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Grand Arctic Circle Explorer

The ultimate overland adventure by rail

From $ per person

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.'

The itinerary for your journey
Tour highlights

What’s included

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.

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 colourful 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.

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.

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.

Day 7 - Inlandsbanan & Sami experience
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 centre. We then continue to Arjeplog for the night.

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 specialities before transferring to the Hotel Jokkmokk.

Day 9 - The Ofoten Railway to Narvik
Norwegian fjords

Transferring through Lapland to Gällivare, we continue on the Ofoten Railway 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.

Day 10 - The Polar Express
Nordland Railway

We take the coach from our hotel today for a trip on the spellbinding 'Polar Express', also known as the Nordland Railway. This incredible railway 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.

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. 

Day 12 - At leisure in Trondheim
Nidaros Cathedral, 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.

Days 13-14 - The Rauma Railway and Geirangerfjord

We leave Trondheim by rail for Dombås, where we join the 71 mile long Rauma Railway 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

Days 15-16 - To fjords & the Flåm Railway
Flam Railway

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 Railway (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.

Days 17-18 - Bergen and the Bergen Railway to Oslo
Bergen Railway

Enjoy a walking tour of Bergen that includes Bryggen, the old city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Fløibanen Funicular Railway which affords great views of the city. Leaving by Standard Class train on Day 18 we take a 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 to the elegant city of Oslo, where we overnight at the Thon Hotel Opera.

Day 19 - Ferry to Kiel
Oslo city hall

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.

Days 20-21 - To Hamburg and London
Hamburg Town Hall

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.

Recommended Airports
Airport waiting room

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.

Visa requirements
Departure Dates

All prices are per person and assume full occupancy of the room.
Please always refer to the website for up-to-date prices and availability.

Bergen Railway
Bergen Railway

Widely regarded as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, this high-altitude trip through southern Norway links the old Hanseatic city of Bergen and the Norwegian capital, Oslo. The harsh climate experienced in this part of the world has produced a landscape that is breathtaking and wild, and the Bergen Railway enables us to soak up the spectacular views whilst relaxing in warm, comfortable carriages.


The high speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.

Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in Eurostar Standard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!

The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.

For the class of travel used on your chosen tour, please refer to the 'What's Included' section of the tour page.

Flåm Railway
Flåm Railway

A branch line of the Bergen Railway, the scenic Flåm Railway takes passengers on a wonderful 12.5 mile (20km) journey up one of the steepest railway lines in the world. On its journey from Flåm, located at the innermost corner of the Aurlandsfjord, the train negotiates horseshoe curves, twists, turns and 20 tunnels - 18 of which were drilled by hand.

The scenery is truly spectacular, with rivers and waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and remote farms passing by the window as you travel towards Myrdal at 2,838 feet (865m).

Fløibanen Funicular
Fløibanen Funicular

A five minute ride to the top of Fløyen mountain on the Fløibanen Funicular affords magnificent views of Bergen, Norway's second city. 320 metres above sea level, Fløyen is the peak of a spectacular short rail climb.


The Inlandsbanan connects Kristinehamn in the south of Sweden with Gällivare in the north, a journey of approximately 810 miles (1,300km). On our Arctic Circle Express and Grand Arctic Circle Explorer holidays we join the railway in Östersund, an inland city in the middle of the country, for the trip to Jokkmokk, situated above the Arctic Circle. This fantastic journey up the 'backbone of Sweden' takes us past tranquil lakes and tumbling streams bursting with life.


Named after the famous British express service, InterCity trains are long-distance services operating in a variety of different countries, such as Germany, Switzerland and Austria. InterCity trains are distinct from Inter City Express (ICE) and EuroCity services in that they operate on domestic routes within country borders.

Nordland Railway
Nordland Railway

The Nordland Railway runs from the historic Viking capital of Norway, Trondheim, to the beautiful city of Bodø in northern Norway. The railway is 729km in length, making it Norway's largest mainline railway. It is also one of only a few railway lines in the world which cross the Arctic Circle. The railway, which is also called 'the train of the midnight sun', takes passengers through the beautifully varied scenery of northern Norway and includes views of lakes, rivers and fjords, as well as the spectacular Svartisen Glacier.

The Nordland Railway crosses the Arctic Circle (66 degrees north) just before reaching Lonsdal, the highest station on the line at 512km above sea level. This part of Norway is famous as an ideal place to view the Northern Lights. During the summer, in fine weather, the sun remains visible 24 hours a day.

After reaching Fauske, the most northerly point on the line, the railway turns due west to Bodø, regarded by many as the city with the world's most beautiful coastline.

Ofoten Railway
Ofoten Railway

The Ofoten Railway lies on a headland at the foot of the Fagernesfjellet, between the Beisfjord and Rornbaksfjord, and runs between the iron-ore mines at Kiruna in Swedish Lapland and the port town of Narvik on the Norwegian coast. The modern town of Narvik was developed as a port for the export of the iron-ore, and the Ofoten Railway, was built at the turn of the century as the link between the mines and the port.

At the time of construction, the Ofoten Railway was both the coldest and northern-most railway project in the world. The 26-mile (42km) line was painstakingly carved out the mountains - an incredible engineering project that was largely undertaken by hand. The result is a breathtaking route which takes passengers past deep fjords, through the wild, rugged mountains and the barren mountain plateaus north of the Arctic Circle.

The Ofoten Railway Museum is dedicated to the local history of Narvik and the Ofoten Railway, and is located close to the centre of Narvik.

The Raumabanen Railway
Raumabanen Railway

Our spectacular journey on the 71 mile (114 km) Raumabanen Railway begins in the village of Dombås. The train takes us along the valley carved by the River Rauma, offering magnificent views of the awe-inspiring crags, peaks and plateaus of the Alpine massif along the way.

Just beyond Verma, the train enters the semi circular Stavem Tunnel, which reverses the train's direction, taking us back in the direction from which we have just come, before crossing the famous Kylling Bridge.

Further along the line we pass Trollveggen (Troll Wall), the tallest vertical rock face in Europe and then continue through the wild, awe-inspiring landscape towards the town of Åndalsnes on the shores of the beautiful Romsdal Fjord. Åndalsnes is the terminus of the Raumabanen Railway, and from here we continue our journey by coach.


The X2000 is Sweden's premier high speed train, which uses advanced tilting technology to smooth out the curves of the Swedish tracks and reach speeds of up to 127 mph (204 km/h). Refurbished in 2007, all trains feature comfortable seats, radio and music channels and an on-board Bistro serving a wide selection of food and drink.

Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Bergen
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Bergen

The Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz is situated on Bryggen, Bergen's historic waterfront, close to the famous fish market and the Fløibanen Funicular Railway. The hotel has a restaurant and a lobby bar. All rooms feature light, modern décor and are well equipped with a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities, telephone, television and a hairdryer.

Scandic Copenhagen, Copenhagen
Scandic Copenhagen

The elegant 4-Star Scandic Hotel in Copenhagen enjoys a central location, close to Copenhagen's Central Station and Tivoli Gardens, and with impressive views over the Copenhagen skyline. Guest rooms are bright and modern, and feature a flat-screen television, hairdryer, desk, complimentary Wi-Fi and city or lake views.

The Scandic Copenhagen also boasts a chic lobby bar, perfect for enjoying a relaxing drink on an evening, and a contemporary grill restaurant.

Fretheim Hotel, Flåm
Fretheim Hotel, Flåm

The Fretheim Hotel in Flåm is a long-standing favourite with our customers. Surrounded by nature, the hotel has an impressive view of the nearby fjord and surrounding mountains. The hotel has a restaurant, bar and coffee shop. Rooms are equipped with television and a hairdryer.

Union Hotel, Geiranger
Union Hotel, Geiranger

Located on the edge of the beautiful Geirangerfjord, the Union Hotel features a lounge, two restaurants, three bars and a terrace serving light snacks and drinks, where guests may enjoy the magnificent views over the fjord. The hotel also has an indoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, an outdoor pool (seasonal) a spa offering various therapies and treatments (pay locally) and a fascinating vintage car museum. Rooms are comfortably furnished and feature a telephone and television.

Hotel Jokkmokk, Jokkmokk
Hotel Jokkmokk, Jokkmokk

The Hotel Jokkmokk is situated on the shores of Lake Talvatis, close to the centre of Jokkmokk. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, gym and saunas - one in the main hotel building and one next to the lake. The rooms are comfortably furnished and feature a telephone, television and a hairdryer. Many of the rooms enjoy wonderful views over the lake.

Scandic Narvik Hotel, Narvik
Scandic Narvik Hotel, Narvik

Opened in 2012, the Scandic Narvik Hotel is one of Norway's tallest and most distinctive buildings, and offers fine views of the surrounding mountains. Its facilities include a restaurant, a sky bar and terrace on the top floor, and a well-stocked gym. The rooms feature amenities such as a television, minibar, telephone and hairdryer.

Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo
Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo

The modern Thon Hotel Opera is perfectly located next to Oslo Central Station and just a short walk from Karl Johans Gate, the city's main pedestrian thoroughfare. The hotel has a restaurant, a bar serving snacks and light refreshments, a sauna and fitness studio. The rooms are comfortably furnished and facilities include climate control, a television, telephone, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.

Clarion Hotel Grand Ostersund, Ostersund
Clarion Hotel Grand Ostersund

Our hotel in Östersund is the centrally located, 4-Star Clarion Hotel Grand Östersund. Set just a short walk away from the Badhusparken, which overlooks the Storsjön lake, this lovely hotel contains excellent amenities, including a restaurant, serving food made with locally sourced ingredients, a bar, a pool, a sauna, and a well-equipped gym. The delightful rooms are decorated in light colours, giving them a pleasant airy feel, and come with a television, a minibar, tea & coffee-making facilities, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Scandic Continental Hotel, Stockholm
Scandic Continental Hotel

In Stockholm, we stay at the 4-Star Scandic Continental Hotel located near the city centre.

Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim
Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, Trondheim

The Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel is situated in the heart of Trondheim, within walking distance of its shops, restaurants and Bakklandet, the city's old quarter. The hotel has a bar which serves a selection of meals and drinks. The rooms feature stylish, contemporary décor and come equipped with individual climate control, a telephone, television, minibar and a hairdryer.


We offer a selection of upgrades and 'add-ons' designed to help you make the most of your holiday - and make it even easier!

This page was printed from on 25 September 2020.
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