A comprehensive, delightful Escorted Tour in Scandinavia and Russia. Travel from Denmark's wonderful capital, to the fjords of Norway, fascinating Stockholm, vibrant Helsinki and historic Russia.
Transfer* from the airport to the hotel. Time at leisure in this wonderful city. Or perhaps join an optional evening guided walk through Tivoli Gardens. Founded in 1843 this amusement park has beautiful gardens, historic buildings, a wooden rollercoaster from 1914, numerous rides and more than 30 restaurants offering various gastronomic options. The tour includes a one-way transfer, entrance fee and a guided walk through the park. Make your own way back to the hotel. Accomodation for two nights in Copenhagen at the Hotel Scandic Spectrum or similar.
Copenhagen, Scandinavia's largest and most lively city, is one of Europe's most romantic capitals with its old castles, churches, harbours and squares. The morning panoramic sightseeing tour begins with a drive towards the City Hall Square where the famous pedestrian street “Stroeget” begins. Passing by Tivoli Gardens and onwards past the New Carlsberg Glyptotheque and the National Museum. Next, it is the Old Stock Exchange and the Naval Church. We drive past the Kings New Square, the home of the Royal Danish Theatre with the world-famous ballet, then through the old canal area, Nyhavn, with is picturesque houses and boats. We continue to the impressive Gefion Fountain and the Royal residence, Amalienborg Palace. Finally, we stop by the landmark of Copenhagen, the statue of the Little Mermaid. During the tour, you will also see Christiansborg Palace from the outside, as well as Rosenborg Castle, which houses the Crown Jewels. The tour ends at the hotel.
This afternoon enjoy an optional tour where you will get to experience Copenhagen like a Dane with your local guide. Take a boat trip and see all the main attractions, palaces, churches, towers, and modern architecture, from the water, sailing through idyllic canals and around the harbor. Back on land, take the Copenhagen Metro and visit Torvehallerne food market. Here you will have some free time to explore the many stalls with local foods and beverages and to enjoy the relaxed and informal atmosphere that characterises the Danes. You can choose to end the tour in the city centre or at your hotel. 2nd overnight in Copenahge at the Hotel Scandic Spectrum or similar.
Morning at leisure or perhaps take an optional excursion to Rosenborg Palace, a fairytale-like Renaissance palace in central Copenhagen, surrounded by enchanting gardens. It is famous for housing a beautiful collection of Danish crown jewels. The Rosenborg palace was built by Danish king Christian IV, “the Builder King”, in 1606 as a country summerhouse. It is one of the most stunning examples of Christian IV’s numerous architectural projects. The museum in the palace is divided into two parts: the palace interiors and the cellars where the crown jewels are displayed. Tour includes metro ticket, entrance to the palace and guide.
Afternoon departure for the wharf and embarkation on the overnight ferry to Oslo. Staying in an outside cabin with private facilities, buffet dinner and breakfast is also included. The ferry also has bars, shops and more to enjoy.
Morning arrival in Oslo and disembarkation. Head directly to the beautiful landscapes of Hønefoss and Nesbyen, which alternate between pine forests and lakes, then arrive in lovely Hallingdal Valley. Proceed through the villages of Gol and Geilo, a small resort town surrounded by mountains. Onwards to Hardangervidda and a visit to Voringfossen waterfall, before arriving in Eidfjord. Overnight in Eidfjord at the Hotel Quality Voringfoss or similar.
This morning takes us further into Norway's breathtaking countryside, as we cross Hardanger Fjord over Hardanger Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridge spans in the world. On the other side we pass Nordheimsund, then travel through birch forests to reach Bergen, the Capital of the Fjords. Situated on a peninsula and surrounded by seven mountains, the city's history is closely connected with the sea and trade. The picturesque historic waterfront is delightful and the afternoon panoramic sightseeing tour introduces us to this remarkable Hanseatic city. See the Bryggen area of old wooden houses, the traditional Fish Market and city centre, with highlights such as St. Mary's Church and Haakon's Hall. Overnight in Bergen at the at the Scandic Torget Hotel or similar.
Time at leisure. You may like to take an optional ride on the Bergen Fløibanen, the funicular travelling to the peak of Mount Fløyen, sitting 320m above sea level. Enjoy fantastic views over the city and fjord below; maybe even take one of the hilltop walks or relax in the café.
Enjoy your morning at leisure, to further explore this stunning fjord capital in your own time. Afternoon departure for historic Voss, with it's scenic background of snow clad mountains. After a short break, continue towards Nærøy Valley and Stalheim, with fantastic views down Stalheim Gorge. Dinner and overnight in Stalheim at the Hotel Stalheim or similar.
Continue through fjords and glacial valleys, flanked by almost impossibly rugged terrain, to Gudvangen. Cross Nærøyfjord and reach Flåm village, where you have time at leisure. Feel free to explore in your own time, or maybe take either an optional trip on the Flåm railway or, an optional coach trip to Stegastein Viewpoint.
Optional Flåm Railway - also know as Flåmsbana, this is one of the world's steepest train lines, on normal tracks. The 2hr return journey runs through fantastic nature, 20 tunnels, past the Rallar Road, beside steep mountains and breathtaking waterfalls, all with a multitude of views. Travel from the Sognefjord in Flåm at sea level, up 863m to mountaintop Myrdal mountain station on Hardangervidda.
Optional Stegastein Viewpoint - part of the Norwegian Scenic Route that runs from Aurland to Lærdal, the viewpoint juts 30m out from the mountainside at 650m above the fjord. Offering an unparalleled panorama, it's hard to imagine a more amazing view of the fjord, mountains and surroundings.
This afternoon, continue along Aurlandsfjord for a photo stop at the spectacular Borgund Stave Church before travelling on to Fagernes. Overnight in Fagernes at the Hotel Scandic Valdres or similar.
After breakfast, we leave the fjordlands behind us and return to Oslo in the early afternoon. Founded in 1048, Scandinavia's oldest capital is a pleasant and easy city, with an interesting mix of historical and modern architecture. Our late afternoon panoramic sightseeing starts with a visit to Frogner Park (decorated with the unique sculptures of Gustav Vigeland), then we pass by the Royal Palace and the main street Karl Johans gate. Overnight in Oslo at the Scandic Victoria or similar.
Today we head for Stockholm, passing through Norwegian forests and crossing the border, into the Swedish farm county of Varmland. Throughout the day we travel^ through typical, local landscapes of fertile farmland, blue lakes and thick forests, with afternoon arrival in Stockholm. Accommodation in Stockholm for 2 nights at the Heymarket by Scandic Hotel or similar.
Stockholm, also called Beauty on the Water, is undoubtedly one of the loveliest capitals in the world. Built on 14 islands, connected by 57 bridges, it is protected from the sea by Skärgården archipelago. Morning sightseeing takes us to the Old Town "Gamla Stan" with its Cathedral and Stortorget and includes a drive to Fjallgatan where you will enjoy picturesque views of Stockholm.
The afternoon is free, to spend as you wish. You can add an optional , privately guided visit to the Vasa Museum. See remains of the intact 17thC warship, Vasa, one of the world's largest viking ships and pride of the mighty Swedish navy. The Museum is built around the vessel which sank in Stockholm's inner harbour on her maiden voyage in 1628. Its discovery in 1956 and subsequent salvage in 1961, are two of the most important events in marine archaeology. Painstakingly restored to its original magnificence, the Vasa represents an authentic piece of living history. 2nd night in Stockholm at the Heymarket by Scandic Hotel or similar.
Morning at leisure. Afternoon transfer to the wharf, before boarding the overnight ferry to Helsinki. Cruise slowly through Skärgärden (Garden of Skerries) archipelago, passing small summer houses perched on tiny islands. Accommodation in an outside cabins, with private facilities and breakfast included.
Morning arrival into Helsinki. The sightseeing tour today includes the Senate Square, the University and the Lutheran Cathedral. We will also see the colourful Market Square, Kaivopuisto Park, diplomatic residences, the imposing statue of Marshall Mannerheim, the Parliament Building, Finlandia Hall, the Orthodox Russian Church Uspenski and the Sibelius Monument. A visit is also made to Temppeliaukio Church – also called the “Rock Church” as it is carved into solid rock (the church reserves the right not to allow the entry of visitors in case of ceremonies). The tour ends at the hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Helsinki at the Hotel Scandic Simonkentta or similar.
Morning at leisure before afternoon departure^ from Helsinki to St. Petersburg. Founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great, this is another of Europe's most beautiful cities. Also known to the world as Venice of the North, the city was virtually unharmed by the 1930-50's Stalinist reconstruction and its downtown dazzles the eyes, with splendid palaces, stylish monuments, straight avenues, beautiful bridges and many other attractions. Accommodation for 3 nights in St. Petersburg at the Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg or similar..
This morning we meet our local guide for a panoramic sightseeing tour, which covers some of the city's highlights. Drive along the heart of the city (Nevsky Prospect), with photo stops at the Spit of Vasilievsky Island, Senate Square, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Art's Square, the Russian Museum and two magnificent churches, the Nikolsky Cathedral and Church on the Spilled Blood.
This afternoon offers free time or an optional visit to Peterhof Palace. The fountains at the heart of this location are a symbolic expression of the sea's dominion and the mist rising from the waves as they surge against the shore. The world famous palace, fountain and park ensemble is an outstanding landmark of 18th-19thC, Russian artistic culture. There are 176 fountains and four cascades of various forms and styles, with numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes. Beautiful, majestic palaces with remarkable collections of sculpture, painting and works of the minor arts, all add up to make Peterhof one of the world's most unique gems. 2nd overnight in St. Petersburg at the Corinthia Hotel or similar.
Accompanied by our local guide, we continue our adventure in this charming city with a visit to the State Hermitage Museum, right in the city's heart. Occupying six magnificent buildings along the River Neva embankment, the leading role in this unique architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace. Formerly the residence of Russian Tsars, it was built to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-62. This evening is at your leisure. 3rd overnight in St. Petersburg at the Corinthia Hotel or similar.
Morning transfer with local guide from your hotel to the Railway station, where we board the Sapsan train to Moscow, through endless Russian landscapes and along the Volga River. Afternoon arrival and transfer to your hotel. You have the evening at your leisure. 3 nights accommodation in Moscow at the Intercontinental Moscow Hotel or similar.
This morning start a full day privately guided panoramic sightseeing tour of Moscow. See many ancient churches and cathedrals, some of them dating as far back as the 15th century, many of them having been restored or even built again; beautiful theatres and palaces; modern business complexes and hotels; buildings of late Soviet architecture such as the Moscow State University and the Central Stadium in Luzhniki, which hosted the 1980 Olympic Games. Moscow, with its some 10 million inhabitants, is vast and at times chaotic. We will visit the historic centre of the city, which includes the Red Square, Sofi iskaya Embankment, St. Sophia Cathedral, and the panorama of the Kremlin walls. We will also see the modern part of the city which includes the Vorobievy (Lenin Hills) – the highest place in Moscow, providing a beautiful view of the city and Poklonnaya Hill where there is a monument commemorating
Evening are at leisure or you can choose an optional excursion to a performance of the Russian National Dance show, Kostroma. This event reveals the history of Russia and the life of its peoples, through dance, as lyrical sketches, snippits of folklore and ancient traditions are played out in all of their glory. 2nd overnight in Moscow at the Intercontinental Moscow Hotel or similar.
Meet our local guide for your morning excursion, which includes a privately guided, walking tour of the Kremlin Territory. We wander through the Kremlin grounds and pay a visit to the Armoury Chamber with its famous collection of Fabergé Eggs, jewels and royal thrones. The word Kremlin (Kreml) means a fortress or walled town; Moscow’s is the biggest and most famous. The earliest ramparts were made from earth and wood, but successive rulers raised and strengthened the defences after every attack.
Remainder of the day at leisure of join an afternoon optional River Cruise on the Moscow river. The Radisson Royal Flotilla comprises 10 beautiful, state of the art yachts, built for entertainment as you glide on this majestic waterway. The two promenade decks offer audio information about attractions along the route, with panoramic views of this very picturesque city. 3rd overnigjht in Moscow at the Intercontinental Moscow Hotel or similar.
Following breakfast and check-out, transfer* to Moscow Airport. End of arrangements.
Maximum group size: 26 persons
All optional excursions must be pre-booked. Minimum numbers may be required.
*Airport transfers are shared with fellow arriving/departing passengers. Minor waiting times may occur.
^ Days 9, 13. Oslo-Stockholm and Helsinki-St. Petersburg journeys will be by coach or train.
Luggage allowance is 1 suitcase plus 1 piece of hand luggage per person.