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10 days - Escorted Small Group tour with southbound Norwegian Coastal Voyage, Tromsø to Oslo
Embarking on a winter’s pilgrimage to Norway in search of the Northern Lights, or aurora borealis, is a bucket-list topper. And, with good reason! It’s a truly magical experience, with dark skies overhead bursting into grand, ethereal colours. But, sightings are never guaranteed, so it pays to travel alongside a local guide and mix up your locations above the Arctic Circle. This short winter tour starts in Tromsø then travels down the Norwegian coast, riding the Bergen to Oslo train into the heart of the Norwegian fjords.
• Southbound voyage on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (Kystruten) from Tromsø
• Experienced Tour Escort
• Sights and sounds of the Norwegian coast
• City tours Tromsø, Oslo and Bergen
• Opportunity for spotting the northern lights
• Small group sizes from just 8 to 18
- Day 1
- Arrive Tromsø and settle in to your hotel
- Day 2
- Discover Tromsø - The Arctic Capital and board the coastal ship in the late evening
- Day 3
- Vesterålen and Lofoten
- Day 4
- Embrace the 7 sisters mountains in the Arctic Circle
- Day 5
- Old towns of Molde and Kristiansund, then Trondheim
- Day 6
- Western Islands, then disembark in Bergen
- Day 7
- Discover Bergen with a guided tour
- Day 8
- Bergen to Oslo Scenic Train Journey
- Day 9
- Modern Oslo - Guided city tour
- Day 10
- Departure Day
- Start Place
- Tromsø, Norway tours
- End Place
- Oslo, Norway tours
- Country Visited
- Norway tours
- 10 Days
- Group Size
- 6 - 18
- Easy escorted voyage & tour suitable for singles and couples
Coastal ferry, bus, train and transfers.
- 5 nights in 4* hotels in central locations, and 4 nights cruise accommodation in an outside cabin on the coastal ferry
- Daily breakfast
- English speaking tour escort from Day 2 evening when you join the Norwegian Coastal Voyage
- English speaking local guide for city tours in Tromsø, Oslo & Bergen
- Bergen to Oslo train with seat reservation
- Farewell group dinner
- Voyage from Tromsø to Bergen, 4 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
- 24-hour emergency service
- Taxes and service fees
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 Tromsø and settle in to your hotel
Arrive Tromsø, the Arctic Capital and starting point for your journey. Check in to your hotel and explore the city. 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 world's northernmost brewery.
Day 2 - Discover Tromsø - The Arctic Capital and board the coastal ship in the late evening
After breakfast, join a guided city tour of Tromsø. See the highlights of the city on this walking tour. If you would like to add a winter adventure such as dogsledding or cultural tours, there will be time this afternoon to do this. Late this evening, you will board the boat and meet your group escort and the rest of the group.
Optional Add Ons
Day 3 - 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 4 - 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 5 - 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 6 - 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.
Day 7 - 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 a great outdoor and indoor dining area.
If you are looking for something special, we recommend visiting the Restaurant Cornelius.
Day 8 - 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.
Day 9 - 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.
The afternoon is free in Oslo, discover the new area of Bjorvika with the new Opera House and Munch Museum and then explore the charming shopping streets, cosy cafés and exciting eateries of Grünerløkka. Lastly, visit the new National Museum of Norway down by the harbour.
This evening, meet your group for the final group dinner.
Day 10 - Departure Day
After breakfast, independent 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.
31 Dec 2022
31 Dec 2022
2 Feb 2023
2 Feb 2023
7 Mar 2023
7 Mar 2023
9 Apr 2023
9 Apr 2023
26 Oct 2023
26 Oct 2023
28 Nov 2023
28 Nov 2023
31 Dec 2023
31 Dec 2023
PLEASE NOTE: Winter 2022/23 departures have unspecified outside cabins with windows on the Norwegian coastal voyage, we are able to upgrade cabins on request to superior or suites.
We recommend arriving into Tromsø 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 can add a husky ride, reindeer safari and other local experiences).
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.
Other travellers will join at various points along the way as this tour is a shorter section of a longer small group journey. The longer version of this tour starts in Finland and you will be joining them on their sixth day. 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 no 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.
This spectacular itinerary ensures as little time driving as possible and celebrates the best of the coastline accessible by train, ship, and RIB boat. Norway is a pioneer in sustainable and innovative travel, and we have selected activities which embrace that; for instance, the Flam railway, which takes you along one of the world’s most spectacular train rides, is powered by hyrdro-electric energy from the Kjosfossen waterfall, one of the iconic stops on route.
At the heart of this journey is your trip by ship through the Fjords. Traditionally the company Hurtigruten had exclusive access to this route, but in 2017 the Norwegian government ended their 130-year monopoly by granting the operator Havila, who themselves have a rich history in the region dating back to 1950, 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 (the largest ship battery pack in the world) and can run on renewable hydroelectric power for up to 4 hours at a time. Not only will the lack of noise and emissions improve the tourist experience and disruption to the vulnerable fjords, 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. The hull is specially designed for maximum energy efficiency, and excess heat from cooling water and sea used for heating on board.
All of the accommodations have been hand selected for their ties to the local community, and for their environmental credentials. One example is our support of Nordic Choice hotels (who will be your hosts in Oslo and Bergen) which are famous for their efforts in sustainability. The accommodation is ISO 14001 certified (which is given to enterprises that have a high-quality environmental managing system for organizational performance), 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.