The first rail journey starts in Trondheim and continues by rail northwards through the provinces of Trøndelag and Nordland, eventually crossing the Arctic Circle just north of Mo-i-Rana, and arriving in the little port of Bodø during the early evening.
The crossing by ship to the Lofoten Islands, the beautiful archipelago of islands to the west, is made onboard Hurtigruten by crossing the Vestfjorden to Svolvær. A full day in Svolvær provides the opportunity to either join an organised activity or explore independently on foot - the views from every angle are spectacular!
From Svolvær there is a leisurely overnight journey by Hurtigruten through the Vesterålen Islands, via Harstad, to Tromsø, Norway’s exciting Arctic capital city.
Day 1 - Arrive Trondheim
Fly from the UK to Trondheim via Oslo, and take the airport (flybuss) to the city centre. You then have two full days to explore the colourful and vibrant city of Trondheim. You will find plenty of things to do in Norway's 3rd largest city, but things not to miss are the Rockheim Museum (perfect for music aficionados), the imposing Nidaros Cathedral, and a stroll though the charming old town.
2 nights TRONDHEIM - Rica Nidelven **** (BB)
Day 3 - Across the Arctic Circle
A full day's travel by rail crossing the Arctic Circle to the little port of Bodø. Lunch included on the train. A magnificent day of constrasting scenery.
1 night BODØ - Clarion Collection Hotel Grand (BB)
Day 4 - Flight to Svolvær
Morning at leisure in Bodø, noted for its white-tailed sea eagles and Aviation Museum. If you're into art museums then we highly recommend Bodøgaard Art & Culture gallery, it's very quirky and also listed on the Norwegian Cultural Heritage list. A half hour flight in the early afternoon takes you from Bodø to Svolvær.
2 nights SVOLVÆR - Svinøya Rorbuer or Rica Hotel Svolvær (BB)
Day 6 - Full day exploring Svolvær
Full day exploring Svolvær before re-joining the Hurtigruten for your overnight journey with reserved cabin. While in svolvær there are a variety of excursions available including Sea Eagle Safari which can be arranged for you.
1 night ONBOARD - Hurtigruten Ship (BB)
Day 7 - Explore Tromsø, the Arctic capital
After a relaxing night onboard ship you arrive into Tromsø, the Arctic capital, during the early afternoon.
2 nights TROMSØ - Rica Ishavshotel (BB)
Day 9 - Farewell Tromsø & Norway
Take the airport bus from your hotel to Tromsø Langsnes Airport for your return flight to the UK via Oslo.
Day: Daily from London Heathrow Airport (alternative departure airports available, see below)
Dates: 1 May - 25 September 2014 (however please note that the Midnight Sun is visible only during the period of late May through to around 22nd July).
Duration: 8 nights
NB. Alternative departure airports are available subject to flight schedules, availability and supplements. Please telephone 01274 875199 for further details.
Clarion Collection Hotel Grand, Bodø ***
Centrally situated in Bodø, the hotel is minutes from the Lanego lighthouse, the Bodin Church, the Norwegian Aviation Museum and the Bodø Cathedral.The hotel has a restaurant and offers complimentary tea and coffee and evening buffet to guests staying on a bed and breakfast basis. Guest rooms are good sized and fully equipped with daily newspaper, ironing board, hair dryer and have shower and WC, satellite TV, telephone, and free Wireless. All floors are accessible via lift.
30 original and newly built rorbu cabins of a high standard. Each cabin has from one to three double bedrooms, a well-equipped kitchenette in conjunction with the living room, and a modern bathroom with shower and toilet. All have cable-TV. All cabins are winter insulated. Considerable emphasis has been placed on maintaining the authenticity of the rorbu cabins. Time-honoured craftsmanship and timber have been preserved in order to provide a feeling of what a rorbu cabin was like in the days when the fishermen harvested the seas of Lofoten on boats with only oars and sails.
Svinøya Rorbuer also includes one of the most distinctive restaurants in the Lofoten Islands. The “Børsen Spiseri” is housed in a venerable quayside warehouse dating back to 1828. Most of the building’s historical attributes have been preserved, providing an atmosphere with an aroma of tar and rope! Both meat and fish dishes are served here, made from Lofoten’s unique and fresh, local ingredients. In the same building you find the former “krambua” or old general store, which is a tiny museum in its own right. Old wares and equipment from bygone times still hang from the ceiling there, taking you 100 years back in time.
Want to know more about your hosts? Meet the People - Svinøya Rorbuer
Rica Hotel Svolvær ***plus
Rica Hotel Svolvær is centrally located on its own island in the middle of the harbour in Svolvær, Lofoten's capital. All rooms have shower and WC. Rooms with sea view and balcony are available at a supplement (see prices). In addition, the hotel has connecting rooms which can be used as family rooms. There is also a fishing suite where you can try your luck at fishing through a hole in the floor of the room (price on request).
Hurtigruten (Coastal Voyage Ship)
The ships are regular service vessels carrying freight, mail and passengers along the 2,500 nautical miles of coastline from Bergen to Kirkenes. Accommodation is very comfortable and meals are of a high standard. There are four types of ship 'mid-generation', 'new', 'millenium' and one 'traditional ship'.
Rica Ishavshotel ****
Centrally located in the heart of Tromsø. Its unique location in the wharf, looking out across the Tromsøsundet (sound), has a broad view over the harbour, Arctic Cathedral and the Tromsø Bridge. The hotel has two restaurants and two bars and all rooms are equipped with extremely comfortable beds, TV, telephone, mini-bar, trouser-press and hairdryer. Lift to all floors. A fabulous buffet breakfast is served with a made-to-order omelette station, cold cuts of meat to raw fish, a cooked breakfast and fruit and muesli.
Coach and Coastal Steamer from Tromsø
A lovely journey beginning by local bus from Tromsø to Skjervøy, crossing the Lyngen peninsula and the magnificent Lyngen Alps. Now you join the Hurtigruten (Coastal Steamer) for its southbound cruise along the coastline back to Tromsø. A nice relaxing day out with magnificent scenery.
Operates: Daily, 23/5 – 16/8.
Duration: 8 hours.
Price: £64 per adult, children £40.
Guided City Tour of Trondheim
A tour of the city and its outskirts visiting the Haltdalen Stave church at the Trøndelag Folk Museum, pass the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Kristiansten Fort, the Royal Residence and Nidaros Cathedral.
Operates: Daily, 26/5 -24/8.
Duration: 2 hours, departs 1100.
Price: NOK195 per adult (2009), NOK170 senior citizen, children up to 16 free accompanied by adults. Please note this excursion is to be paid for locally at the Tourist Information Office.
Meet the Sami in their traditional camp and v
During the excursion you will be given an introduction to dog sled driving and see a film about the world's longest dog sled race, the Iditarod, which illustrates how your hosts, Tove and Tore, competed in this strenuous Alaskan race. After the film you will meet the huskies and their puppies before the Sami in their traditional costume (kofte) will share with you their joik (Sami chanting), stories and customs. You will meet their reindeers and visit their tent called a lavvo. A typical Norwegian lunch will be served in the lavvo at the end of the trip.
Operates: 1/6 - 31/8, departs 0945.
Duration: 4 hrs 15 mins.
Price: £94 per person, family price: £222. Includes lunch.