DEPARTURES: 27 SEP • 3 OCT • 20 OCT • 3 NOV • 27 NOV • 9 DEC 2020, 28 JAN • 11 FEB • 22 FEB • 5 MAR 2021
DAY 1 ARRIVE HELSINKI (D)
Arrive in Helsinki and make your own way to the hotel and check-in. Meet with your tour manager and afterwards, enjoy a welcome dinner with the group. Overnight at Glo Hotel Kluvi (or similar).
DAY 2 HELSINKI TO ROVANIEMI (B)
After breakfast at the hotel take a sightseeing tour of Helsinki. The city tour includes the Senate Square, the University and the Lutheran Cathedral. See the colourful Market Square, Kaivopuisto Park, diplomatic residences, the imposing statue of Marshall Mannerheim, the Parliament Building, Finlandia Hall, the Orthodox Russian Church, Uspenski, and the Sibelius Monument, plus a visit to Temppeliaukio Church – also known as the ‘Rock Church’, as it is carved into solid rock. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport for an afternoon flight to Rovaniemi. Upon arrival in Rovaniemi, transfer to the hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure or enjoy an optional evening Northern Lights excursion. Stay the next two nights at Santa's Hotel Santa Claus (or similar).
DAY 3 ROVANIEMI (BL)
The day begins with a morning visit to the world famous Santa Claus Village, situated right on the Arctic Circle. Stop by his busy post office and ask Santa to send a letter home. Take a step into the magical world of Santa’s home and meet Santa himself. Afterwards, visit a Sami reindeer farm to meet the traditional owners and learn about their reindeers. Enjoy lunch on the farm before heading back to Rovaniemi. Evening at leisure or enjoy optional evening excursions.
DAY 4 ROVANIEMI TO SAARISELKA (BD)
Today head for Saariselka in Northern Lapland. Arrive at the Northern Lights Village and check-in to your Aurora Cabin/Glass Igloo. Enjoy your cosy cabin, and weather permitting, you may have the opportunity to marvel at the amazing Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed. Overnight at Northern Lights Village in a glass-roofed Aurora Cabin.
DAY 5 SAARISELKA TO KIRKENES (BD)
After breakfast, transfer to Kirkenes across the Norwegian border. Along the way, visit the SIIDA Museum in Inari, the capital of the Sami people in Finnish Lapland. Then journey north to Kirkenes. Stay the next two nights in a Gamme Cabin at Snowhotel Kirkenes (or similar). OPTION: For departures in January, February and March 2021, you may be able to upgrade to a special Snow/Ice Room in the Snowhotel Kirkenes - ask your travel agent for details.
DAY 6 KIRKENES (BD)
Itinerary for autumn (no snow) Oct & Nov: Over 180 huskies call the Snowhotel Kirkenes home. After meet and greet with these beautiful dogs, enjoy a hike with the huskies up to a plateau providing amazing views of the surrounding area. Blueberries, cranberries and crowberries ripen during the summer months, and can be picked along the way. Take a break at the summit, and if the weather permits, enjoy a fire and barbecue.
Itinerary for winter (snow) Dec to Mar: Today, a two hour husky ride awaits. Sit back and relax, as your musher drives your sled through the wilderness. Enjoy a hot drink served en-route. The afternoon is at leisure or there are optional excursions available.
DAY 7 KIRKENES – SOUTHBOUND HURTIGRUTEN VOYAGE (BLD) (DAY 1 OF HURTIGRUTEN SOUTHBOUND VOYAGE)
Mid morning, transfer from the hotel to the Hurtigruten Terminal for the voyage south along the Norwegian coast. Enjoy lunch as the ship sets sail, then head up to the panorama lounge to admire the views of the surrounding Arctic landscape or venture on deck. In the afternoon, the ship docks at Vardø, Norway’s easternmost port. Continuing south, cruise along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord, before reaching Berlevåg in the evening. Cruise the next five nights in an Outside Cabin on board Hurtigruten's ship. We recommend prebooking your optional shore excursions to avoid missing out.
DAY 8 MEHAMN TO TROMSO (BLD) (DAY 2 OF HURTIGRUTEN SOUTHBOUND VOYAGE)
In the middle of the night, dock at Mehamn, and later in the morning stop at Honningsvåg, then continue onwards to Hammerfest and Øksfjord. After crossing open water, make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy, then dock at Tromsø.
DAY 9 TROMSO TO STAMSUND (BLD) (DAY 3 OF HURTIGRUTEN SOUTHBOUND VOYAGE)
Today, the ship negotiates an intricate network of isles and inlets as you pass through the legendary Lofoten Islands. The island groups of Lofoten and Vesterålen offer some of the most stunning scenery you will see during the entire coastal voyage. The Lofoten region is renowned for its natural beauty with steep mountains, wild nature and small, picturesque fishing villages. The daylight sailing route through the Lofoten Islands is a highlight of the cruise. Continuing southwards, it looks like you are sailing straight into the mountain wall, but the ship inevitably slips through an opening leading to the narrow Raftsund. This 20 kilometre passage between Lofoten and Vesterålen takes you through mountains soaring 1,000 metres directly out of the sea. Pass through the spectacular Trollfjord, only two kilometers long and 100 metres wide, surrounded by majestic mountains, finally reaching Svolvaer. From Svolvær, continue to Stamsund and see the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten wall. Leave Lofoten during the evening and set course for the mainland.
DAY 10 BODO TO RORVIK (BLD) (DAY 4 OF HURTIGRUTEN SOUTHBOUND VOYAGE)
Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’. Celebrate the event out on deck with a `taste´ of Arctic tradition – a spoonful of cod liver oil. Sail along the Helgeland coast and pass hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls rich in local lore. On deck you can see the strange mountain Torghatten (rising 258 metres above sea level), famous for its distinctive hole right through the middle. Continue past the Seven Sister Mountain Range, along the Helgeland coastline. Next, make a short stop at Nesna, an idyllic old trading post before moving on to Sandnessjøen.
DAY 11 TRONDHEIM TO ALESUND (BLD)(DAY 5 OF HURTIGRUTEN SOUTHBOUND VOYAGE)
Today provides an opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. Once you are back on board, the ship heads out into the majestic Trondheimsfjord, which is 170 kilometres long and up to 25 kilometres wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords, it is deep, plunging to 577 metres. Continue sailing along to the coast to Kristiansund and Ålesund.
DAY 12 ALESUND TO BERGEN (BL) (DAY 6 OF HURTIGRUTEN SOUTHBOUND VOYAGE)
During the night, the ship calls at Ålesund, Torvik and Måløy. In the morning arrive at Florø, a modern coastal seaport that is also the Sogn og Fjordane region's oldest town and Norway’s westernmost community. Navigate further south to the mouth of the mighty Sognefjord and enjoy superb views of this magnificent island-studded coastline. The cruise ends in Bergen, where you disembark in the afternoon and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Stay the next two nights at Hotel Bergen Bors (or similar).
DAY 13 BERGEN (BD)
After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour of Bergen, visit St. Marys church, the colourful and picturesque fish market and the old Bryggen area. The Fløibanen funicular, in the heart of Bergen, is one of Norway’s best-known attractions. The journey is an experience, cutting through the steep mountain side and forests revealing more of the city below. At the top you can enjoy fantastic views over Bergen and the Norwegian coastline. In the evening walk from the hotel to the pier and take the boat to reach the well-known Cornelius restaurant for a farewell dinner and be delighted with local specialties. Inspired by the weather of the day, Cornelius serves its famous Meteorological Menu of exquisite seafood and trimmings prepared using innovative culinary techniques and with a genuine passion for seafood. Cornelius is open all year except Sundays where an alternative restaurant in Bryggen area will be offered instead.
DAY 14 DEPART BERGEN (B)
Sadly all good things must end and its time to say farewell after breakfast.
(B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)