Grand Arctic Circle Explorer
Explore Denmark, Sweden and Norway on this truly spectacular overland rail adventure.
We visit the region's three magnificent and lively capital cities, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, the wild landscapes north of the Arctic Circle and Norway's awe-inspiring fjords.
Highlights and Inclusions
- First and Standard Class rail, coach and ferry travel as described (Standard Premier Class on Eurostar journeys with a light meal and drinks)
- 19 nights' hotel accommodation with breakfast each day
- 1 night on board an overnight ferry from Oslo to Denmark in an inside cabin
- 34 meals including 20 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 13 dinners
- City tour of Copenhagen including the Amalienborg Palace, the Little Mermaid statue and a canals cruise in Nyhaven
- Sightseeing tour of Stockholm through the narrow streets of Gamla Stan
- Scenic rail journey on the Inlandsbanan
- Journey on the Ofoten Railway to Narvik
- Journey on the Rauma Railway
- Cruise on Geirangerfjord
- Excursion on the Flåm Railway and a cruise along the Sognefjord
- Journey on the Bergen Railway to Oslo
- The services of a professional Tour Manager throughout
Days 1 & 2 - London to Denmark
After meeting at our dedicated Departure Office, we depart St Pancras International by Eurostar to Brussels in Standard Premier Class. We continue in First Class to Bremen, where we overnight. On Day 2 we travel by Standard Class rail via Hamburg to Copenhagen, for a two-night stay at Scandic Copenhagen. (Day 1 - L, D, Day 2 - B, D)
Day 3 - Discovering Copenhagen
Our morning sightseeing tour features the magnificent Amalienborg Palace, a large octagonal palace, surrounded by four identical rococo palaces, one of which is home to the reigning monarch, Queen Margrethe II. We also visit the Little Mermaid statue and enjoy a cruise in the colourful canal area of Nyhavn, once the hub of the port where sailors from around the world frequented the many bars. The afternoon is free for you to explore at your leisure. (B)
Days 4 & 5 - Stockholm
Today we join the X2000 train (First Class) for the direct service to Stockholm. On arrival in Sweden's capital city we transfer to the Scandic Continental Hotel for two nights. On Day 5 we begin with a sightseeing tour of the fascinating city including the Royal Palace, the cathedral and the narrow streets of Gamla Stan (the Old Town), a perfect way to get your bearings in Sweden's splendid capital. Your afternoon is free to explore at leisure. Skansen, the oldest open-air museum in the world, gives an insight into how the Swedes used to live and is well worth a visit. (Day 4 - B, D, Day 5 - B)
Day 6 - To Östersund
Today we head inland by InterCity train (Standard Class) to Östersund, nestled on the shore of Lake Storsjön, Sweden's fifth largest lake. Here we stay for one night at the 4-Star Clarion Grand Hotel. (B, D)
Day 7 - Sami Experience
We join the Inlandsbanan today to Sorsele and visit Inlandsbanan museum. We visit a Sami village, home to the indigenous Sami people of Scandinavia. They have inhabited the northern region of Sweden for an estimated six thousand years, surviving via their activities of reindeer herding, fur trapping and fishing, and today we learn more about their culture with a visit to a local Sami centre. We then continue to Arjeplog for the night. (B, D)
Day 8 - Across the Arctic Cicle
Travel around lakes and forests of Swedish Lapland by coach today. Making our way to Jokkmokk, we cross the Arctic Circle into the 'Land of the Midnight Sun' marking the occasion with a small celebration en route. On arrival we enjoy a light dinner with local Sami specialities before transferring to the Hotel Jokkmokk. (B, D)
Day 9 - The Ofoten Railway to Narvik
Transferring through Laponia to Gällivare, we continue on the Ofoten Railway (Standard Class) to Narvik on one of the world's most northerly lines. The scenery on this route is truly spectacular as we pass sheer drops down to fjords and dramatic mountains. We spend one night at the Scandic Hotel Narvik. (B, D)
Day 10 - The Polar Express
We take the coach from our hotel today for a trip on the spellbinding 'Polar Express', also known as the Nordland Railway. This incredible railway journey is rightly one of the world's most famous, passing unconquerable landscapes that are a delight to experience. Vast, ever-changing environments as far as the eye can see stretch out from our comfortable carriages as we strike out across Norway's dramatic landscape, watching as clear blue lakes, sparkling fjords and the spectacular Svartisen Glacier roll by our windows. We disembark in Steinkjer for the night. (B, D)
Day 11 - To Trondheim
Founded in the 10th century, atmospheric Trondheim is one of the oldest cities in Norway and is full of history and we make our way there along the famous Golden Road which is laced together by a multitude of scenic sights. Along the way we stopp at Stiklestad battlefield for a visit and lunch. (B, L, D)
Day 12 - At Leisure in Trondheim
Today is free for you to explore Trondheim at leisure. As well as discovering the city's broad avenues, old warehouses and pretty timber dwellings, you could visit the Ringve Museum, featuring a fascinating collection of musical instruments from all over the world, and the Ringve Botanical Gardens. (B)
Days 13 & 14 - The Rauma Railway and Geirangerf Jord
We leave Trondheim by train for Dombås (Standard Class), where we join the 71 mile long Rauma Railway (Standard Class), for a journey through jagged mountain peaks to Åndalsnes. From here we transfer to Geiranger by coach for a two-night stay at the Hotel Union Geiranger. The Geirangerfjord is a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage site, and on Day 14 we enjoy the beautiful scenery during a morning boat cruise. (Day 13 - B, D, Day 14 - B)
Days 15 & 16 - To Fjords & the Flåm Railway
Departing by coach we continue to Flåm, where we overnight at the Fretheim Hotel. On Day 16 we enjoy a superb excursion on the Flåm Railway (Standard Class), taking us up into the mountains along one of the steepest lines in the world. We reach Myrdal and return to Flåm, from where we board the express boat for an afternoon journey along Norway's longest and deepest fjord, Sognefjord. We end the day in Bergen at the Thon Rosenkrantz. (Day 15 - B, D, Day 16 - B, D)
Days 17 & 18 - Bergen & The Bergen Railway to Oslo
Enjoy a walking tour of Bergen that includes Bryggen, the old city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Fløibanen Funicular Railway which affords great views of the city. Leaving by Standard Class train on Day 18 we take a journey on Northern Europe's highest railway line, the Bergen Railway. The train climbs high above the tree line across some of the most remote areas of western Norway before descending to the elegant city of Oslo, where we overnight at the Thon Hotel Opera. (Day 17 - B, Day 18 - B, D)
Day 19 - Ferry to Kiel
You have a day at leisure in Oslo, before we transfer to the port and board the overnight ferry to Kiel, in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. (B)
Days 20 & 21- Hamburg & London
On arrival in Kiel we disembark and join the train (Standard Class) to Hamburg, a proud Hanseatic city with a rich maritime heritage, where we overnight. On Day 21 we depart Hamburg and travel in First Class via Cologne to Brussels. Here we join the Eurostar to London. (Day 20 - B, D, Day 21 - B, L)
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Rail Your Way
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Add long-haul or domestic flights from your nearest airport and make your holiday air-inclusive. Look for the Air Available icon to identify those holidays where flights can be included.
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Extend Your Holiday
Extend your holiday with additional hotel nights, comprehensive sightseeing or new city stay packages, all of which can be added to the start or end of your rail holiday. Look for the Extend Your Holiday icon to identify those rail holidays with exciting pre- and post-holidays extensions.
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Train and Hotel Accommodations
Widely regarded as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, this high-altitude trip through southern Norway links the old Hanseatic city of Bergen and the Norwegian capital, Oslo. The harsh climate experienced in this part of the world has produced a landscape that is breathtaking and wild, and the railway enables us to soak up the spectacular views whilst relaxing in warm, comfortable carriages
Eurostar's Standard Class coaches feature two seats on either side of the central aisle, most of which is arranged in an 'airline' seating configuration with drop down tray tables. There are two tables for four per carriage. Passengers travelling in EurostarStandard Class coaches can take advantage of the Bar-Buffet which sells a range of snacks, meals, hot and cold drinks - including Champagne!
A branch line of the Bergen Railway, the scenic Flåm Railway takes passengers on a wonderful 12.5 mile (20km) journey up one of the steepest railway lines in the world. On its journey from Flåm, located at the innermost corner of the Aurlandsfjord, the train negotiates horseshoe curves, twists, turns and 20 tunnels - 18 of which were drilled by hand.
A five minute ride to the top of Fløyen mountain on the Fløibanen Funicular affords magnificent views of Bergen, Norway's second city. 320 metres above sea level, Fløyen is the peak of a spectacular short rail climb.
The Inlandsbanan connects Kristinehamn in the south of Sweden with Gällivare in the north, a journey of approximately 810 miles (1,300km). On our Arctic Circle Express and Grand Arctic Circle Explorer holidays we join the railway in Östersund, an inland city in the middle of the country, for the trip to Jokkmokk, situated above the Arctic Circle. This fantastic journey up the 'backbone of Sweden' takes us past tranquil lakes and tumbling streams bursting with life.
The InterCity long-distance passenger trains operate throughout Europe, linking the towns and cities within country boundaries. These trains are operated by multiple companies and services vary, though most are air-conditioned and have a buffet coach and/or a restaurant on board.
The Ofoten Railway lies on a headland at the foot of the Fagernesfjellet, between the Beisfjord and Rornbaksfjord, and runs between the iron-ore mines at Kiruna in Swedish Lapland and the port town of Narvik on the Norwegian coast. The modern town of Narvik was developed as a port for the export of the iron-ore, and the Ofoten Railway, was built at the turn of the century as the link between the mines and the port.
The Raumabanen Railway
Our spectacular journey on the 71 mile (114 km) Raumabanen Railway begins in the village of Dombås. The train takes us along the valley carved by the River Rauma, offering magnificent views of the awe-inspiring crags, peaks and plateaus of the Alpine massif along the way.
The X2000 is Sweden's premier high speed train, which uses advanced tilting technology to smooth out the curves of the Swedish tracks and reach speeds of up to 124mph (200km/h). Refurbished in 2007, all trains feature comfortable seats, radio and music channels and an on-board Bistro serving a wide selection of food and drink.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
: Departs 28th June 2020 (£5,595), 26th July 2020 (£5,495)
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Prices are correct at the time of publication, however are subject to change at time of booking. Prices are land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Price for triples and children are available upon request.
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