Full Scandinavian buffet breakfast daily; 11 three-course dinners with wine, including a welcome dinner in Stockholm, a special dinner in Bergen, and a farewell dinner in Helsinki
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Arrive in Stockholm, Sweden. Welcome to Stockholm! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Stockholm. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Royal Palace; Riddarholm Church, and a walk through the OLD TOWN. Also visit the blue and gold chambers in the CITY HALL, where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held. Choose from our exciting optional excursions to make the most of your stay.
Stockholm–Copenhagen, Denmark. Enjoy the Swedish countryside during a comfortable drive south via Lake Mälar and Lake Vättern to Helsingborg. Cross by FERRY to Denmark and enjoy views of Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle at Elsinore. Arrive in Copenhagen, proud capital of Denmark.
Copenhagen. Overnight Cruise to Oslo Harbor, Norway. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Church of Our Savior and the Stock Exchange on the way to splendid ROSENBORG CASTLE, where some of the crown jewels of Denmark are held. Here, admire the incredible Throne Chair, made from narwhal tusks—the only one of its kind in the world! Drive past the National Museum and the Royal Theater, and stop for pictures of Amalienborg Palace and the LITTLE MERMAID statue. In the late afternoon, board your ship for the overnight KATTEGAT & OSLOFJORD CRUISE to Norway. Dinner will be served on the ship.
Oslo Harbor–Heddal–Vemork–Telemark. After disembarkation, enjoy a guided visit to the HEDDAL STAVE CHURCH, the largest of the country’s remaining wooden churches. Via Lake Tinnsjøen—where saboteurs sank a ferry loaded with heavy water, ruining Nazi hopes of winning the race for the atomic bomb—enter the Rjukan Valley. Then, the highlight of the day: a guided visit of VEMORK, scene of the daring sabotage action featured in the movie The Heroes of Telemark. Learn about the dramatic events of 1943 and about the technology of hydroelectric power generation, one of the pillars of Norway’s economy. Continue to rustic, unspoiled Telemark.
Telemark–Bergen. Drive along Lake Totak to the Haukeli mountains, where polar explorer and Nobel Laureate Fridtjof Nansen prepared his polar expedition. Admire thundering Låtefoss Waterfall and continue via Odda and the orchards along Sørfjord, whose tranquil splendor was the inspiration for Grieg’s Morning Mood. Cross Hardangerfjord by FERRY, and arrive in picturesque Bergen. This evening, a special dinner with wine at a local restaurant has been prepared for you.
Bergen. During your orientation tour, hear about the city’s 11th-century origins and its association with the Hanseatic League, and ride the FUNICULAR up to Mount Fløyen. Exciting optional excursions are available.
Bergen–Flam–Oslo. A wonderful day: embark for a relaxing CRUISE on beautiful Nærøyfjord and Sognefjord. Arrive in Flåm, and [LF] experience a spectacular ride on the FLÅM TRAIN and see the magnificent Kjosfossen waterfall. At the Myrdal mountain station, change to the BERGEN-OSLO TRAIN, which takes you through Hardanger National Park and the beautiful Hallingdal Valley to Norway’s proud capital.
Oslo. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the National Theater, Parliament, and the Royal Palace. Highlight visits: FROGNER PARK with Gustav Vigeland’s famous stark sculptures and the ornate CITY HALL. The afternoon is free, with a chance to join an optional excursion to the relics of a glorious seafaring past.
Oslo–Tromsø. Board your flight to Tromsø and arrive in the world’s most northern university city, starting point of many great polar explorers. Here, winters can be hard and summers usually surprisingly warm because of the warm gulf currents and the “Midnight Sun.” During your orientation, visit the ARCTIC CATHEDRAL.
Tromsø–Alta. Leave the capital of northern Norway and continue your journey northwards. Enjoy FERRY CROSSINGS on the Ullsfjord and Lyngenfjord, the most spectacular ferry rides because of the breathtaking views of the Lyngen Alps and their glaciers, and arrive in Alta, where your orientation features a visit to the spectacular ROCK CARVINGS, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Alta–North Cape. This morning, drive to Honningsvåg, the northernmost point of the North Cape, and discover the NORTH CAPE VISITOR CENTER, a sheer cliff rising 1,000 feet from the Atlantic Ocean.
North Cape–Karasjok–Ivalo, Finland. Admire crystal-clear streams, sparkling lakes, tundra, and forests as you head south and penetrate deep into beautiful Lapland, as it is called by the natives. Stop in Karasjok, seat of the Sami Parliament, where a highlight visit is included to [LF] Sven Engholm’s HUSKY FARM. Sven has led expeditions to Spitsbergen, Siberia, and Greenland, and won the longest sled dog race several times. Enjoy traditional snacks here, then continue to the Sami village of Ivalo for your overnight stay.
Ivalo–Arctic Circle–Rovaniemi. Cross the Arctic Circle (66°31’N), and stop at SANTA CLAUS VILLAGE, with a chance to see Father Christmas himself. [LF] Here you will receive your Arctic Circle Certificate. Continue to Rovaniemi, where an orientation features the Town Hall, the Library, and the Lappia House. Tonight is your chance to join an optional dinner at a Sami home.
Rovaniemi–Oulu–Jyväskylä. A comfortable drive south to the university city of Oulu, where there is time to have lunch before continuing to Jyväskylä.
Jyväskylä–Lahti–Helsinki. Arrive in the international ski resort of Lahti, with its three enormous ski jumps. Then, continue via Järvenpää, composer Jean Sibelius’ hometown, to Helsinki, capital of Finland. Guided sightseeing features the City Hall and the Parliament House, the Presidential Palace, the monumental railroad station, the great LUTHERAN CATHEDRAL, the Olympic Stadium, the SIBELIUS MONUMENT, and Helsinki’s local arts and crafts OPEN-AIR MARKET.
Helsinki. A full day at leisure offers the opportunity to join an optional excursion to Tallinn, capital of Estonia, known as one of the “Pearls of the Baltic Countries.” Tonight, a farewell dinner with wine awaits you at the hotel to celebrate the success of your Arctic journey.
Helsinki–St. Petersburg, Russia. A pleasant drive to magnificent St. Petersburg, where [LF] a dinner with traditional Russian delicacies like caviar, blini, pickled cucumber, and vodka awaits you.
St. Petersburg. Guided sightseeing starts with the Winter Palace complex, now home of the world-famous HERMITAGE MUSEUM. Next, drive along elegant Nevsky Prospect and visit ST. ISAAC’S CATHEDRAL.
St. Petersburg. In Pushkin, visit magnificent CATHERINE PALACE (if closed, visit PAVLOVSK PALACE instead).
St. Petersburg. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.