Explore Norway, Lapland and the Northern Lights
On this remarkable adventure we explore Norway and Swedish Lapland, journeying north far into the Arctic Circle where we seek out the magical Northern Lights, all whilst traveling on some of Scandinavia's most scenic railroads.
Your wonderful journey in search of the Northern Lights begins in Oslo, where you meet the group and Tour Manager at our hotel for two nights, the Thon Hotel Opera, located close to the Opera House.
Today you are free to explore Oslo at leisure. The new State Opera House is situated close to our hotel and is an impressive, award-winning example of modern architecture. Norway's magnificent 19th century Royal Palace and the 20th century Oslo City Hall, home of the Nobel Prize ceremonies, are both well worth visiting. Oslo also boasts a variety of attractive parks including the Vigeland Sculpture Park, whose 80 fascinating acres were designed by Gustav Vigeland. The city offers a good choice of museums including, the Folk Museum and the Edvard Munch Museum.
Today we leave Oslo and head due north by train, following the line of the Dovre Railroad. Our wonderfully scenic daytime journey takes us through the majestic landscape of the Dovrefjell - a mountain range separating eastern Norway from the region surrounding Trondheim. The mountains are part of the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, a protected region which is a natural habitat for many rare plants and animals. Later we arrive in Trondheim for two nights at the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, located in the heart of the city within walking distance of its shops, restaurants and Bakklandet, the city's Old Quarter. Day 4 is free to explore atmospheric Trondheim, one of Norway's oldest cities.
We leave Trondheim early this morning and travel north on the Nordland Railroad for a 452-mile journey to Bodø. The route takes us through the beautiful and varied landscape of northern Norway, past gently sloping hills and distant mountains, majestic lakes and deep forests, rocky coastline and views across small islands and out over the open sea.
We cross the Arctic Circle - 66 degrees north - shortly before reaching the town of Lonsdal, the highest point of the railroad. The train reaches Fauske before turning due west for the final short section of the journey to Bodø, which claims to be 'the city with the world's most beautiful coastline'. As Bodø is beneath the auroral oval, if the weather is clear, tonight could be our first viewing of the magical Northern Lights.
We spend the night at the Thon Hotel Nordlys, located in the heart of the town. After dinner, we travel by coach to a viewing point, to maximise our chances of seeing the spectral dance of the magnificent Northern Lights.
After a leisurely morning we board our Hurtigruten ship, and travel to Svolvaer, the tiny capital of the stunning Lofoten Islands. Described as Europe's most dramatic and spectacular islands, the Lofoten Islands are tethered to mainland Norway by a series of bridges and resemble spikey, wired teeth. The islands are home to small fishing communities, their houses built on timber piles with seawater under the floorboards and imposing cliffs towering 3,000ft above. We spend two nights at the Thon Hotel Nordlys.
Your morning is free to explore Svolvaer and the Lofoten Islands at leisure. The islands are home to some outstanding wildlife, including the world's densest population of sea eagles and large numbers of minke whales which roam the blue-watered bays. In the late afternoon we embark on a coach journey to the quiet side of the island where there is hardly any light pollution. These are fantastic conditions from which to hunt for the Northern Lights, as well as making for beautiful views of the wintry landscapes. Afterwards, we enjoy a meal of local produce at the Old Fish Oil Museum and later we return by coach to Svolvaer.
We leave Svolvaer by coach this morning, and return to the Norwegian mainland. Our journey once again offers a wonderful opportunity to soak up the region's breathtaking beauty, with views from the coach stretching down sheer drops to the majestic fjords in the valley below. We check in to the Scandic Hotel Narvik and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. The ice-free seaport is located 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and has a number of fascinating attractions including its Red Cross War Memorial Museum, which documents the wartime occupation of Narvik by the Germans in World War II and the bitter air and sea battles that took place for control of the harbor and the iron ore supplies. Also worth a visit is the Ofoten Museum, housed in the old NSB Railroad building, which features exhibitions relating to local cultural history and the construction of the Ofoten Railroad.
Today we enjoy a journey on one of the world's most northerly railroad lines, the Ofoten Railroad. Narvik was originally built as a port to export the iron ore mined near Kiruna, and the Ofoten Railroad was built as the link between the mines and the port.
We travel on this line across the Swedish border, crossing barren plateaus and traversing steep mountainsides as we make our way to Kiruna, Swedish Lapland's largest city. The railroad's route was painstakingly carved out of the mountains - an incredible engineering project that was largely undertaken by hand. On arrival in Kiruna we have time at leisure. We spend two nights at the Camp Ripan Hotel.
This morning we enjoy time at Kiruna's famous Ice Hotel. In the late afternoon we take a 'Sami experience', discovering the lives and culture of Sweden's indigenous people. We travel to a Sami village where we meet the reindeer, enjoy a Sami feast in a 'lavvu' (Sami tent) and listen to local folk tales. We then leave the lights of the village behind, heading into a beautiful landscape of forests and mountains to try and view the captivating Northern Lights once again. On Day 11 you are free to travel home independently.
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to Oslo Gardermoen airport, approximately 30 miles from your base in Oslo, and from Kiruna airport, approximately 6 miles from your base in Kiruna.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; you will meet your tour manager and group at dinner at approx 19:00.
An escorted experience and travel during your tour
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Fantastic rail experiences
Exciting excursions and free time explore
Explore Norway, Lapland and the Northern Lights