Follow the Lights

Multicoloured and mysterious, the Aurora Borealis (Aurora Australis in the south) is one of nature’s greatest displays and a unique example of how beautiful science can be. Read more...

Highlights

  • A night in a unique glass igloo, where you can lie in bed and gaze at the stars (and if you’re lucky, the Northern Lights!)
  • A visit to Rovaniemi, the home of Santa Claus and winter activities
  • Visit a husky farm, and weather permitting do a husky sled ride through the arctic wilderness
  • Visit to a traditional reindeer farm and experience Sami culture
  • A relaxing 6 night Hurtigruten cruise along the coast of Norway, by far the best way to experience the country’s stunning fjords and historic coastal towns
  • Stay in Flam and experience the Norway in a Nutshell tour
  • Day trip to the medieval town of Tallinn, Estonia
  • Stay at a hotel resort spa in the frozen Finnish lakes district.

Inclusions

  • 6 night Hurtigruten Coastal Voyage in outside cabins including breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard
  • 11 night’s accommodation in 4 star hotels
  • Transport in first class coaches as per the itinerary
  • Breakfast daily, 5 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Local sightseeing with English speaking guides including entrance fees
  • Taxes, service and reservation charges
  • Porter service where possible at hotels
  • The services of a Bentours escort throughout the journey.

After a sold-out series in 2018/19, Bentours newly enhanced Follow the Lights 2019/20 tours give you the ideal opportunity to see the Northern Lights. The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a natural phenomenon seen in northern latitudes during October - March.

This bucket-list adventure now includes three extra days to discover Norway's capital Oslo, Flam and the Norway in a Nutshell tour, as well as the Finnish Lake District. Begin your journey in Oslo with a city tour of the most significant highlights, while getting to know your small group of travel companions. Next begin Norway in a Nutshell which traverses through quaint towns and spectacular scenery.

Upon arrival in Bergen, this marks the beginning of your Hurtigruten voyage. For the next seven days, you will sail through famous fjords and past rushing waterfalls, explore quaint towns Alesund, Trondheim and Tromso and marvel at the Lofoten Islands. Day 13 brings a highlight for many with a night spent in a glass igloo – lay in bed and gaze at the stars and if lucky, the northern lights! As the journey ends, you will first explore Helsinki with a half day tour followed by a full day excursion to the medieval town of Tallinn in Estonia.

Please remember the Northern Lights are a natural occurrence and visibility is subject to weather conditions, and sightings are never guaranteed. However, our carefully planned itinerary puts you in the right locations, and our knowledgeable guides will give you the best possible chance!


Day 1 ARRIVE OSLO (Norway) Arrive in Oslo, make your own way from airport/train station to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure, and in the evening meet the rest of the group and guide for a drink and dinner. Hotel: Thon Hotel Opera. Room Type: Lead-in-Room. Meals: Dinner.

Day 2 OSLO After a leisurely breakfast meet the group in the lobby of the hotel for an Oslo grand city tour, taking in all of the must see sites like the Fram museum, The Vigeland Park, Viking ship museum, Oslo Opera house, Holmenkollen ski Jump and more, using local transport along the way. Hotel: Thon Hotel Opera. Room Type: Lead Room. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 3 OSLO - FLAM (Start of "Norway in a Nutshell") After an early breakfast we will start our "Norway In a Nutshell", catching the morning train for the famous rail journey through the Flam Valley, from Oslo to Myrdal. There we change trains to begin the famous Flam Rail, with spectacular fjord views. We will break our journey in Flam spending the evening in this beautiful tiny village. Hotel: Flamsbrygga Hotel Flam. Room: Lead-in-Room. Meals: Breakfast & Dinner (Viking Feast).

Day 4 FLAM - BERGEN This morning we start with the Ferry from Flam to Gudvangen, passing through the narrow Naeroy Fjord. From Gudvangen the journey then continues by bus to Voss. Waterfalls line the road as we weave our way through the valley to Voss. There we board a train for the last leg of our "Norway in a Nutshell" journey, arriving into Bergen in the afternoon. Rest of the day at leisure. Hotel: Clarion Admiral Hotel Bergen. Room: Lead-in-Room. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 5 BERGEN (Day 1 of Norwegian Coastal Voyage) After a relaxing morning, we do a walking tour of Bergen, seeing the iconic old town known as Bryggen, taking the Floibanen, the Funicular railway, and exploring this beautiful town. Then we board the Hurtigruten Vessel for the north bound voyage to Kirkenes. Overnight: On Hurtigruten Vessel. Cabin Type: Outside Cabin. Meals: Breakfast & Dinner.

Day 6 ALESUND & TRONDHEIM (Day 2 of Norwegian Coastal Voyage) We navigate the skerries and islands further north before reaching Alesund, renowned for its beautiful Art Nouveau architecture. Leaving Alesund we head north towards Trondheim. Overnight: On Hurtigruten Vessel. Cabin Type: Outside Cabin. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 7 TRONDHEIM (Day 3 of Norwegian Coastal Voyage) Arrive early in the morning at Trondheim, with plenty of time to explore the first capital. Overnight: On Hurtigruten Vessel. Cabin Type: Outside Cabin. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 8 ARCTIC CIRCLE - LOFOTEN ISLANDS (Day 4 of Norwegian Coastal Voyage) As we cross the Arctic Circle in the morning, the hunt for the Aurora Borealis begins! Later on in the day we enter the dramatic and narrow Raftsund, and if the weather and ice conditions allow, we’ll sail to the entrance of the famous Trollfjord. Overnight: On Hurtigruten Vessel. Cabin Type: Outside Cabin. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 9 TROMSO (Day 5 of Norwegian Coastal Voyage) After a morning stop in Finnsnes, the ship continues to Tromsø, a city in northern Norway, which is a major cultural hub above the Arctic Circle. It’s famed as a viewing point for colourful Northern Lights that sometime light up the night time sky. The city’s historic centre, on the island is distinguished by its centuries-old wooden houses. The 1965 Arctic Cathedral, with its distinctive peaked roof and soaring stained-glass windows, dominates the skyline. Overnight: On Hurtigruten Vessel. Cabin Type: Outside Cabin. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 10 NORTH CAPE (Day 6 of Norwegian Coastal Voyage) Honningsvag is the nearest port to the North Cape – at 71 10’ 21” N, only 2000Kms from the Geographical North Pole. Overnight: On Hurtigruten Vessel. Cabin Type: Outside Cabin. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Day 11 KIRKENES - SAARISELKA (Day 7 of Norwegian Coastal Voyage) Admire the dramatic coastal vistas as we approach Kirkenes to disembark the cruise this morning. Enjoy a short drive through Kirkenes, with a quick stop at the Russian Border, before making our way into Finnish Lapland. We’ll arrive at the small town of Inari, Capital of the Sami People (traditional nomads of Scandinavia, reindeer herders), and we’ll stop at the Siida Sami museum. After our stop in Inari we will head towards Saariselka. Hotel: Santa's Hotel Tunturi. Room Type: Lead-in-Room. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 12 SAARISELKA (FINLAND) Today visit the husky farm, see how the breeders manage this enthusiastic canine, and if the weather permits have a husky sled ride. In the evening there may be optional evening Aurora Borealis tours. Hotel: Santa's Hotel Tunturi. Room Type: Lead-in-Room. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 13 SAARISELKA Today we visit Santa Claus Village, where you will have free time to explore, and maybe see Santa. In the evening we will spend the night in a glass igloo. Such an unique and wonderful experience, one you will cherish for a lifetime. Hotel: Arctic Snow Hotel, Sinetta. Room Type: Glass Igloo. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 14 SAARISELKA - ROVANIEMI Today we set out for Rovaniemi, where you will have free time or optional extra touring options. Tonight we are staying in Rovaniemi, a lovely town on the border of the Arctic Circle. Hotel: Sokos Vaakuna Rovaniemi. Room Type: Lead-in-Room. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 15 ROVANIEMI - JARVISYDAN This morning we head via coach for Jarvisydan, a hotel resort spa in the Finnish wilderness. In the afternoon you’ll be able to relax and if this takes your fancy, have a spa treatment, or participate in many of the outdoor activities the resort has to offer. Hotel: Jarvisydan Hotel Spa and Resort. Room Type: Scenery Suites. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 16 JARVISYDAN - HELSINKI Today we leave the wilderness via coach and head into the capital of Finland, Helsinki. We should arrive into Helsinki in the afternoon, and we can explore the city with a half day city tour, before checking into our hotel. Hotel: Scandic Marina. Room Type: Lead-in-Rooms. Meals: Breakfast.

Day 17 HELSINKI & TALLINN (ESTONIA) Today we have an early start with a full day excursion to the medieval town of Tallinn in Estonia. Take the ferry across to Tallinn for a combined bus and walking tour of the most interesting parts of the city. Stops will include the baroque Kadriorg Park, Song Festival Grounds and the seaside district of Pirita.  Walk through the winding, cobble stoned streets of the Old Town, cross Toompea Hill, before continuing to the Palace of Toompea that today houses the Estonian Parliament ‘Riigikogu. Visit Aleksander Nevskij Cathedral and the Dome Church.  There will be time at leisure in Tallinn before boarding the ferry to return to Helsinki. We say goodbye our fellow travellers tonight at a special farewell dinner. Hotel: Scandic Marina. Room Type: Lead-in-Rooms. Meals: Breakfast & Dinner.

Day 18 HELSINKI After breakfast this tour ends. Make your own way to the airport or train station for your onward journeys. Meals: Breakfast.

Travel Dates:

2019: 1, 9, 23, 26 Oct; 3, 11, 16, 27 Nov; 3, 11, 13, 18 Dec.

2020: 4, 9, 15, 26, Jan; 4, 6, 17, 18, 28 Feb; 5, 16, 21 Mar.

From $7,695*pp twin share