Friday 10 June Auckland – Dubai
Late this afternoon, we report to the airport and join the flight to Dubai.
Saturday 11 June Dubai (B,D)
We arrive in Dubai early this morning and after clearing Customs and Immigration formalities, we are met and transferred to our hotel for a two-night stay. There is time to rest up after the flight until mid-afternoon when we visit the Palm Jumeirah – one of the world’s most daring developments. Jutting out into the Arabian Gulf, this man-made archipelago was built in the shape of a palm tree, with a 3-mile-long trunk and a fan of fronds lined with luxury villas and five-star hotels. From water parks and wildlife encounters to beach clubs and restaurants, there is an array of different activities on offer. One of the first things that strike you when visiting the Palm Jumeirah is its size. This giant archipelago is visible from space and the outer crescent is more than 10 miles long. Afterward, we visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 160 stories high. We travel to the observation deck which will provide you with a breath-taking unobstructed 360-degree view of the city, desert and ocean. We return to the hotel where we have dinner this evening.
Sunday 12 June Dubai – Helsinki (B)
This morning we take a sightseeing tour of the city – a fascinating historical excursion which takes you to the magnificent Jumeirah mosque and past modern palaces sprawled along the coast. In Bastakiya, see the old wind-towered houses built by wealthy merchants and the 150-year old Al Fahidi Fort. We continue our journey coach to the gold and spice souks, where we see bustling alleys with the aromas of the numerous spices and dazzling jewellery. Next up, we visit the area of La Mer – a new area nestled between Pearl Jumeira and the upcoming Jumeira Bay. There is time to explore this artsy community and to get some lunch at one of the trendy cafes before we return to the hotel to relax & freshen up prior to our evening flight to Helsinki. We arrive late-evening and are transferred directly to our hotel.
Monday 13 June Helsinki (B,D)
A leisurely start to the day today, due to our late arrival last night. This afternoon, we enjoy a tour showing us the most interesting parts of Helsinki, Sibelius’ monument, The Church in The Rock, Finlandia Hall, the Senate, markets and the domed Russian Church. Tonight, we enjoy dinner together.
Tuesday 14 June Helsinki (B,L)
Today we tour The Fortress of Suomenlinna – a UNESCO Heritage site built in the second half of the 18th century by Sweden on a group of islands located at the entrance to Helsinki’s harbour. It is an especially interesting example of European military architecture of the time. The purpose of the fortress was originally to defend the Kingdom of Sweden against the Russian Empire and to serve as a fortified army base. During our walking tour our guide will tell us about 270 years of eventful history of the fortress, under the rule of three different states, as well as the life on the island today. We will see the most important sights of the fortress, such as the Great Courtyard, Piper’s Park and the Dry Dock, which in its days was among the largest in the world. We return to our hotel later this afternoon and the evening is at leisure.
Wednesday 15 June Helsinki – Overnight Cruise – Stockholm (B,D)
The morning is at leisure and late this afternoon we join the ferry for the overnight cruise to Stockholm, a wonderful journey sailing through the 2,500 islands of the Archipelago and it is still daylight at midnight. Outside cabins are reserved on the ship and we enjoy a buffet dinner on board.
Thursday 16 June Stockholm (B,D)
An early arrival in Stockholm followed by a sightseeing tour which features City Hall, where the Nobel Prize Banquets are held; see the Royal Palace; learn about the Swedish welfare state and realities of maintaining these first class benefits; visit the 17th century Vasa Galleon Warship, the most expensive and ornamented ship built in 17th Century. At the end of the tour, after checking into the hotel, the rest of the day is free.
Friday 17 June Stockholm (B)
This morning enjoy the ‘under the bridges’ of Stockholm cruise which shows the city from a different perspective. Sail under the fifteen bridges and locks connecting the Baltic Sea and Lake Malaren, see the various Islands making Stockholm such a beauty on water. There is so much to enjoy about this city, a favourite with many of our travellers.
Saturday 18 June Stockholm – Copenhagen (B,D)
Today we travel by train from Stockholm to Copenhagen, enjoying the scenery as we pass lots of small towns and fertile farmland along the way. We arrive in Copenhagen late afternoon where we will be met and transferred to our hotel. We have a 3 night stay in Copenhagen, which sits on the coastal islands of Zealand and Amager.
Sunday 19 June Copenhagen – Odense (B,D)
Today’s excursion takes us to the island of Fyn and the city of Odense which was the childhood home of Hans Christian Andersen and where he received inspiration for so many of his famous tales. We visit his home and the museum before returning to Copenhagen.
Monday 20 June Copenhagen (B,D)
Meet Hans Christian Andersens ‘Little Mermaid’ gazing wistfully across the harbour, followed by a highlight visit inside the Danish Parliament Building to marvel at the opulent interior. See the Rosenborg and Amalienborg Palaces – we may see the changing of the guard; the Cathedral and the 19th century Theatre Royal. This evening, we visit the world famous Tivoli Gardens and enjoy dinner amidst the glittering lights.
Tuesday 21 June Copenhagen – Hamburg (B,D)
From Copenhagen, we travel south through the island of Zealand and crossing the border into Germany.
We will arrive to the maritime city of Hamburg. Check into your hotel and this evening enjoy an orientation walking tour and Dinner.
Wednesday 22 June Hamburg – Sightseeing (B)
Today, discover this great maritime city during our city tour. We will see the historic centre including St Michaelis Church and St Pauli Quarter. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the city further on your own or take an optional cruise to see the city from a different point of view.
Thursday 23 June Hamburg – Bremen (B,L)
Today, travel west to charming Bremen. On arrival, join an insightful tour through the city’s picturesque centre, lined with quaint red brick houses. See the market-square, the statue of Brother’s Grimm, “The Bremen Town Musicians” and visit the ornate 15th century Rathaus (Town Hall). Lunch will be served at a local restaurant and your evening will be at leisure.
Friday 24 June Bremen – Amsterdam (B,D)
Admire the picturesque German countryside and cross the border to the Netherlands and arriving in the capital, Amsterdam in the early afternoon. We transfer to our hotel and take a wonderful cruise tour through the canals of the city.
Saturday 25 June Amsterdam (B)
This morning, we enjoy a sightseeing tour around Amsterdam itself. The city is famous for its three rings of canals lined by elaborately decorated merchants’ residences and warehouses built during the 17th century. We see Dam Square, the Royal Palace, Skinny Bridge and much more. We take a cruise on the canals in a glass topped boat. At the conclusion of the tour the afternoon is at your leisure.
Sunday 26 June Amsterdam (Join Holland America Cruise) (B,D)
This morning is yours at leisure. Art lovers will want to visit the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Flower Market on the Singel Canal – the only floating flower market in the world. Later this afternoon we are transferred to the port in time to join our luxury floating home, the “MS Rotterdam”. Our ship departs at 5.00pm.
Monday 27 June At Sea (B,L,D)
Enjoy the opportunity to get acquainted with your floating hotel and the many activities that are offered during sea days.
Tuesday 28 June Eidfjord, Norway (B,L,D)
In the innermost reaches of Hardangerfjord, Eidfjord is one of the most beautifully sited towns in this part of Norway. Dwarfed by sheer mountains and cascading waterfalls, only accessible via spiral tunnels and close to charming farms perched on mountain ledges with great views, Eidfjord is simply magnificent. Arrive 7.00am, Depart 5.00pm.
Wednesday 29 June Skjolden, Norway (B,L,D)
Surrounded by steep hills and stunning waterfalls, Skjolden is located at the head Sognefjord–the world’s longest navigable fjord. Visit Urnes Stave Church, the oldest stave church found in Norway, included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, and take a hike in Jostedalsbreen National Park for views you’ll never forget. Arrive 9.00am, Depart 6.00pm.
Thursday 30 June Andalsnes, Norway (B,L,D)
Åndalsnes lies at the mouth of the Rauma River by the Romsdalsfjord, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and cascading waterfalls. In Gudbrand Gorge, delight in whirlpools, which flank this plunging stream as it races through a 65-feet-deep gorge between Valldal and the legendary Troll’s Path. The Stigfoss Waterfall plummets 591 feet into the Ister Valley, surrounded by three magnificent peaks. This spectacular scenic region also includes Trollveggan, a renowned climbing destination with a sheer rock face that rises 5,905 feet. Arrive 10.00am, Depart 8.00pm.
Friday 01 July Trondheim, Norway (B,L,D)
Founded in AD 997 as a Viking seat of power, Trondheim (then Nidaros) holds the Nidaros Cathedral where all Norwegian coronations take place and the crown jewels are kept. The cathedral, the second largest church of Northern Europe, towers over the city centre. It’s old heritage can still be traced in and around the city centre. It is also home to Norway’s University of Science and Technology with over 25,000 students. Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm
Saturday 02 July At Sea (B,L,D)
Sunday 03 July Hammerfest, Norway (B,L,D)
In keeping with much of northern Norway, the natural setting of Hammerfest is simply stunning with everything from alpine terrain to delicate shorelines. From May 17 to July 28, the midnight sun lights up the fjords, islands and skerries no matter what time of day.
Settled because of its natural harbor, Hammerfest has a long history of maritime activity. For decades the town has functioned as a home base for the Barents Sea fishing fleet, driving the local trade and commerce. Modern Hammerfest relies just as much on the Snøhvit Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant, one of the most energy-efficient LNG facilities in the world. Watch out for it on Melkøya Island as your ship approaches Hammerfest. During the Second World War, Nazi Germany used the Hammerfest region as a base for its North Sea submarine fleet. The old town was subsequently destroyed leaving just the small Hauen Chapel, which still stands next to the new Hammerfest Church.
Despite this dark chapter, modern-day Hammerfest is a busy and bright community. During July and August the main city square becomes Sommertorget (Summer Square), a hive of activity and a meeting place for locals and visitors alike.
Monday 04 July Honningsvåg, Norway (B,L,D)
Invigorating and scenic, Honningsvåg, the world’s northernmost village, is your gateway to the North Cape. It’s Norway’s third largest harbor and the last port of call before heading eastward to the Arctic Ocean. This is one of the best towns in northern Norway to experience the beauty of continuous daylight. Fishing is the main industry of this Arctic Circle town and the port is always brimming with activity. Arrive 10:00am depart 6:00pm
Tuesday 05 July At Sea (B,L,D)
Wednesday 06 July At Sea (B,L,D)
Thursday 07 July Bergen, Norway (B,L,D)
Once the very seat of the medieval kingdom of Norway, Bergen is a former Viking stronghold encircled by deep fjords, towering mountains, and sweeping glaciers. Today’s Bergen is very welcoming, with much of the medieval flavour remaining in its harbour. Strike a bargain in one of the many artisans’ workshops, take the cable car to the top of Mt Florien or visit the famous and always entertaining Fish Market. Arrive 8:00am Depart 5:00pm
Friday 08 July Stavanger, Norway (B,L,D)
Before this port city on Norway’s western coast earned its status as the epicentre of “black gold” and the extraction of North Sea oil, it was a shipbuilding and fish-canning town. Fuelled by its wealth as one of the world’s top energy capitals, it’s now home to top-notch fusion restaurants and a bustling nightlife that caters to a never-ending influx of expatriates. Amidst this financial boom, though, Stavanger has managed to hold on to its heritage and soul: Archaeological museums and reconstructed settlements pay due reverence to the city’s Viking past. Arrive 10.00am, Depart 7.00pm.
Saturday 09 July At Sea (B,L,D)
Sunday 10 July Amsterdam – Dubai (B)
Time to farewell Amsterdam this morning as we transfer to the airport and join the flight back to Dubai. Arrival time is late evening and overnight accommodation is reserved at the airport.
Monday 11 July Dubai – Home
Time for the last leg of our journey on our flight home.
Tuesday 12 July Arrive Home
Arrival is mid morning. Journey’s End!