Headsets throughout the tourSightseeing: Visits to Helsinki, Oulu, Rovaniemi, Tankavaara, Sámi Park in Karasjok, North Cape, Coastal cruise Honnigsvag-Hammerfest, Narvik, Mo, Mosjöen, Geiranger, Lom, Lillehammer
Scenic Highlights: Arctic Circle crossing, Lapland and Santa Claus Workshop, Tysfjord ferry crossing, Atlantic Road
Local Guide for city sightseeing in Oslo. Professional Tour Director while touring
- Security cruise regulations require clients’ family and first name, D.O.B., gender, and nationality at time of booking.
Day 1Arrive in Helsinki, Finland
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring Helsinki. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
An included orientation drive this morning features the City Hall and Parliament House, the Presidential Palace, and the great Lutheran Cathedral. Then, head north through unspoiled forests and lakes for an overnight in Kuopio. (B,D)
Stop in the picturesque university town of Oulu, situated on the Bothnian Bay. Then, follow the shoreline as far as Kemi before heading inland to Rovaniemi for an overnight. (B)
A whole day to enjoy the capital of Finnish Lapland. For hundreds of years it was famous for exporting furs and salmon to the world’s rich and powerful. Unfortunately, the town was totally destroyed during World War II. The new town, which you’ll visit during this morning's orientation drive, was designed by Alvar Aalto in the shape of reindeer antlers. Sights include Lappia Hall, the Town Hall, the new modern church with its intriguing frescoes, and the Arctic Center. Afternoon at leisure or join an optional excursion to find out more about Lapland. (B)
As you cross the Arctic Circle (66°31’N), you are in incomparable, unspoiled Lapland, land of reindeer and the midnight sun. Stop at the Santa Claus Workshop with a chance to meet Father Christmas himself. North to Sodankylä, where you see the charming Vanha Kirkko, Lapland’s oldest wooden church, dating back to the 17th century. At Tankavaara, visit the Gold Museum and try panning for gold if you wish. Overnight in Saariselkä, on the edge of the virgin wilderness and part of Finland’s major national park. It is the largest winter sport center in Finland and a paradise for hikers and mountain bike lovers in summer. (B,D)
Day 6Saariselkä–Honningsvåg, Norway
Via Ivalo you cross into Norway for a visit to the fascinating Sámi Park. Further into Norway and along the beautiful Porsangen Fjord to Honningsvåg on the island of Magerøya, home to 4,000 people and 5,000 reindeer. Tonight, one of the highlights of this tour is the included drive to the North Cape, Europe’s last northern outpost, on a sheer cliff rising 1,000 feet from the Atlantic Ocean. From May 11 to July 31, if the sky is clear, you’ll see the midnight sun rolling just above the horizon! (B,D)
Day 7Honningsvåg–Coastal Cruise–Hammerfest–Alta
An early start today: one of the highlights of this vacation is a fjord cruise from Honningsvåg to Hammerfest. You will enjoy some of Norway’s most beautiful coastal and mountain scenery as you cruise southwards. Disembark at Hammerfest and drive to Alta, situated at the mouth of the world’s richest salmon river, for an overnight. (B,D)
Continue your unforgettable journey south along the stunning shoreline of Norway. The road meanders along Kvaenangenfjord and Lyngenfjord. You are now in the Troms Province, still way beyond the Arctic Circle but with a climate mild enough to allow very successful farming. Hear about fierce World War II battles as you approach Narvik, rebuilt after near total destruction. (B)
Visit Narvik’s War Museum and relive how Norwegian troops, with the help of their allies, showed the world that the Nazi war machine was not invulnerable. Afternoon and evening are at leisure. Optional excursions are available. (B)
This morning, enter Nordland. Not far from Mo you cross the Arctic Circle again and return to a world where the sun rises and sets every day of the year. Overnight in the little town of Mo I Rana. (B)
On the agenda today: picture stop in Mosjöen; the spectacular Laksforsen Waterfall; the forests and rivers of Namdalen Valley; and vistas of Trondheimfjord, the World War II hideout of the German battleship Tirpitz. (B,D)
Day 12Trondheim–Geiranger Area
Leave Norway’s third-largest city, also known as the “Gateway to the North,” this morning. Travel via the spectacular Atlantic Road from Christiansund to Molde to reach the Geiranger area for an overnight. (B,D)
Day 13Geiranger Area
Enjoy the sites of this enchanting area on your own or join the optional Geiranger fjord cruise. (B,D)
Day 14Geiranger Area–Lom–Lillehammer
Today, travel via Dalsnibba for a stop in Lom. Take pictures of the stave churches before heading toward the famous winter sport resort, Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. (B)
Head for Oslo via Eidsvoll. On arrival, vistas of Akerhus Castle, the 14th-century fortress guarding the harbor, a highlight on the included tour that features the soaring City Hall, National Theater, Parliament, Royal Palace, Broadcasting House, and Gustav Vigeland’s stark sculptures of people and animals in Frogner Park. (B)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)
Transportation: Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in Helsinki and Oslo if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Touring by private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Coastal cruise; Tysfjord ferry crossing
Buffet breakfasts; 7 dinners
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Years of Experience: 4 years
A Tour Director can "make or break" a tour, and my goal is to help you experience the most comprehensive and memorable vacation ever. Let me show you how wonderful Scandinavia is. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy - everything else is taken care of!