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Grand Norwegian Explorer

Cities, fjords & islands
 
There’s no shortage of impressive scenery on this self-guided adventure by train and boat. Experience memorable journeys on the Flåm, Dovre and Nordland railways, combined with stays in Bergen, Oslo, Trondheim, the fjords and the magical Lofoten Islands (with car hire included).
Grand Norwegian Explorer. 14 nights
Grand Norwegian Explorer. 14 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in Norway

It stands to reason that a country which is endowed with such awe-inspiring scenery as Norway is should also boast some of Europe’s most spectacular railways, and it is these which form a central part of this memorable holiday. Not only do they provide a very relaxing way of travelling, but – complemented by short yet thrilling journeys on express boats and the famous Hurtigruten – reveal the great variety and majestic scale of Norway’s scenery.
Starting in Bergen, you travel by express boat into the fjords, with time to explore the romantic scenery up close. Then follows the first of three iconic train rides: the impressively engineered Flåm Railway, which climbs more than 850 metres over a distance of just 20 kilometres. After a stay in Oslo, you head north to Trondheim, Norway's historic first capital, travelling on the 553-kilometre Dovre Line across rugged moorland and through high green valleys. Linking Trondheim to Bodø is an even more epic railway, the Nordland Line, whose 739 kilometres of track encompasses almost 300 bridges, not to mention some truly magnificent views. From Bodø it's just a short hop on the Hurtigruten to your final base on the Lofoten Islands, whose wild and untamed beauty will stay with you for years to come.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Bergen
    Night 1: at Clarion Hotel Admiral (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Bergen
    Today is free to explore Bergen on foot using our self-guided tour and included 24-hour City Card, which entitles you to reduced entry at many of the main attractions. Norway's second-largest city has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and is overlooked by forested mountain slopes. There’s a real sense of history here, and the famous Bryggen – the UNESCO-listed, Hanseatic harbour district – has long been a melting-pot for traders from all over the world. Wander amid its brightly painted shops and warehouses, and peek into the large, glass-sided Fisk Torget (fish market) – a riot of sound and colour, especially when the catch comes in. It’s also worth taking the funicular up the mountain behind the city for views over the fjords.
  • Bergen to Balestrand
    Leaving Bergen, you travel by express boat along the coast and into majestic Sognefjord. From water level, the mountains framing it seem even grander, and all you can see ahead is headland after headland plunging into the sapphire waters. Your destination is Balestrand, for two nights in Kvikne’s Hotel, offering sumptuous fjord-side views. (Journey time: 4hrs)
  • Explore Balestrand
    There are plenty of ways to spend your day: enjoy a bike ride, or stroll along Balestrand’s heritage trail to learn about the artists who have visited the village. You could also pay a visit to the local aquarium, or seek out the fjord-side Cider House, a distillery and restaurant run by a Norwegian-Turkish couple amid over 100 varieties of fruit trees. Other options are to walk up the slopes behind the hotel to gain a different perspective on the splendid scenery, or to visit one or more of the area’s remarkable ‘stave churches’ – elaborate, 12th-century wooden structures, often topped with dragons’ heads, much like the prows of Viking longships.
  • Balestrand to Flåm
    You leave Balestrand as you arrived: by express boat. This time you head further inland, along steep-sided Aurlandsfjord to Flåm, where you spend two nights at the historic Fretheim Hotel. (Journey time: 1.5hrs)
  • Explore Flåm
    Take an exhilarating bike ride down the old 'Navvies' Road from Myrdal, enjoy the more sedentary sipping of award-winning ales in surroundings (including a nine-metre-high fireplace) inspired by Norse mythology at the Ægir Brewery, or take a boat trip along beautiful Nærøyfjord, where waterfalls plunge 1,200 metres from the clifftops.
  • Flåm to Oslo
    Take your seat on the Flåmsbana, one of the world’s great train journeys. From the fjord, you ascend ever higher into the mountains, past lush woodland and thundering waterfalls. At the top, you change trains and over the next couple of hours descend gradually to Oslo, where you have two nights at the Hotel Bristol. (Journey time: 6hrs)
  • Explore Oslo
    Spend the day exploring Norway’s flourishing capital, using our self-guided walking tour to take in some of its many sights. Stroll around the bustling harbour, see the fortress on the headland overlooking Oslofjord or take advantage of the discounted entrance fees offered by your included 24-hour City Card to visit attractions such as the sculpture park, and fascinating museums such as that devoted to Viking ships. You could also admire the ship that took Amundsen all the way to the South Pole in 1911; visit the Nobel Peace Centre; or explore Aker Brygge, the waterfront district which typifies the Norwegian capital’s bold sense of style. Here, you can ascend the 90-metre Tjuvtitten Tower (the ‘Sneak Peak’) for sensational views over the city.
  • Oslo to Trondheim
    You can choose an early morning or early afternoon departure for today's scenic train ride north from Oslo to Trondheim. This 553-kilometre journey takes you past Mjøsa, Norway's largest lake, to Lillehammer, which hosted the 1994 Winter Olympics; through the verdant scenery of Gudbrandsdalen, the valley associated with Ibsen's Peer Gynt; alongside the Lågen, one of the largest rivers in Norway; over the highest point on the line, Hjerkinn, at 1,017 metres above sea level; and beneath the towering peaks of the Dovrefjell National Park. In Trondheim, you spend two nights at the Hotel Bakeriet. (Journey time: 6.5hrs)
  • Explore Trondheim
    Trondheim may be Norway's third city, but it has a relaxed, easy-going feel. At the centre of the Old Town is Torvet, a large square where a statue-cum-sundial of the city's founder takes pride of place. From here, broad avenues lead north to the fish market; east to the old bridge of Gamle Bybro, on the other side of which is the pretty district of Bakklandet, complete with old warehouses and timber buildings; and south to Nidaros Cathedral, Scandinavia's largest medieval building and the traditional venue for coronations and royal burials. Our half-day, self-guided walking tour helps you to make the most of your time in the city, with ample time to visit, if you wish, one or two of Trondheim's museums, which include the National Museum of Decorative Arts, the Maritime Museum, the Ringve Music Museum with its collection of instruments from around the globe, and the City Art Gallery.
  • Trondheim to Bodø
    An early start is required for today's epic journey. The Nordland Railway is the longest – and one of the most spectacular – in Norway, and weaves through great forests, past narrow fjords and alongside rivers famous for their salmon. About four-fifths of the way through the journey, you cross the Arctic Circle and continue through the majestic Saltfjellet mountains. After 739km of spectacular scenery, not to mention 293 bridges and 154 tunnels, you reach the coast at Bodø, where you stay overnight at the Thon Nordlys Hotel. (Journey time: 10hrs)
  • Bodø to Mortsund
    Our self-guided walking tour serves as a good introduction to Bodø’s main sights – including its 20th-century cathedral – as well as giving you an insight into its history. After lunch, you make your way to the port, ready for the mid-afternoon departure of the Hurtigruten. You’ll probably want to spend the majority of this four-hour sailing out on deck, admiring the craggy, fjord-indented coastline and the many small islands. On arrival in Stamsund, you collect your included hire car and drive to the fishing village of Mortsund, midway along the archipelago, where you spend your last three nights in an apartment at the Rorbusenter. (Journey time: 4.5hrs, including drive from Stamsund to Rorbusenter)
  • Explore the Lofoten Islands
    The wild beauty of the Lofoten Islands is humbling. Rugged granite spires frame silver beaches and an impossibly blue sea, while rocky headlands are dotted with small communities of wooden houses and distinctive, red-and-white rorbuer (fishermen’s huts). We suggest a combination of walking and driving for your time here, and include route notes for a couple of walks. Visit one or two of the islands’ museums, such as the Viking Museum with its impressive reconstruction of the chieftain’s longhouse that was found here; drive east to Svolvær for a boat trip to the incomparable, sheer-sided Trollfjord, the two-kilometre-long stretch of water separating the Lofotens from the Vesteralen archipelago; stroll through the UNESCO designated fishing village of Nusfjord; or enjoy the near-deserted walk from Brenna.
 

Accommodation

You stay in a series of well-located, high-quality hotels, before finishing with a stay in an apartment on the Lofoten Islands.
 
Prices & travel options
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  • 14 nights: 12 May - 30 September 2019

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    12 - 28 May £2595 £895
    29 May - 14 June £2725 £945
    15 June - 28 July £2795 £995
    29 July - 28 August £2725 £930
    29 August - 16 September £2645 £860
    3rd & 4th person discount -£115 to -£145
    Single traveller supplement £115 to £145

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: Boat Bergen – Balestrand – Flåm. Rail Flåm – Oslo – Trondheim – Bodø. Coastal steamer Bodø – Stamsund. 3 days' category B car hire (eg Toyota Yaris or similar with manual transmission) on the Lofotens.

    Driving time from final hotel: Leknes 0h30

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Clarion Hotel Admiral
    Deluxe with fjord view: 12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £36
    Superior with fjord view: 12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £25
    Kvikne’s Hotel
    'Demi-suite' in the historic building: 12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £36
    Fjord view in the historic building: 12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £12
    Fretheim Hotel
    'Historic': 12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £6

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Clarion Hotel Admiral (B&B) Double room Single room
    12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £90 £124
    Upgrade your City Card in Bergen: add £9pp for a 48hr Card or £15pp for a 72hr Card.
    Kvikne’s Hotel (with dinner) Double room Single room
    12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £130 £160
    Hotel Bristol (B&B) Double room Single room
    12 May - 30 Sep 2019 £88 £134
    Upgrade your City Card in Oslo: add £23pp for a 48hr Card or £40pp for a 72hr Card.
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Bergen (return from Leknes)
    There are multiple inter-island flights each day between Leknes and Bodø, from where you can fly to a choice of UK airports.

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Oslo.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Bergen SAS,  Wideroe 
    Aberdeen - Bergen (via Stavanger) SAS 
    Return route Airline
    Bodø - Aberdeen (via Oslo (Gardermoen) & Bergen) SAS 
    Bodø - Aberdeen (via Oslo (Gardermoen) & Stavanger) SAS 
    Bodø - Aberdeen (via Oslo (Gardermoen) ) SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Aberdeen Loganair,  SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Aberdeen, via Amsterdam KLM 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Aberdeen, via Bergen SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Aberdeen, via Copenhagen SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Aberdeen, via Stavanger SAS 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Bergen (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Birmingham - Bergen (via Copenhagen) SAS 
    Return route Airline
    Bodø - Birmingham (via Oslo (Gardermoen) & Copenhagen) SAS 
    Oslo - Birmingham (via Copenhagen) SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Birmingham Flybe 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Birmingham (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bergen Loganair 
    Edinburgh - Bergen (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Edinburgh - Bergen (via CPH) Norwegian 
    Edinburgh - Bergen (via Oslo (Gardermoen) ) Norwegian 
    Return route Airline
    Bodø - Edinburgh (via Oslo (Gardermoen) & Stockholm) SAS 
    Bodø - Edinburgh (via Oslo (Gardermoen) ) Norwegian,  SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Edinburgh Norwegian,  SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Edinburgh (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Edinburgh (via Copenhagen) Norwegian 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bergen Loganair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Bergen Norwegian 
    Gatwick - Bergen (via Oslo (Gardermoen) ) Norwegian 
    Return route Airline
    Bodø - Gatwick (via Oslo (Gardermoen) ) Norwegian 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Gatwick Norwegian 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Gatwick (via Bergen) Norwegian 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Bergen, via Copenhagen SAS 
    Heathrow - Bergen, via Oslo (Gardermoen) SAS 
    Heathrow - Bergen, via Stavanger SAS 
    Return route Airline
    Bodø - Heathrow (via Oslo (Gardermoen) ) SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Heathrow British Airways,  SAS 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Bergen Wizz Air 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Bergen Loganair,  SAS 
    Manchester - Bergen (via Oslo (Gardermoen) SAS 
    Manchester - Bergen, via Copenhagen SAS 
    Return route Airline
    Bodø - Manchester (via Oslo (Gardermoen) & Copenhagen) SAS 
    Bodø - Manchester (via Oslo (Gardermoen) & Heathrow) SAS 
    Bodø - Manchester (via Oslo (Gardermoen) ) SAS 
    Oslo - Manchester (via Stavanger) Norwegian 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Manchester Norwegian,  SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Manchester (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Manchester (via Bergen) SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Manchester (via Frankfurt) Lufthansa 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Manchester, via Copenhagen SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Manchester, via Heathrow SAS 
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Manchester, via Stockholm SAS 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Bergen Flybe 
    Newcastle - Bergen (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Return route Airline
    Oslo (Gardermoen) - Newcastle (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Oslo.  To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £30 per person for our flight booking service (£50 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together.

    Connecting travel options - flying to Bergen & back from Bodø

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    arrange own travel from the airport to the hotel pay locally flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    car hire from Mortsund to Leknes airport (0h30), domestic flight Leknes to Bodø (0h25) contact us flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying to Bergen & back from Leknes

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    arrange own travel from the airport to the hotel pay locally flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    car hire from Mortsund to Leknes airport (0h30) included flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying to Bergen & back from Oslo Gardemoen

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    arrange own travel from the airport to the hotel pay locally flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    car hire from Mortsund to Leknes airport (0h30), domestic flight Leknes to Oslo (2h20) contact us flexible
What is included
  • 14 nights
  • 6 dinners
    14 breakfasts
  • notes for city walking tours for Bergen & Oslo
  • detailed cultural information
  • 24hr city cards in Bergen & Oslo
  • boat/rail travel Bergen-Balestrand-Flåm-Oslo-Trondheim-Bodø
  • coastal steamer Bodø-Stamsund
  • 3 days’ category B car hire on Lofotens
 
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FAQs

  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £30 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £50 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport with at least three months' validity to travel to Norway, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The most widely spoken language is Norwegian. The currency is the Kroner. Norwegian time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 7/24/2019 8:24:39 AM