Introduction to Scandinavia and Spitsbergen
Travel to northern Europe’s historic, stylish and cosmopolitan cities on this fairy-tale tour of Scandinavia. See the iconic mermaid in Copenhagen and visit the grand city hall in Stockholm. During this tour, you’ll learn about the region's Viking history and why Helsinki is the capital of cool.
This fascinating expedition provides a taste of everything Spitsbergen has to offer, starting with its largest settlement, Longyearbyen. The largest island of the Svalbard archipelago is known as the “wildlife capital of the Arctic,” and on this stirring voyage, we show you why. Geared toward optimum wildlife viewing, this 10-day expedition provides ample opportunities to witness walrus, reindeer, and that most iconic of Arctic denizens, the polar bear, in their natural habitat, while marveling at the surreal experience of continuous daylight. Explore the unique Arctic landscape, hike the vast and colorful tundra, learn about the history and geology of this remote wilderness, and join us on a gripping excursion to a faraway, unforgettable land.
Your Fly, Stay & Cruise Package Includes:
- $2500 flight credit per person
- 9 night Capitals of Scandinavia guided tour, Copenhagen to Helsinki
- 3 night stay in Helsinki with Breakfast
- 9 night Intro to Spitsbergen cruise on board Ocean Adventurer, Helsinki return
- All onboard meals in complimentary dining venues & selected non-alcoholic beverage
- A wide range of onboard activities & entertainment
- Select transfers
- Port charges, fees & taxes onboard your cruise
Pricing is per person twin share and based on travel 26 May – 16 June 2024
Solo traveller pricing available. Please speak to one of our travel consultants for more details
Day 1 | Welcome to Copenhagen
Hans Christian Andersen would have been right at home in 21 century Copenhagen. The Danish capital hasn't lost any of its fairytale charm over the centuries, as you'll come to discover on your first day exploring this colourful city. On arrival, transfer to your Stays With Stories accommodation, the historic Phoenix Hotel in the heart of Copenhagen’s most elegant district. Discover the hotel’s rich history from the late 17 century, through both World Wars and up to the present day, restored to its former glory. Start your Scandinavian adventure with a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience in Amager Faelled. Then spend your free time strolling through the happiest city in the world before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception. Meals: Dinner
Day 2 | Explore Historic Copenhagen
Connect with the heartfelt hygge of your Danish hostswhen you join a Local Specialist this morning for a sightseeing tour that will reveal all the highlights of Copenhagen’s Old Town. See the distinctive dragon-tail spire of the 17 -century Børsen (Stock Exchange), Christiansborg Palace and the Little Mermaid, demurely seated on a rock overlooking Langelinie Promenade. See the home of Denmark’s beloved royal family, Amalienborg Palace, then spend the rest of the day exploring Copenhagen your way. Enjoy a cold øl overlooking the colourful façades of Nyhavn or perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Danish Riviera, past ancient fishing villages to the 17 -century Frederiksborg Castle. Meals: Breakfast
Day 3 | Journey to Oslo
For now, it’s a fond farvel to Copenhagen and a bright and cheery hej to Sweden, as you cross the Øresund by ferry and wind your way north, through the Swedish countryside past Gothenburg to Norway. You’ll want to keep your camera at the ready to capture the scenic landscapes that line your route to Oslo, Norway’s modern buzzing capital, where the Norwegian philosophy of friluftsliv can be felt along the flower-lined boulevards and bustling waterfront promenades. Meal breakfast
Day 4 | Vikings and More in Oslo
Tread in the footsteps of the Vikings this morning as you join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour that will reveal Oslo’s long-standing seafaring heritage. See the medieval fortress of Akershus, the elegant Royal Palace and Oslo Opera House, which seems to rise up from the water in all its marble, granite and glass glory. Visit a wonderland of Norwegian sculptures left behind by Gustav Vigeland in his sculpture park, then enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city on your terms. You could choose instead to embark on an Optional Experience to learn about Norwegian explorers. Meals breakfast
Day 5 | Onwards to Stockholm
Enjoy a scenic drive south through Norway’s lush forest landscapes to Sweden, bound for its enchanting capital. Journey past Lake Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden, before stopping in the countryside to Connect With Locals at a special Be My Guest lunch. Husband and wife team Niklas and Anna will welcome you to their renovated 19th-century church and explain their philosophy of using local produce to delight all your senses. Later, arrive in Stockholm and indulge in a free evening to explore ‘Beauty on Water’. Consider joining an Optional Experience to the first Ice Bar in the world. Meals breakfast and Lunch
Day 6 | Discover Beautiful Stockholm
Style and substance are qualities Stockholm has in abundance, as you’ll discover when you join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour this morning. See Stockholm’s historic mother church, Storkyrkan, the Royal Palace and the Swedish Parliament, then Dive Into Culture on a visit to the City Hall, home to the annual Nobel Prize banquet. This afternoon perhaps join an Optional Experience to explore the maritime heritage of the city, or simply do as the locals do and indulge in fika (coffee and cake), embracing the Swedish philosophy of lagom. Tonight consider an Optional Experience to cobbled Gamla Stan to admire its medieval history on a walking tour, followed by a traditional Swedish meal in a local restaurant. Meals Breakfast
Day 7 | Embark on an Overnight Cruise
A leisurely start to your day could see you embark on some last-minute souvenir shopping or savouring steaming sweet Swedish cinnamon rolls in Stortoget. Consider an Optional Experience to Drottningholm Palace. The cool capital of Finland beckons as you board your overnight cruise to Helsinki, passing through Stockholm’s archipelago across the Baltic Sea. Meals breakfast
Day 8 | Arrive in Vibrant Helsinki
Continue your cruise across the Baltic, arriving in Helsinki in time to join your Local Specialist for a sightseeing tour of all the city’s highlights, its Swedish and Russian heritage and some hidden gems. Stop for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at an inclusive café. See the modern marble façades of Finlandia Hall, the Senate and the colourful stalls in Market Square. This evening, join your fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner to raise a glass of aquavit and toast your epic adventure across the capitals of Scandinavia. Kippis!
Day 9 | Helsinki at Leisure
Today is yours to explore Helsinki at leisure or perhaps consider joining a full-day Optional Experience to cruise to the beautiful capital of Estonia, Tallinn. With its walled, cobblestoned Old Town, you will feel like you've stepped into the pages of a fairytale. Meals Breakfast
Day 10 | Farewell Scandinavia
After a memorable journey exploring the history and culture of four Scandinavian nations, all that’s left is to say a fond farewell to your new friends and prepare for your return journey home.
Day 1: Arrive in Helsinki, Finland
Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.
Day 2: Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from frigid waters.
Days 3 to 9 Exploring Spitsbergen
You’ll cruise around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.
Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.
The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since most of Svalbard’s Arctic ecosystem is uninhabited and well-protected, this remote archipelago is one of the world’s best places to spot polar bears against stunning natural backdrops of mountains and ice.
The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. Get a chance to witness the intimate gatherings of giant pinnipeds as they haul out together on small coastal strips.
If you’re itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, you can book the sea kayaking or paddling excursion adventure options.
In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it is an ever- changing gallery of spectacular icebergs, a polar bear resting between hunts, or an abandoned historical site from centuries ago.
Day 10 Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Helsinki
The time to say goodbye to your Expedition Team and shipmates has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the historic frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.
Terms & Conditions
Prices listed are per person in Australian/New Zealand Dollars, based on twin occupancy, including all discounts unless otherwise stated. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking and shown *on the lowest inside category available at the time. Fares are capacity controlled and are subject to change at any time without notice. Prices/Offers are correct as at 4 October 2023 and can be withdrawn without notice. Cabin categories include prepaid government fees and port taxes unless otherwise stated. Hotels may charge resort fees not included in this package, payable direct upon check in. Visas are not included. Air credit is applicable on airline of choice, subject to availability and subject to the carriers’ flight schedules and conditions. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge.