Explore the Mysterious Arctic
Explore the mysterious Arctic and discover the magic of Norway and Sweden as husky dogs lead you through the snow, you chase the incomparable Northern Lights, and ride the most northerly railway in the world.
Fly from London Heathrow to Tromsø, via Oslo, on Christmas Eve. Located north of the Arctic Circle and often referred to as the 'Gateway to the Arctic', Tromsø is a small yet thriving city. The city is surrounded by unspoilt wilderness of crystalline lakes, dramatic fjords, and glistening mountain peaks, and its striking architecture and rich history blend with a vibrant, modern culture.
Around the festive season, the attractive city becomes even more magical due to its Polar Nights. The almost never-rising sun means that the city is bathed in twilight throughout the day and is lit up by the warming glow of its festive street lights. After some time to settle in, sit down to dinner together at your hotel.
Today is Christmas Day, and you spend it immersing yourself in the festive delights of Norway. Begin with a sightseeing tour of Tromsø that introduces you to the best of the city. Visit the Polaria Museum, home to the world's most northerly aquarium, for a unique insight into life in the arctic. Continue to the Polar Museum, where you immerse yourself in fascinating artefacts which tell of the numerous polar expeditions that took place from Tromsø. You also see the iconic Arctic Cathedral, a modern white, triangular church which was built in the 1960s and is one of the city's most remarkable landmarks.
Enjoy a Christmas buffet lunch followed by some free time. Perhaps enjoy a stroll through Tromsø, admiring the pretty Christmas lights, or head to the waterfront where you can take in views of the pretty colourful buildings and calm waters of the fjord. Alternatively, you may prefer to return to your hotel to relax before your evening's adventure - an enthralling 'Sami experience'.
You travel to a nearby Sami camp, where you immerse yourself in the unique history and traditions of the Sami people, Norway's indigenous people and one of the oldest cultures found throughout much of northern Europe. Enjoy a tour of the camp, during which you can visit the reindeer enclosure and learn how to throw a lasso, all while being regaled with fascinating tales about Sami culture. Later, sit down to an authentic wilderness dinner by a campfire and feast on traditional Sami delicacies - a truly unique way to spend Christmas evening - before returning to your hotel.
After breakfast, head out into the impressive landscapes on your way to Narvik. Soak up the beauty of your surroundings en-route, as you journey past steep, forest-covered valleys, and the striking fjords for which Norway is famed.
Arrive in Narvik, a port city that rose in prominence after the building of the Ofoten Railway in the late 19th century. Narvik has a fascinating wartime history, having changed hands between the Allies and the Germans on several occasions before the German occupation of Norway in 1940.
This evening, you head out with a specialist guide in the countryside surrounding Narvik, chasing the spellbinding Northern Lights. Truly one of nature's most awe-inspiring performances, catching a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis is an unforgettable experience, and our evening's explorations give us a fantastic opportunity to soak up the beauty of the world-famous phenomena.
Take a journey through the heart of Norway's incredible landscapes on the Ofoten Railway, also known as the Arctic Circle Express, as you travel into Kiruna in the heart of Swedish Lapland.
Originally opened in 1902 in order to haul iron-ore between mines in Kiruna and the Norwegian coast, at the time of its construction the Ofoten Railway boasted the accolade of the coldest and northern-most railway project in the world. Today, it's a popular and wonderfully scenic passenger line; the 27-mile line follows a route carved out of the mountains, and travels through wild landscapes characterised by rugged peaks and deep, dramatic fjords.
Check into your hotel before a free afternoon to become acquainted with Kiruna. Although on the surface Kiruna is an unassuming mining town, it is a fantastic base from which to explore all that Swedish Lapland has to offer, and is home to Kebnekaise - Sweden's highest mountain, the largest underground iron-ore mine in the world, and the original Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi.
This morning travel out to a nearby husky camp for a truly memorable experience - a husky safari. After looking around the kennel and seeing how these powerful creatures are put through their paces, you learn about their environment and how they adapt through training. Later - dressed in cold weather clothing - experience these tireless creatures at work, as you enjoy a thrilling husky-hauled sled journey through the wintry landscape.
This afternoon visit Kiruna's famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi. The first and largest hotel of its kind in the world, the structure is reconstructed at the beginning of each cold season using ice blocks from the nearby Torne River, and melts back into the river come spring. Enjoy a guided tour of the spectacular frozen hotel, wandering through the icy halls and marvelling at the impressive feats of architectural design, created by around 50 carefully selected artists.
Tonight, you attempt to spot the Northern Lights once again. Kiruna is one of the world's best places to see the lights, and a clear night can permit fantastic sightings of this breathtaking natural wonder.
Bid Kiruna farewell as you transfer to the airport, flying via Stockholm to London Heathrow, where your holiday comes to an end.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.
Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.
Explore the Mysterious Arctic