction with the living room, and a modern bathroom with shower and toilet. All have cable-TV. All cabins are winter insulated. Considerable emphasis has been placed on maintaining the authenticity of the rorbu cabins. Time-honoured craftsmanship and timber have been preserved in order to provide a feeling of what a rorbu cabin was like in the days when the fishermen harvested the seas of Lofoten on boats with only oars and sails.

Svinøya Rorbuer also includes one of the most distinctive restaurants in the Lofoten Islands. The Børsen Spiseri is housed in a venerable quayside warehouse dating back to 1828. Most of the building's historical attributes have been preserved, providing an atmosphere with an aroma of tar and rope! Both meat and fish dishes are served here, made from Lofoten's unique and fresh, local ingredients. In the same building you find the former general store, which is a tiny museum in its own right. Old wares and equipment from bygone times still hang from the ceiling there, taking you 100 years back in time.

Want to know more about your hosts? Meet the People - Svinøya Rorbuer


Hurtigruten ship

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 Nordlys **** Bodø

 Thon Hotel Nordlys, Bodo

Thon Hotel Nordlys is centrally located close to the marina and main harbour in Bodø.  The hotel has magnificent views out over the Vestfjord to the Lofoten Wall mountains.  The hotel is associated with Egon Restaurant which is where breakfast is served plus a varied dinner menu of light meals including steaks, hamburgers, pizzas and fish dishes.  The hotel also has a bar plus a free Nespresso coffee machine in the Reception area.  All our featured holidays are based on a superior room with a double bed or twin beds, both with private shower and WC, hairdryer, phone, mini-bar, and TV with a variety of channels plus free WiFi.  All superior rooms have a view of Bodø marina/harbour.

Scandic Nidelven****

Scandic Nidelven, Trondheim

This award-winning centrally located hotel offers superb service, high-quality rooms and a diverse range of facilities. All rooms have a private bathroom with shower or bathtub and are furnished with an armchair and table as welll as all modern facilities to make your stay comfortable and memorable.

The Restaurant Nidelven has been awarded Norway’s best hotel breakfast over the last several years. If you've ever experienced a Norwegian breakfast you know what a accolade this really is - the competition is extremely high! The restaurant offers a modern menu inspired by the international trends within culinary arts, and we recommend soaking up the atmosphere in the hotel's bar afterwards... 


Scandic Ishavshotel, Tromso, Norway

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 high quality 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.


With a hire car you have the opportunity to explore the islands at your leisure, dipping in to all the nooks and crannies! Car hire is with Europcar and is based on a VW Polo 1.2 or similar). Rental includes CDW, Unlimited Mileage, Theft Protection and Tax. Pick-up car at 0900 on Day 5 and drop the car off during the evening on Day 7.

Total price for car: £380


Description:  Explore and discover the Lofoten Islands from the sea - you are guaranteed an experience close to nature and the elements. Your skillfull and experienced skippers provide you with plenty of good stories and local knowledge. They know if there are whales or eagles which they can seek out nearby. You will be provided with a thermal, floating suit, life vest, gloves and goggles and it is recommend you wear warm footwear, a hat and clothes to fit the weather and temperature.
Operates:  1 Jun - 31 Aug, daily.
Duration:  Approx. 2½ hours. Departs 0900 (July only), 1130 and 1400
Price:  £78 per person


Here you will find lots of extra information regarding this holiday which we think you may find useful.  If there's anything else you can think of just let us know and we'll add it to the list.

Who is this holiday suitable for?
Pretty much everyone as this holiday combines history, culture and nature with general sightseeing.  Those who love beautiful scenery will not be disappointed as each of the featured destinations, most especially the Lofoten Islands, is out of this world and a paradise for photographers.

This holiday features four different destinations and is therefore most suited to those who like to explore a little bit further afield.  This may mean that it does not particularly suit those with young children though people are different and we certainly would never so no to those who believe their children would love it.  We like Scandinavia to be introduced to the young from an early age!!

Is luggage handling included?
No, and this is an important point as this holiday incorporates surface transportation by public transport and you will be responsible for lifting and carrying your own luggage throughout.  We strongly recommend a trolley suitcase or back-pack for ease and packing as lightly as your 23 kg allowance will allow.

I am considering your car hire option on the Lofoten Islands - is driving easy on the islands?
Absolutely.  These are relaxing country roads and even if you do hit some 'summer traffic' you will generally find other drivers courteous and considerate.  All roads, even the main route E10 which is the road running the full length of the islands, are with two lanes and you will find pretty much all of the roads surfaced with tarmac - no off-roading as we have in Iceland!

What sort of clothing with I need?
Norway does not have a dress code and most of the time you will find people dressed for the weather rather than dressed for the occasion.  That said, when the Norwegians do have something to celebrate i.e. anniversary, birthday etc they will dress up (men in suits and ties) and you may see family gatherings in some of the a la carte restaurants where this is the case.  This is their choice as special occasions are still marked in this way in Norway.  You may dress how you are most comfortable though common sense is the order of the day - shorts, T-shirts and flip flops will look out of place in a gourmet restaurant in the evening.

Temperatures on the islands may be a little cooler than in the UK at the same time of the year, however, this may also not be the case!  Suzel commented on one of her good friend's suntans (a friend from the Lofotens) and asked her where she'd been - "My garden" was the response.  They had had three weeks of 27 degrees...  Be prepared for anything.

Are special diets catered for?
Absolutely.  Just make sure you let us know at the time of booking then we can inform everyone who will be welcoming you to ensure delicious alternatives are provided.  This will also be the case for your lunch on the train from Trondheim to Bodø.

Transfers are not included everywhere - why is this?
We no longer include airport transfers in our holidays.  The simple reason for this is that it because too complicated!  Some clients preferred to take their own taxi and we were asked to refund included bus transfers, some airport bus companies did not accept vouchers from tour operators and others did, and some of the bus companies charged extra for sending us their invoice!  We just felt that it was easier and more practical to let our clients do this for themselves, though we do provide all the information you require in order to do this with your Travel Documents.

You will be transferred from and to Svinøya Rorbuer on the Lofoten Islands.  Svinøya very kindly organise this for us and we have not had any issues.  Generally they have a taxi firm who meets their guests at the Hurtigruten Quay and he will have your names.  Don't be afraid of tapping on the window if he's checking your details on his mobile phone!!

I am not a good sailor generally - will I be OK on the Hurtigruten journeys?
The journey from Bodø to the Lofoten Islands crosses the Vestfjord; this journey is at open sea and is where you are most likely to feel the swell IF there is a strong breeze.  However, Hurtigruten ships are not small ferries, they are large ships built for open Arctic waters and have excellent stabilizers.  The journey from Svolvær to Tromsø hugs the coastline for most of the journey and you are unlikely to have any problems here at all.

If you really would prefer to give the Vestfjord a miss by sea then let us know and we will fly you over instead!

Am I likely to see whales?
If you are a whale enthusiast then you will know that the whales who swim in the ocean around this area are generally following the herring.  At this time of the year you are unlikely to see whales from the Lofoten Islands, however, there is a chance that you may see them north of the Vesterålen Islands whilst on-board Hurtigruten.  A chance, but not a good one.

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, click here.

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