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SHV01 - Hurtigruten Heritage & Göta Canal

Do you reminisce about the way travel used to be? Perhaps this is the voyage for you with the combination of two classic journeys - the Swedish Göta Canal and a Hurtigruten Vintage Norwegian Coastal Voyage on the classic old lady of their fleet, MS Lofoten. As a tribute to the past, you will enjoy white glove service at evening meals, captain's tables and bridge on these Hurtigruten voyages.

Start in Stockholm and travel across to Gothenburg on a Göta Canal voyage, MS Juno. Then head north the lovely Norwegian capital, Oslo with time to visit museums, fjords or the surrounding mountains. The 'Norway in a Nutshell' journey is next as you travel by train to Bergen. From Bergen, join a North bound Hurtigruten voyage on the classic ship MS Lofoten up to the North Cape and Kirkenes.

Unique for this journey is the special Hurtigruten Vintage experience on the MS Lofoten. Guests will be given the opportunity to fish directly from the deck, or set pots to entice the fascinating king crab. The catch of the day will be prepared and served to the lucky fishermen at the next meal. In the evenings, fisherman’s tales gathered during the day, can be recounted over a game of bridge and a (complimentary) glass of sherry in the vintage lounge before dinner. Afternoon teas and quiz evenings will also be part of the new on-board experience.

A delicious 4-course dinner based on the menus of the 1960s will be created to delight the taste buds with fresh and seasonal ingredients from local suppliers along the coast. While Hurtigruten are generally known for their informal atmosphere, the voyages on MS Lofoten will be enhanced by a service reminiscent of that offered in the early days of the ship. Dishes will be served from silver platters by staff wearing white gloves and the uniforms of the era and a Captain’s Dinner will round off this voyage down memory lane.

Highlights

  • Experience Norway's beautiful fjords, charming ports, and rare wildlife under the Midnight Sun or spectacular Northern Lights
  • Be accompanied by an expert Expedition Team. The Expedition teams are present on 9 of the 11 Hurtigruten ships along the Norwegian coast (all except MS Lofoten and MS Vesterålen), and are included in your voyage
  • Expedition with likeminded adventurers who value personal growth and exploring over luxury

Inclusions

All internal ground transport
  • All hotel accommodation in shared double/twin room with private facilities
  • Daily breakfast
  • All train, bus and boat/ferry tickets as per itinerary
  • Seat reservations on intercity trains where available
  • Luggage porter service during the Norway in a Nutshell tour
  • Fjord view room in Flåm at the historic Fretheim Hotel.
  • Hurtigruten North Bound Voyage in a J class cabin including full board and water package.
  • Göta Canal 4 days and 3 nights on board, including one night at quayside with many included activities in a C class cabin.
  • Norway in a Nutshell train journey
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes and service fees
Tour Provider 50 Degrees North
Number of Days
16
Price From
AUD $9,052
Start Location
Stockholm, Sweden
End Location
Stockholm, Sweden
Age Range
Avg. 55+
Group Size
1 to 20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Physical Rating
Easy
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
26 May 201931 Aug 2019On requestAUD $9,052
ItineraryExpand
Day 1 - Stockholm - stroll in the Old Town and along the canals.

Sweden's capital is charming, vibrant and surrounded by beauty and water - hence its nickname, Venice of the North! Stockholm offers interesting museums and castles; the city offers a warm atmosphere and the old town has charming small alleyways boasting several famous restaurants. Be sure to make time to visit the ABBA museum which opened May 2013 or head off on a ABBA walking tour.

Day 2 - Departure from Stockholm, Skeppsbrokajen 103, at 09:00.

Departure from Stockholm, Skeppsbrokajen 103 and then arrive around 9.30 at the first lock, Hammarby lock. This first lock on our journey divides Saltsjön from Lake Mälaren. Spend the next few hours cruising across Sweden’s third largest lake. Visit Drottningholm Castle, the home of the Royal family since 1981, is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites before travelling through Södertälje lock, 135 metres long, the largest lock in Scandinavia.

Cruise on the Baltic Sea through the archipelago of St Anna and Södermanland. Visit  the small town of Trosa dates all the way back to the 14th century. It was then known as a fishermens’ village. Regular steamer traffic from Stockholm and Nyköping began in 1860, bringing large numbers of summer visitors. Enjoy a walk around the canals and alleys of Trosa (app. 2.5 km).

Day 3 - Take a swim, journey through locks and lakes.

Enjoy the long summer evening as you pass the ruins of the Stegeborg Castle are beautifully situated on a small island overlooking the bay of Slätbaken. The fort dates from the early Middle Ages and was built to guard the inlet to Söderköping.

On 26th September 1832, the Göta Canal was inaugurated at Mem amid great pomp and circumstance in the presence of King Karl XIV Johan and his family. We now go through the first of the 58 narrow locks on the Göta Canal.

In the early hours, pass the idyllic town Söderköping was founded in the early 1200s and was very important during the Hanseatic period. The town also has a long and very interesting history as a spa.

Take an early morning walk when you travel through the eight locks between Duvkullen-Mariehov-Carlsborg Take the opportunity to stretch your legs between the locks. Then travel through the various lakes and canals of central Sweden.

In the afternoon, visit the convent of Vreta which dates from about 1100 and was the first nunnery in Sweden. Its importance was later superseded by the convent founded by Saint Bridget (St. Birgitta) at Vadstena. The old convent church at Vreta is one of Sweden’s most interesting, offering many medieval treasures. Today, it is used as a parish church and is therefore not always open to visitors. The tour guide will take us on a walk (app. 3 km) to see the church and the remains of the convent. As an alternative you can walk along the canal, or take a swim in Lake Roxen.

In the late evening, arrive at Motala, where we dock for the evening. It was Baltzar von Platen who drew up the plans for Motala, and today it is called "the Capital of the Göta Canal". In 1822 an engineering works, Motala Werkstad, was established here to serve the Göta Canal and is today considered to be the cradle of Swedish industry. Here you will also find the head office of the Gota Canal Company, responsible for operation and maintenance. You can walk to see Baltzar von Platen’s grave, about 1 km along the left side of the canal. Overnight stop.

Day 4 - Lake Vänern, Lake Viken and more lakes.

Early this morning,  leave Motala and head out into Lake Vättern, Sweden’s second largest lake. We visit Karlsborg Fortress, initiated by Baltzar von Platen and built 1819-1909. Here you can enjoy an interesting guided tour of the fortress and the beautiful Garrison Church.

Forsvik has a very interesting industrial history. The lock, built in 1813, is the oldest one in the canal. The impressive iron bridge dates from the same year. In the lock we are sometimes greeted with songs and flowers by the Kindbom family, a religious group.

Travel across the beautiful Lake Viken (91.8 metres above sea level) serves as a water reservoir for the western section of the Göta Canal.

Arrive at the Hajstorp lock and learn about the Hajstorp system consisting of four locks. In 1822 the western section of the Göta Canal was inaugurated at Hajstorp. Here you can see the old home of the Canal Engineer. If you want to stretch your legs this is a good place, Hajstorp to Godhögen lock is app. 1.5 km.

At Sjötorp there is a set of eight locks, and also the remains of some old shipyards. We visit the old warehouse, where you can find a shop selling, among other things, clothes and home décor, a café and the Sjötorp Canal Museum. In the museum you can see old pictures of Sjötorp, the interiors of several old ships, a large collection of ships’ engines, etc. There is also a map of all the sunken ships in the Lake Vänern. It is also possible to take a walk along the locks.

Day 5 - Arrive Gothenburg

After another day cruising the locks and lakes of the Gota Canal. Visit the Trollhättan Canal Museum, located in a storehouse from 1893. Learn more about the fascinating history of the Trollhätte Canal through the interesting exhibition and film shown here. You can also take a walk through the beautiful lock area.

Our cruise ends at Packhuskajen 10, near the spectacular Opera House and the Maritime Centre in Gothenburg. Enjoy the great restaurants and cafes of Gothenburg or head to Liseburg for some fun summer concerts.

Day 6 - Travel by fast train from Gothenburg to Oslo

Spend the morning exploring Gothenburg and then board the 1pm train (4.5 hours) travelling north to Oslo. Arrive earlyl evening and check in to your Oslo hotel. Wander down to the water for prawns and crayfish or an icecream to enjoy the summer sun.

Day 7 - Modern Oslo - visit the Viking Ship and other interesting museums.

The Norwegian capital has a great deal to offer the discerning traveller, and you have a full day to discover the city. We can recommend visiting some of the Oslo highlights, including the Viking Ship, Kontiki & Fram museums, the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Ekerbergeparken and the Holmenkollen Ski Jump and Museum. A walk around the centre of town to view the Parliament, the Castle, the Harbour area and the new Opera House is well worth it.

Day 8 - Norway in a Nutshell with overnight in Flåm

Catch an early morning train from Oslo to Myrdal. The train journey over Northern Europe’s largest mountain plateau is spectacular.

In the comfort of your train, watch fjord scenery with beautiful waterfalls, flowing rivers, deep valleys and mountains.

In the afternoon, you check into the cosy mountain hotel in Flåm. Overnight and dinner at Flåmsbrygga.

Day 9 - Spectacular 2-hour fjord cruise from Flåm to the tiny fjord village of Gudvangen

The day starts with a spectacular 2-hour fjord cruise from Flåm to the tiny fjord village of Gudvangen. Enjoy the magnificent views of the Aurlandsfjord & the Næroyfjord-a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In Gudvangen you change to the connecting bus to Voss, taking you through the beautiful Stalheim canyon with the Stalheimskleiven hairpin road (May to September).

In Voss you change to a train that takes you to Bergen. Overnight Clarion Hotel Admiral or similar with breakfast.

Day 10 - Bergen - explore the mountains and sea before embarking on the MS Lofoten

Bergen offers many attractions and sights - many within walking distance. Recommended sights of interests are the Hanseatic harbour Bryggen, Fløibanen Funicular, Troldhaugen, the Fish and Flower market, Bergen Aquarium and Gamle Bergen (Old Bergen Open Air Museum).

This afternoon, board the MS Lofoten for your 7 day North bound voyage.

Day 11 - Visit Ålesund and Geirangerfjord

Ports visited today: Florø, Måløy, Torvik, Ålesund, Molde.

Your ship navigates the skerries and islands further north before reaching Ålesund. Marvel at the inspiring architecture in the Apotekergate and Kongensgate pedestrian precinct, perfect examples of the Art Nouveau style. Don’t miss out on the view from Mount Aksla but beware, there are 418 steps to the top! In the summer months, the next destination will be the spectacular UNE SCO-listed Geirangerfjord. En route to the end of this beautiful fjord you pass sheer, 800m cliffs and impressive waterfalls.

Optional Excursions depending on the season: Geiranger Panorama 1 & 2 , Art Nouveau Tour and Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium and Mount Aksla.

Day 12 - The Royal City of Trondheim

Ports visited today: Kristiansund, Trondheim, Rørvik.

When visiting the old royal city of Trondheim, be sure to get a good view from the Gamle Bybrua (“Old Town Bridge”). Dating from 1861, this neo-gothic wooden bridge used to be the only way into the town centre. Nidaros Cathedral, built between1070 and 1300, is Norway’s largest Gothic religious edifice. In the neighbouring Archbishop’s Palace, the Norwegian Crown Jewels are kept. In Trondheim itself, the Hanseatic, waterside storehouses built on wooden stilts are just as charming as the Rococo-style Stiftsgården, the largest wooden building in Norway and residence for the Royal Family when visiting Trondheim. You then set a course for the northwest, past the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and thousands of little islands and picturesque rocky outcrops. After passing through Stokksund, the ship will arrive at Rørvik.

Optional Excursions depending on the season: Nidaros Cathedral and Ringve Museum, Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral, Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum and Trondheim City Walk.

Day 13 - Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands

Ports visited today: Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Nesna, Ørnes, Bodø, Stamsund, Svolvær.

This morning, between Nesna and Ørnes, you pass a globe on a small islet which heralds your crossing of the Arctic Circle. Passengers sailing in Arctic waters for the first time are given an Arctic Circle baptism by Njord, the ruler of the Seven Seas. This comes in the form of an ice cube down your front or back, but is entirely optional. In the evening you reach Svolvær, the main settlement on the Lofoten Islands. These islands are renowned for their small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere surrounded by majestic granite cliffs and white sandy beaches. Complete your visit with a stroll between the stockfish racks and ‘rorbuer’, the traditional, red fishermen’s residences. The Lofoten Islands are a truly extraordinary experience.

Optional Excursions depending on the season: Glacier Adventure, Rib Safari, Lofotr Viking Feast and Lofotr Viking Feast Summer.

Day 14 - Tromsø - Gateway to the Arctic

Ports visited today: Stokmarknes, Sortland, Risøyhamn, Harstad, Finnsnes, Tromsø, Skjervøy.

During the night the ship navigates the narrow Raftsund strait. After a stop in Harstad, situated on the largest island of Norway, Hinnøya, you continue via Finnsnes to Tromsø for a prolonged stay. Many of the epic Arctic expeditions used Tromsø as a starting point; the famous explorer Roald Amundsen sourced both crew and supplies here. With the presence of the Norwegian Polar Institute, the city has cemented its position as the Polar Capital of Norway.

Ishavskatedralen, the Arctic Cathedral, is the most famous landmark with its modern design and extraordinary stained glass window. Tromsø is also home to the world’s northernmost university and the large number of people arriving here has created a vibrant cultural scene with numerous restaurants and cafes constantly teeming with life.

Optional Excursions depending on the season: Wilderness Adventure Camp, the Arctic Capital Tromsø, Dog Sledding, Scenery and Huskies, Polar History Walk and Kayaking.

Day 15 - Honningsvåg and the North Cape

Ports visited today: Øksfjord, Hammerfest, Havøysund, Honningsvåg, Kjøllefjord, Mehamn, Berlevåg.

Following the scenic sailing through Magerøysund and after an early stop in Hammerfest, you arrive in Honningsvåg. This small port is the gateway to the wonders of the spectacular North Cape which rises 300m from the ocean, and at 71° 10’ 21” north it puts you a mere 2,000 kilometres from the Geographical North Pole. Standing atop the North Cape Plateau you’ll get the eerie feeling of being at the end of the world. The area is also known for its birdlife, and Gjesværstappan, a bird sanctuary with up to 250,000 seabirds is home to some High Arctic species that can only be observed here on the Norwegian mainland. This evening, as you approach Kjøllefjord, you pass a rock formation that is sacred to the indigenous Sámi people, Finnkjerka.

Optional Excursions depending on the season: The North Cape, Birdwatching Safari, A Taste of Lapland and Snowmobile trip in Lapland.

Day 16 - Disembark in Kirkenes

Ports visited today: Båtsfjord, Vardø, Vadsø, Kirkenes, Berlevåg.

The last port on the Voyage North is Kirkenes. And at longitude 30 east, you are actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The well-policed Russian border and the Kola peninsula are close by which explains why the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian.

At midday you can catch a flight from Kirkenes to Oslo (optional).