Scandinavia Explorer

Trip Code: BMSH

Why we love it

Norway's fjords feature some of the most stunning scenery on Earth. Cruise past waterfalls and snow-capped peaks through the narrow Naeroyfjord, Discover Stockholm's maritime history at the Vasa Museum, which houses an original wooden war ship from 1628. This impressive vessel gives you a rare glimpse into the naval power Sweden was once famous for, Lakeside Mora's mix of landscapes proves just how darn stunning Sweden can be. Be charmed by tiny countryside villages, red cottages, pine forests, rolling meadows and sparkling lakes, Wind up your adventure in Helsinki for a Scandinavian culture binge. Senate Square, the market hall, the sea fortress of Suomenlinna and the Design Museum are just some of the highlights of this amazing city

Is this trip right for me?

The areas visited on this trip can be very cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, coat and anything else that you think may be applicable.

Scandinavia can be an expensive destination in many ways, from museum entrance fees to optional activities, but especially in terms of eating out. Please bear this in mind when booking this trip. Your leader will be at hand to advise on how to save money.

As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge (some exceptions may apply). Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart. Rooms in Scandinavia tend to be small, and occasionally bathrooms will be shared with other guests.

This trip is designed to give you a fair amount of free time so you can explore each destination at your own pace. We will, however, take you on regular orientation walks, so you'll be on your feet quite a lot. While this may be tiring for some, it’s the best way to get your head around a place and to set yourself up for further discoveries.

If you have more time to explore the region you can extend your trip by combining it with our 'Baltic Experience' trip, travelling from Helsinki through the Baltic States, and ending in Vilnius. Alternatively you could start the trip in Copenhagen by combining it with our 'Taste of Scandinavia' trip. Most departure dates are designed to create this perfect combination trip.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. The single supplement excludes Days 5,6 (Cabin) and Day 13 (Overnight Ferry) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night. Please speak to your booking agent for further information
2. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for ferry tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 6 weeks of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light., WHITE NIGHTS
The closer you travel to the second half of June, the shorter the nights are in this part of the world. As many of our accommodations may not have suitable curtains to block out light you may want to consider bringing an eye-mask, especially if you are a light sleeper.

CLOTHING & CLIMATE
The climate in this region is extremely varied. In shoulder season (April, May, September, October and beyond) you can expect temperatures to vary between single digits and warm sunny days, while from June until September temperatures can reach well above 30 C. It is always a good idea to bring a warm windproof jacket, a hat and waterproof footwear. No matter which time of year you decide to travel, it can get quite cool at night especially when in the countryside, so we recommend that you bring a warm jacket or fleece.

Physical rating

 
2

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

BIKE RIDE
This trip includes a bike ride around the Swedish Lakes. The ride can vary depending on the group's abilities, but is usually about 10 km in length (2-2.5 hours). The ride takes place on paths and roads with little to no traffic, and is mostly flat, but if you don't feel comfortable riding a bike you can opt out of this activity.

EXPLORING EUROPEAN CITIES
One of the pleasures of travelling in Europe is the ease at which cities can be explored on foot. Your leader will take you on frequent orientation walks, and you will be able to further explore in your own time. We recommend you pack comfortable walking shoes for this trip. Many of our customers are surprised at how much they end up walking, however this is entirely up to you, and public transport to take you back to our accommodation is never far away.

Joining your group

Anker Hotel, Storgata 55, Oslo, NORWAY, Phone: +47 22997500

Anker hotel is located in the city centre, a few minutes walk away from Akerselva and Grünerløkka where you can discover numerous little cafés, restaurants and bars. Grünerløkka is also a popular shopping district, with original design shops and many vintage and second-hand stores. Hotel facilities include a hotel bar and a spacious Lobby with free Wi-Fi. All rooms have private bathrooms, wireless Internet access, telephone, TV, hair dryer and working desk.

Joining instructions

The airport express train runs from Oslo Gardermoen Airport (airport code OSL) to Oslo S (Central Station) every 10 minutes. The journey time is 20 minutes. From Oslo Sandefjord Airport (airport code TRF) take a bus to the town of Torp. From Torp there are hourly trains to Oslo S (approx 1,5 hours). Alternatively, you can take a taxi directly to the hotel. Check-in time is after 2:00pm.

Once at the central station it is an easy 15 minute walk to the hotel. Exit the train station via the front exit, walk down the stairs, then turn right and follow the tram tracks along Fred Olsens Gade. Cross the intersection and continue to follow the tram tracks. The road makes a slight left turn and becomes Nygata. Turn right into Storgata at the next intersection, then continue straight for about 600 metres. Anker Hotel will be on the left hand side just before the bridge.

Please note that we do not offer airport transfers in Oslo as public transport is very efficient and the cost for private transfers would be excessive.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Arthur, Vuorikatu 19, Helsinki, FINLAND, Phone: +358 09 17 34 41

Hotel Arthur is located close to the railway station in the heart of Helsinki. The main sights, shopping district and theatres are just a short walk away. The recently refurbished rooms are cosy and brightly coloured. All rooms have a private shower/toilet, telephone, TV, and hair dryer - some also have a minibar. If you choose to arrange additional accommodation at this location you may be required to change rooms for the nights which are not included as part of your Intrepid itinerary.

If you are making your own way to Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (airport code HEL) the hotel will be able to help book you an airport shuttle or taxi. Please ask at reception. Alternatively your best option is to take the train from the main railway station in Helsinki, or public bus No. 615 or the Finnair Bus which go from Rautatientori (railway square) to the airport. The train/bus journey takes about 35 minutes and both modes of transport depart frequently.

Pre booked departure transfer to Helsinki Vantaa International Airport (HEL): If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected at the hotel reception 2 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +358 50 545 5454.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 11

Lunches included: 

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Climate & seasonal information

The areas visited on this trip can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season, and at night. Rain is possible at any time of year. Winter temperatures frequently drop below freezing, and snow fall is common. Summers on the other hand can be quite hot, and temperatures can reach up to 30 C. Please familiarize yourself with what climate to expect and bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, rain coat and anything else that you think may be applicable.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above.

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 8677 9186 657

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.

LONG TRAVEL DAYS
As we cover lots of ground on this trip, expect some long travel days on local trains and buses. This is an opportunity to mix with the locals and enjoy the scenery out the window. Travel schedules are known to change with little notice. Not all transport may have air conditioning.


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