The Grand Arctic
Saturday 22 June to Saturday 6 July 2013
Unescorted options also available
Our Scandinavian holiday embraces Norway and Sweden. We travel beyond the Arctic Circle to the Land of the Midnight Sun and we bring you historic cities, wonderful rail journeys and outstanding scenery. As a great favourite since 1975, this tour lives up to its remarkable expectations.
Day 1 London to Bergen
Day 2 The famous Flåm Railway
We join a cruise up the beautiful Sognefjord to Flåm, arriving in time for lunch. We then take the Flåm Railway which climbs to a height of 2,845ft on the 12 mile journey to Myrdal, the junction with the main line. From Myrdal we return to Bergen.
Day 3 Explore Bergen
A day to relax and enjoy the sights in this lovely old city. The old town and waterfront area with its vibrant fish and fruit markets are a must and the funicular railway to Mount Fløyen affords excellent views over the town.
Day 4 Across the Roof of Norway
Day 5 At Leisure in Oslo
There is so much to see here but, at the very least, you should take a boat trip across the harbour to the Viking Ships and Kontiki museums. For transport enthusiasts there is a network of local lines, one of which, the Holmenkollen Line, terminates at the ski resort of Frognseteren with stunning views down to the city and fjord beyond.
Day 6 Full Steam Ahead
Depart by road to visit two preserved lines which operate with steam locos. The Kroderbanen is standard gauge and 26kms long whilst the Urskog line is narrow gauge and covers a mere 4kms - expect a warm, friendly welcome. Those who prefer can enjoy an extra free day in Oslo.
Day 7 North to Trondheim
By train to Trondheim arriving early afternoon. The scenery is moorland rather than mountainous and, with the daylight hours lasting well into the evening, there is time to explore this city with its magnificent cathedral and picturesque waterfront.
Day 8 Across the Arctic Circle
We continue north by train alongside stunning fjords and via remote, mountain passes. We cross the Arctic Circle late afternoon and continue to Bodø, a coastal port surrounded by high mountains. It won’t go dark tonight and the late evening view across the harbour towards a setting sun in the north is very memorable.
Day 9 Bodø to Narvik
We have to make this trip by coach as there is no rail access but numerous road tunnels and a ferry crossing make this a journey with a difference. Relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery along the route.
Day 10 Towards Lapland
We leave Narvik on the “Iron Ore Route” as the train climbs very steeply away from the town and the coast before crossing the border into Sweden. The scenery changes to desolate tundra and stunted sliver birch before we reach Kiruna, site of one of the iron ore mines which give this line so much of its freight traffic. Journey’s end today is Gällivare.
Days 11 and 12 Inlandsbanan
This is the start of a 2-day trip on the privately owned Inland Railway. Travelling by diesel railcars at a leisurely pace, there are many different attractions pointed out by the train staff. We will get the chance to stop and visit some of them. Very soon after leaving Gällivare we cross the Arctic Circle once more but this time the train stops and we alight for a few minutes to take photos. The landscape changes from mountains in the north, through marshland and forest to the fertile regions of the south. We break our journey for a night’s hotel stay in Arvidsjaur. On Day 12 we have a leisurely morning in Arvidsjaur before continuing to Ostersund.
Day 13 Ostersund to Stockholm
A leisurely day on the main line service takes us to the Swedish capital which is built up around a series of small islands.
Days 14 At Leisure in Stockholm
We have a full day to explore this lovely city and a good introduction would be the “Under the Bridges” boat trip which will give us a feel for the city and its history. It is also possible to take a variety of interesting out-of-town excursions such as that by paddle steamer to Waxholm, a charming old village with historic wooden buildings.
Day 15 Homeward Bound
Bus transfer to the airport for our flight back to London.
Please note that the information regarding the steam excursions is correct at the time of going to press.
|Single room supplement:||£575|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£200|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2012