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The remarkable beauty of Scandinavia and the Nordics will simply take your breath away. Experience the untouched landscapes and magic of Finnish Lapland or admire the mountains and fjords on a cruise along the spectacular Norwegian coastline. Visit enchanting cities like Stockholm, Oslo and Helsinki or venture into Russia and discover the treasures of St. Petersburg and Moscow. With winter producing the mystical northern lights and endless days in summer, you’ll want to experience Scandinavia in every season.
WHEN TO GO
Scandinavia has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Summer (June to August) brings long, warm days with noticeably short nights. The north of the continent around the Arctic Circle experiences the midnight sun. Autumn (September to November) delivers crisp days with dazzling colours. It is not unusual to start seeing frost and the northern lights season begins. Winter (December to January) experiences shorter days with very cold conditions and a high chance of snowfall. Winter is the best time to see the northern lights in Iceland and the north of Sweden, Finland and Norway. Spring (March to May) means the days are getting longer and the temperature is warmer. The spring flowers start to bloom and the snow melts away.
EXPERIENCES YOU'LL LOVE
Russia River Cruising
See Russia from a different perspective on a cruise along the mighty Volga, Europe’s longest river. Travel the route followed by Tsars between Moscow and St. Petersburg, anchor in historic towns and explore the treasures of Russia’s two largest cities. See famous sites such as St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, the Tretyakon Gallery and the Kremlin in Moscow. While in St. Petersburg, you won’t want to miss the stunning imperial estate of Peterhof, The Catherine Palace, the Fabergé and Hermitage Museums. And the best part about a river cruise is you only have to unpack once!
The chance to experience the spectacle that is the northern lights, or aurora borealis, is high on the bucket list for many travellers. Between late September and late March, Scandinavia is among the most beautiful and interesting places to see the northern lights. You’ll be spellbound by this amazing natural phenomenon, which can be described as a celestial ballet of light dancing across the night sky in green, blue, pink and violet hues. Join our Chasing The Lights tour for potentially multiple viewing opportunities as you cruise along the spectacular Norwegian coastline.
Norway’s fjords are dramatic and breathtaking. Created over a period of 2.5 million years, there are over one thousand fjords around the country. The iconic Geirangerfjord, one of the most stunning sights in Norway, is known for its spectacular waterfalls and steep cliffsides and is a popular inclusion on the itineraries of most cruise lines. Beautiful Sognefjord is the longest and deepest of Norway’s fjords and its famous arm, the Naerøyfjord, has World Heritage status. Make sure you also put Hardangerfjord, Lysefjord, Aurlandsfjord and Trollfjord on your list for exploration.
The Blue Lagoon
The beautiful milky-blue water of the Blue Lagoon is unlike anything else on earth and is in stark contrast to the surrounding black lava field. At 39ºC, it’s soothing, restorative waters are rich with minerals that will do wonders for the skin and is the perfect temperature for year-round bathing. It’s one of Iceland’s most popular attractions so booking in advance is essential.
Home of Santa Claus
Rovaniemi, located in Finnish Lapland, is the official hometown of Santa Claus. Its most famous resident can be visited every day of the year at Santa Claus Village. Meet Santa’s elves, make friends with his reindeer or take a class in the Elf School and earn your magical diploma! Make this year the year to experience a white Christmas with our Christmas in Lapland package.
While there is an abundance of wildlife to be seen in the Nordic countries, spotting a polar bear in the wild is surely one of the world’s great wildlife-watching experiences. The Svalbard archipelago, where polar bears actually outnumber humans, is one of the best places to see the King of the Arctic! Take an expedition cruise for the opportunity to see these majestic animals.