2018: Northern Highlights & the Arctic Circle (6900)
16 days from Helsinki to Oslo
Discover the northern tip of Europe on this Scandinavia tour through Finland and Norway. You'll be mesmerized by pristine nature, never-ending forests, spectacular waterfalls, and enchanting fjords. You'll travel across the Arctic Circle -the land of reindeer and the "Midnight Sun"-to experience the longest days in the Northern Hemisphere and spend time in the incomparable, unspoiled Lapland. You'll visit the Santa Claus workshop and North Cape, marking the endpoint of the European mainland. Here, stand at the cliff rising 1,000 feet from the Atlantic Ocean, and feel like you're at the end of the world. Also in the Arctic Circle, enjoy a fjord cruise from Honningsvag to Hammerfest, where you'll witness some of Norway's most beautiful coastal and mountain scenery. You'll also visit Lapland's oldest wooden church, dating back to the 17th century; Narvik's War Museum, highlighting northern Norway's role in WWII; and Sapmi Park, where you'll learn about the history, culture, and traditions of the Sami - the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. Other highlights of this affordable Scandinavia tour of Finland and Norway include a full day in Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland, and a full day to explore Norway's Geiranger area. The Geirangerfjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered to be among the world's most breathtaking fjords with its narrow valleys, dramatically steep mountains, inspiring waterfalls, and lush, green landscapes. Plus, you'll stay overnight in Helsinki, Finland's capital, and in the Norway capital of Oslo.With a delightful blend of culture, landscapes, and history, this is an awe-inspiring exploration of Europe's Nordic countries and the perfectly affordable vacation to Finland and Norway for value-minded travelers!
|Offer valid through 3/31/2018|
|Day 1||Helsinki||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.|
|Day 2||Kuopio||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)|
|Day 3||Rovaniemi||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. (B)|
|Day 4||Rovaniemi||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 on the 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)|
|Day 5||Saariselka||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 for a chance to meet Father Christmas himself. North to Sodankyla, 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 Saariselka, 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 6||Honningsvag||Cross into Norway for a visit to the fascinating SAPMI PARK. Head farther into Norway and along the beautiful Porsangen Fjord to Honningsvag on the island of Mageroya, 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 7||Alta||An early start today features a FJORD CRUISE from Honningsvag 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)|
|Day 8||Alta-Narvik||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 north of 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,D)|
|Day 9||Narvik||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)|
|Day 10||MO I RANA||This morning, enter Nordland. Not far from Mo I Rana, re-cross the Arctic Circle 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)|
|Day 11||Trondheim||On the agenda today: picture stop in Mosjoen; spectacular LAKSFORSEN WATERFALL; the forests and rivers of the Namdalen Valley; and vistas of Trondheimsfjord, the World War II hideout of the German battleship Tirpitz. (B)|
|Day 12||Geiranger||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. (B,D)|
|Day 13||Geiranger||Enjoy the sites of this enchanting fjord area on your own or join the optional Geirangerfjord cruise. (B,D)|
|Day 14||Lillehammer||Today, travel to Lom. Take pictures of the wooden stave churches before heading toward the famous winter sport resort, Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. (B)|
|Day 15||Oslo||After arrival in Oslo, enjoy vistas of Akerhus Castle, the 14th-century fortress guarding the harbor, a highlight on the guided 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)|
|Day 16||Oslo||Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)|
|US$ Price Details|
Prices are per person, based on double room occupancy.Single room supplement: $750No triple room reductionExtra nights per person in Helsinki:in single room $116; in twin / in triple $60Extra nights per person in Oslo:in single room $132; in twin / in triple $79
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