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14 Day Scandinavian Winter Odyssey with Norway Cruise

14 Day Scandinavian Winter Odyssey with Norway Cruise

This tour is fully escorted by a dedicated tour leader who will accompany you throughout the tour. If your trip includes multiple countries, you will be met by a new tour leader in each country and any internal flights included will be unescorted.

Escorted Type
Fully Escorted

This tour is conducted at a medium-fast pace. Some long travel days may be required to complete this itinerary and you will typically spend two nights at each destination, with some one night stays required. This trip includes a mix of sightseeing and free time to explore at your own pace. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage.

Pace
Moderate Pace
These tours allow you to experience the destination at unsurpassed value. You'll travel with between 40-50 other guests depending on your selected tour*. Enjoy features such as a wide range of included sightseeing, comfortable accommodation and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.
*Note: group size may exceed this. Please refer to the important information section of the Fine Print to view maximum group size for your selected tour. 
Group Size
Group Tour - Classic

Hurtigruten's Norwegian Coastal Cruise along the scenic coast and fjords of Norway has often been praised as being one of the most beautiful voyages in the world. Each day of your voyage will yield unforgettable memories of natural beauty as you discover a coastline with an ever changing personality with a new revelation around every headland.

Cruise Style
Coastal Cruise
Classic Tour
367 people have travelled to this destination

✓ Incredible sightseeing, including a city tour of  Helsinki, the crossing of the Arctic Circle, chasing the spectacular Northern Lights, entry to Temppeliaukio Church and SIIDA Museum
✓ Be treated to some of the best scenery of the Norwegian coast, including Senja, the Vesterålen archipelago, the stunning Lofoten Islands, and the Helgeland Coast
✓ Enjoy the excitement of husky and reindeer safaris through the Scandinavian wilderness 
✓ 7 nights in quality, 3 and 4-star hotels throughout Norway and Finland
✓ 1 night in a magical glassed-roof Aurora cabin under Saariselkä’s starry skies, looking for the northern lights
✓ 5 nights on board the signature Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express voyage, southbound 
✓ Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 9 dinners
✓ Fully escorted by a professional, English-speaking guide and cruise director 
✓ Dedicated, comfortable coach transportation
✓ Santa Claus Express train ride from Helsinki to Rovaniemi 


✈ Needing international airfares to accompany your Inspiring Vacation?
You will be able to access our flight portal after securing your package to add international airfares to your booking.

What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Radisson Blu Seaside or Similar
Meals
Dinner

Take this day at your leisure to discover the unique charm of this quirky city. In the evening, join the rest of the group and your English-speaking Tour Manager for a welcome dinner.

Airport transfers are not included. Our transfer portal offers the option to book your airport transfers for an easier arrival experience (additional charges apply). Access to this portal will be available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed.

If you arrive before the standard check-in time of 3 PM local time, you are welcome to leave your luggage with the hotel reception and explore the surroundings until your room is ready. Early check-in may be possible, but it is subject to availability and at the hotel's discretion.

Hotel
Radisson Blu Seaside or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at the hotel. This morning, accompanied by our English-speaking Tour Manager, we will embark on a guided tour of the Temppeliaukio Church, locally known as the 'Rock Church.' This unique structure, completed in 1969, is one of Helsinki's most iconic attractions, carved directly into solid rock. Our local guide will lead us on a two-hour tour of Helsinki, the capital of Finland, often called the "Daughter of the Baltic Sea" or the "White City of the North." During this tour, you will gain insights into Finland's rich culture, history, and traditions. We will visit notable landmarks including Senate Square with its famous Cathedral, the Market Square, the orthodox Uspenski Cathedral, the Olympic Stadium, the Parliament, Finlandia Hall, the Sibelius Monument, and the Temppeliaukio Church. The tour includes entrance to the Rock Church, subject to its opening. 

Hotel
Scandic Pohjanhovi or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

This morning, we will transfer from the hotel to Helsinki railway station to board the iconic 'Santa Claus Express.' This modern and comfortable train will take us from Helsinki to the heart of Lapland, the official home of Santa Claus. Onboard dining is available at your own cost, making it a pleasant journey to the pristine north. Upon our arrival in Rovaniemi, we will transfer from the railway station to the hotel for check-in.

Hotel
Scandic Pohjanhovi or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today, experience one of the highlights of any visit to Finnish Lapland: a thrilling husky safari in the magical snowclad countryside. The 2.5-hour Happy Trail Tour includes a 45-minute self-driven husky ride covering approximately 6-10 km. This adventure is the perfect way to enjoy the excitement of mushing a dog team. You'll meet the dogs, learn how to drive your sled, and then embark on an exhilarating dash through the enchanting snowy forest.

After the safari, you'll have time to mingle with the huskies, take some memorable photos, and enjoy a snack with juice and cookies around the fire. You'll also have the opportunity to learn fascinating facts about sled dogs and create lasting memories. To warm you up after the husky safari, we will serve hot berry juice.

Hotel
Northern Lights Village or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

This morning, we will depart from Rovaniemi and visit Santa Claus' Village for a couple of hours of Christmas magic. Here, you'll cross the Arctic Circle and have plenty of time to enjoy the village's many charms and fun activities, such as meeting Santa's reindeer, perusing the souvenir shops, or exploring Snowman World. You can even send a postcard from Santa's post office, staffed by his postal elves, which will bear a special Arctic Circle postmark not available anywhere else. And, of course, you can meet Santa himself.

In the afternoon, we will continue our journey north for an inspiring stay. Tonight, we will be bedding down in incredible 21st-century igloos. These glass-roofed structures allow you to sleep right beneath the starry skies, and with any luck, the Northern Lights. Each cabin is extremely well-insulated to ensure guests remain comfortable even in the coldest temperatures.

Hotel
Santa's Hotel Tunturi or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

In the morning, we will depart from Pyhä and continue our journey north to Saariselkä. Along the way, we will make a quick stop in Sodankylä to view one of Finland's oldest wooden churches from the outside. Upon arrival in Saariselkä, we will check into our hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this charming village at your leisure. You might also choose to join one of the many optional excursions available locally. 

Hotel
Santa's Hotel Tunturi or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today's program features another highlight of any visit to Finnish Lapland: a short Reindeer Safari. You will be introduced to the ancient Lappish mode of transport, the reindeer sleigh. In the old days, this was the only means of winter transportation for the people of Lapland, with sleighs often pulled by 25 to 30 reindeer in a long caravan. During this 2-hour safari, you'll experience this traditional and peaceful way of moving through the snowy landscape, with the only sound being the soft glide of the sleigh.

The remainder of the day is at your leisure, providing more opportunities to try one of the many optional safaris or explore the area at your own pace.

Hotel
Thon Hotel Kirkenes or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Dinner

Today, we will travel to Kirkenes, with a stop in Inari to visit the SIIDA Museum, which offers an insightful look into Sami culture and the natural environment of northern Finland. After exploring the museum, we will continue our journey, crossing the border into breathtaking Norway and eventually arriving in Kirkenes.

Upon arrival, you will also have the opportunity to visit the SnowHotel Kirkenes, where you can enjoy an included ice drink.

Hotel
MS Polarlys, MS Kong Harold or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, make your own way to the Hurtigruten cruise terminal in time for your coastal voyage to Bergen. In the port of Vardø, you’ll find the star-shaped Vardøhus Fortress, built in 1737. The northernmost fortification of any kind, it remains a part of the military to this day.

We cruise Norway’s coastline to arrive in the small port of Båtsfjord in the evening and then on to Berlevåg. You might be able to make out Mount Tanahorn to the west, or see Kjølnes Lighthouse blinking atop a cliff overlooking the Barents Sea.

Time in port:

Kirkenes: 09:00 - 12:30
Vardø: 16:05 - 17:00
Båtsfjord: 20:00 - 20:30
Berlevåg: 22:25 - 22:35

Hotel
MS Polarlys, MS Kong Harold or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We make stops at Mehamn and Kjøllefjord during the night before early morning visits to Honningsvåg and Havøysund.

In the early afternoon, you’ll spend time in Hammerfest, which has the largest population on a list of the world’s northernmost settlements. See the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, shop for souvenirs at the Polar Bear Society, or take the path behind the town to the viewpoint atop Mount Salen.

We continue cruising Norway’s coastline south to Øksfjord and then to Skjervøy, surrounded by mountain peaks. We’ve been docking at this vital fishing port since 1896. You might spot orcas and humpback whales that gather here to feed on herring. As we make our way to Tromsø, you might also glimpse views of the Lyngen Alps which boast some of the highest peaks in all of Norway.

Time in port:

Mehamn: 01:20 - 01:30
Kjøllefjord: 03:25 - 03:35
Honningsvåg: 05:45 - 06:00
Havøysund: 08:00 - 08:15
Hammerfest: 11:00 - 12:45
Øksfjord: 15:50 - 16:05
Skjervøy: 19:30 - 19:45
Tromsø: 23:45 - 01:30

Hotel
MS Polarlys, MS Kong Harold or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you’ll be exploring the archipelagos of Lofoten and Vesterålen, real highlights of our Norway scenic route. After Finnsnes early in the morning, the ship calls at Harstad where the white-washed Trondenes Church, the world’s northernmost medieval stone church, sits on the peninsula.

Next is our smallest port of call Risøyhamn and then Sortland where the landscape slowly transforms from hills to 1,000-metre-high mountains. Stokmarknes is where Captain Richard With began The Coastal Express in 1893. Visit Hurtigrutemuseet, a ship-in-a-bottle building that chronicles our legacy, centred around retired ship MS Finnmarken from 1956.

Sailing along Raftsund, the Captain may choose to take the ship into tiny Trollfjord if the weather allows. The mountain walls will look so close you’ll think you can reach out and brush them! To exit the fjord, the ship will rotate 180 degrees on the spot, then sail back out. Remember to look out for sea eagles here too.

We reach Svolvær in the evening. The huge mountain that sits above the town is named the Svolvær Goat due to its supposed resemblance. See if you agree! The ship then sails for Stamsund, eventually passing the giant granite cliffs of the Lofoten Wall.

Time in port:

Tromsø: 23:45 - 01:30
Finnsnes: 04:20 - 04:40
Harstad: 08:00 - 08:30
Risøyhamn: 10:45 - 11:00
Sortland: 12:30 - 13:00
Stokmarknes: 14:15 - 15:15
Svolvær: 18:30 - 20:30
Stamsund: 22:15 - 22:30

Hotel
MS Polarlys, MS Kong Harold or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The ship calls at Bodø in the small hours of the morning and then Ørnes at 7am. We then cross over the Arctic Circle just after breakfast. Commemorate the moment with a tradition of tasting a spoonful of good ol’ Norwegian cod liver oil!

We make a short stop at Nesna before sailing on to Sandnessjøen, gateway to the magnificent Helgeland Coast. Admire the stunning landscape of the Seven Sisters mountain range, with peaks up to 1,100m high. The tale goes that seven beautiful troll princesses, fleeing from an unwanted suitor, got caught out as the sun rose, turning them into the seven beautiful mountains you see today.

You’ll also not want to miss views of Torghatten Mountain, with the distinctive hole in it. There is a local legend as to why and how this mountain came to have such a hole. Make sure you ask your Coastal Experience Team about it!

We reach Brønnøysund mid-afternoon. Explore the bustling marina on a walk along Havnegata. In the centre of town is Brønnøy Church: a stone church in the Neo-Gothic style dating back to 1870. Our last stop of the day is the cosy fishing port of Rørvik in the picturesque Vikna archipelago.

Time in port:

Bodø: 02:30 - 03:30
Ørnes: 06:25 - 06:35
Nesna: 10:25 - 10:35
Sandnessjøen: 11:45 - 12:15
Brønnøysund: 15:00 - 17:25
Rørvik: 21:00 - 21:30

Hotel
MS Polarlys, MS Kong Harold or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning in Trondheim, then sail past beautiful island scenery and some of Norway’s smallest communities before exploring Kristiansund and Molde. Stroll around Trondheim in the early morning as the city wakes. Visit the sacred Nidaros Cathedral, resting place of St. Olav. Then, walk to Gamle Bybro bridge for a photo opportunity over Nid River. Treat yourself to quality coffee and a Nordic patisserie in one of the Bakklandet district’s many chic cafés then walk up to Kristiansten Fort for great views of Norway’s third largest city.

We dock at Kristiansund’s harbour in the late afternoon. The town is spread over three islands and known for being Norway’s “Bacalao Capital” for the salted cod that’s dried on the surrounding cliffs, called klippfisk in Norwegian. Take a walk around the cobblestone streets of the old town and tour the lively port. You can also head up to the old watchtower at Varden viewpoint for a lovely panorama.

The penultimate port of the day is Molde where you can spot the tops of the Romsdal Alps. Nicknamed “The City of Roses”, flowers should be in bloom between mid-June and late August.

Time in port:

Trondheim: 06:30 - 09:30
Kristiansund: 16:30 - 17:30
Molde: 21:15 - 21:45

Hotel
Zander K Hotel or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Our Norwegian coastal cruise together, at least this time, will reach its end later today. During the previous night, we’ll call at Ålesund and Torvik. On our approach to Måløy, you might catch a glimpse of the northbound Coastal Express if you’re up early enough. You’ll have a chance to glimpse Nordfjord, under the enormous Jostedal Glacier, mainland Europe’s largest. The ship then docks at Florø in the morning where you can take in the harbour and marina.

Leaving Florø, you’ll spot Stabben Lighthouse, a favourite subject for photographers. There’s also stunning views to enjoy as we cross the mouth of Sognefjord, the longest and widest fjord in the whole of Norway.

As we reach our final port in the afternoon, the ship will navigate through the last islands and skerries of our Norway scenic route, and sail down Hjeltefjord to arrive into Bergen.

Sadly, it’s time to say farewell to the Captain, crew, and fellow guests. If you have booked the flight-inclusive 17 day itinerary departing Australia, please make your own way to your hotel in Bergen and enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Otherwise, your tour ends here. 

If you are departing today, please be advised that your onward flight should be no earlier than 7pm. Optional post-tour accommodation is available on request. 

Time in port:

Ålesund: 00:30 - 01:20
Torvik: 02:35 - 02:45
Måløy: 05:45 - 06:00
Florø: 08:15 - 08:30
Bergen: 14:45

Inclusions

  • 7 nights in quality, 3 and 4-star hotels throughout Norway and Finland
  • 1 night in a magical glassed-roof Aurora cabin
  • 5 nights on board the signature Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express voyage, southbound 
  • Activities indicated in the itinerary including entry fees (unless a paid optional)
  •  Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 9 dinners
  •  Fully escorted by a professional, English-speaking guide and cruise director 
  • Dedicated, comfortable coach transportation
  • Santa Claus Express train in 2nd class from Helsinki to Rovaniemi 

  • Helsinki - Embark on a guided tour of the Temppeliaukio Church, locally known as the 'Rock Church.' 
  • Rovaniemi - Experience a thrilling husky safari in the magical snowclad countryside. 
  • Pyhä - Sleep right beneath the starry skies, and with any luck, the Northern Lights.
  • Saariselkä - Experience a traditional and peaceful way of moving through the snowy landscape as part of a reindeer safari ride 
  • Inari -  Explore the SIIDA Museum, which offers an insightful look into Sami culture and the natural environment of northern Finland
  • Kirkenes - Visit the SnowHotel Kirkenes, where you can enjoy an included ice drink.
  • Norwegian coast - Be treated to some of the best scenery of the Norwegian coast, including Senja, the Vesterålen archipelago, the stunning Lofoten Islands, and the Helgeland Coast, on-board the signature Hurtigruten Coastal Express voyage, southbound

The Norwegian Coastline Cruises operate with a number of different ships, all with similar facilities and deck plans. Please click the ship name below to be taken to further information including the deck plans;

MS Kong Harald

MS Polarlys

MS Nordlys

MS Richard With

MS Nordnorge

Cabin Type - Polar Outside 

These comfortable, outside cabins are on all decks. The cabins may have portholes, with limited or no view.

Please note, we are unable to take cabin location requests. Hurtigruten will assign your cabin number closer to departure. In the event you are travelling with another party, note that cabins may not be allocated together.

Fine Print

Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.

Instalment Schedule:

  1. At the time of booking pay a $99.00 deposit per person.
  2. Pay a 1st installment of $2,000.00 per person within 7 days.
  3. Pay a 2nd installment of $1,800.00 per person within 60 days.
  4. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

This is a land only package.

This package does not include international airfares. If you would like to add airfares to your booking our flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub. The flight portal will allow you to search for all available airfares to your destination. The function works like most general flight search engines allowing you to select your preferred airline, book different cabin classes (eg. Business class) and view flight durations and transit times to your destination. 

The flight portal will be available via your Traveller Hub once the following criteria has been met:

  • Your booking is confirmed
  • Your departure date is within 11 months
  • You  have completed your passenger detail form

Visit our Flight Hub for more information on terms and conditions, amending your flights and information on luggage allowances. 

Some of our packages will include airport transfers in either one or both directions when arriving or departing from your destination. To know if transfers are included please view the ‘inclusions’ section of your selected package. If airport transfers are stated, transfers will be included as advised.

If transfers are not included, we also offer the option to book your airport transfers using our online portal. Access to this portal is available through your Traveller Hub once your booking is confirmed. Transfers are readily available and do not need to be booked until your final hotel list has been confirmed. Once you have made a transfer booking, please refer to your confirmation email for all transfer details including a local contact number for the transfer company.

If you book pre and/or post-tour accommodation on your own arrangement, and the tour includes transfers, note that these will be forfeited. The transfers are only provided in line with the tour dates and pre and/or post-tour accommodation purchased through Inspiring Vacations when available.

It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return. Visas may be required for your destination. For further visa information, click here.

Fitness Requirements
3 – Moderate Tour: A good level of fitness and mobility is required, as this tour includes a moderate level of physical activity and is considered a medium-fast paced tour. You should be able to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and able to walk reasonable distances of approximately 2 kilometres per day or more with ease. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. Tipping is not compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you feel that your guide and driver have done an impeccable job, you can choose to give a gratuity, but this is entirely your decision.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, but we can’t guarantee your request will be available at all properties.

Single travellers
When booking this tour, solo travellers will be presented with two options:

1 - Single Supplement
By paying an additional $3,982.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price, you guarantee the privacy of your own room throughout the entire trip.

2- Shared Room with a known friend
If travelling together with a friend, you can opt to share your room with him/her and avoid paying a single supplement. 

You and your friend can create a unique booking each. Creating a unique booking, gives each of you the flexibility of making different travel arrangements (such adding extra accommodation, flights, etc), make separate payments and have individual access to our Traveller’s Hub

During the purchase path, you will need to provide your friend’s booking ID (if known) or at a minimum, your friend’s full name.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

Group Size
On the first portion of the tour, the minimum number is 15, and maximum 40. On the cruise portion of the tour, you will be travelling with other passengers up to the capacity of this component.

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

What to Pack
To ensure your comfort we suggest packing base and mid layers, along with a substantial winter jacket, a wool or fleece hat, balaclava/buff, gloves, a woolly jumper, scarf, winter boots.. Keep in mind the layering principle: it's more effective to wear several thin layers than a few thick ones.

In exceptionally cold conditions, consider wearing two pairs of gloves – a thick pair of mitts (as mitts keep your hands warmer by not separating the fingers) and a thin pair of gloves underneath for finger dexterity. For those susceptible to cold extremities, consider acquiring carbon hand and foot warmers, typically found in reputable outdoor stores.

It is highly recommended to pack (or buy in a local shop) snow spikes/cleats. These anti-slip traction accessories for your shoes will come in very handy towards navigating slippery roads and slopes. Just keep these handy as you will be expected to remove them before entering shops and restaurants.



All participants must be in good physical condition to fully engage in this journey. For the safety and welfare of yourself and fellow travellers, if you are feeling unwell prior to departure, we advise staying home and contacting us to arrange alternate plans.

Prior to selecting your trip, carefully review the itinerary to assess your ability to comfortably manage our travel style. Please be aware that if, based on evaluation by our leader or local representative, a participant is deemed unable to safely complete the itinerary, we retain the right to exclude them from all or part of the trip without reimbursement.

It is advisable to consult your physician for current medical travel advisories and any required vaccinations before embarking. We recommend carrying a first aid kit and any necessary medications in their original packaging, as they may not be readily available during travel. For those carrying medication, it's essential to check your government's foreign travel guidelines for local restrictions or regulations.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation

  • $253.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $240.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

  • International airfares
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Departure airport transfer
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

Click HERE for more information on weather in Finland.

Click HERE for more information on weather in Norway.

Why book with us
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