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Grand Arctic Circle Explorer

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The ultimate overland adventure by rail

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
20202021
22 days From £5,595 per person

2021 Tour code: AOJ21

About the tour

Explore Denmark, Sweden, and Norway on this truly spectacular overland rail adventure. We spend time in 3 magnificent and lively Scandinavian capital cities; Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, visit Norway's aweinspiring fjords, and experience the wild landscapes north of the Arctic Circle in the 'Land of the Midnight Sun.'

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-3 - London, Denmark, and Copenhagen

After meeting at our Departure Office we leave London St Pancras by Eurostar, travelling to Brussels in Standard Premier Class. We continue in First Class to Bremen, where we stay overnight.

On Day 2 we travel by Standard Class rail, via Hamburg, to Copenhagen for a 2-night stay.

On Day 3, our morning sightseeing tour features the magnificent Amalienborg Palace, a large octagonal mansion, surrounded by 4 identical Rococo palaces, one of which is home to the reigning monarch Queen Margrethe II. We also visit the famous Little Mermaid statue before taking a cruise through the colourful canal area of Nyhavn, once a maritime hub where sailors from around the world frequented the many bars on offer here. Your afternoon is at leisure.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Copenhagen
Days 4-5 - Stockholm

Today, we join the X2000 train for the direct service to Stockholm. On arrival in Sweden's capital city, we transfer to our hotel for 2 nights.

Day 5 begins with a sightseeing coach tour, the perfect way to get our bearings. Our tour includes the Royal Palace, the cathedral, the narrow streets of Gamla Stan (the Old Town), City Hall, and the tranquil island of Djurgården. Afterwards, we take a relaxing 'fika', the Swedish term for a coffee and cake break. Your afternoon is free to explore. Skansen, the oldest open-air museum in the world, gives an insight into how life once was here and is well worth a visit.

Includes
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
Stockholm
Days 6-7 - Östersund and a Sami experience

Today we head inland by rail to Östersund, nestled on the shores of Lake Storsjön, Sweden's fifth largest lake.

On Day 7 we join the Inlandsbanan to Sorsele, visiting the Inlandsbanan Museum here. Next, we visit a Sami village, home to the indigenous Sami people of Scandinavia, before we continue to Arjeplog for the night. Dinner tonight is enjoyed around an open fire in a traditional tipi.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Ostersund
Days 8-11 - Across the Arctic Circle and the Polar Express

We travel around lakes and forests of Swedish Lapland by coach today. Making our way to Jokkmokk, we cross the Arctic Circle into the 'Land of the Midnight Sun', marking the occasion with a small celebration en route.

On Day 9 we continue on the Ofoten Railway to Narvik, after a free morning that includes entrance to the local Sami museum. The scenery that accompanies this journey is spectacular, and we enjoy passing views of dramatic mountain peaks.

On Day 10 we make a visit to Narvik's War Museum before time at leisure.

On Day 11 we take a trip on the spellbinding 'Polar Express', also known as the Nordland Railway. This incredible railway is rightly one of the world's most famous, passing unconquerable landscapes that are a delight to experience. The vast, ever-changing environment stretches as far as the eye can see, and from our comfortable carriages we watch as clear blue lakes, sparkling fjords, and the spectacular Svartisen Glacier roll by our windows. We disembark in Verdal, spending the night in Stiklestad.

Includes
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast
  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Dinner
Jokkmokk
Days 12-13 - Stiklestad and Trondheim

We set off toward atmospheric Trondheim this morning, heading first to Stiklestad for a short guided tour, followed by lunch. We continue to Trondheim along the famous Golden Road, which is laced together by a multitude of scenic sights.

Day 13 includes a guided sightseeing tour. Founded in the 10th century, Trondheim is one of the oldest cities in Norway and boasts a rich Viking heritage.

Includes
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 13 - Breakfast
Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim
Days 14-17 - The Rauma Railway, Geirangerfjord, and the Flåm Railway

We leave Trondheim by rail for Dombås, where we join the 71-mile long Rauma Railway for a journey to Åndalsnes. From here, we transfer to Loen by coach and ferry for a 2-night stay in Loen.

On Day 15 we enjoy the beautiful scenery of Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site, during a morning boat cruise and scenic drive following a photo opportunity at the Dalsnibba viewing point.

Departing by coach on Day 16, we continue to Flåm, stopping off at Kaupanger's stave church along the way. In Flåm, we stay overnight at the Fretheim Hotel.

On Day 17 we enjoy a superb excursion on the Flåm Railway, which takes us up into the mountains along one of the steepest lines in the world. We reach Myrdal and return to Flåm, driving to Gudvangen where we embark on a luxury eco cruise across Sognefjord. Afterwards, we continue to Bergen by coach.

Includes
  • Day 14 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 15 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 16 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 17 - Breakfast
Geiranger
Days 18-19 - Bergen and Oslo

We enjoy a walking tour of Bergen today that includes Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch is a delicious meal of fresh seafood at Bergen's fish market, followed by a coach tour of Bergen's incredible bridges.

Travelling in Komfort Class on Day 19, we take a rail journey on Northern Europe's highest railway line - the Bergen Railway. The train climbs high above the tree line, across some of the most remote areas of western Norway before descending into elegant Oslo, where we stay overnight.

Includes
  • Day 18 - Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 19 - Breakfast, Dinner
Bergen Railway
Days 20-22 - Hamburg and London

Day 20 is at leisure in Oslo before we transfer to the port and board the overnight ferry to Kiel*. On arrive in Kiel on Day 21, we join the train to Hamburg for an overnight stay. Day 22 takes us by rail to Brussels, via Cologne, where we join the Eurostar to London.

*Please note: your luggage will travel on the ferry with you, as opposed to via our luggage service.

Includes
  • Day 20 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 21 - Breakfast, Eurostar
Hamburg Town Hall

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Hotel Hornavan, Arjeplog

Hotel Hornavan, Arjeplog

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Scandic Neptune, Bergen

Scandic Neptune, Bergen

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Maritim Hotel, Bremen

Maritim Hotel, Bremen

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Scandic Copenhagen

Scandic Copenhagen, Copenhagen

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Fretheim Hotel, Flåm

Fretheim Hotel, Flåm

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Novotel Hamburg City Alster, Hamburg

Novotel Hamburg City Alster, Hamburg

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Hotel Jokkmokk, Jokkmokk

Hotel Jokkmokk, Jokkmokk

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Alexandra Hotel, Loen

Alexandra Hotel, Loen

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Thon Hotel, Narvik

Thon Hotel, Narvik

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Scandic Byporten, Oslo

Scandic Byporten, Oslo

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Clarion Hotel Grand Ostersund

Clarion Hotel Grand Ostersund, Ostersund

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Scandic Stiklestad

Scandic Stiklestad, Steinkjer

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Scandic Continental Hotel

Scandic Continental Hotel, Stockholm

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Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim

Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim

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Trains

Bergen Railway
Eurostar
Flåm Railway
Fløibanen Funicular
Inlandsbanan
InterCity
Nordland Railway
Ofoten Railway
The Raumabanen Railway
X2000

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London Hotels
UK rail connections
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Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

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Grand Arctic Circle Explorer

The ultimate overland adventure by rail

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Luke Simpson
Luke
Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Helen Laverack
Helen
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