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15 days - Escorted Small Group tour to Norway and Finland with northbound Norwegian Coastal Voyage
'Experience the Northern Lights' in some of the most magical destinations in Scandinavia and the Nordics. For 15 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.
• Northbound voyage on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (Kystruten)
• 3 nights in a glass roofed cabin (similar to an igloo)
• 1 night in a gamme (log) cabin in Kirkenes
• In-depth city tours of Oslo and Bergen
• Full morning Husky Safari
• Full afternoon Snowmobile riding
• Full morning Reindeer experience with local Sámi-reindeer herders
• Small group meeting with Santa
• Opportunity for spotting the Northern Lights
• Small group sizes from just 8 to 18
*Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia independent extension can be added to this itinerary staying at the GLO Hotel, Helsinki. *
- Day 1
- Arrive Oslo; meet your escort & group for the welcome dinner
- Day 2
- Modern Oslo - Guided city tour
- Day 3
- Depart Oslo by early train and enjoy the spectacular journey to Flåm
- Day 4
- Start with a spectacular 2 hour cruise from Flåm, marvel at the fjords and villages then head to Bergen
- Day 5
- Explore Bergen - head to the hills above Bergen, museums or fine dine by the water before transferring to the harbour.
- Day 6
- Ålesund- Art Nouveau architecture and Geirangerfjord
- Day 7
- Trondheim- Medieval city
- Day 8
- Welcome to the Arctic Circle and Lofoten
- Day 9
- Tromsø - The Arctic Capital
- Day 10
- Honningsvåg and the North Cape
- Day 11
- Arrive in Kirkenes and join a King Crab Safari adventure
- Day 12
- Transfer to Inari and check into your Glass Roofed Cabin
- Day 13
- Reindeer Safari & Snowmobile Safari
- Day 14
- Husky Safari, Santa Visit and farewell dinner
- Day 15
- Transfer to Ivalo Airport
- Start Place
- Oslo, Norway tours
- End Place
- Ivalo, Finland tours
- Destinations Visited
- Norway tours
- Finland tours
- 15 Days
- Group Size
- 6 - 18
- Easy escorted voyage & tour suitable for singles and couples
Coastal ferry, bus, train and transfers.
- 4 nights in 4* hotels in central locations, 3 nights at Aurora Cabin / Glass Igloo, 1 nights at Gamme Cabins and 6 nights cruise accommodation in an outside cabin on the coastal ferry
- 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
- Free aurora alert at the Aurora Cabins
- Santa Visit
- Dinners at the Aurora Cabins and a sparkling piccolo bottle, water bottle, tea, coffee and sweets as arrival complimentary treats in your room.
- Lunch and a guided visit to cultural museum, Sami Siida in Inari
- Norway in a Nutshell with fjord cruise
- Train from Oslo - Myrdal - Flåm, Cruise to Gudgvangen, Bus to Voss then train to Bergen
- Welcome dinner
- Overnight in a Gamme cabin at the Kirkenes Snowhotel including dinner
- Three nights in Aurora cabins (similar to a glass igloo with open glass roof)
- Farewell dinner
- Voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes, 6 nights in unspecified outside cabin with window, TV, toilet & shower (Pre-booked cabin upgrades available on request subject to availability).
- All meals on the Norwegian Coastal voyage
- Transfers: Kirkenes to Inari, Inari to Ivalo Airport
- 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.
Booking your flight from Ivalo to Helsinki with Finnair in combination with your international flight is a more affordable option.
We can add a Helsinki and Tallinn, Estonia independent extension after this tour finishes. Flights from Ivalo to Helsinki, 2 nights at the GLO Hotel in Helsinki and a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia from approximately AUD 790, USD 550 and EU 470 per person.
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.
Day 1 - Arrive Oslo; meet your escort & group for the welcome dinner
Arrive Oslo and make your own way to your central hotel in the heart of Oslo. The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer the discerning traveller. If you arrive early, we can recommend a walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle & the Harbour area. Check in will be between 10am - 3pm. Close to the hotel, climb the new Opera House for a chance to orient yourself to this small capital. If you have a few hours, we suggest heading to close by beautiful peninsula of Bygdøy by ferry to visit the Fram Museum this afternoon.
Your escort will meet you this evening in the hotel lobby and have a welcome dinner at Engebret (or similar), a traditional Norwegian restaurant with an elegant, white table-clothed dining room in an 18th-century building.
AccommodationThe Hub or similar
Day 2 - Modern Oslo - Guided city tour
The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer the discerning traveller, and you have a full day to discover the city. After breakfast, you will meet a specialist Oslo guide for a four hour city tour by minibus. Depending on your guide and time, you will visit some of the Oslo highlights, including the Kontiki & Fram museums, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Ekerbergeparken and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum.
Afterwards, you can walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle, the Harbour area and the new Opera House.
Day 3 - Depart Oslo by early train and enjoy the spectacular journey to Flåm
Catch an early morning train from Oslo to Myrdal. The train journey over Northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau is spectacular. In the comfort of your train, watch fjord scenery with beautiful waterfalls, flowing rivers, deep valleys and mountains.
Arrive in Flåm and have the afternoon to explore this small fjord side village. Optional walks and activities such as a fjord rib boat safari can be arranged.
AccommodationFretheim Hotel or similar
Day 4 - Start with a spectacular 2 hour cruise from Flåm, marvel at the fjords and villages then head to Bergen
The day starts with a spectacular 2-hour fjord cruise from Flåm to the tiny fjord village of Gudvangen. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Aurlandsfjord & the Næroyfjord-a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The boat docks in Gudvangen, and from there the journey continues by bus through Nærøydalen, with its charming villages and scenic winter landscape. The bus will arrive in Voss, where you continue the tour by train on the Bergen Railway.
On arrival into Bergen, settle into your hotel and perhaps head down to the fish market or fish restaurants by the wharf for dinner. Looking for something special? Consider a boat ride out to the Cornelius Fish Restaurant, on a private island outside of Bergen.
AccommodationAdmiral Hotel or similar
Day 5 - Explore Bergen - head to the hills above Bergen, museums or fine dine by the water before transferring to the harbour.
After breakfast enjoy a 3-hour walking tour of Bergen, including a visit to the popular Fish Market, the famous Bryggen Harbour with its gabled pack-houses, and the old Hanseatic Quarter.
The afternoon is free in Bergen - be sure to enjoy the indoor & outdoor fish markets with their platters, sushi & paella options. Ride on the funicular to Mt. Fløien for the best views of the city and fjords way below. Keep an eye out for your coastal voyage vessel that arrives into Bergen during the afternoon.
In the mid afternoon you will transfer to the cruise terminal for check-in. Settle into your cabin & then meet your escort for your first meal on-board the ship.
Please note, you carry your own luggage onboard from the pier to check in/cabin.
An information meeting is usually held on the evening of departure from Bergen and included details of safety onboard. There is an information folder in each cabin and safety procedures are illustrated on the back of your cabin door and in public areas. The cruise tour leader on board will assist with general information and optional excursions available.
TransportationNorwegian Coastal Voyage
Day 6 - Ålesund- Art Nouveau architecture and Geirangerfjord
A winter expedition along the coast of Norway is a beautiful experience. The landscape is covered in pure white snow; the air is fresh, pure and crisp. Clusters of cosy houses glow on the shores like embers, and the stunning backdrop of snow-clad mountains reflects the polar twilight.
Your ship continues north past skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund. Enjoy examples of Art Nouveau style in the Apotekergate and Kongensgate pedestrian precinct. Make sure you see Ålesund from above, taking 418 steps to the top of Mount Aksla. The Atlantic Sea Park (Atlanterhavsparken)-one of the largest saltwater aquariums in Europe is also worth a visit.
Molde - known as the 'Town of Roses' is another exceptional place to catch beautiful views of 222 mountain peaks at the Molde Panorama.
Leaving Ålesund we head north towards Trondheim. Overnight on board the ship.
Day 7 - Trondheim- Medieval city
When visiting the old royal city of Trondheim, be sure to get a good view from the Old Town Bridge. (Gamle Bybrua) Dating from 1861, this neo-gothic wooden bridge used to be the only way into the town centre. Nidaros Cathedral, built between 1070 and 1300 is Norway's largest Gothic religious edifice. In the neighbouring Archbishop's Palace, the Norwegian Crown Jewels are kept. In the city of Trondheim, the Hanseatic, waterside storehouses built on wooden stilts are just as charming as Stiftsgården- the largest wooden building in Norway and residence for the Royal Family when visiting Trondheim.
When leaving Trondheim, you set course for the beautiful Kjerungskjær lighthouse and thousands of little islands and picturesque rocky outcrops. After passing through the narrow Stokksund, the ship will arrive at the charismatic Rørvik.
Day 8 - Welcome to the Arctic Circle and Lofoten
This morning, between Nesna and Ørnes you will pass a globe on a small islet, which heralds your crossing of the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle marks the border to the Arctic region. In summer this means 24-hour daylight- often referred to as the Midnight Sun. During autumn and winter, being above this degree of latitude give you the best chance of experiencing the Northern Lights. Passengers sailing in Arctic waters for the first time are given an Arctic Circle Babtism by Njord, the ruler of the Seven Seas. This comes in the form of an ice cube down you front or back but is entirely optional and great fun to watch if you don't want to participate.
Heading towards Bodø the ship sails along the Helgeland coast where you will pass the unique Torghatten mountain with its 30-metre-high, 25-metre-wide and 160-metre-deep hole through the middle.
In the afternoon, your ship gradually closes in on the Lofoten wall mountains towering above the tiny and colourful fishing villages of the Lofoten Islands. This is an extraordinary place to disembark and take a stroll.
These islands are renowned for their small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere surrounded by majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. Complete your visit with a stroll between the stockfish racks and 'rorbuer', the traditional red fisherman's residences.
Day 9 - Tromsø - The Arctic Capital
During the night the ship navigates the narrow Raftsund strait. After a stop in Harstad situated on the largest island of Norway- Hinnøya, you continue via Finnsnes to Tromsø for a extended stay.
Many of the epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point- the famous explorer Roald Amundsen sourced both crew and suppliers here. With the presence of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the city has cemented its position as the Polar Capital of Norway.
Ishavskatedralen, the Arctic Cathedral is a unique landmark well worth visiting. Experience Tromsø's best views by taking the Fjellheisen cable car to the top of the mountain ledge Storsteinen and maybe enjoy a beer from the worlds northernmost brewery.
After Tromsø we continue our northbound journey into the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Gather on deck or under the glass roof to search for this breathtaking phenomenon.
Day 10 - Honningsvåg and the North Cape
Today you sail through Magerøysund and after an early stop in Hammerfest, you arrive in Honningsvåg. This small port is the gateway to the wonders of the spectacular North Cape, which rises 300m from the ocean, and at 71° 10' 21" north ocean puts you a mere 2,000 km from the Geographical North Pole. Standing atop the North Cape Plateau you will feel like you are at the end of the world.
This area is also known for its birdlife, and Gjesværstappen, a bird sanctuary with up to 250,000 seabirds is home to some High Arctic species that can only be observed here on the Norwegian mainland, including the gorgeous puffins.
In summer you might see herds of reindeer and campsites belonging to the indigenous Sámi people. In winter and spring, sometimes local fishermen from the village of Kjøllefjord visit us to share their catch of the day- Cod and King Crab. And make sure as you approach Kjøllefjord you take note of the prominent and sacred to indigenous Sámi people, Finnkirka rock formation.
Day 11 - Arrive in Kirkenes and join a King Crab Safari adventure
You will arrive in Vadsø early in the morning. Located in the Varanger region this is one of the most attractive and popular bird-watching areas in the Arctic due to it being directly in the path of the birds migrating from east to west.
The last port on the Voyage North is Kirkenes. The well policed Russian border and the Koala peninsula are close by which explains why the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.
Disembark the ship and 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. If you enjoy eating crab, be sure to arrive HUNGRY!
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.
Today 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 12 - Transfer to Inari and check into your Glass Roofed Cabin
After breakfast, take a drive through wild forests and around pristine lakes to Inari, the Sami capital (traditional nomads of Scandinavia, reindeer herders).
In Inari we will have 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.
From Inari we will continue to the Aurora Village, our home for the next 3 nights.
The Aurora Village 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 three nights. You will also get your Winter clothing set (winter boots, balaclavas, woolen socks, mittens, overalls, tube scarf).
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. You will get a free Aurora Alert on arrival as well - which will buzz you if the chance of seeing the Northern Lights is high during your stay!
Dinner is included at the restaurant.
AccommodationAurora Village or similar
Day 13 - 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. You will be kitted out in warm clothing before leaving. 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 14 - Husky Safari, Santa Visit and farewell dinner
After breakfast, get ready for today's husky safari - an unforgettable journey through breathtaking winter scenery.
On arrival at the husky farm, dressed in your warm outer thermal suit, gloves and hat, you will be presented with 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 close to the hotel.
In the evening we will enjoy a special farewell dinner. Toast your trip with your fellow group members!
Day 15 - Transfer to Ivalo Airport
After breakfast, transfer to Ivalo Airport. You can add an extra few days in Helsinki and a day tour to Tallinn as an extented package.
- 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.
17 Jan 2023
17 Jan 2023
17 Jan 2023
21 Feb 2023
21 Feb 2023
21 Feb 2023
7 Mar 2023
7 Mar 2023
24 Mar 2023
24 Mar 2023
24 Mar 2023
10 Oct 2023
10 Oct 2023
7 Nov 2023
7 Nov 2023
13 Dec 2023
13 Dec 2023
17 Jan 2024
17 Jan 2024
6 Feb 2024
6 Feb 2024
22 Feb 2024
22 Feb 2024
7 Mar 2024
7 Mar 2024
23 Mar 2024
23 Mar 2024
9 Apr 2024
9 Apr 2024
PLEASE NOTE: Winter 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 departures have unspecified superior 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 Oslo 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. We also offer an extention tour to Helsinki and Tallinn after your tour.
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. Our 50 Degrees North escort will also be available to take you on a casual walk through the main cities that you visit during your Norwegian Coastal voyage.
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.