Grand Tour of Scandinavia + St. Petersburg

Scandinavia & St Petersburg
18 days
July
Itinerary
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See the highlights of Scandinavia and then continue on to the imperial jewel of Russia, St Petersburg.

Day 1 Copenhagen Arrival 
Arrive at Copenhagen Kastrup Airport and transfer to your hotel. Copenhagen, the capital city of the kingdom of Denmark since 1417, is one of Europe's most ancient capitals, with a royal touch - the monarchy in Denmark is the oldest in the world. Copenhagen is a place where history and fairytales blend with innovative new architecture and world class design. It is also considered one of the world's most environmentally friendly cities and one of the best places to cycle. Most of the city's attractions can be reached on foot or bike, offering the opportunity to experience a lot of things in a short time.
Meet your tour escort at 19:45hrs (before dinner). Dinner and 2 nights at the Admiral Hotel.

Day 2 Copenhagen Sightseeing and Tivoli Gardens 
Today starts with a 3 hour guided city tour. Famous sights include Royal Amalienborg Palace, Christiansborg Palace (Danish Parliament Buildings), Gefion Fountain, Nyhavn and the Little Mermaid. The afternoon free to explore this wonderful city. 
Copenhagen is one of the best small cities in the world, and is full of cultural landmarks, beautiful and significant buildings, charming waterways, interesting sights and museums. Walk down the shopping street Strøget, visit the Nyhavn area of lively bars and restaurants and sample some of the famous new Nordic Cuisine! Your tour escort will also provide you with entrance tickets to the famous Tivoli Gardens, which you can use this evening to visit on your own. 2nd night in Copenhagen.

Day 3 Copenhagen - Oslo  By Overnight Ferry
Morning free in Copenhagen - maybe take a canal boat tour through the city's charming watersays, to see the architecture and attractions from a different angle. In the afternoon, transfer from the hotel to the ferry terminal, to board the overnight ferry to Oslo, departing at approximately 16.30hrs. Enjoy a Scandinavian smörgåsbord dinner as you sail slowly up the Kattegat Strait.
There is dancing and entertainment on board, or you may prefer to sit out on deck and watch the sunset. Overnight in 2 berth outside cabins with private facilities.

Day 4 Oslo Arrival and Sightseeing
A delicious buffet breakfast is served as you cruise along the enchanting Oslo Fjord.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the fjord and is known for its green spaces and wonderful museums, vibrant social scene and close proximity to the fjords and mountains of the south and west. Arrival in Oslo at 09:30hrs, followed by a 3 hour guided tour of the city, visiting sights including the impressive Vigeland Sculpture Park. The afternoon is at leisure - perhaps visit the Munch Museum or take a stroll along the Karl Johan shopping boulevard, or the old Bryygen wharf area, now a bustling hub of outdoor cafes, bars and restaurants. Visit the fantastic architectural masterpiece that is the stunning new Opera House - you can walk on the roof! - or perhaps take a guided tour of the Royal Palace. Dinner and overnight at Thon Hotel Opera.   

Day 5 Oslo - Ulvik: Viking Ship Museum, Mountains and Fjords  
After breakfast we visit the extraordinary Viking Ships Museum, where the vessels are magnificently displayed, before departing Oslo and driving via Hønefoss, along the Halling Valley to the mountain resort town of Geilo. After lunch at local restaurant we drive across the wild Hardanger Mountain Plateau to Fossli, stopping to view thundering Vøringsfoss Waterfall, with a vertical drop of 180m. Then we descend the amazing Mabodal Canyon to idyllic Hardanger Fjord, cross the Hardanger bridge and arrive in Ulvik. Dinner and overnight at Brakanes Hotel, ideally located on the banks of the fjord.

Day 6 Ulvik - Bergen: Hardangerfjord
After breakfast we start a scenic tour along the Hardanger Fjord, famous for its many fruit orchards, travelling via the towns of Øystese and Norheimsund, and arriving in the old Hanseatic trading town of Bergen at around midday. Lunch is enjoyed at a local restaurant, then we start an afternoon 2 hour panoramic city tour, including visits to the popular Fish and Flower Market, famous Bryggen Harbour with its gabled packhouses, and the old Hanseatic Quarter. You will also ride the funicular to Mt. Fløien, for wonderful views of the city and fjords below. Overnight at First Hotel Marin, centrally located next to the old Bryggen harbour and close to the pedestrian shopping streets.

Day 7 Bergen - Flam - Balestrand:  Flam Railway and Sognefjord
After breakfast, we depart Bergen and drive via Dale to Voss. Here we board the Bergen railway, bound for Myrdal mountain station, where we change trains and start an exhilarating ride on the famous Flåm Railway down to Flåm village. This engineering railway masterpiece descends 865 metres in less than one hour, with several stops offering photo opportunities of waterfalls and mountain scenery. 

After a short time in Flåm, we start a 2 hour cruise along the narrow Aurlands and Nærøy Fjords, both branches of the beautiful Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the world and known as the "Queen of the Fjords". Enjoy the spectacular scenery of cascading waterfalls, sheer mountain cliffs, snow-clad peaks and a variety of wildlife as we cruise quietly along. Disembark in Gudvangen at the head of the Nærøy Fjord and then continue by coach through the amazing twists of Stalheim Canyon and the  Nærøy valley, and across the Vika Mountains to Vangsnes. Here we take a short ferry trip over to beautiful Balestrand. Dinner and 2 nights at Kvikne’s Hotel, superbly located on the fjord's banks and surrounded by mountains.

Day 8 Balestrand: Day at Leisure in the Fjords
Day free in Balestrand, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the outstanding beauty and nature of the fjords. The day starts with a traditional Norwegian buffet breakfast in the hotel’s elegant dining room. You may want to spend the morning relaxing on the hotel terrace, breathing in the fresh mountain air and enjoying the spectacular views. We can also recommend a visit to the local aquarium and art gallery, or you may prefer to rent a bike or rowing boat from the hotel, or even go on foot up to the nearest mountains. A walking tour of the village of Balestrand, with its historic buildings and other sites can also be arranged. Dinner and 2nd night at  Kvikne's Hotel.

Day 9 Balestrand - Geiranger: Jostedal Glacier and Geiranger Fjord
After breakfast, we leave Balestrand and travel by ferry to Hella, followed by a scenic tour along the northern side of Sognefjord. Then we continue by road to Fjærland, passing under Jostedal Glacier (Europe’s largest) to Skei village at the northern end of beautiful Lake Jølster. Continue down the Nord Fjord, detouring at Olden to visit the world famous Briksdal Glacier - here we journey up in open cars to give you the best views of the glacier. After lunch in a nearby mountain restaurant our tour continues around the Nord Fjord via Loen and Stryn, to picturesque Hellesylt village. Here, we board the ferry for a 1 hour cruise along spectacular Geiranger Fjord, possibly the most impressive of Norway's fjords. During the cruise you will pass close by some magnificent waterfalls, such as the Bridal Veil and the Seven Sisters. Dinner and overnight at the Union Hotel, overlooking the Geiranger Fjord.

Day 10 Geiranger - Oslo
From atop famous Serpentine Road, stop for some amazing fjord views, before crossing the rugged Grotli Mountains to Lom, well known for its 14th century wooden stave church. The tour continues via Lake Vågå, before descending magnificent Gudbrands Valley to Lillehammer, for our lunch stop, before the journey travels alongside Lake Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake and returning to Oslo. Dinner and overnight at Thon Hotel Opera.  

Day 11 Oslo - Stockholm via Karlstad
We continue by coach towards the Swedish border, crossing into Vãrmland province, to arrive in Karlstad on Lake Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden. Lunch here, before the tour continues through a landscape of forests and sparkling lakes to reach the Swedish capital in the late afternoon. Stockholm, one of the most beautiful capitals in the world, is built on 14 islands and connected by 57 bridges. With 750 years of history and a rich cultural life, this is a truly extraordinary place. Dinner and 2 nights at the Clarion Hotel Sign.

Day 12 Stockholm Sightseeing
Today starts with a 4 hour guided tour of the city. Famous sights include the Royal Palace, Parliament Buildings, Cathedral, Royal Theatre and more. You will also visit the enchanting Old Town (Gamla Stan) with its narrow cobbled streets and numerous antique shops. A tour highlight is a City Hall visit, with its famous Blue and Golden Halls, where the Nobel Prize banquet is held annually. The a
fternoon is free - maybe visit the amazing Vasa Museum; the impressive warship Vasa sank on her maiden voyage in 1628 but was salvaged 333 years later in 1961. She has since been restored and can now be seen with her complete rigging. Also walk the charming streets of the famous old town, Gamla Stan, and enjoy sitting in the many bars, cafes and restaurants, to watch the passing parade. Or indulge in some Nordic shopping in the many quirky boutiques and homeware stores. 2nd overnight in Stockholm.

Day 13 Stockholm - Helsinki by Overnight Ferry
The morning free in Stockholm - maybe take one of the popular canal tours -  before the afternoon transfer from the hotel to the pier, for embarkation on the 16:45hrs overnight ferry to Helsinki. As you depart, sail slowly through the delightful Stockholm archipelago past numerous small islands. Dinner on board with a wide choice of entertainment, bars, shops and casino. 2 nights on board in a 2 berth outside cabin with private facilities.

Day 14 Helsinki Sightseeing
Enjoy your buffet breakfast as you sail into Helsinki harbour. Spend the whole day in this exciting city on the Baltic Sea (you retain your cabin on the ship), starting with a 3 hour panoramic guided tour. Pass Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, Parliament House, Finlandia Hall, Sibelius Park & Monument, the Church in the Rock and more. The afternoon is free - explore the busy market place close to the harbour where there are food stalls and local souvenir shops, as well as many historic sailing boats.

Day 15 Helsinki - St Petersburg: River Cruise & St Isaac's Cathedral
Transfer by coach from the hotel to the railway station. Depart from Helsinki aboard the Allegro train, bound for St Petersburg. A boxed lunch will be served on the train, where you will also go through Customs and Immigration whilst remaining comfortably in your seat. Arrival in St. Petersburg and transfer from the railway station to your hotel, with a 1 hour guided cruise along the Neva River and a visit to St. Isaac’s Cathedral along the way. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner including a shot of vodka and 1 glass wine at the hotel. 3 nights at the Ambassador Hotel, near the famous Mariinsky Theatre.

Day 16 St Petersburg: Peterhof Palace and Hermitage Museum 
The day begins with a transfer to the Neva River, for a delightful cruise by hydrofoil to Peterhof, where we will visit the famous Grand Palace and the lower parks, including the  fabulous fountains. Lunch at  a local restaurant and then enjoy a tour of the world-famous Hermitage Art Museum and the State Rooms of the Winter Palace. 2nd dinner and overnight at the Ambassador Hotel.

Day 17 St Petersburg: Catherine's Palace & City Sightseeing 
 This morning transfer to the town of Pushkin for a visit to Catherine’s Palace, including the famous Amber room. Lunch at a local restaurant, then enjoy a 3 hour panoramic tour of the city. St. Petersburg is a place of outstanding architectural beauty, famous for its magnificent palaces, cathedrals, fountains and bridges, and the tour includes sights as the Square of Arts, the Russian Museum, the Cathedral of Our Saviour on the Spilt Blood, Griboedov canal, Nevsky Prospect, the Palace Square with the Winter Palace, the spit of the Basil’s Island, the Menshikov Palace, the Senate Square, and the Bronze Horseman. A visit will also be paid to Peter & Paul Fortress. This evening enjoy a colourful Russian folklore show at the Nikolaevsky Palace, with snacks during the intermission. Dinner at the Dostoevsky Restaurant or similar and 3rd overnight at the Ambassador Hotel.

Day 18 St Petersburg: Departure
Transfer to St Petersburg airport and end of arrangements.

2018 Departures: 21 July 

Includes: 15 nights accommodation in a standard room, breakfast daily, 7 lunches (Days 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 plus one packed lunch Day 15), daily 3-course or buffet dinner (except on second evening in Copenhagen, in Bergen and second evening in Stockholm), overnight cruise Copenhagen-Oslo in a 2-berth outside cabin with shower/WC incl buffet dinner and breakfast on board, entrance to Tivoli Gardens (Day 2), 3 hour guided tours Copenhagen, Oslo & Helsinki, 4 hour Stockholm tour, visits to the Viking Museum, Oslo and the Stadhuset (City Hall), Stockholm. Panorama tour of Bergen incl. ride on the Bergen Funicular to Mt. Fløien, ride on the Bergen and Flåm Railways - Voss-Myrdal-Flam, 2 hour cruise on Sogn and Nærøy Fjords; 1 hour cruise on the Geiranger Fjord, excursion to Briksdal Glacier in open car, all ferry crossings in Norway, overnight cruise Stockholm-Helsinki in a 2-berth outside cabin with shower/WC, incl buffet dinner and breakfast on board, Train Helsinki-St. Petersburg including coach transfers between hotels and railway stations. 3 hour city tour in St. Petersburg  including a visit to Peter & Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, Pushkin, 1 hour guided canal tour and folklore show at Nikolaevsky Palace incl. snacks during intermission. Hydrofoil from St. Petersburg to Peterhof  incl. entrance to Lower Parks and Grand Palace, luggage assistance at all hotels while with the group, English-speaking tour escort throughout, transportation by modern deluxe coach with reclining seats and seatbelts, transfers airport/hotel on first and last days of tour only. Transfers to/from a different airport other than the one mentioned in the tour programme, will incur a supplement. 

Excludes: Russian Visa

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 9138.00
Single AUD$ 11458.00

Includes: 15 nights accommodation in a standard room, breakfast daily, 7 lunches (Days 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 plus one packed lunch Day 15), daily 3-course or buffet dinner (except on second evening in Copenhagen, in Bergen and second evening in Stockholm), overnight cruise Copenhagen-Oslo in a 2-berth outside cabin with shower/WC incl buffet dinner and breakfast on board, entrance to Tivoli Gardens (Day 2), 3 hour guided tours Copenhagen, Oslo & Helsinki, 4 hour Stockholm tour, visits to the Viking Museum, Oslo and the Stadhuset (City Hall), Stockholm. Panorama tour of Bergen incl. ride on the Bergen Funicular to Mt. Fløien, ride on the Bergen and Flåm Railways - Voss-Myrdal-Flam, 2 hour cruise on Sogn and Nærøy Fjords; 1 hour cruise on the Geiranger Fjord, excursion to Briksdal Glacier in open car, all ferry crossings in Norway, overnight cruise Stockholm-Helsinki in a 2-berth outside cabin with shower/WC, incl buffet dinner and breakfast on board, Train Helsinki-St. Petersburg including coach transfers between hotels and railway stations. 3 hour city tour in St. Petersburg  including a visit to Peter & Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace, Pushkin, 1 hour guided canal tour and folklore show at Nikolaevsky Palace incl. snacks during intermission. Hydrofoil from St. Petersburg to Peterhof  incl. entrance to Lower Parks and Grand Palace, luggage assistance at all hotels while with the group, English-speaking tour escort throughout, transportation by modern deluxe coach with reclining seats and seatbelts, transfers airport/hotel on first and last days of tour only. Transfers to/from a different airport other than the one mentioned in the tour programme, will incur a supplement. 

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