Start Point – Oslo
Finish Point – Oslo
Tour Style – Hosted Tour
Accommodation – Premium Hotels, Boutique Hotels, Lodges and Rorbuer
Meals – As per itinerary
Transport – Private Coach / Van
Max Group Size – Min 8, Max 10 guests
Norway & The Northern Lights. Norway is a land of incredible natural beauty, especially in winter. Mountains, fjords, glaciers, waterfalls – and of course, the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. On this amazing Women Only Norway & The Northern Lights Tour, we are chasing these incredible polar lights to the very top of Norway.
The ancient Greenlanders thought the Northern Lights were a sign from heaven that their ancestors were trying to contact the living. The Norwegians saw them as old maids dancing, and the Sami (the indigenous people of the North) word for Northern Lights, guovssahas, means “the lights you can hear”. The Northern Lights appear in a range of shapes: as billowing “curtains”, as undulating ribbons and as rolling banks of smoke. They are usually bright electric green in colour, often with a slim pink stripe on the underside. Occasionally, the Northern Lights explode in a corona, with rays shooting in all directions across the entirllge sky in shades of green, violet, white and pink. However you see them, the Northern Lights in Norway are incredible.
Norway is a dream destination — unbelievably scenic, packed with cultural experiences, and big enough to spend a lifetime exploring. It is known for its natural beauty, fjords and mountains, Vikings, the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. Geographically, Norway it is is located about as far north in Europe as you can get, and hosts the northernmost point of Europe – the North Cape cliff. It has one of the longest and most rugged coastlines in the world, and some 50,000 islands off this extremely indented coastline. Norway’s natural wonders range from serene forest-covered hills, spectacular fjords and glaciers and the jaw-dropping Arctic wilderness.
On this amazing journey, we will travel from the sophisticated capital, Oslo; to the West Coast along some of the world’s most beautiful islands and fjords to the historic city of Bergen; to the archipelago of Lofoten, known for its dramatic scenery; and to Alta in Finnmark, located well above the Arctic Circle. We will see dramatic fjord vistas, winter kayak, dog sled, experience Viking history and wander the streets of beautiful cities.
We will visit farm to table farms and eat at Michelin restaurants. And we will understand how Norwegian cuisine is based largely on the raw materials readily available in its mountains, wilderness, and coast.
Spectacular architecture, modern cities, seaside villages and incredible local cuisine all add flavour to this amazing Women Only Norway & The Northern Lights journey.
You will be astounded by this extraordinary destination and it will leave you wanting to discover more.
Start Point – Oslo
Finish Point – Oslo
Tour Style – Hosted Tour
Accommodation – Premium Hotels, Boutique Hotels, Lodges and Rorbuer
Meals – As per itinerary
Transport – Private Coach / Van
Max Group Size – Min 8, Max 10 guests
11 February 2023 – 25 February 2023
– from NZD$16,345 per person Twin Rate
– from NZD$18,050 per person Single Rate
*Rates are per person based on Twin Share & Single Room.
*Prices are subject to change until paid in full.
*A ‘Willing to Share’ for Single Travellers may be possible on this tour.
*International Airfares are not included. PLEASE ASK US FOR A QUOTE.
*Insurance is mandatory for this tour.
Welcome to Norway!
Arrive at Oslo International Airport. You will be met and transferred (with English-speaking driver) to our hotel. *takes about 45 minutes traffic dependent.
Our accommodation is the delightful The Hub, a vibrant gathering place in the middle of Oslo.
Take some time to rest after your flight. Depending on when we arrive, you may want to explore some of Olso’s landmarks, close to the hotel: the popular area of Aker Brygge is within walking distance, with its many seaside restaurants and shopping opportunities.
This evening, we all meet for a Cocktail in the bar, and then head out for a casual Welcome Dinner – at the likes of Nektar Winebar; a local favourite run by a woman who gets her food and wine from carefully selected farmers.
Overnight: The Hub, Oslo (Welcome Dinner – Norwegian Sharing Menu with x2 glasses of wine)
After breakfast this morning, we meet our local guide in the lobby and set off for a guided tour through Oslo with focus on modern city development, art and architecture. Our tour will include icons such at the Opera House and Deichman Library, two iconic parts of the fjord city development..
We will pass such national landmarks as the Parliament building, with its two imposing lion statues at the main entrance, the Cathedral, the National Theatre and the magnificent Royal Palace, the official residence of the present Norwegian Monarch.
We will visit the Munch Museum – an art museum dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for The Scream. In order to honour Munch’s legacy, Oslo has built the new museum as one of the world’s largest museums dedicated to a single artist. It won’t be hard to pick out the museum from Oslo’s skyline—the building towers 188 feet over the shore and features an angular form that bends toward the city’s historical center, offering more than 26,000 feet of exhibition space over 13 stories.
We will stop for lunch (via tram) at Ekeberg Restaurant, located in the hills just above Oslo, with a stunning view of the inner Oslo fjord, the city and the Opera House.
Time permitting, you may also drop into the new National Museum – a museum which is truly a colossus of Norwegian art, and will combine the collections of the Norwegian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Gallery all under one, very large roof. The National Museum will be the largest museum in the Nordic region.
Overnight: The Hub, Oslo (B / L)
After breakfast we transfer by minibus to the train station. We will join the legendary ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ tour which takes us through Norway’s most breath-taking UNESCO-protected fjord and mountain scenery.
We will experience the scenic Bergen Railway from Bergen to the mountain station of Myrdal where we change trains and travel on the breath-taking Flåm Railway to the picturesque village of Flåm. The ride through the towering mountains offers panoramic views of some of the wildest and most magnificent Norwegian mountain scenery, including the famous Kjosfossen Waterfall.
On arrival in Flåm, we board a hybrid boat to Gudvangen and travel by bus up the Stalheimskleivane serpentine turns and onwards to Voss, where we will catch the train the last bit to Bergen.
Upon arrival to Bergen train station, we will be transferred by minibus to our hotel, the Opus XVI. Our stunning accommodation is a contemporary boutique hotel immersed in Bergen’s rich musical heritage; our hosts are descendants of Bergen-born composer Edvard Grieg.
Overnight: Opus XVI (B)
This morning we wake up in the ‘Gateway to the Fjords’. We meet our guide and enjoy a private walking tour in the beautiful Hanseatic town including the fish market, the old Hanseatic warehouses, the cathedral (exterior only) and many charming wooden houses, as well as the fortress. We will combine history, culture, food and everyday life as we walk through both the most famous attractions of Bergen and the off-the-beaten path parts of the city. From medieval architectural gems such as Håkon’s Hall and St. Mary’s Church to the heritage buildings at Bryggen; from the old fish market to the new one and from the former city halls to the heart of the city at Byparken.
We can enjoy a ride by the funicular to Mount Fløyen for a panoramic view of Norway. The route winds its way down from the mountain with many twists and turns, passing fantastic views and charming old wooden buildings. When you are almost at the bottom, you will see Skansedammen; in winter it’s frequented by ice skaters.
We will also make a (quick?!) stop at Arven Silverfactory. Arven offers a wide range of beautiful silverware and unique jewellery, all handcrafted and made in the heart Bergen. You can watch our goldsmiths and silversmiths at work through a 40 metre long glass wall in our shop
Tonight we enjoy a fantastic 5 course experience at Cornelius. Located just outside the city, Cornelius is one of Norway’s best seafood restaurants. A boat will take us to the restaurant and the journey will take about 30 minutes with views to the skerries, fjord, and the bustling life along the coast from Bryggen wharf in the city to ‘Holmen’ Island. Inspired by the weather of the day, Cornelius serves its famous Meteorological Menu of exquisite seafood and trimmings, prepared using innovative culinary techniques and with a genuine passion for seafood.
Overnight: Opus XVI (B / D)
After breakfast, we start on our day tour to Fedje Island. Fedje – the village in the ocean, is a small island municipality on the outermost coast of Western Hordaland. The island is a beautiful little boat trip from Bergen. “North by North West” in Norway, a short boat ride from Bergen. Sea spray, open landscape, a lighthouse 104 feet above sea level, fresh air, 551 inhabitants and a lot of weather.
Fedje was not really been known for anything until investor Anne Koppang decided she wanted to invest in the local brewery and turn it into a distillery to set out & create the world’s best whisky. She wanted to use the distillery as a tool to shed light on the fact that more than 80% of stock values in Norway is owned by men and change this. Feddie distillery is inspired by Old Norse mythology; founded by women, and 100% of the investors are women. Fedje is embraced by the waves — the ‘nine sisters’, so they produce Nine Sisters Ocean Gin and Nine Sisters’ Single Malt Ocean Whisky, and we have the opportunity to give them a taste test. Over the next few years, women will turn this island into a vibrant community with a new Ted Saunders designed hotel, chocolate production, activities and more.
We will have lunch before we continue to Bergen airport for our evening departure to Trondheim.
Our fabulous accommodation in Trondheim is the Britannia Hotel – an iconic hotel with a storied past, serving Arctic explorers, politicians, royalty and celebrities. It first opened in 1870 to welcome aristocratic Britons, who came to fish the region’s legendary salmon rivers.
*We arrive quite late into Trondheim, so dinner is at leisure – we could grab a bite to eat at the airport or on arrival in Trondheim.
Overnight: Britannia Hotel (B / L)
Today we have a chance to explore Trondheim, the wooden city of history. Norway’s first capital, Trondheim was founded in 997 by the Viking King Olav Tryggvason, who gave the town the name ‘Nidaros’.
Thanks to its imposing medieval Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim has been a pilgrimage site for nearly 1000 years. It is the world’s northernmost gothic cathedral. Built from 1070 over the tomb of St. Olav, the Viking king who brought Christianity to the heathen Vikings, the cathedral was completed around 1300. The oldest parts still in existence are from the middle of the 12th century.
This afternoon is at leisure. You can discover more of the city, or you could spend a delightful afternoon at the Britannia Spa. Beautifully designed, the new Britannia Spa is a modern, elegant oasis of tranquility that offers the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation for both the mind and body. The spa boasts six treatment rooms, a heated lap pool, sauna, steam room, ice bath, mineral pool, gym, infrared cabin and much more.
Before heading out to dinner this evening, we can meet in the Britannia Bar for a cocktail.
Tonight’s dinner is at one of the city’s Michelin starred restaurants; Fagn. Fagn is a Nordic restaurant by Chef Jonas Andre Nåvik – alumni of three-Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea in Chicago. He has created a fine-dining restaurant on the first floor, and a more relaxed restaurant and cocktail bar on the second floor. As the first restaurant in Trondheim, Fagn was awarded a Michelin star in 2019.
Overnight: Britannnia Hotel (B / D – Tasting Menu with Wine Pairing)
Morning at leisure. At 12.45 we will step onboard Hurtigruten’s MS Kong Harald for a stretch of what is referred to as the world’s most beautiful sea voyage. In the afternoon, the ship sails northwest, passing the ochre-coloured Kjeungskjær Lighthouse, islets, and rocky reefs. After that, we head towards charming Rørvik. As we cruise, we will be able to get a better sense of Norway’s long coastline – an uninterrupted panorama of breathtaking scenery and wildlife. If we are lucky, we might get our first glimpse of the Northern Lights tonight.
Full board – food onboard is based on local coastal produce – no plans while on board. This is a good chance to let all the impressions of the last week sink in and get ready for “part 2” of your journey through Norway.
Retire for the evening to your cabin and get ready to wake up for breakfast at the North Cape.
Overnight: Hurtigurten Overnight Cruise, Outside Cabins (B / L / D)
A new morning at sea. We cross the Arctic Circle early in the morning, beginning your Arctic tour of Norway. The boat marks the moment with a traditional ceremony that’s sure to wake you up! Wake for breakfast with a lavish buffet and views out across the endless horizon.
At approx 10am, the boat calls into Ørnes, near to Norway’s second-largest glacier, Svartisen. The pier here is popular for the Love Bench where sweethearts have declared their lasting romance with a padlock.
We then sail to Bodø, the second largest city in Northern Norway, overlooked by the Børvass peaks. Admire fabulous street art or join an optional boat excursion to Saltstraumen, the world’s most powerful maelstrom.
This afternoon, the ship enters the Lofoten archipelago. The 1,000 metre-high Lofoten Wall is a stunning sight on the horizon, as if there to welcome us.
Arrival in Stamsund at 19.15pm. Stamsund is home to one of the largest fishing fleets in the islands and busiest between January and April when Arctic cod, known locally as skrei, swim from the Barents Sea in the north down to Vestfjord to spawn.
We transfer to Ballstad Village & our accommodation. Hattvika Lodge is a rorbu – historic fishermen’s cottages with views of the Norwegian Sea. For generations, Hattvika has been the address for fishermen during the legendary Lofoten fishing season, and today the fisherman’s cabins are available fir us to sleep in!
Tonight we enjoy a rustic lodge dinner. The Hattvika Lodge Restaurant serves authentic food; with an emphasis on traditional food from local suppliers and a focus on what the Lofoten Sea produces in seasonal varieties. The menu will be colored by day-caught fish or traditional preservation methods such as dried / salted fish.
The world’s only Cod Liver Oil Taste Depot is located at Hattvika Lodge. Lofoten’s history is based on the Lofoten fishery – the world’s largest fishing takes place just outside your cottages. Cod Liver Oil has traditionally been used by locals as light oil, for paints fisherman cottages and vitamin supplements. This is pure Omega-3. At Hattvikholmen, millions of bottles of Cod Liver Oil are produced annually and you, as a guest, can get your daily dose from the Cod Liver Oil Taste Depot.
Overnight: Hattvika Lodge – Fishermen Cabin (B / L / D)
Lofoten is epic – nature on steroids! – featuring huge contrasts between dizzying peaks, bone-white Arctic beaches and pastures that form the foundation of some of the most incredible food. It’s also the Kingdom of the Weather Gods – the constantly changing climatic conditions, light and seasons are an attraction in themselves. With access to the right insiders, authentic adventures await you around every corner.
This morning, from the quayside in Hattvika, a local fisherman will take us out in a sjark fishing boat in search of pollock and coastal trout. This is a chance to explore the lifeblood of Lofoten for hundreds of years – the arctic cod! These fishermen know the Lofoten Sea like the back of their hand and know the best fishing grounds outside Ballstad.
This afternoon is leisure time – maybe a bit of sea kayaking? Lofoten’s beautiful surroundings and deep fjords offer perfect surroundings for kayaking experiences. Local guides are available from basecamp in Hattvika.
Or perhaps a harbour sauna is more your thing. After a day exploring the best of Lofoten’s nature, spend the evening recuperating ready for tomorrow’s adventures with private access to the sauna overlooking the ocean. And if you’re feeling really brave, why not take a dip in the ocean to cool off…
Tonight’s dinner is a simple, light meal.
The natural phenomenon, Aurora Borealis is a fantastic sight and is best experienced in places with minimal artificial light (ref towns and cities), preferably out in nature where reflections in the sea, mountains and a fantastic landscape make this an experience out of the ordinary. Tonight we will escape into the darkness on the hunt for the northern lights. Our guide will escort us around the archipelago in a private vehicle to some of the best spots to experience the northern lights according to the night’s forecast.
Overnight: Hattvika Lodge (B / L / D)
Regardless of the time of year, Lofoten provides a journey amid breathtaking natural surroundings. The combination of the untamed ocean and stormy seas, jagged alpine mountains plunging into the water, tiny sheltered fishing villages and white beaches with crystal clear waters will never cease to enchant you.
Today is a little fluid – we shall see where the wind takes us. But rest assured, we have some great sightseeing on hand! Lofoten is one of the most popular destinations for Norwegians. With the arctic beaches, historical fishing villages and breathtaking mountain hikes it is easy to see why!
Our host will guide us through the picturesque landscape, typical for the Lofoten islands. Along the way we will stop at historical sites, beaches and the mandatory photo stops that you cannot miss in Kabelvåg, Lyngvær, Hov and Henningsvær.
Lofotr Viking Museum is the world’s largest longhouse from the Viking Age. The Museum is the result of the onsite archaeological find from the Viking Age (800-1050). The house is reconstructed right beside its original site. We will learn all about the Vikings: Scandinavian warriors and raiders from Norway, Denmark, and Sweden famous for their exploits, raids, and conquests.
Today we will be driving on Scenic Route Lofoten. We will make sure not to miss Dan Graham’s glass construction. This piece of art has reflecting walls that display the magical Arctic beauty of winter in Lofoten.
Tonight we enjoy an evening at Lofoten Seaweed. Best friends & kick ass women, Angelita and Tamara combine the best from two worlds; Norwegian seafood meets Japanese traditions. Angelita, daughter of a fisherman, grew up living off the ocean in the Lofoten fishing village Napp. Co-founder, Tamara, grew up in New Zealand where her Japanese mother served seaweed with almost every meal. Their strong common interest in food, sea, and health combined with a small amount of madness is the basis for their commitment to Lofoten Seaweed and to introduce seaweed in the Nordic kitchen. This amazing female-owned and run company offers 100% natural, organic, gluten-free Arctic seaweed seasoning as well as a range of other products such as seaweed flavored chocolate.
Overnight: Hattvika Lodge (B / D – Seaweed Inspired Dinner)
Morning at leisure before a transfer to Leknes for our flight to Alta – the Northernmost part of the country we will visit on this trip. Alta is located in Norway’s northernmost country Troms and Finnmark, and has a rich sami history and culture. On arrival to Alta, we will be transferred to our Mountain Lodge, run by Synnøve and her team, and checked in.
Our base camp for our last two days is Bjørnfjell Lodge, a cozy mountain hideaway located above a fairytale Norwegian valley. With its location in the heart of the Arctic, you come into contact with the root of Norwegian culture and cabin life. Nestled amongst mountains and open space, the area catches the spirit of skiers, hikers & Northern Lights enthusiasts. The lodge has snowshoeing and skiing opportunities at the doorstep. It lies 379 km above the arctic circle, and 20 km away from Alta City Center, which makes it a stunning location to be engulfed by open nature and natural phenomenon.
Tonight we are invited for a Polar Dinner under the Northern lights and a million stars – if we are lucky! We will venture out on a polar night excursion at the top of Bjørnfjell mountain where our local hosts will make a gourmet meal on the bonfire outside the cosy cabin “Bjørnehiet”. We will keep warm with our own reindeer skin and let our local insider tell us the mythical tales about the Aurora Borealis. This experience is a great introduction to Northern Norwegian culture.
Overnight: Bjørnfjell Lodge (B / Packed Lunch / Polar Bonfire Dinner)
This morning is free to choose a preferred activity (not included), or simply just relax at the Lodge. Try skis or snowshoes, a Fjord & wildlife safari on the Altafjord, visit the Sorrisniva Icehotel; for ice sculpting, reindeer sledging or snowmobiling, fat biking in the forest etc
We will have access to the using the sauna cabin after our day’s activities.
This afternoon, we transfer to Sorrisniva Arctic Wilderness Lodge for an amazing Sami experience: dressed in winter clothes you will get to try reindeer sledding on the frozen Alta river and into the snow-covered forest. Here, we reach a traditional Sami lavvu heated by a bonfire, get to feed the reindeer, try Sami food and hear stories from the Sami people. Return to the Lodge after a brilliant afternoon.
Overnight: Bjørnfjell Lodge (B / Dinner – Sami Lavuu)
Our last day of adventures! And what an amazing one it is.
We transfer to Trasti & Trine for an active wilderness adventure. Pick up the reins and become a genuine dog-sledding musher for a day! After gearing up and learning the names of our huskies, we will head out into the forest to enjoy the dogs and the frozen nature that surrounds us. We drive in the forest, on the river and maybe up in the mountains. You play a part in deciding how many kilometres we go!
Midday brings a hot lunch around an open fire as the mushers gather to share stories and teach some more about dog-sledding.
After a thrilling day in the great outdoors with these incredible four-legged athletes, our multi-talented hosts will create a four course dinner for us back at their lodge, where the menu will include fish from the fjord, potatoes from the farm, reindeer from the mountains, bread straight from the stone oven and sweet berries from the past summer’s harvest. The perfect way to end our journey through northern Norway.
We transfer back to Bjørnfjell after dinner.
Overnight: Bjørnfjell Lodge (B / L / D)
Today we fly back to Oslo for a final night in the capital before next morning international departure.
For our last night we will check into the divine Hotel Continental.
This evening we will celebrate our Nordic journey with a farewell dinner at Restaurant Rest – a pioneering restaurant with a mantra of ‘waste not, want not’, and an ethos based around using imperfect produce and items which would normally be discarded. Ingredients are used in multiple different ways in the skillfully prepared, multi-course menu. (MICHELIN Green Star for Gastronomy and sustainability.)
Overnight: Hotel Continental, Oslo (B / Farewell Dinner)
Depending on your flight time, you may have some time this morning to enjoy a last-minute stroll before being transferred to Oslo Airport to either fly home or further your travels in Europe. (B)