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Grand Arctic Circle Explorer

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The ultimate overland adventure by rail

21 daysFrom $8,075 per person

2020 Tour code: AOJ20

About the tour

Explore Denmark, Sweden and Norway on this truly spectacular overland rail adventure. We visit the region's three magnificent and lively capital cities, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, Norway's awe-inspiring fjords and the wild landscapes north of the Arctic Circle in the 'Land of the Midnight Sun.'

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 - London to Denmark

After meeting your group and Tour Manager at our dedicated Departure Office, we depart St Pancras International by Eurostar to Brussels in Standard Premier Class. We continue in First Class to Bremen, where we overnight. On Day 2 we travel by Standard Class rail via Hamburg to Copenhagen, for a two-night stay at Scandic Copenhagen.

Includes
  • Day 1 - Eurostar Meal, Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Eurostar
Day 3 - Discovering Copenhagen

Our morning sightseeing tour features the magnificent Amalienborg Palace, a large octagonal palace, surrounded by four identical rococo palaces, one of which is home to the reigning monarch, Queen Margrethe II. We also visit the Little Mermaid statue and enjoy a cruise in the colorful canal area of Nyhavn, once the hub of the port where sailors from around the world frequented the many bars. The afternoon is free for you to explore at your leisure.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Copenhagen
Days 4-5 - Stockholm

Today we join the X2000 train (First Class) for the direct service to Stockholm. On arrival in Sweden's capital city we transfer to the Scandic Continental Hotel for two nights. On Day 5 we begin with a sightseeing coach tour of this fascinating city including the Royal Palace, the cathedral and the narrow streets of Gamla Stan (the Old Town), a perfect way to get your bearings in Sweden's splendid capital. Your afternoon is free to explore at leisure. Skansen, the oldest open-air museum in the world, gives an insight into how the Swedes used to live and is well worth a visit.

Includes
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
Stockholm
Day 6 - To Östersund

Today we head inland by coach to Östersund, nestled on the shore of Lake Storsjön, Sweden's fifth largest lake. Here we stay for one night at the 4-Star Clarion Grand Hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Ostersund
Day 7 - Inlandsbanan & Sami experience

We join the Inlandsbanan today to Sorsele and visit Inlandsbanan museum. We visit a Sami village, home to the indigenous Sami people of Scandinavia. They have inhabited the northern region of Sweden for an estimated six thousand years, surviving via their activities of reindeer herding, fur trapping and fishing, and today we learn more about their culture with a visit to a local Sami center. We then continue to Arjeplog for the night.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Sami Experience
Day 8 - Across the Arctic Circle

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 arrival we enjoy a light dinner with local Sami specialties before transferring to the Hotel Jokkmokk.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Jokkmokk
Day 9 - The Ofoten Railroad to Narvik

Transferring through Lapland to Gällivare, we continue on the Ofoten Railroad to Narvik on one of the world's most northerly lines. The scenery on this route is truly spectacular as we pass sheer drops down to fjords and dramatic mountain peaks. On arrival we check in for one night at the Scandic Hotel Narvik.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Norwegian fjords
Day 10 - The Polar Express

We take the coach from our hotel today for a trip on the spellbinding 'Polar Express', also known as the Nordland Railroad. This incredible railroad journey is rightly one of the world's most famous, passing unconquerable landscapes that are a delight to experience. Vast, ever-changing environments as far as the eye can see stretch out from our comfortable carriages as we strike out across Norway's dramatic landscape, watching as clear blue lakes, sparkling fjords and the spectacular Svartisen Glacier roll by our windows. We disembark in Verdal for a night in Stiklestad.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Nordland Railroad
Day 11 - The Golden Road to Trondheim

Founded in the 10th century, atmospheric Trondheim is one of the oldest cities in Norway and is full of history and we make our way there along the famous Golden Road which is laced together by a multitude of scenic sights. Along the way we stop at Stiklestad battlefield for a visit and lunch. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Trondheim
Day 12 - At leisure in Trondheim

Today is free for you to explore Trondheim at leisure. As well as discovering the city's broad avenues, old warehouses and pretty timber dwellings, you could visit the Ringve Museum, featuring a fascinating collection of musical instruments from all over the world, and the Ringve Botanical Gardens.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim
Days 13-14 - The Rauma Railroad and Geirangerfjord

We leave Trondheim by rail for Dombås, where we join the 71 mile long Rauma Railroad for a journey through jagged mountain peaks to Åndalsnes. From here we transfer to Geiranger by coach for a two-night stay at the Hotel Union Geiranger. The Geirangerfjord is a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site, and on Day 14 we enjoy the beautiful scenery it boasts during a morning boat cruise

Includes
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 14 - Breakfast
Geiranger
Days 15-16 - To fjords & the Flåm Railroad

Departing by coach we continue to Flåm, where we overnight at the Fretheim Hotel. On Day 16 we enjoy a superb excursion on the Flåm Railroad (Standard Class), taking us up into the mountains along one of the steepest lines in the world. We reach Myrdal and return to Flåm, from where we enjoy a fjord cruise along Naeroyfjord from Flåm to Gudvangen, followed by a scenic drive into Bergen. We end the day in Bergen at the Thon Rosenkrantz hotel.

Includes
  • Day 15 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 16 - Breakfast
Flam Railroad
Days 17-18 - Bergen and the Bergen Railroad to Oslo

Enjoy a walking tour of Bergen that includes Bryggen, the old city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Fløibanen Funicular Railroad which affords great views of the city. Leaving by Standard Class train on Day 18 we take a journey on Northern Europe's highest railroad line, the Bergen Railroad. The train climbs high above the tree line across some of the most remote areas of western Norway before descending to the elegant city of Oslo, where we overnight at the Thon Hotel Opera.

Includes
  • Day 17 - Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 18 - Breakfast, Dinner
Bergen Railroad
Day 19 - Ferry to Kiel

You have a day at leisure in Oslo, before we transfer to the port and board the overnight ferry to Kiel, in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Oslo city hall
Days 20-21 - To Hamburg and London

On arrival in Kiel we disembark and join the train to Hamburg where we overnight. On Day 21 we travel in First Class via Cologne to Brussels for the Eurostar to London.

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

Additional information

Recommended Airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Airport waiting room
Visa requirements
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.

Hotels

Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Bergen

Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Bergen

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Scandic Copenhagen

Scandic Copenhagen, Copenhagen

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Fretheim Hotel, Flåm

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Union Hotel, Geiranger

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Hotel Jokkmokk, Jokkmokk

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Scandic Narvik Hotel, Narvik

Scandic Narvik Hotel, Narvik

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Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo

Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo

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Clarion Hotel Grand Ostersund, Ostersund

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Scandic Continental Hotel, Stockholm

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Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim

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Trains

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