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A Nordic Discovery of the Northern Lights

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Fares
  • Accommodation

A journey overview

  • Oslo
  • Flåm
  • Bergen
  • Ålesund
  • Trondheim
  • Lofoten Islands
  • Tromsø
  • North Cape
  • Saariselkä
  • Rovaniemi
  • Kemi
  • Helsinki

16 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 23 Jan 2021

Home to reindeer, fjords and frozen seas, we explore the Arctic regions of Norway and Finland by icebreaker, sled and expedition ship. The indigenous Sámi invite us to join them for dinner, while our own glass-roofed luxury lodgings provide a portal to the exquisite dreamscapes of the Northern Lights.

northern lights land only map

Itinerary

We anticipate arctic adventures along Norway’s western coast and into the heart of Lapland as Oslo welcomes us. A Welcome Dinner and drinks at our hotel’s restaurant grants us the opportunity to meet our fellow travellers. The Norwegian capital proudly shows off its skiing history at the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. If we are fortunate, we may just catch sight of some skiers in training.

In terms of engineering, the Bergensbanen Railway is one of Europe’s most inspiring. We climb aboard our train and cross the Hardangervidda plateau. Changing at Myrdal, we continue on the Flåm branch, before coming to the village of Gudvangen. We then admire the colourful wharf of Bryggen, before boarding the MS Nordnorge. We prepare to hug Norway’s coast, our small ship affording us access to charming seaside villages and epic fjords.

The subdued tones of Ålesund’s charming structures seem to animate the waterfront upon which they are set. At Trondheim, we see the renowned Nidaros Cathedral.

Crossing the Arctic Circle, we mark the occasion with a ceremony on deck; it is now that we also stand our greatest chance of witnessing the Northern Lights. From Bodø, our ship transports us to the awe-inspiring Lofoten Islands; making our approach, a great wall of snow-covered mountains gradually surrounds us. In Tromsø, we view the modern architecture encapsulated by the Arctic Cathedral.

From Honningsvåg, we travel through a series of tunnels on our way to the North Cape. Here, on the edge of Norway, we gaze out to sea, the North Pole in the distance. Just a few kilometres from the Russian border, we farewell our ship and travel by road to Saariselkä. Our glass-roofed cabins at the Star Arctic Hotel permit us to gaze skyward in anticipation of the Northern Lights, while a traditional dinner with the indigenous Sámi grants us insight into their culture.

Head out on a husky dog sled safari or explore the area aboard a snowmobile. In Rovaniemi, enjoy a traditional dinner at the Roka Kitchen & Wine Bar, before choosing to spend a full day cataloguing the more than 50 species of Arctic and Nordic animals at the Arctic Wildlife Park. Alternatively, join a snowmobile safari to a reindeer farm, before enjoying the magic of Santa Claus Village, where a series of light poles mark out the Arctic Circle.

Learn about the effects of climate on the Arctic and its indigenous peoples at the Arktikum science centre. At the Snow Castle, a wintry wonderland is exhibited; all of the displays within this icy structure are composed of snow and ice, with the entire castle being reconstructed each winter.

Snowmobiles deliver us to the Sampo Icebreaker, which takes us for a cruise through the frozen Gulf of Bothnia. After donning special suits, we also have the option of swimming amid the ice. A short flight then sees us arriving in Helsinki, where we enjoy time on our own schedule prior to a Farewell Dinner at Restaurant Andrea.

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