Spend 11 days discovering the land of the midnight sun by rail. With a great mix of included excursions, and free time to explore on your own time you'll be able to take in everything this incredible region has to offer. Plus an added bonus of travelling on the Polar Express!
· Oslo & Trondheim
· Northern Lights
· Sami experience
· Kiruna & The Ice Hotel
· Journey on the Nordland Railway
Day 1 – London to Oslo by air
Our wonderful journey in search of the Northern Lights begins in London, where we board our flight to Oslo. Here we transfer to our hotel for two nights, the Thon Hotel Opera, located close to the Opera House.
Day 2 – Exploring Oslo
Today you are free to explore Oslo at leisure. The new State Opera House is situated close to our hotel and is an impressive, award-winning example of modern architecture. Norway's magnificent 19th century Royal Palace and the 20th century Oslo City Hall, home of the Nobel Prize ceremonies, are both well worth visiting. Oslo also boasts a variety of attractive parks including the Vigeland Sculpture Park, whose 80 fascinating acres were designed by Gustav Vigeland. The city offers a good choice of museums including, the Folk Museum and the Edvard Munch Museum.
Day 3-4 – Oslo to Trondheim
Today we leave Oslo and head due north by train, following the line of the Dovre Railway. Our wonderfully scenic daytime journey takes us through the majestic landscape of the Dovrefjell - a mountain range separating eastern Norway from the region surrounding Trondheim. The mountains are part of the Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, a protected region which is a natural habitat for many rare plants and animals. Later we arrive in Trondheim for two nights at the Radisson Blu Royal Garden Hotel, located in the heart of the city within walking distance of its shops, restaurants and Bakklandet, the city's Old Quarter. Day 4 is free to explore atmospheric Trondheim, one of Norway's oldest cities.
Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Breakfast
Day 5 – Trondheim to Bodø on the Polar Express
We leave Trondheim early this morning and travel north on the Nordland Railway for a 452-mile journey to Bodø. The route takes us through the beautiful and varied landscape of northern Norway, past gently sloping hills and distant mountains, majestic lakes and deep forests, rocky coastline and views across small islands and out over the open sea.
We cross the Arctic Circle - 66 degrees north - shortly before reaching the town of Lonsdal, the highest point of the railway. The train reaches Fauske before turning due west for the final short section of the journey to Bodø, which claims to be 'the city with the world's most beautiful coastline'. As Bodø is beneath the auroral oval, if the weather is clear, tonight could be our first viewing of the magical Northern Lights.
We spend the night at the Thon Hotel Nordlys, located in the heart of the town. After dinner, we travel by coach to a viewing point, to maximise our chances of seeing the spectral dance of the magnificent Northern Lights.
Day 6 – Bodo and the Lofoten Islands
After a leisurely morning, we board our Hurtigruten ship and travel to Svolvaer, the tiny capital of the stunning Lofoten Islands. Described as Europe's most dramatic and spectacular islands, the Lofoten Islands are tethered to mainland Norway by a series of bridges and resemble spikey, wired teeth. The islands are home to small fishing communities, their houses built on timber piles with seawater under the floorboards and imposing cliffs towering 3,000ft above. We spend two nights at the Thon Hotel Lofoten.
Day 7 – The Lofoten Islands and the Northern Lights
Your morning is free to explore Svolvaer and the Lofoten Islands at leisure. The islands are home to some outstanding wildlife, including the world's densest population of sea eagles and large numbers of minke whales which roam the blue-watered bays. In the late afternoon, we embark on a coach journey to the quiet side of the island where there is hardly any light pollution. These are fantastic conditions from which to hunt for the Northern Lights, as well as making for beautiful views of the wintry landscapes. Afterwards, we enjoy a meal of local produce at the Old Fish Oil Museum and later we return by coach to Svolvaer.
Day 8 – Svolvaer to Narvik
We leave Svolvaer by coach this morning and return to the Norwegian mainland. Our journey once again offers a wonderful opportunity to soak up the region's breathtaking beauty, with views from the coach stretching down sheer drops to the majestic fjords in the valley below. We check in to the Scandic Hotel Narvik and enjoy an afternoon at leisure. The ice-free seaport is located 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and has a number of fascinating attractions including its Red Cross War Memorial Museum, which documents the wartime occupation of Narvik by the Germans in World War II and the bitter air and sea battles that took place for control of the harbour and the iron ore supplies. Also worth a visit is the Ofoten Museum, housed in the old NSB Railway building, which features exhibitions relating to local cultural history and the construction of the Ofoten Railway.
Day 9 – Narvik to Kiruna on the Ofoten Railway
Today we enjoy a journey on one of the world's most northerly railway lines, the Ofoten Railway. Narvik was originally built as a port to export the iron ore mined near Kiruna, and the Ofoten Railway was built as the link between the mines and the port.
We travel on this line across the Swedish border, crossing barren plateaus and traversing steep mountainsides as we make our way to Kiruna, Swedish Lapland's largest city. The railway's route was painstakingly carved out of the mountains - an incredible engineering project that was largely undertaken by hand. On arrival in Kiruna we have time at leisure. We spend two nights at the Camp Ripan Hotel.
Day 10-11- Kiruna and the Sami experience
This morning we enjoy time at Kiruna's famous Ice Hotel. In the late afternoon, we take a 'Sami experience', discovering the lives and culture of Sweden's indigenous people. We travel to a Sami village where we meet the reindeer, enjoy a Sami feast in a 'lavvu' (Sami tent) and listen to local folk tales. We then leave the lights of the village behind, heading into a beautiful landscape of forests and mountains to try and view the captivating Northern Lights once again. On Day 11 we depart Kiruna for the airport and fly via Stockholm to London.
Day 10 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Breakfast
· Standard class rail
· Heritage rail excursions
· 3-4* accommodation
· Breakfast every day
· Selected evening meals
· 10 nights hotel accommodation
· Selected porterage
· Return scheduled flights
When can I go?
This offer is based on departing on 21st February 2020. For alternative dates, please speak to your Personal Travel Consultant.
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Terms and conditions
Subject to terms and conditions, and availability. Prices subject to change, correct at time of publishing.