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14 days - Escorted Small Group tour to Norway and Finland with southbound Norwegian Coastal Voyage
Chase the Northern Lights in some of the most magical destinations in Scandinavia and the Nordics. For 14 days experience untouched wilderness, the home of Santa Claus and tour Oslo and Bergen. There will be unforgettable experiences, from nights in a glass roofed cabin where you may be able to marvel at the northern lights from the comfort of your bed to exhilarating husky experiences.
• Southbound voyage on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (Kystruten)
• Sights and sounds of the Norwegian coast
• 3 nights in a glass roofed cabin in Lapland
• 1 night in a gamme (log) cabin
• City tours Oslo and Bergen
• Husky experience
• Santa Visit
• Reindeer experience
• Small group sizes from just 8 to 18
• No unnecessary bus driving
- Day 1
- Arrive to Ivalo, transfer to your hotel
- Day 2
- Reindeer Safari & Snowmobile Safari
- Day 3
- Husky Safari through the forests and then meet Santa
- Day 4
- Bus to Kirkenes, skirting lakes and snow-clad forests
- Day 5
- Arctic King Crab Safari and then board your Norwegian Coastal Voyage ship
- Day 6
- Enjoy the last of the North- Hammerfest and Tromsø
- Day 7
- Vesterålen and Lofoten
- Day 8
- Embrace the 7 sisters mountains in the Arctic Circle
- Day 9
- Old towns of Molde and Kristiansund, then Trondheim
- Day 10
- Western Islands, then disembark in Bergen
- Day 11
- Discover Bergen with a guided tour
- Day 12
- Bergen to Oslo Scenic Train Journey
- Day 13
- Modern Oslo - Guided city tour
- Day 14
- Departure Day
- Start Place
- Ivalo, Finland tours
- End Place
- Oslo, Norway tours
- Destinations Visited
- Finland tours
- Norway tours
- 14 Days
- Group Size
- 6 - 18
- Easy escorted voyage & tour suitable for singles and couples
Ship, bus, train and transfers.
- 4 nights in 4* hotels in central locations, 3 nights at Aurora Cabin, 1 nights at Gamme Cabins and 5 nights cruise accommodation in an outside cabin on the Norwegian coastal voyage
- Daily breakfasts
- English speaking tour escort
- English speaking local guide for city tours in Oslo & Bergen
- Outdoor clothing for winter activities/safaris (winter boots, balaclavas, woolen socks, mittens, overalls, tube scarf) at the Aurora Cabins
- Free use of snowshoes, cross-country skis, toboggans, ice-skates and kick sledges at the Aurora Cabins
- Santa Visit
- Free aurora alert at the Aurora Cabins
- Dinners at the Aurora Cabins
- Sparkling piccolo bottle, water bottle, tea, coffee and sweets as complimentary arrival treats in your room at Aurora Cabins
- Bergen to Oslo train with seat reservation
- Final group dinner in Oslo
- Overnight in a Gamme cabin at the Kirkenes Snowhotel including dinner
- Lunch and a guided visit to cultural musuem Sami Siida, Inari
- Three nights in Aurora cabins (similar to a glass igloo with open glass roof)
- Voyage from Kirkenes to Bergen, 5 nights in unspecified outside cabin with window, TV, toilet & shower (Pre-booked cabin upgrades available on request subject to availability).
- All meals during the Norwegian Coastal voyage
- Transfers: Ivalo Airport to Aurora Village and to Kirkenes
- Winter or Autumn activities depending on the season: King Crab Safari, WINTER ACTIVITIES: Reindeer Farm Visit, Snowmobile Safari and Husky Safari, AUTUMN ACTIVITIES: Husky wagon ride, Finnish Smoke sauna experience and Aurora hunting by car. (Please note that the coastal voyage optional activities are not included.)
- Meals in total: Daily breakfasts, 6 lunches, 10 dinners and 2 activity snacks & hot drinks
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
- Booking with Confidence- we want you to be confident in booking with 50 Degrees North, and we will always have your best interest and safety in mind. In these times of uncertainty during the COVID-19 crisis, we have put in place further measures to make booking with us easier and more flexible.
International flight tickets, Norwegian coastal voyage optional excursions, any airport taxes, travel insurance, visas, gratitudes and any items of personal nature.
Portage is not included - you will be responsible for carrying all your luggage.
Day 1 - Arrive to Ivalo, transfer to your hotel
Arrive to Ivalo and transfer to The Aurora Village which is located high above the Arctic Circle in Northern Finland. Surrounded by stunning scenery, we will enjoy this rustic wilderness experience in the remote forests of northern Finland, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Check in to your glass roofed Aurora Cabin where you will be spending tonight.
These glass cabins provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity to admire the Northern Lights and millions of stars in the crystal clear sky with a comfortable room temperature. The glass thermal roof ensures that the window will stay clear even in the lowest temperatures, and the warmth and amenities of the cabin will ensure you the most comfortable aurora observing experience we can offer you. Each cabin offers a private bathroom.
Your escort will meet you this evening in the hotel lobby at 5pm and then enjoy a welcome dinner with your group. Dinner at the restaurant.
AccommodationAurora Village or similar
Day 2 - Reindeer Safari & Snowmobile Safari
After breakfast, meet the reindeers. In the old days people used reindeer for transportation. Today you will meet the local reindeers at work, Manu, Pelokas and Papu. Papu will take you for a short reindeer sleigh ride. In a traditional Kota-tent you will have tea, coffee and a small snack by the open fire while our Sámi-reindeer herder tells you stories about reindeer. You can also try your skills at throwing lasso!
In the afternoon, join an exciting snowmobile safari. Two persons share one snowmobile and there will be an opportunity to change drivers during the safari.
Afterwards, if the skies are clear, head out for a walk to look for the northern lights! Dinner at the restaurant.
Day 3 - Husky Safari through the forests and then meet Santa
After breakfast, get ready for today's husky safari - an unforgettable journey through breathtaking winter scenery.
On arrival at the husky farm we will provide you with a warm outer thermal suit, gloves and hat and then we will present your very own husky team. You will be given a lesson on how to drive the sledge and how to observe important hand signals given by your leader.
Each team consists of about six dogs, you, the driver, and your passenger who is comfortably seated in the wooden sledge. The driver and the passenger can change places during the safari.
In the afternoon, in small groups, you will have a special meeting with Santa! Take photos and chat to Santa before enjoying a hot berry juice in the yurt style (kota) building.
Day 4 - Bus to Kirkenes, skirting lakes and snow-clad forests
After breakfast, transfer by bus to Kirkenes, Norway. This 200 kilometre drive skirts lakes and snowclad forests.
Along the way, stop in Inari for lunch and a guided tour at Sami Siida Museum - the national museum of the Sámi and a national special museum in Finland. The guide will help you to have an in-depth view of Siida’s permanent exhibitions. Siida’s exhibition tours cover the permanent exhibitions of the house.
On arrival, you will visit and see the snow rooms at the Snowhotel. Explore this hand-built snow hotel and perhaps enjoy a drink at the icebar before heading to your Gamme pine cabin, a short walk away in the same resort.
Your evening will then progress to a delicious 3 course dinner. The food served is charmingly traditional and locally sourced. Your guide will be available to help you prepare for the evening ahead, making sure you are as comfortable as possible. After dinner you will have the opportunity to walk around the snowhotel and say hello to our resident reindeers, and with any luck, catch a glimpse of the northern lights.
Day 5 - Arctic King Crab Safari and then board your Norwegian Coastal Voyage ship
This morning, get ready for a totally unforgettable experience on the frozen fjords of Kirkenes. This is your chance to catch, learn how to cook, and most importantly eat the Arctic King Crab.
The Arctic King Crab is one of the most sought-after meals in top restaurants, and yet here, you get to eat the best and the freshest, pulled from the fjord in front of your eyes. You all take part in helping to saw the hole in the ice and bring up the catch. You will see how the crab is prepared by your master guide, and you will be taken by snowmobile sled (an experience in itself) to a beautiful farmhouse by the lake.
It is here by a cosy log fire that your King Crab meal awaits. Although presentation is simple, the superb, white leg meat and claws with their particularly juicy and naturally sweet taste puts this meal in a league of its own.
Warm clothing and a helmet is provided. Please note: This tour is done by snowmobile (the fisherman drives the snowmobile with you in a sled behind the snowmobile), and not by divers or in a boat.
Then transfer to the harbour to board the Norwegian Coastal Voyage ship. As the ship starts its voyage south, you can first enjoy lunch then head up to the panorama lounge to enjoy the views of the surrounding Arctic landscape or venture on deck.
In the afternoon, the ship again docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Continuing south, we cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.
TransportationNorwegian Coastal Voyage Ship.
Day 6 - Enjoy the last of the North- Hammerfest and Tromsø
In the middle of the night we dock at Mehamn- a small fishing village that had the biggest whaling statin in all of Finnmark in the past.
Next stop is Hammerfest which was a settlement dating back to the Stone Age and is still playing an important role as a fishing port. Founded in 1789 to develop trade with Russia, Hammerfest reconfirmed its position as Norway's Polar capital of its time, acting as a base for hunting expeditions in the High Arctic.
Make sure you visit the The Meridian Column, erected in 1854- now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As early as 1891, wave energy provided power to the first electric street lighting in Northern Europe and energy innovation is still a signature for Hammerfest with its large Liquid Gas Plant just outside town.
As you continue south from Øksfjord after crossing open water we have a quick stop at Skjervøy before sailing through Lyngenfjord- surrounded by the gorgeous Lyngen Alps.
From here we head to Tromsø. The Arctic Cathedral Midnight in Ishavskatedralen is a wonderful experience not to be missed.
AccommodationNorwegian Coastal Voyage
Day 7 - Vesterålen and Lofoten
Today you will pass through Risøyrenna, a channel providing vessels an 'inside route' between Harstad and Sortland. Coming into Sortland- the blue city, local artist Bjørn Elvenes came up with the idea of turning the city into a three-dimensional artwork using a blue colour palette. You then continue onto Stokmarknes, where you will see the MS Finnmarken as a monument as you come into port. You can also learn about Norway's coastal history at the Hurtigruten museum.
Continuing south from Stokmarknes it looks as if you are sailing straight through the mountain wall, but you sail through an opening in the narrow Raftsundet, a picturesque narrow channel between the Vesterålen and Lofoten islands. If time and weather permits, you will take a detour into the spectactular Trollfjord where steep cliffs hug the ship's sides, home to the majestic sea eagles. The daylight sailing through the Lofoten Islands is a highlight for many as the Lofoten region is renowned for its natural beauty with steep mountains, fishing villages and beautiful scenery.
Svolvær is the main settlement on the Lofoten Island followed by Stamsund where the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten Wall can be viewed.
Day 8 - Embrace the 7 sisters mountains in the Arctic Circle
The Helgeland coast with hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls is worth getting up early to experience. Today will also be the last one north of the Arctic Circle as you cross it between Ørnes and Nesna. This part of the coast is rich in local lore with stories including the legend of the Seven Sisters, a picturesque row of peaks, and the myth about how the arrow formed the hole in Torghatten mountain.
On our way from Sandessjøen to Brønnøysund, the Vega Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is on the list due to the unique interaction between man and nature as the local population have protected the eider duck nests in return for the highly valuable down from the birds.
Brønnøysund is a vibrant and pretty little town - nice for a stroll through Havnegata looking at the small boats and bustling life of the archipelago.
Day 9 - Old towns of Molde and Kristiansund, then Trondheim
Today gives you another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. Nidaros Cathedral is Scandinavia's largest medieval building and three Queens, and seven Kings have been crowned here.
The town of Kristiansund, located on the scenic Atlantic Road, holds the rather obscure title of Norway's klipfisk (dry and salted cod) capital because of the nature of its main export. Whilst in Kristiansund you can visit the Atlantic Road, one of Norway's most picturesque and frequently visited tourist destinations.
Passing the islands of Munkholmen and Hitra you cross the open sea to Molde, known as the 'city of roses' due to its lush Gulf Stream locations. When leaving Molde you can see the pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Day 10 - Western Islands, then disembark in Bergen
As your voyage comes towards the end, you pass Ålesund, Torvik and Måløy during the night and in the morning you might want to enjoy the last leg of your journey seeing the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedalsbreen glacier, Norway's longest fjord- the mighty Sognefjord and the gorgeous Bergen Archipelago.
Transfer to your hotel and then head out to explore Bergen.
AccommodationHotel Admiral or similar
Day 11 - Discover Bergen with a guided tour
After breakfast, enjoy a three-hour sightseeing tour of Bergen. Bergen is the perfect strolling town and a free detailed guide of Bergen is available from the Tourist Office centrally located on Fisketorget. As you explore the historical centre of Bergen you'll be transported back to a time when Bergen was the centre of political power and trade for the entire North Atlantic. It was the Capital of the Kingdom of Norway for a short period, before the capital was moved to Oslo in 1299, and the town grew to become the largest in Scandinavia.
The Hanseatic League established itself here in 1350 and had a trade monopoly that lasted 200 years. While in Bergen you might wish to visit the UNESCO heritage listed historical area around the harbour known as the Bryggen district, and the home of Edvard Grieg, Troldhaugen, Norway's internationally famous composer. Be sure to visit the new Bergen Fish Market - a fantastic modern architectural designed building with an indoor dining area.
If you are looking for something special, we recommend visiting the Restaurant Cornelius.
Day 12 - Bergen to Oslo Scenic Train Journey
After breakfast transfer to the Bergen Central Railway Station and depart Bergen by train travelling across the Western fjords and the Hardanger Plateau, with its highest point at Finse (1222m).
The journey is considered one of the most picturesque in Europe - 7 hours of beautiful scenery. Starting through gentle snow covered countryside landscapes dotted with quaint farmhouses, the journey just keeps getting better with fjords, waterfalls, barren mountain peaks and classic Norwegian forests. Comfortable classy trains with free Wi-Fi, free coffee & tea and large seats will make the day thoroughly enjoyable. There is a small cafe on board or bring your own packed lunch (like the locals do).
Arrive in Oslo and walk to your hotel.
AccommodationThe Hub or similar
Day 13 - Modern Oslo - Guided city tour
After breakfast, enjoy a city tour with minivan and local guide to see some of the Oslo highlights: the local harbour, the distinctive town hall, the Vigeland Sculpture Park and more. Please note itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions.
Why not book a floating sauna this afternoon with your group for a bit of fun! This evening, meet your group for the final group dinner and enjoy a final walk around the city.
Day 14 - Departure Day
After breakfast, transfer to the airport by express train.
- Price per person, seaview superior with a double bed. Any other cabin type including twin cabins are subject to price and availability.
- Upgrade to Superior - Jr Suite cabin w/balcony on the voyage section, on request and subject to availability.
31 Dec 2022
31 Dec 2022
31 Dec 2022
2 Feb 2023
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2 Feb 2023
7 Mar 2023
7 Mar 2023
7 Mar 2023
9 Apr 2023
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26 Oct 2023
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31 Dec 2023
31 Dec 2023
20 Jan 2024
20 Jan 2024
16 Feb 2024
16 Feb 2024
6 Mar 2024
6 Mar 2024
23 Mar 2024
23 Mar 2024
6 Apr 2024
6 Apr 2024
PLEASE NOTE: Winter departures have unspecified outside cabins with windows on the Norwegian coastal voyage, we are able to upgrade cabins on request to superior or suites.
Activities differ when travelling in Autumn (before the snow arrives). Autumn Activites in Ivalo will be a husky wagon ride, Finnish Smoke sauna experience and Aurora hunting by car.
We recommend arriving into Helsinki a day or so before the tour starts and enjoying this city. The first few days on tour is very busy and not being affected by jetlag will help you enjoy the activities.
You can pre-book your optional Norwegian Coastal Voyage excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are on board and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out (unlimited numbers on the North Cape tour). It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions.
Other travellers will join at various points along the way as this tour can be done in shorter sections. The group size will never extend beyond it's maximum numbers.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH INFORMATION:
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy group travel. During winter, roads and footpaths can be icey so please consider carefully how much luggage you bring as you will be responsible for carrying all the luggage on these outside paths. There is limited portage service in Scandinavia and your tour escorts cannot help you, beyond reason.
Scandinavia is a fairly accessible destination for people with restricted mobility and other disabilities and is actively working to be more accessible every day. However, please note that our group tours are often not suitable for persons with limited accessibility due to inclusions and pace. 50 Degrees North is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability and we can tailor-make independent itineraries for travellers when needed. Please contact us for further details.
Several of your accommodations on this itinerary are Nordic Choice hotels, who we support due to their outstanding sustainability policies. This group of hotels are ISO 14001 certified (which is given to enterprises that have a high-quality environmental managing system), has launched plastic free initiatives in partnership with WWF, where possible is powered by renewable energy and are taking great strides to reduce water consumption and reduce the use of chemicals. Even though access to water is not an issue in Nordic countries compared to other parts of the world, this hotel is conscious of the energy consumed for heating, and chemicals required for purification, so reduction makes up part of their overall environmental policy. In addition to this they provide sustainable, organic, fair-trade food, and only use sustainably produced palm oil. Your hosts also encourage guests to eat less meat and substitute this for plant-based alternatives.
Your glass igloo hosts in Ivalo were the first accommodation in Northern Lapland to receive the Green Key award, the leading standard for excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. This prestigious eco-label represents a commitment by businesses that their premises adhere to the strict criteria set by the Foundation for Environmental Education. Some examples of how they carry this out include offering recycling facilities in all cabins and no longer offering plastic bottles in accommodations, along with protecting the diversity of the surrounding nature, i.e., bird house and insect hotels. Hiking, biking, and skiing tracks are direct from the hotel and as such they encourage low carbon activities such as snowshoeing and toboggans.
Your journey along the iconic Norwegian coastline comprises a large element of this tour. Traditionally the company Hurtigruten had exclusive access to this route, but in 2017 the Norwegian government ended their 130-year monopoly by granting Havila access and allowing them to also take travellers along the coastline. With this change comes innovation; traditionally the ships on this route are powered by fossil fuels however the Havila ships are fitted with batteries and can partly run on renewable hydroelectric power. Not only will the lack of noise and emissions improve the tourist experience and disruption to the environment, but the approach is essential to meet the strict zero emissions regulations for the fjord region to be introduced by the Norwegian government later this decade. We are proud to partner with Havila for this journey, and welcome their newer, greener ships.
Please note this tour is not suitable for children under the age of 14.