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Scenic Scandinavia and The Northern Lights

  • Stockholm's Old Town & Vasa Museum
  • Reindeer Encounter and Sámi Cultural Visit
  • Sled Dog Expedition
  • Sweden's ICEHOTEL
  • Tromsø guided Northern Lights excursion
  • Guided walking tour of Bryggen
  • Bergen Fjord Cruise

Overview

From 01 to 09 March 2020, Live the Journey will combine two Scandinavian icons, namely Sweden and Norway, on the winter adventure of a lifetime. 

Our tour starts in Stockholm with a guided walking tour of Gamla Stan (old town) and a visit to the Vasa-museum. This museum displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged.

From here we board our overnight train to Kiruna for an inter-active experience, meeting the local Sámi and a unique reindeer encounter. The world-famous ICEHOTEL is next, with a once-in-a-lifetime dog-sledding adventure.

We board the scenic Arctic Circle train to Tromsø, hailed as the best place in the world to witness the Northern Lights.

Our tour ends with a visit to ultra-scenic Bergen, the gateway to Norway's world-famous fjords, where highlights include the Fløibanen Funicular, offering extraordinary views over this idyllic town, and a romantic fjord cruise, taking in the natural beauty, from a different point of view.

Itinerary

DAY 0: JOHANNESBURG/ CAPE TOWN - STOCKHOLM

Evening departure from Johannesburg or Cape Town to Stockholm in Sweden.

DAY 1: STOCKHOLM

DAY 1: STOCKHOLM

Welcome to Sweden! Upon arrival at the Arlanda International Airport, we will be met and transferred to our hotel. Spend some time at leisure before meeting for a welcome dinner.

Overnight at the Clarion Amaranten or similar including dinner

DAY 2: STOCKHOLM SIGHTSEEING - KIRUNA

DAY 2: STOCKHOLM SIGHTSEEING - KIRUNA

This morning we will be met by our English-speaking guide and driver for a city sightseeing tour of Stockholm, including a visit to the Vasa museum. The Vasa is the only preserved seventeenth-century ship in the world and a unique art treasure. More than 95 percent of the ship is original, and it is decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures. The 69-meter-long warship Vasa sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628 and was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. For nearly half a century the ship has been slowly, deliberately and painstakingly restored to a state approaching its original glory.

Enjoy lunch in a restaurant in the old town, before enjoying a guided walking tour of Gamla Stan. The bustling, compact island of Gamla Stan is the city’s old town, with cobbled streets and colourful 17th- and 18th-century buildings. It’s home to the medieval Storkyrkan cathedral and the Royal Palace, the king’s official residence.

We return to the hotel to collect our luggage before being transferred to the train station for our overnight train to Kiruna, situated in Swedish Lapland. A light evening meal with non-alcoholic beverages is served onboard.

Overnight onboard overnight train including breakfast, lunch and light dinner

DAY 3: KIRUNA – REINDEER ENCOUNTER & SÁMI CULTURE

DAY 3: KIRUNA – REINDEER ENCOUNTER & SÁMI CULTURE

After enjoying a light/ packed breakfast onboard, the train arrives in Kiruna, Sweden’s northernmost city, located in the Arctic Circle. Upon arrival at the train station, we are transferred to Camp Ripan and onwards to the departure point for our afternoon tour.

The Sami are one of the world’s indigenous peoples and have lived in Sápmi since time immemorial, a region that today stretches from the Kola Peninsula in Russia, over the northern regions from Finland to Norway, and into Sweden. Kiruna is a part of Sápmi and has been home for many generations of Sami and today we will meet them and their trusted reindeer.

We travel in a snowmobile-drawn sled from Jukkasjärvi out to the reindeer camp in the forest where they keep and fodder part of their reindeer herd during winter to help them survive hard grazing conditions due to climate change. There are adult reindeer, youngsters and from around mid-December also calves that will eat out of hand. The reindeer is one of the Sámi society’s most important culture bearers and resources. We learn how today’s reindeer husbandry works. The reindeer herder will show you the art of lassoing and reindeer-sledding.

Later we are invited into a lávvu, i.e. Sámi tent, where you will sit on reindeer skins around a warming fire whilst learning more about the indigenous people of Fennoscandia, the Sámi people’s culture, history and way of life. For lunch you will be served suovas, the Sámi signature dish, which is eaten like a wrap and tastes best with hot, steeped coffee sipped from a guksi, a drinking cup carved from birch burl. On the way back we will stop at the handicraft shop at Márkanbáiki where you can have a look at a range of traditional and modern local Sámi arts and crafts.

This evening we enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Overnight at Camp Ripan or similar including light breakfast, traditional lunch and dinner

DAY 4: KIRUNA – ICE HOTEL & GUIDED SLED DOG TOUR

DAY 4: KIRUNA – ICE HOTEL & GUIDED SLED DOG TOUR

Enjoy breakfast this morning before check-out and transferring to the ICEHOTEL. We leave our luggage and proceed to the meeting point for our guided sled dog tour.

Come along as a passenger on this tour and experience the energy from the sled dogs and the beautiful snowy landscape on a mini-expedition into the wilderness. The snowy plains give you a feeling of freedom and the energy from the eager sled dogs fills the air. We will stop half-way at a wilderness cabin to enjoy a traditional lunch.

Our tour ends back at the ICEHOTEL where you will have some time at leisure. Later we enjoy dinner in the restaurant.

Overnight at the ICEHOTEL or similar including breakfast, traditional lunch and dinner*

*Accommodation at the ICEHOTEL is booked in a Kaamos Room (normal hotel room), guests wanting to stay in an Ice Room can upgrade at an additional cost and subject to availability. Ice Rooms do not have an en-suite bathroom and the temperature in the room is -5 degrees.

DAY 5: ICE HOTEL – NARVIK – TROMSØ

DAY 5: ICE HOTEL – NARVIK – TROMSØ

This morning after breakfast we transfer from the hotel to the train station and board our train to Narvik. The 3-hour trip from Kiruna to Narvik, just across the Norwegian border, is one of northern Sweden’s most beautiful journeys. The route offers top-class views of Lapland’s wild scenery and gives you fleeting glimpses of some of the country’s highest peaks. Snacks and beverages are available for sale on-board the train (not included).

Upon arrival in Narvik we will be met for our private road transfer to Tromsø (approximately 3-hour drive, through incredibly scenic landscapes).

Tromsø, a city in northern Norway, is a major cultural hub above the Arctic Circle. It’s famed as a viewing point for the colourful Northern Lights that light up the night-time sky during certain times of the year. The city’s historic centre, on the island of Tromsø, is distinguished by its centuries-old wooden houses. The 1965 Arctic Cathedral, with its distinctive peaked roof and soaring stained-glass windows, dominates the skyline.

We enjoy a traditional dinner in Tromsø.

Overnight at the Clarion Hotel Aurora or similar including breakfast and dinner

DAY 6: TROMSØ – NORTHERN LIGHTS EXCURSION

DAY 6: TROMSØ – NORTHERN LIGHTS EXCURSION

Enjoy breakfast this morning before setting off on a morning sightseeing tour of Tromsø. Our tour includes a visit to the Polaria with its intriguing design. Resembling slabs of iceberg tumbling up against the shoreline, Polaria sits on the Tromsø quayside a short walk from the cruise port. It is built in similar style to the Arctic Cathedral, which sits across the water on the mainland in Tromsdalen. Polaria is the brainchild of Norwegian architectural practice JAF and opened in 1998 as the first aquarium within the Arctic Circle. Aimed largely at educating folks on life in high-north Norway, the centre has interactive exhibits and informative displays highlighting the effects of global warming on the Arctic ice cap. The aquarium specializes in fish found in northern latitudes, including char, salmon, vast snow crabs and bearded seals.

We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon.

A light dinner-buffet is served at our hotel before we head out this evening on a hunt for the Northern Lights.

Tromsø is located in the middle of the Northern Lights Oval – the ring that circles the Magnetic North Pole – which is the area with the highest probability of seeing the lights. This natural phenomenon can be observed from September to April, depending on the weather conditions and solar activity. If the sky is clear, you might be able to see the Northern Lights right above the city, but to increase our chances we will go on a tour away from the bright lights of the city centre. Our expert guide will find the best area for a viewing and on the road will educate us on the scientific facts of the Aurora Borealis, but even more interesting, we’ll get to hear about the folklore and myths that has been associated with this phenomenon for centuries. He will also provide guidance on how to adjust your camera settings to take the best pictures of this natural phenomenon.

Overnight at the Clarion Hotel Aurora or similar including breakfast, lunch and light dinner-buffet

DAY 7: TROMSØ – BERGEN SIGHTSEEING

DAY 7: TROMSØ – BERGEN SIGHTSEEING

After an early/ packed breakfast and check-out, we use the scheduled airport express transfer to the airport to be in time for our flight to Bergen. (Internal flight not included)

Upon arrival at Bergen Airport we will be welcomed and transferred to the centrally located hotel. We leave our luggage at the hotel and proceed to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch.

Later we enjoy a guided walking tour of the harbour, ending at our hotel for check-in.

Overnight at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel or similar including packed breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 8: BERGEN – FLØIBANEN FUNICULAR & FJORD CRUISE

DAY 8: BERGEN – FLØIBANEN FUNICULAR & FJORD CRUISE

Today it is all about mountains and fjords. This morning we continue our guided sightseeing of Bergen on foot, including a round trip on the Fløibanen Mountain Train to the top of Mount Fløyen. The funicular railway is one of Norway's most famous attractions. The trip starts from the city centre, just 150 metres from the Fish Market and Bryggen. The exciting trip up to the mountain is a magnificent experience in itself. From Mount Fløyen, approx. 320 metres above sea level, you can enjoy the beautiful view, study the cityscape in detail and the seaward approaches and fjords surrounding Bergen.

After lunch, we depart on a Rødne Fjord Cruise to Mostraumen. This fantastic tour takes us up the 27-kilometer long Osterfjord. Enjoy spectacular fjord scenery and as the fjord narrows between steep mountains, marvel at the skill of the captain as he brings you safely through the powerful currents of the shallow and narrow Mostraumen strait. The boat sails with its bow right up to a waterfall to catch a bucket of ice-cold mountain water for you to sample before turning back and returning to Bergen through the magnificent landscape. The modern, comfortable boat have kiosks offering refreshments for sale, including snacks, beer and wine.

This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner.

Overnight at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel or similar including packed breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 9: DEPARTURE

Sadly, today marks the end of our incredible journey. After breakfast and hotel check-out, we transfer to the airport for our onward departure flight.

Including breakfast (may be a packed breakfast, depending on flight departure time)

END OF SERVICE

Dates

01 March 2020 - 09 March 2020

Rates

COST - LAND PACKAGE:
Per person sharing: NOK 37,250.00 
Single Supplement: NOK 6,000.00 

Included

  • Meet and greet upon arrival
  • Services of a qualified English-speaking local guide
  • All transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Train journey from Stockholm to Kiruna
  • Train journey from Kiruna to Narvik
  • All accommodation as indicated
  • Meals: 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Use of crampons for duration of tour
  • All sightseeing and excursions as specified including:
  • Stockholm sightseeing including Vasa Museum and guided walking tour of the old town
  • Reindeer Encounter and Sámi Cultural Visit
  • Sled Dog Expedition
  • Complimentary guided tour of ICEHOTEL
  • Tromsø sightseeing including Polaria
  • Tromsø guided Northern Lights excursion
  • Bergen sightseeing with guided walking tour of Bryggen
  • Fløibanen Mountain Funicular and Rødne Fjord Cruise to Mostraumen

Excluded

  • All international and internal flights and airport taxes (quoted separately)
  • Visa Fees
  • Driver, guide and local escort gratuities
  • Lunch on day 5 (all other meals included)
  • Drinks, telephone bill, laundry and any items of a personal nature
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Upgrade to an “cold room” at ICEHOTEL at NOK 1,955 per room, subject to availability