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Tour Highlights


Quietly applauding silent fjords and snowy rooftops in a bashful blaze of glory, what wizardry twinkles across the skies of evening? A faded fog of fluorescence illuminates the heavens in ethereal green, bathing the world in an otherworldly light bordering on the celestial. What dreams are made, what spells cast; what wishes are granted chasing the everglow of Aurora Borealis?

  • Cruise with Tillink Silja Line
  • Explore the wilderness on a reindeer and huski safari
  • Cruise the Gulf Bothnia aboard the Sampo icebreaker
  • Stay in the unique Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort glass igloos
  • Cruise the Norwegian Fjords following the Northern Lights aboard the newly refurbished Nordnorge
  • Embark on the most famous rail route in the world from Bergen to Oslo
Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland

Kakslauttaen Arctic Resort

Having previously travelled extensively within Australia and overseas both with tour groups and independently we were absolutely blown away with the quality and service provided on this tour, our very first “Captains Choice Tour”.

R & R Stephenson, Back of Beyond by Private Plane

Where we visit


Tour Map

Full Itinerary


Depart Australia

Day 1: Thursday 16 March

Distant dreams of the Northern Lights are illuminated boarding a late evening Emirates flight from Australia.

Arrive Stockholm (Sweden)

Day 2: Friday 17 March

It may be nearly spring, but an icy frisson is in the air as we arrive into Stockholm at lunchtime. The standard is set at the Royal Viking hotel, an ideal base for exploring this majestic city. Perhaps you'll lose yourself in the intriguing web of Gamla Stan's Old Town with time to yourself this afternoon? We look forward to hearing your stories over dinner.

Stockholm

Day 3: Saturday 18 March

A certain waterside charm, an artful luminosity and cutting edge modernity mingles effortlessly with the age old stories of paintbox antiquarian houses lining the city. Find colour and context to a rich maritime heritage at the Vasa Museum, before we become statesmen on a guided tour of Stockholm City Hall. Local delicacies are enjoyed over lunch by the water.

With an afternoon of free time, you have a chance to see where the avenues lead. This evening, expectations will be elevated with our Welcome Dinner in a suspended setting at the illustrious Gondolen Restaurant.

Stockholm

Day 4: Sunday 19 March

We may hope to rub shoulders with Swedish aristocracy at Drottingholm Royal Palace, an ambassador of the capital since the 1600s this morning. The royal treatment continues with a winter lunch cruise around the striking archipelago of Stockholm. After lunch, it’s a blast to rug up in expedition grade jacket and snow gear as stop for a tipple in the Ice Bar Stockholm.

Following in the footsteps of the Vikings, we cut a path through the waters between Stockholm and Helsinki. But you’ll be decidedly snug inside a deluxe private cabin where it’s smooth sailing bound for Finland overnight aboard the Tillink Silja line ship.

Helsinki (Finland)

Day 5: Monday 20 March

Our ship has glided northwards through the night. As breakfast is served, Helsinki is on the horizon. It’s a pleasure to pay homage to a city that holds the water so close to its heart. Stepping off a ship to experience it for the first time, hidden treasures of a chic hub with style as a paramount concern.

Be it a fondness for age old tradition remembered in cobbled streets and cobalt fishing boats, or the contemporary fervour that emanates from the foundations of its experimental art galleries, you'll delight in surrendering to forward thinking Finnishness on our city tour. You’re sure to feel at home in a classic hotel among friends and heritage at the centrally located Hotel Kamp.

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki, Finland

Helsinki

Day 6: Tuesday 21 March

If you’re looking forward to exploring Finland outside the capital, you’re in luck with a choice of plans to strike out further afield.

  • Step back in time to the medieval town of Porvoo, exploring a legend where wooden houses and cobbled streets have stood the test of time. Or explore the mining heritage and natural beauty of the township of Lohja.

If a history of a country is told in its food, you can look forward to a course by course lesson in Finnish culture over authentic local fine dining at A21 Restaurant this evening.

Rovaniemi

Day 7: Wednesday 22 March

The excitement in the air is palatable as we embark on a journey frosted with promise this morning, onward to Lapland. Further towards the top of the world we go in search of the dazzle and luminescence of the elusive Northern Lights. A short flight takes us to Kemi, an important deepwater harbour and industrial centre for Finland. We uncover the hidden dazzle of this mineral rich landscape, discovering treasures aplenty at the Jalokivi Gemstone Gallery.

The Sampo was a former charge of the Finnish government and now spends her days introducing curious landlubbers to the great white wilderness. Stepping aboard this decommissioned icebreaker, we cruise the rare wonders of the Gulf of Bothnia in a perfect portrait of steel and ice.

A day to remember is finished with yet another highlight as we cosy up in style at the Arctic Light Hotel in Rovaniemi. Built during WWII by celebrated local architect Ferdinand Salokangas, you’ll find original antique fixtures and fittings set to impress.

Sampo

Spend an afternoon aboard the Sampo

Rovaniemi

Day 8: Thursday 23 March

If you always wanted to know about the Arctic, you'll find all the answers you're looking for on a morning tour at Arktikum Museum and Arctic Science Centre.

It may be March, but it's always Christmas in Lapland. Whether you've been naughty or nice, you're never too old to be charmed by Santa, especially in his own 'home' village, where a festive lunch awaits among twinkling lights and a dusting of snow.

Inari

Day 9: Friday 24 March

The air is iced with anticipation as we begin the journey to Inari, land of the Sami people. As picture postcard views of the Lappish countryside unfold out the window, a morning coach journey becomes a snug scenic drive. Rolling into Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort later today, it's been worth the drive.

What's the most unique hotel you ever stayed in? Prepare to raise the bar. For the next two nights, you will call a luxurious glass igloo home. Jutting out of the snow, they are warm and cosy private oases with an open view of the starry night sky – a perfect opportunity to view the Aurora Borealis if she dances her celestial ballet tonight.

Warmly welcomed the Finnish way, you're at liberty to thaw your tootsies in one of the resort's spacious sauna rooms before a free afternoon to explore and convince yourself that this magical setting is not a dream. Reconvening for a traditional Lappish dinner tonight, it may be cold out there, but local hospitality and rich flavours will keep you toasty from the inside out.

Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, Finland

Kakslautten Arctic Resort

Inari

Day 10: Saturday 25 March

With the Arctic playground at our disposal today, childhood dreams will be realised as you make footprints in the snow:

  • Perhaps you will 'mush' your way through the day, feeling the adrenalin rush of a husky safari; or glide across the great white on a sleigh drawn by reindeer.

Dinner is served by the fire back at the resort, before we look to the heavens for a night of guided Aurora hunting. Will the skies put on a show of lilac, emerald and midnight blue with Northern Lights for you tonight?

Kirkenes

Day 11: Sunday 26 March

Join MS Nordnorge

Our quest for the Northern Lights takes us to the icy ocean aboard the newly refurbished MS Nordnorge, a flagship in Hurtigruten's prestigious fleet and veteran of countless polar expeditions. We have secured the finest Expedition Mini Suite for our five night voyage to the northern reaches of the globe.

Kirkenes is known as the gateway to the Barents Sea. You may while away an afternoon at Art Museum Savio, appreciating painted tributes to the region's reindeer. Back onboard for dinner we set sail through the evening.

Vardo – Hammerfest

Day 12: Monday 27 March

From the wilderness of Batsfjord to Honningsvag, the North Cape's capital, the spirit of Scandinavia will yawn and stretch to life. A gallery of sleepy fishing ports and fjordland serenity concludes at Hammerfest, the world's most northerly town.

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Lofoten Islands

Oksfjord – Sortland

Day 13: Tuesday 28 March

Wild and remote, the untouched Arctic is encapsulated in our pristine journey today. Impossibly dramatic mountains admire their own mirror image in glassy waters as we drift past, stopping to admire the fjordlands' most celebrated icons. After exploring Tromso's Arctic Cathedral, the shining Bronze Age history of Harstad and the Blue City of Sortland, we call it a night.

Tromso, Norway

Tromso

Stokmarknes – Sandnessjoen

Day 14: Wednesday 29 March

The essence of the Arctic is encapsulated in our pristine journey today. Tasting saltspray on our lips, we visit the tiny village that's the birthplace of Hurtigruten cruise liners. With eyes cast ever skywards, we chase flocks of birds who know the secrets of the Aurora Borealis from Helgeland to Lofoten and Svolvaer. As dinner is served onboard, we nestle in for the night in the radiant shadow of the Seven Sisters Mountain Range.

Bronoysund – Trondheim

Day 15: Thursday 30 March

Casting out among the 6,000 islands of Rorvik today, we plot a course for Trondheim. There's plenty of time to admire Nidaros Cathedral in a triumphant university city that proudly celebrates its youth while paying homage to history and heritage.

Oslo Opera House, Norway

Oslo

Alesund – Bergen

Day 16: Friday 31 March

Disembark MS Nordnorge

If you thought the journey couldn't get any more stunning, you haven't prepared yourself for Norway's most famous fjord. Come face to face with the icons of Geiranger as we sail into Molde and Alesund today, dumbfounded by the enchanting beauty of the place. Back on dry land, we look forward to two nights in contemporary style at the Radisson Blu Royal Bergen, where dinner is served.

Bergen

Day 17: Saturday 1 April

In the shadow of seven hills and flanked by seven fjords, the Bergen region is one of raw natural beauty.

A city tour here precedes another foray into the fjords as a tranquil cruise introduces the quiet delights of Mostraumen.

Bergen – Oslo

Day 18: Sunday 2 April

There is no better way to explore Norway's back country than by rail. This is known as one of the most scenic train journeys in the continent. As city gives way to town and field gives way to forest, we ascend higher into increasingly snowy hills, until it's 'all change' at Flam where a new journey begins in the slow – and scenic – lane to Oslo.

Staying at the chic Hotel Continental, in an ideal location for a city tour. Locally caught seafood and harbour views are on the menu over dinner at Solsiden restaurant.

Oslo

Day 19: Monday 3 April

Your final day in Norway is a chance to reflect on the beauty of where we have been. It's your choice how you enjoy it.

  • With a cornucopia of intriguing galleries and museums, you can gleefully lose yourself in Oslo's culture. Or perhaps you will cruise Oslo Fjord right in the city centre?

Depart Oslo

Day 20: Tuesday 4 April

Taking our time over breakfast, we enjoy a relaxing morning before our afternoon flight home.

Arrive Australia

Day 21: Wednesday 5 April

Arriving back in Australia this evening, we hope to have brought a dash of Northern Light home to the Southern Hemisphere.

All Inclusive Tours

Imagine a trip where you won’t have to lift a finger, or worry about bringing your wallet.

Wine

Meals and Drinks

All meals are included with your tour price along with beer, wine and soft drinks. Dining experiences can range from Michelin-starred restaurants to intimate local eateries.

Accommodation Hotel Bell

Accommodation

We believe a superior standard of service is just as important as five star facilities. We select our hotels with location and accessibility in mind as well as luxury.

Sightseeing

Sightseeing

Sightseeing in each destination is included. Select Options even allow you to tailor aspects of the touring to your individual tastes when there are multiple touring options.

Captain's Choice Documents

Those little details

Tipping, Taxes, Transfers and Travel Insurance (subject to terms & conditions) are included. We even look after your luggage for the entire trip so you don't have to.

Tour Host Team

Tour Hosts & Doctor

Our high ratio of Tour Hosts to guests help take care of everything for you on tour. Not to mention a Tour Doctor on every tour for your safety and peace of mind.

Flights Included

Flights

We have included different flight options for your convenience. Should you wish to fly with a different airline to the group we can help you with those arrangements if you wish.

Solo Travellers

Many Captain’s Choice guests travel solo, and almost all of them find that making friends on holiday is easy, thanks to the welcoming and like minded nature of our travellers. At the start of the tour, all solo travellers are invited to a Welcome Reception, enabling you to get to know other guests travelling on their own.

Members of our Tour Host Team are always available for a friendly chat and a meal, but if you prefer time for private reflection then that is always respected too – you can choose to be as involved as much or as little as you please. Either way, it’s a fun and rewarding way to see the world.

In Search of the Northern Lights

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Based on per person, twin share in an Expedition Mini Suite – from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane flying with Emirates. Prices from other cities are available on request.

Cruise and Land only guests join in Stockholm for dinner on Day 2 and depart Oslo after breakfast on Day 20.

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