Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN HELSINKI, FINLAND. 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.
HELSINKI–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.
KUOPIO–OULU–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.
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.
ROVANIEMI–SODANKYLÄ–TANKAVAARA–SAARISELKÄ. 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 Sodankylä, 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 Saariselkä, 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.
SAARISELKÄ–HONNINGSVÅG, NORWAY. Cross into Norway for a visit to the fascinating SAPMI PARK. Head farther into Norway and along the beautiful Porsangen Fjord to Honningsvåg on the island of Magerøya, 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!
HONNINGSVÅG–COASTAL CRUISE–HAMMERFEST–ALTA. An early start today features a FJORD CRUISE from Honningsvåg 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.
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.
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.
NARVIK–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.
MO I RANA–MOSJØEN–TRONDHEIM. On the agenda today: picture stop in Mosjøen; 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.
TRONDHEIM–GEIRANGER AREA. 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.
GEIRANGER AREA. Enjoy the sites of this enchanting fjord area on your own or join the optional Geirangerfjord cruise.
GEIRANGER AREA–LOM–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.
LILLEHAMMER–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.
OSLO. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.