Cruise the Baltic Sea to Helsinki, step back in time to the reign of the Vikings in Oslo and see Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, on a grand three week tour. At North Cape, toast the midnight sun with champagne and local caviar alongside the towering cliffs of Europe’s most northern point, where the summer sun never sets. Sample local specialties like liquorice and smoked reindeer at the harborside Helsinki Food Market before crossing the Baltic to the Swedish capital of Stockholm, home to the melodies of the ABBA Museum and the magnificent Vasa Galleon. After voyaging across the home territories of the nomadic Sami community in Lapland, visit the farm of Trine Lyrek where you’ll meet her Arctic dogsled racing Alta huskies. Draw your vacation to a close among Oslo’s thousand-year-old Viking ships.
Tour Operator: Insight Vacations
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7 Aug 22
26 Aug 22
14 Aug 22
2 Sep 22
19 Aug 22
7 Sep 22
Day 1 - 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.
Day 2 - 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. Continue on to see Rosenborg Castle, Amalienborg Palace, the Renaissance Stock Exchange and Christianborg Palace. Visit the 18th century Copenhagen Cathedral, designed by Christian Frederik Hansen, known for its neoclassical architecture and for featuring the largest bell in Denmark. With the afternoon at your leisure, why not see the unusual Round Tower, a 17th century tower and the oldest functioning observatory in Europe and Copenhagen Cathedral, where the Crown Prince of Denmark married Princess Mary.
Day 3 - 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?
Day 4 - 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 as well as the sight of thousands of islands 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.
Day 5 - Fashionable Helsinki Relaxed Start
Helsinki is known as a global trendsetter in design, fashion, stunning architecture and luscious parks. Disembark your Baltic cruise and 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?
Day 6 - 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.
Day 7 - The Road to Rovaniemi
As you journey towards the Arctic, travel to Lapland, native home to the nomadic Sami community. 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.
Day 8 - Rovaniemi and Lapland Relaxed Start
Cross the Arctic Circle today, a highlight for many travellers. With your Local Expert, see the Town Hall designed by Aalvar Aalto and visit Rovaniemi Church. Explore Rovaniemi with Insight Choice. Choose to meet Santa Claus and embrace the spirit of Christmas. Alternatively, join your Local Expert for a nature walk in the forest. With the afternoon at leisure perhaps you may want to visit the open-air museum and Arktikum?
Day 9 - Across the Arctic 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. Continue north along the Four Winds Road, where you may see herds of reindeer roaming freely as you journey 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.
Day 10 - The North Cape
Cross the rolling tundra into Norway and stop at Karasjok for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Visit a Sami National Museum, devoted to preserving the Sami history and culture, and see the Sami Parliament, 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.
Day 11 - Through Finnmark to Alta Relaxed Start
Enjoy a relaxed start before continuing 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?
Day 12 - A World of Adventure in Alta Relaxed Start
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 the champion dog sledding Lyrek family. Learn about their Alaskan huskies and Arctic dog sled races. Meet 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 Lunch with seasonal specialities from the region, such as salmon or the nutritious local game, reindeer, served with fresh salads and wine.
Day 13 - 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. 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.
Day 14 - 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.
Day 15 - 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.
Day 16 - 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 snowcapped 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.
Day 17 - 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.
Day 18 - 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. During a delicious meal with wine, raise your glass to toast your adventures with your newfound friends.
Day 19 - Cosmopolitan Oslo Relaxed Start
Your Local Expert will show you the spires and ramparts of the medieval Akershus Castle guarding the harbour. See the Royal Palace and 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.
Day 20 - Out of Oslo
Departure transfers arrive at Oslo airport at 07:15 and 10:15.