MCNF 19 Day Norway Tour & Finland

Featuring Coastal Cruising & Lapland

19 Day Norway Tour

7-day Norwegian coastal cruise, including 6 shore excursions; Lapland exploration; Exploring the North Cape - Europe's northernmost point; Oslo city tour; Stalheim overnight; Bergen exploration; The royal city of Trondheim; Kirkenes & Helsinki City Tours; Tromso - the Gateway to the Arctic; Rovaniemi & Ivalo discovery


Dates & Prices

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.

How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?

The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website.

A non-refundable $1500 deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s).

Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time.

Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.

I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?

All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location.

This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement.

The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible.

On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available.

Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.

What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?

Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted.

Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason.

All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date.

If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances.

If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.

Do you have a shared accommodation program?

Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Tue 01 Sep 2020Sat 19 Sep 2020 $8270 USD

$1500 per person deposit required. Due to payment policies for the cruise, we will need to collect an additional pre-payment of $1500 per person (50% of cruise cost) at 4 months prior to tour start date. Once paid, all monies paid become 100% non-refundable/non-transferrable. Due to Hurtigruten route changes, this program will not be offered after 2020.

Optional Single Supplement: $1898 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $1898 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.

Tour Overview

During this Norway & Finland tour we will experience the Hurtigruten Classic Voyage North and witness the gradual transition from the populated, lush southern regions of the coastline to the more sparse and remote landscapes north of the Arctic Circle.

After exploring Oslo we travel to Bergen where we join our ship and embark on a classic journey, spending seven days and six nights travelling north.

Calling in at 34 ports, most never visited by commercial cruise liners, the ships deliver freight, post and passengers to remote communities, some of which are home to just a few hundred people.

Sailing along this beautiful coastline, through magical fjords to enchanted islands, we enjoy a genuine, friendly and unpretentious voyage, which is truly Norwegian.

The Hurtigruten ships have been cruising the amazing Norwegian coast for more than 100 years. In the home waters of the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten has been part of the country's very lifeline for over a century.

From Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north, every day offers a new highlight as we travel into the heart of coastal Norway and experience the wonders of the polar north.

Our exciting shore excursions will bring you closer to the cultural life, old traditions and local inhabitants: the Art Nouveau town of Alesund, medieval Trondheim, Svartisen Glacier, crossing the Arctic Circle, exploring Kirkenes.

Next to the Russian border, and a visit to the North Cape (mainland Europe's northernmost point). We disembark in Kirkenes and extend our tour in northern Norway to Finland (Lapland), before continuing south to Helsinki.

As this journey sails the iconic Norwegian coastline's sheltered waters we will enjoy the light, rich colours and clean air.

Each port and the different parts of the coast give you the opportunity to experience something different.

The darkness comes gradually and the sun sets and, if we are lucky, the Northern Lights will appear and provide an act of magic.

Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Norway and Finland


(Don Mills, ON, CA)

Excursions were excellent. No complaints. Martin is the perfect Tour Leader. This trip was everything and more than I expected. Even the weather co-operated. The guides were excellent.

(Berkeley, CA, US)

I enjoyed all of the excursions. Local guides were all good. Martin is an extraordinary tour leader. His interpersonal skills are excellent - he is even tempered, kind and always upbeat. I have enjoyed each tour I have taken with him and look forward to participating in more of his tours in the future.

(Kitchener ON., CA)

My favourite excursions were the Oslo city tour, Cruise on the Sognefjord and Aurland fjord, Bergen funicular and Edvard Grieg museum, Taste of Norway in Urke, Stay in Stalheim, The North Cape, Excursion to the Russian border, The Sami culture, Helsinki. All of the local guides were excellent. The transportation was all excellent. Full size buses allowed lots of space for viewing from windows. The tour leader had a very pleasant personality and worked well with everyone. Very knowledgeable and helpful. I enjoyed his company very much. The small group size is excellent. This was avery good group - intelligent, well read, well travelled and interesting. Also very pleasant to travel with. The tour guide fit in with the group very well.

(Vancouver, BC, CA)

All excursions were very good. All guides were very knowledgeable in their local history. Bus transportation was well organised. Excellent drivers with ample space for the group and handling of luggage. The evening meals always provided the opportunity to sample local dishes - I appreciated that. A very informative and thoroughly enjoyable trip. The Itinerary provided an excellent overview of life and the landscape of Norway and Finland.

(South Bury, CT, US)

I enjoyed all the sightseeing, found it comprehensive and informative. The local guides were excellent. They were well versed in their subject, knew the history of not only what we saw, but of their country, and all of them had a wicked sense of humor. The transportation was perfect. Our tour leader was helpful to all, always pleasant to be around, he knew what he was talking about and wanted to share his knowledge.

(Calgary, CA)

I missed this tour last year as it was fully booked. I am SO GLAD you offered it again. It's a keeper. As always the "on the ground guide" , this time Jonathan, is a credit to your company. The people met on the trip were wonderful I hope to "run into them again" on future trips.Jonathan is a well informed guide. His knowledge and extra tidbits made for interesting listening. There wasn't one meal that anyone could have found fault with! I assume that Martin and Jonathan had found the restaurants in each city....what a great job they did. Everything so different. Well done!

(North Vancouver, BC, CA)

My favourite excursions were the city tour of Oslo, A Taste of Norway,walking tour of Bergen, Svartisen Glacier, North Cape, Russian border, Sightseeing Tour of Trondheim and Nidaros Cathedral, Arctic Cathedral and Polaria in Tromso, Sapmi park,SIIDA Sami Museum and Nature Center, Arktikum in Rovaniemi, Reindeer farm in Rovaniemi, City tour of Helsinki, Suomenlinna sea fortress. All excursions were very interesting. Transportation was very comfortable. Evening meal plan was very good. Martin is an excellent tour leader. It was an excellent tour.

What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?

Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.

Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?

Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.

Full Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Oslo, Norway
Nestled between the forest hills and the Oslo fjord lays the Norwegian capital, with its special combination of city life and easy access to the great outdoors. Oslo, the oldest of the Scandinavian capitals, was founded by Harald Hadrade in the 11th Century. This is an easy-going city where history meets modernity with an eclectic architectural mix of old and new. Oslo is certainly the cosmopolitan heart of Norway. This is one of Europe’s largest capitals in terms of area but smallest population-wise. Situated in an amphitheatre-like setting, with the city centre in the bottom, the residential areas stretch uphill in all directions. About a quarter of the 650,000 population are of non-Norwegian origin, making Oslo an ethnically and culturally diverse city. Accompanied by a large influx of people from all around Norway, Oslo is thus often referred to as the "melting pot" of Norway.

Overnight in Olso.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Oslo Sightseeing
Today we will discover the major sights of Oslo, such as the Vigeland Park, the Town Hall, the Opera House, the Akershus Fortress, the National Gallery* and the Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Jump Tower.

Our day will start with a visit to the Opera House. Officially opened in 2008, the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet is Norway's largest performing arts institution and has received many awards. Situated in the old harbour area of Bjorvika, it quickly became a landmark in Oslo. This is the first opera house in the world to let visitors walk on the roof!

Covering over 80 acres (320,000 sq m), the Vigeland Sculpture Park is located northwest of the city centre. This park features 212 bronze and granite sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland, who personally sculpted every figure out of clay. Individual craftsmen were later contracted to fabricate the pieces into what they are today. The National Gallery houses Norway's largest public collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. The museum's central attractions include Edvard Munch's The Scream and Madonna.

The Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower is a historic landmark in the Norwegian consciousness. Inside the ski jump is the Holmenkollen Ski Museum, the oldest of its kind in the world, presenting over 4,000 years of skiing history, as well as Norwegian polar exploration artifacts.

The Akershus Fortress, located in the city centre by the Oslo Fjord, is a great place to discover Oslo's history. The construction of the medieval castle and fortress was completed in the 1300s. With a strategic location at the very end of the headland, it withstood a number of sieges throughout the ages.

During our time in the city we will wander through Kvadraturen, an area nearby the Akershus fortress This was King Christian IV's town from the Renaissance, and today a few buildings from the 17th and 18th century can still be seen.

Today we will also enjoy a fjord cruise. This visit to the busy harbor and excursion on the Oslo Fjord is an essential part of any stay in Oslo; both for views back at the city and to be reminded of Norway’s many links to the sea. We will pass idyllic bays and a maze of islands with small summer houses. Oslo, with its superb location, offers unique opportunities on and around its fjord, which stretches almost into the city center.

* Due to construction of a new facility, there is a good chance that the Gallery will be closed through 2019, reopening in 2020 (exact date TBA).

Overnight in Olso.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Oslo Area Sightseeing
Today we will travel by local boat to the Bygdøy Peninsula on the western side of Oslo -- home of several museums and estate homes.

This trip by local boat is an appropriate introduction to the series of museums that illustrate Norway's long relationship with the sea. Each museum illustrates some facet of this maritime past. We will visit the Viking Ship Museum, housing the 3 ships found buried along the Oslo fjord (the world's best-preserved wooden Viking ships). This museum presents great Viking ship discoveries from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune as well as other finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. One can hardly visit Oslo without at least a nod to the Vikings, and this museum is as good as it gets. This is the premier Viking collection in Scandinavia.

A short stroll brings us to the Norwegian Folk Museum. Here we will see a collection of city homes, farm buildings, and one of the famous Stave Churches giving us a unique peek into the history of Norway. Further along the Peninsula we come to the Kon-Tiki Museum, housing the balsa raft used by Thor Heyerdal. Even those who have never heard of Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 voyage across the Pacific Ocean on the reed raft Kon-Tiki will find this museum -- and the theories of human migration that Heyerdahl set out to prove -- fascinating. The museum houses the original boat, designed by Heyerdahl based on historic reed boats. After his successful Pacific crossing on Kon Tiki, Heyerdahl made further expeditions on the reed boats Ra and Tigris in his efforts to prove that prehistoric people could have mastered sailing the high seas.

Today we will also visit the Fram Exploration Museum. The Polar Ship Fram is the strongest wooden ship ever built and still holds the records for sailing farthest north and farthest south. At the Fram Museum we can board the ship and see how the crew managed to survive in the coldest and most dangerous places on earth -- the Arctic and the Antarctic.

Overnight in Olso.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Oslo - Flam - Gudvangen - Stalheim
We depart early this morning for Oslo's train station where we will board our train to Flam via Myrdal where we connect to the Famous Flamsbana, the Flam Railway. The Flamsbana is considered by many to be one of the world's most spectacular rail journeys.

In 1923 work was started on this railway line from Myrdal down the sheer cliffs to Flam. Since the tunnels were excavated by hand, the first of the tracks were not put down until autumn 1936. By 1940 the line was opened and run first by steam engines. Electric engines took over in 1944. It takes about an hour to cover 20 km (12 miles) of track on the Flamsbana train. Eighteen of the 20 tunnels were chiseled out by hand, and it took one month of hard labour for each meter excavated. In order to avoid risk from avalanches, the railway criss-crosses the river and the bottom of the valley three times. Then, instead of building bridges, the river was routed through a tunnel under the railway line. Nowhere else in the world do adhesion rail cars on normal tracks have a steeper journey. Almost 80% of the railway line has a gradient of 5.5% (1:18).

At the bottom we will enjoy the scenic landscape of the Flam valley and admire the lovely Aurlandfjord. This is an offshoot of the Sognefjord, the longest in the world.

After a break for lunch in Flam we will board a leisurely 2-hour cruise along the narrowest arm of the Sognefjord and Aurland Fjord. Here we are surrounded by the dramatic West Coast fjord landscape of steep snow-capped mountains (up to 1800 m / 6,000 ft) and tumbling waterfalls, sheltered hamlets and high mountain farms. At the end of this journey we board a bus at Gudvangen and continue on to Stalheim, located at the very heart of Western Norway's beautiful fjord region.

Overnight in Stalheim.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Stalheim - Bergen
We will start our morning with a visit the Stalheim Folk Museum. Here we get a glimpse of everyday life on a Norwegian farm and manor house, from the Middle Ages to today. We later depart from Stalheim by bus and travel along a windy mountain road to the train station at Voss. From Voss we journey by rail once again via the famous Bergen/Oslo railway line arriving in Bergen. Once in Bergen we will transfer to our hotel.

Bergen is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities of Norway, and is an ancient city that looms large in Viking sagas. Until the 14th century, it was the seat of the medieval kingdom of Norway. Later the Hanseatic merchants established a major trading post here, holding sway until the 18th century when the locals reclaimed their trading rights. Bergen has survived many disasters, including several fires and the explosion of a Nazi ship during World War II. It is a town with important traditions in shipping, banking, and insurance, and its modern industries are expanding rapidly. Today Bergen is a central point for Norwegian travel, and has retained a great deal of local character and history.

The oldest part of town overlooks the busy harbour; along the harbour's edge are myriad shops, boutiques and the famous open-air fish market. You will have a bit of free time for wandering on your own this afternoon after our arrival. We then enjoy 2 days in this lovely Norwegian city by the sea.

Overnight in Bergen.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Bergen Sightseeing: Fish Market, Bryggen & Edvard Grieg Museum
This world heritage city was Norway's capital city between the 12th and 13th century, and we will start our day with a walking tour that takes in the most important sights. We will stroll through the Fish Market and the old UNESCO protected Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf. The Fish Market is the true heart of Bergen's waterfront, with its abundance of fish, flowers, fruits, vegetables, handicrafts and souvenirs. The market takes on the personality of the people of the city in interesting and personal ways. From eating raw oysters at a nearby stand, to conversing with merchants along the rows of shops, here we get a glimpse of the way the city has always been.

The first buildings of Bergen were built alongside the harbor called Bryggen (The Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf). Bryggen has thus been the center of the city, offering a stunning silhouette of its ancient gables against the harbor and surrounding mountains. In 1360 the Hansas (a German guild of merchants) was set up and dominated trade here for the next 400 years. The area is on UNESCO's World Heritage List, and comprises the remains of the old harbour buildings. This is one of the best-known medieval city settlements in Norway. Walking through the narrow alleyways is like travelling back in time, and a visit to the Bryggen Museum presents us with an in-depth look into the city’s interesting past.

During our sightseeing we will take the Floibanen Funicular to the top of Floyen, one of the mountains surrounding Bergen! A trip on this famous funicular provides us with the best panoramic view of Bergen's city, harbor and islands. After absorbing the views an easy and leisurely walk through narrow streets and alleyways will lead us back down into the hustle and bustle of Bergen. The old wooden houses that still survive and happily snuggle into the hillside, make wandering along the narrow passageways called "smau", a truly Bergen experience.

During our walking tour we will also see the Royal Residence and banqueting hall (Hakon's Hall), built by King Hakon Hakonsson from 1247 and 1261. Nearby is Rosenkrantz Tower, which dates from the 1270s. This is a significant Renaissance monument for Norwegians and one of the most interesting in all Norway.

In the afternoon we will travel by bus to the Edvard Grieg Museum, home of Norway's most famous composer. Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) lived here for 22 years, and composed many of his best-known works in the little garden hut by the shore of Lake Nordas. Today the house is a museum filled with mementos of the composer's life, and its interior is still as Grieg knew it in 1907.

Overnight in Bergen.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Free Day in Bergen / Evening Boarding of our Coastal Cruise
Today you will have a free day to explore the city of Bergen, the cultural gateway to the fjords. Maybe visit one of the local museums, take a scenic boat ride, or simply walk around town. Bergen is a lovely city, and you can easily enjoy exploring on your own. Perhaps simply spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés in the Bryggen district! Set off and explore this charming port, stroll through the narrow medieval streets and take it all in. As you walk along the Bryggen quayside you will discover buildings with seaward-facing gables dating back to the fourteenth century.

In the late afternoon we board our Hurtigruten ship, and in the evening our voyage sets off through the Hjeltefjord, following in the wake of the Vikings who sailed from here to the Shetland Islands and beyond.

The coastline between Bergen and Kirkenes is over 2400km long, and in the 19th Century almost all of it was home to rich fishing grounds. The maritime maps were unreliable and there were only a few lighthouses, especially in the north. This important seaway was lined with perilous reefs, small islands and narrow inlets, and it was essential that a safe trade route be established to link the southern and northern regions of Norway. When the Norwegian government decided to create a connection between the north and the south, Richard With and his friend Anders Holthe took on the challenge of thoroughly mapping the seas along the coastline. In 1893, Captain Richard With’s steamer, DS Vesteraalen, was brought into regular service along the coast of Norway, and Hurtigruten (the fast route) was established. 120 years later, the ships still carry freight and passengers and are a part of Norwegian coastal life.

It is likely that our shore excursions will not be exclusive to our own group; other English-speaking passengers may join at the discretion of the tour operator. That said, the overall size of these group is not great.

Overnight on board M/S Nordnorge or M/S Kong Herald

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Coastal Cruise / Alesund
Today we wake up to the breathtaking beauty of Norway's open west cape and head for Torvik. Heading further inland, we will visit the stunning Hjørundfjord. This fjord's seclusion and unspoiled natural features; steep rock walls and green meadows are interspersed with mountain farms and small villages.

Included Excursion: A Taste of Norway
Today we will get "a taste of Norway" and see places that have fascinated visitors for centuries. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany visited this area several times. We anchor outside the village Urke, where a tender boat takes us to shore. We continue by bus through what is often referred to as "Norway’s narrowest valley" -- Norangsdalen. Because of its shape and location, this valley is often closed in winter. Along the way we will stop and look at some spectacular places, including Lyngstol Lake. Here you can see sites of ancient settlements in the water that was naturally dammed in 1908 after a large landslide, a fascinating sight. We will also visit the historic Hotel Union Oye, which has played an important role in Norwegian history. Next, we go to the community Urke which can offer local history in various forms.

Our Hurtigruten ship navigates the skerries and islands further north before reaching Alesund. Here we will marvel at the inspiring architecture in the Apotekergate and Kongensgate pedestrian precinct, perfect examples of the Art Nouveau style. After a call at the beautiful Art Nouveau town of Alesund, we continue to Molde with its magnificent views of the Romsdal Alps -- possibly covered by snow.

Overnight on board M/S Nordnorge or M/S Kong Herald

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 Coastal Cruise / The Royal City of Trondheim
Trondheim, Norway's first capital, is a jewel of a city that you'll have time to explore. The settlement here was founded in 997 as a trading post, and was the capital of Norway during the Viking Age until 1217. We can discover its secrets by strolling through its charming streets, sitting by the peaceful harbour, or crossing the old city bridge to see the restored wooden buildings of Bakklandet. The architecture and surroundings in Trondheim create a beautiful setting for any outing.

When visiting the old royal city of Trondheim, be sure to get a good view from the Gamle Bybrua ("Old Town Bridge"). Dating from 1861, this neo-gothic wooden bridge used to be the only way into the town centre. Nidaros Cathedral, built between 1070 and 1300, is Norway's largest Gothic religious edifice. In the neighbouring Archbishop's Palace, the Norwegian Crown Jewels are kept.

Included Excursion: Tronheim
You will hear about the city's many features as the bus takes us through Trondheim's streets and boroughs, including a short stop at Utsikten ('The View') to admire the city from a high elevation. We continue to the impressive Nidaros Cathedral. Built over the burial place of St. Olav, the patron saint of Norway, the construction of this enormous building with its countless details and decorations, began as early as 1070 (if today happens to fall on a Sunday or a religious holiday, this will be an outside viewing only).

We later set a course for the northwest.

Overnight on board M/S Nordnorge or or M/S Kong Herald

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 Coastal Cruise / The Arctic Circle & Lofoten Islands
This morning, between Nesna and Ornes, we cross the Arctic Circle! Crossing the Arctic Circle is one of the highlights before we arrive in Ornes. This marks the southern extremity of the polar, 24-hour sunlit day -- often referred to as the "Midnight Sun". Relatively few people live north of the Arctic Circle due to the Arctic climate. The three largest communities above the Arctic Circle are situated in Russia: Murmansk (population 307,257), Norilsk (175,301), and Vorkuta (70,548). Tromso (in Norway) has about 69,000 inhabitants. In contrast, the largest North American community north of the circle, Sisimiut (Greenland), has approximately 5,000 inhabitants.

Included Excursion: "Farm Visit in Lofoten"
Aalan Farms is operated by the Aland family who supply Hurtigruten ships along the coast with teas and tasty organic cheeses year round. It is the only local Hurtigruten food supplier that opens its gates to visiting ship passengers during a voyage. Here you see, smell, touch and learn about real life on a farm in the far north of Norway. The Aalans show and tell us about food production, animal husbandry, daily work routines and how they spend their leisure time. We also taste their many varieties of cheeses, herbs and other products made from scratch. Be sure and buy some for a savoury snack later. You also meet the farm's goats, dogs, cats, miniature pigs, ducks, chickens… and if you're lucky, the free range cow, Victoria. It´s a down-to-earth experience that might even inspire you to pack up and move to the country.

In the evening we reach Svolvaer, the main settlement on the Lofoten Islands. With its postcard looking small fishing villages nestled in fjords, dotting a very rugged coast with abrupt peaks rising directly from the ocean, the archipelago is often described as one of the most scenic parts of Norway.

During the night we pass the magnificent Trollfjord and sail through the spectacular and narrow Raftsund strait. Here, we can admire the rugged mountainous landscape jutting up against the horizon under the endless sun.

Overnight on board M/S Nordnorge or M/S Kong Herald

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 Coastal Cruise / Tromso - The Gateway to the Arctic
Today we will enjoy the view of a diverse countryside of farmland, pine trees and magnificent peaks. In the early afternoon we arrive in Tromso, known as the Gateway to the Arctic. Many of the epic Arctic expeditions used Tromso as a starting point; the famous explorer Roald Amundsen sourced both crew and supplies here. With the presence of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the city has cemented its position as the Polar Capital of Norway. Ishavskatedralen, the Arctic Cathedral, is the most famous landmark with its modern design and extraordinary stained glass window. Tromso is also home to the world's northernmost university and the large number of people arriving here has created a vibrant cultural scene with numerous restaurants and cafes constantly teeming with life.

Included Excursion: The Arctic Capital Tromso
During our excursion here we will visit the Polaria centre where you will find an Arctic aquarium, seal pool, educational displays and a panorama cinema. Here you'll be able to watch the movie 'Svalbard -- Arctic Wilderness', which will take you on a fantastic journey through Svalbard's spectacular scenery. After the movie, you will go on an Arctic 'expedition', experiencing a close-up look at natural phenomenon such as the Northern Lights, tundra, and blizzards. The tour also includes a stop at the famous Arctic Cathedral, an architectural masterpiece inspired by the natural surroundings. The church, built in 1965, is a town landmark and features northern Europe's largest stained-glass window.

Overnight on board M/S Nordnorge or M/S Kong Herald

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 Coastal Cruise / Honningsvag and the North Cape
Today we breathe in the crisp, clean air while watching a landscape that is austere in its beauty. After an early stop in Hammerfest, we arrive in Honningsvag, the northernmost city on the mainland of Norway. This small port is the gateway to the wonder of the spectacular North Cape; which rises 307m from the ocean, and at 71° 10' 21" N puts you a mere 2,000 kilometres from the Geographical North Pole.

Included Excursion: The North Cape
Enjoy the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as you cross the 71st parallel on our journey towards the North Cape, the northernmost point on the continent. The North Cape plateau itself rises 307m almost vertically from the ice cold Arctic Ocean. Stand and wonder at the view, as you can't get any further north in mainland Europe! The tour includes a visit to the North Cape Hall, a modern centre where you can see an impressive 180 panoramic film about Finnmark and the North Cape.

In the evening we will pass a rock formation that is sacred to the indigenous Sami people, Finnkirka. People have lived in this area as far back as 10,300 years ago. The sea was probably the main food supplier for this prehistoric settlement. Even though Honningsvag is located at the northernmost extreme of Europe, it has a subarctic climate, thanks to the Gulf Stream.

Overnight on board M/S Nordnorge or M/S Kong Herald

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13 Arrival in Kirkenes / Excursion to the Russian border
The vistas become more dramatic as our ship approaches the end of our northbound voyage here in the far reaches of Europe -- Kirkenes! Benefiting from the warm currents of the Gulf Stream, this region is rich in sea life, and the coast is largely ice free in winter allowing ships access to most harbours. At Kirkenes we are just a few miles from the Russian border and the Sami communities of northern Scandinavia. At longitude 30 east, you are actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg, and as far east as Cairo. You are also further east than most of Finland! Kirkenes is the only town in Norway where 'East meets West', and it is also the turning point of our Hurtigruten ship. Here we bid farewell to the ship and crew, and transfer tour our hotel.

Kirkenes is situated between two time zones; Helsinki and Moscow, and this small mining town has approximately 3,300 inhabitants. Here the people speak Norwegian, Sami, Finnish and Russian. This tiny, nondescript place has a distinct frontier feel. You'll see street signs in Norwegian and Cyrillic script and hear Russian spoken by trans-border visitors and fishermen. It was of course the Sami people who first knew of this place!

Today we will enjoy an excursion to the Pasvik Valley and a short tour of Kirkenes before going farther afield, travelling by bus through surprisingly fertile landscape. We will see charming green hills dotted with scrub, birch and pine that survive despite the harsh Arctic climate. The history of the region is truly stimulating and has been quite dramatic at times, so this is an educational morning as well. We later arrive at Storskog, the border station between Norway and Russia.

From here we will travel to the small mining community of Bjornevatn, before heading towards Pasvikdalen, a valley in Norway and Russia that defines the border between the two countries. This valley was traditionally inhabited by Sami people, and the river Pasvikelva runs through the valley (giving it the name). The southern part of the valley is also the location of the Treriksroysa, the point where the borders of Norway, Finland, and Russia meet.

Back at Kirkenes we will make a stop at the impressive Prestfjellet Mountain, which overlooks both the town and harbour. You may have some free time in the afternoon to wander the streets of Kirkenes on your own, sit in a café, explore the quay and enjoy the views of the fjord.

Overnight in Kirkenes.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch

Day 14 Kirkenes - Karasjok, Norway - Ivalo, Finland
After breakfast we will depart from Kirkenes to Karasjok, the cultural and political centre of the Norwegian Sami People. Karasjok is a bilingual municipality where 90% of the population speaks Sami. There are about 60,000 reindeer grazing in the area throughout the autumn and winter.

We will visit the Sapmi Park, presenting the Sami culture and history in an enthralling, informative and entertaining way. Our tour here will include the "Magical Theatre" which tells a story of the Sami pre-Christian beliefs about creation, life and death and how it is all connected. We then continue across the Finnish border and onwards towards Inari Lake. Once in Inari we will visit the Sami Museum & Northern Lapland Centre (SIIDA). The collections of the Sami Museum consist of artifact, photograph and archive collections, a reference library and an open-air museum.

We then continue with the short drive to the village of Ivalo where we spend the night.

Overnight in Ivalo.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Ivalo - Rovaniemi
Today we will discover and explore the culture and history of this region. Our journey this morning takes us south via Sodankyla to Rovaniemi. Just north of Rovaniemi we will cross the Arctic Circle.

Rovaniemi is the administrative capital and commercial centre of Lapland (Finland's northernmost province). Here you are about 5 km south of the Arctic Circle. There has probably been continuous settlement in the Rovaniemi area since the Stone Age. Periodic clearance of new land for agriculture and the practice of slash-and-burn cultivation began around 750-530 B.C. Since Rovaniemi represents the capital of the Province of Lapland, many government institutions have their offices there. About 10,000 of the inhabitants are students. Rovaniemi is home to the University of Lapland.

After a break in Rovaniemi for lunch we will head out to visit a local reindeer farm. These semi-wild animals roam free in the woods and are collected only twice a year for reindeer 'round ups'. Selected reindeer and kept and trained for sledge pulling and reindeer racing.

We later return to Rovaniemi and visit the Arktikum, a museum and arctic science center. The Provincial Museum’s permanent exhibition 'Northern Ways' leads guests into the history and culture of Finnish Lapland. The exhibition is a real experience that provides, for example, an introduction to the stories behind the houses of old Rovaniemi, popular beliefs and superstitions.

Overnight in Rovaniemi.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Rovaniemi - Helsinki
You may have some free time this morning to explore and wander on your own before we transfer to the Rovaniemi Airport for our flight to Helsinki.

Helsinki is situated right at the arrowhead of a peninsula, surrounded by an archipelago of over 300 islands. Affectionately known as the 'Daughter of the Baltic', this city is perfectly placed between its two great trading cousins, Stockholm and Moscow. In a European perspective, Helsinki is relatively young (450 years), yet it is Finland's sixth-oldest town. The Swedes, who extended their empire into Finland in 1155, founded the city of 'Helsingfors' (the name still used by the Swedes) in 1550 when King Gustav Vasa needed a site for a strategic, competitively placed trading port. It languished as a coastal backwater until Imperialist Russia invaded in 1809.

Overnight in Helsinki.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Helsinki Sightseeing
Today we will enjoy a sightseeing tour of Helsinki, including a comprehensive walking tour taking in the most important and interesting parts of the city.

We will see the historical center and the diplomatic quarters, the Presidential Palace, City Hall, the Parliament building, Finlandia Hall and the Opera House. We will also be sure to stop at Senate Square, the Sibelius Monument and the Temppeliaukio Church (Church of the Rock). Helsinki's relatively young "Old Town" presents us with a tidy tangle of Art Nouveau and Neoclassical streets.

Senate Square is Helsinki's most historic and beautiful square -- designed in the early 1800s at the height of the Russian Empire's fascination with the architectural glories of ancient Greece and Rome. The designer was Berlin-born Carl Ludvig Engel, who created other public buildings in St. Petersburg.

Quarried out of the natural bedrock, Temppeliaukio Church is one of Helsinki's highlights. Designed by architects Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, the church opened in 1969. The interior was excavated and built directly out of solid rock and is bathed in natural light that enters through the glazed dome. The church is used frequently as a concert venue due to its excellent acoustics.

In the Sibelius Park is the world famous composer Jean Sibelius's (1865-1957) monument by Eila Hiltunen. Unveiled in 1967, the Sibelius Monument, resembling organ pipes, is made of welded steel with the bust of the composer on one side. A smaller version of the monument is located at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

We will stop at the Kamppi Chapel, a Lutheran chapel located on the Narinkka Square. Also known as the "Chapel of Silence", this site is intended to be a place to calm down and have a moment of silence in one of the busiest areas in Finland.

Overnight in Helsinki.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 18 Helsinki: Suomelinna Fortress & Free afternoon
This morning we will enjoy a boat excursion to the Suomelinna Fortress. Situated on a group of islands off Helsinki, Suomenlinna was built during the Swedish era as a maritime fortress and a base for the Archipelago Fleet. Work on the fortress was begun in the mid-18th century; today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Suomenlinna has played a key role in many turning points in Finland's history, and the site has always been much more than just a part of Helsinki -- it is a town within the town. Nowadays there are about 900 permanent inhabitants on the islands, and 350 people work there all year round. This is one of the features that make Suomenlinna unique: the fortress is not simply a museum, but a living community.

After our tour we will return to the city by boat and the afternoon is yours free to enjoy before our farewell dinner. You may want to explore the National Museum or stroll along the pedestrian friendly Esplanade.

Overnight in Helsinki.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 19 Departure from Helsinki
Today we say farewell to Helsinki.


Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Rica Victoria Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Oslo
Country: Norway

Hotel Victoria is located in central Oslo, ideal for both business and pleasure.

With Karl Johans gate and Aker
... just around the corner, hotel Victoria is a great starting point for shopping, discovering the city and seeing the sights. The Royal Castle, the Parliament and the City Hall are all close by and if you take a short stroll, you will come to the harbour. At the harbour you can catch a ferry out to the Oslofjord and visit the famous Kon-Tiki museum.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Stalheim Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Stalheim
Country: Norway

The beautiful view over the Nærøy Valley, from Stalheim Hotel, has for nearly 200 years been one of the highlights
... many a traveller's visit to Western Norway. Many artists, painters and poets, both famous and not so famous, have through the years found inspiration to great works of art in this dramatic but at the same time harmonic landscape, and it is our hope that also you will find inspiration to your own next work of art here at Stalheim.

The hospitality traditions at Stalheim are long and good; it had its beginning in 1647 when the Danish/Norwegian king decided to open up a mail route between Bergen and Oslo and the Stalheim farm became on of the many mail farms along route. These mail farms quite soon became places where travellers following the mail route would stop for a rest and something to eat. By 1750 there were so many travellers stopping at Stalheim asking for a bed and a meal that the farmer at Stalheim decided to build a separate inn to accommodate and dine the travellers – this inn is now one of attractions of the Stalheim Folk Museum.

The first hotel with about 20 beds at was opened on May 15th 1885, but obviously this was a hotel at the right place; after only 10 years in business the Stalheim Hotel could boast of 160 beds, nice restaurants and a reputation as one of the finest country hotels in the Norway.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Clarion Hotel Admiral

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Bergen
Country: Norway

Clarion Hotel is a hotel with a personal approach, in the heart of Bergen. Located at the harbour's edge in
... Bergen, it has a fantastic view of Bryggen, which is listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage site, and the beautiful Vagen bay.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Thon Hotel Kirkenes

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Kirkenes
Country: Norway

Thon Hotel Kirkenes is located right on the quay in Kirkenes town centre, and is also a short distance away
... the quay of Hurtigruten - The Norwegian Coastal Voyage. The hotel is the biggest conference hotel in Kirkenes, and also has a broad selection of food and drink. We work closely with suppliers of activities and adventures to give you a unique experience of the town which is rich in both culture and history.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Ivalo

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Ivalo
Country: Finland

Hotel Ivalo is a meeting point for Lapland travellers who expect quality. International atmosphere is present throughout the year at
... Lappish retreat by the Ivalo river.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Hotel Santa Claus

Location: Rovaniemi
Country: Finland

Santa's Hotel Santa Claus is a modern hotel in the heart of the capital of Lapland as well as very
... to the nature.
There are totally 168 well-equipped, spacious rooms of which most have a fantastic room height of 3,5 metres.

One of the rooms is suitable for disabled.
Other room types and quantities are as following: 61 standard, 81 superior, 8 superior extra and 11 deluxe rooms.
Hotel Santa Claus also has 6 suites.

Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Sokos Hotel Vakuna

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Helsinki
Country: Finland

Set in the city center, this stylish, contemporary hotel is a 2-minute walk from Helsinki Central train station and 3
... from Linnanmäki amusement park. Bright rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and tea and coffeemakers.
Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Trip Information


Breakfast and dinner (hotels & local restaurants) daily; all meals while cruising. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters.

Please note that arriving/departing Oslo is an exception to our usual policies governing airport transfers. Because the airport is served by a fast, efficient, and affordable train service from/to city centre, we have found that organizing escorted road transfers (slow, costly) does not provide the usual degree of convenience and comfort that once can usually expect of such a service. Accordingly, we do not provide or sell transfer services in Oslo, preferring instead to provide instructions on how to easily make your own way on arrival.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to payment policies for the cruise portion of the tour, we will need to collect an additional pre-payment of $1500 per person (50% of cruise cost) at 4 months prior to tour start date. Once paid, this deposit is 100% non-refundable. Because of this strict payment requirement dictated by the cruise operator, the deadline to 'guarantee' this tour is 4 months prior -- early booking is strongly encouraged.


International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers (please see 'Inclusions'). Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, and airport transfers.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour occurs in late summer/early autumn when temperatures are comfortably mild, though it can be chilly the further north we go and there is a greater likelihood of short-lived showers.

Hurtigruten, the company that operates our cruise, comments on the season:

Autumn is a tranquil time on board Hurtigruten, and you get the time to enjoy the bright colours, the fresh air and the beautiful scenery we pass. The birds migrate after a productive summer, and the Arctic light shortens. From the deck, framed by an icy blue sky, you can see a sprinkling of early snow on the highest peaks and there's a sense of expectation in the air.

At any time of year, if you are lucky the Northern Lights will appear and provide an act of magic.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Land transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Though we will have a couple of full bus days there are plenty of stops of interest.

The vessel offers large comfortable lounges with panoramic views. A small library is available. One will find a shop selling souvenirs, gifts, postcards and stamps. Norwegian & English are the official languages on board. On board dress is informal. Although some passengers may chose to change for dinner, the dress code is casual rather than formal. Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable. The ships carry goods, vehicles, and passengers between ports, by night and day, as an integral part of Norwegian daily life, and call at ports around the clock.

For more information, please visit

Our difficulty level rating "2" refers to the plenty of walking we do, specifically in Oslo and Helsinki; the overall ambitious nature of the program, full days of travel, including by train on which one must be able to manage with one's luggage.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range 3 & 4 star hotels throughout. The occasional smaller property may not have elevators. All hotels have en-suite bath facilities, though some may only have a shower. Porter service is not always available and you therefore MUST be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

On board the Hurtigruten vessel: Comfortable outside cabins with twin or double beds and private facilities, located on middle and upper decks.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, driver/s, ship's crew, local step-on guides in various locales.

Group Size

16-18 plus Tour Leader




TOUR ENDHelsinki

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