Day 1: New Zealand – – Moscow
Depart on a Russia-bound flight.
Day 2: Moscow
Welcome to Russia! Land in the Russian capital city, Moscow, and take your private transfer from the airport to the hotel for check in.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 3: Moscow (B)
Get to know marvellous Moscow on a private four-hour tour of the city, commencing at 10am. This tour will take you into the heart of this diverse city to some of its most iconic and popular sights. Be in awe of the grandeur of Red Square and stroll along the photogenic Sofiyskaya embankment while filling up your camera roll with photos of the Kremlin and Saint Sophia Church. The tour stops at Novodevichy Convent and the site said to have inspired part of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake ballet. Tick off seeing the Bolshoi Theatre and St. Basil’s Cathedral. The tour then introduces you to the modern side of Moscow at Sparrows Hill and the Stalin-built Seven Sisters skyscrapers. Other sites included on today’s tour are Poklonnaya Hill, Victory Park, Moscow State University, Luzhniki Stadium and the Ostankino Tower. Also included on this insightful adventure is a ticket for the Moscow Metro, an extraordinary network that transports more than 11 million people per day.
Day 4: Moscow – – St Petersburg (B)
Make your way to the Moscow rail station in time to board the Sapsan high-speed train to St. Petersburg. You have reserved second class seats for the journey. The train departs the station at 9.40am and is expected to arrive in St Petersburg around 1.50pm. Make your own way to the St Petersburg hotel for check in and then have the rest of the day at your leisure.
Day 5: St Petersburg (B)
Breakfast is served at the hotel and you are then taken out into the St Petersburg streets on a private four-hour guided tour. This grand city is peppered with opulent palaces and buildings, important historical sites, and striking landmarks. On the tour you will visit Palace Square and the resplendent Winter Palace, the former home of the Russian tsars. Other sights include St. Isaac’s Square, Senate Square (formerly known as Decembrists’ Square), Arts Square, Field of Mars, Summer Garden, Marble Palace, St. Michael’s Castle and the Savior on the Spilled Blood. You will also get to see the Cruiser Aurora and the Spit of Basil Island, plus there is time to appreciate the view of Peter and Paul Fortress (entry included) and the Hermitage of St. Petersburg. Pass Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main street named after a 13th-century prince, and enjoy the day’s last stop at St Nicholas Naval Church, a Baroque Orthodox cathedral. You will be dropped off back at the hotel.
Day 6: St Petersburg (B)
You have a full-day of free time to explore St Petersburg however you like. Those with a nose for the arts may return to the State Hermitage Museum, the second-largest museum in the world, to wander between its some 120 rooms displaying exquisite works of art. Some of the museum also occupies the Winter Palace. Some travellers may be content with wandering the streets, stopping in at local restaurants and eateries to savour plates of Russian cuisine. Visit a place dedicated to one of Russian history’s most notorious figures at the Rasputin Museum (located at Yusupov Palace), or toast with a tipple at the Russian Vodka Museum.
Day 7: St Petersburg – – Helsinki (B)
Please make your own way to the railway station in time to board the train bound for Helsinki, the capital of Finland. You will be travelling aboard an Allegro high-speed train in a second class carriage. The train departs at 11.30am and is expected to arrive in Helsinki at around 3pm. Please then arrange your own transport to the Helsinki hotel for check in.
Day 8: Helsinki – – Tallinn – – Helsinki (B)
Breakfast is taken at the hotel and you then make your own way to the shuttle ferry terminal for the journey to Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. This voyage takes approximately two hours. Once ashore in this picturesque Estonian city, you will be met by a local guide and then taken on a panoramic route by private vehicle to Toompea Castle. The castle is the departure point for a walking tour of the Old Town, one of Tallinn’s biggest tourist drawcards. This walk takes you past Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and St. Mary’s Cathedral, along Pikk Street and into the Lower Town area, and finally to St. Nicholas’ Church and Museum and the Old Town Hall. The latter is one of the oldest in North Europe. The sightseeing excursion concludes in Tallinn’s city centre and there is then free time to explore before you return to the ferry terminal and board a boat back to Helsinki.
Day 9: Helsinki – – Stockholm (B)
Be ready at 11am to embark on a Helsinki Panorama Sightseeing tour. This bus tour features full audio and guides you past key sights in Helsinki, such as its historical centre, Uspenski Cathedral, Temppeliaukio Church or Sibelius Monument, Finlandia Hall and the Opera House, plus others. Once the tour has concluded, make your way to the Helsinki pier in time to board an overnight ferry to Stockholm. The ferry departure time is 5pm.
Please note that you will need to make your own way to the tour’s departure point, located at Esplanade Park, Fabianinkatu.
Day 10: Stockholm (B)
The ferry arrives in Stockholm at about 10am. Disembark and make your own way to the hotel. Luggage storage is available at the hotel if rooms are not ready for early check in. You have the remainder of the day as leisure.
Day 11: Stockholm (B)
Enjoy a Stockholm Panorama bus and boat tour today. This tour comes with an English audio guide and commences aboard a coach. Drive around Stockholm and be introduced to its most recognisable sights and buildings. Expect to see Stockholm City Hall, the Royal Palace, Gamla stan, Långholmen island and the Östermalm area. As a plus, there is free WiFi on-board the coach. Halfway through the tour you will swap the bus for a boat and then cruise the canal of Royal Djurgården, an island that doubles as a city park and houses an excellent collection of monuments, museums and galleries.
Please note that you will need to make your own way to the tour’s departure point, located at Gustav Adolfs torg.
Day 12: Stockholm – – Oslo (B)
Have an early breakfast at the hotel and make your way to the train station to board a 9.10am train to Oslo, Norway. You have reserved seats in the second class carriage, and the train is expected to arrive into Oslo at about 3pm. Once in the Norwegian capital you will need to make your way to the hotel for check in. This evening is at your leisure.
Day 13: Oslo – – Myrdal – – Flam – – Gudvangen – Voss – Bergen (B)
A jam-packed itinerary waits for you today. Your luggage is picked up from the hotel by 6.30am and is transferred ahead of you to Bergen. You must make your way to the railway station to board a train bound for Myrdal. This journey delivers some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery. Change trains upon arrival in Myrdal and switch to the Flåm Railway. This is one of the world’s steepest railways, but the pay-off of this sharp incline are truly glorious views. From Flåm you travel by boat through the UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed landscapes of Nærøyfjord towards Gudvangen. Nærøyfjord is the narrowest branch of Sognefjord and is a key feature today’s Norway in a Nutshell itinerary. The beauty of this area is sure to have you gazing around in awe as you appreciate the steep mountains, verdant valleys, waterfalls and pristine hamlets. From aboard the cruise you will also sail past some traditional farmhouses located on the mountains. Disembark the cruise in Voss and transfer to the railway for a train ride to Bergen. Make your own way to the Bergen hotel upon arrival.
Day 14: Bergen (B)
Head down to the hotel lobby just before 10am to meet with a local guide and head out on a private two-hour walking tour of Bergen. This pretty Hanseatic town is home to a fish market, traditional warehouses and architecture, a striking cathedral and gorgeous wooden houses. In the afternoon you will step into a funicular for the journey up Mount Fløyen; the summit of which is the perfect vantage point for taking in one last sweeping panorama of the Norwegian countryside.
Day 15: Bergen – – Balestrand (B, D)
Pack an overnight bag and leave the remainder of your luggage for pick-up at the hotel. It will be collected from the Bergen hotel by 6.30am and delivered to the Oslo hotel in time for your next day arrival.
Make your way to the Bergen pier and board an express boat to take you along Sognefjord. This picturesque waterway stretches for more than 200 kilometres towards the foot of the Jotunheimen mountains and is Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. The boat ferries you to Balestrand where you disembark and check in to your historic 4-star hotel, located right on the water’s edge.
Day 16: Balestrand – – Flam – – Myrdal – – Oslo (B)
Check out of the hotel and commence the return journey aboard express boat towards Flåm. Another ride on the Flåm Railway takes you back to Myrdal and then Oslo. Make your own way back to the hotel for check in.
Day 17: Oslo – – Copenhagen (B)
Join an Oslo Selected Highlights Tour, led by an English-speaking guide, to discover the wonders of the Norwegian capital city. This four-hour tour sees you visit and see some of Oslo’s most beloved attractions. Explore the dynamic cite centre and look in at the Holmenkollbakken ski jump before wandering Vigeland Sculpture Park and continuing to Bygdøy Peninsula for a stop at the Kon-Tiki Museum. Summer season travellers will return from Bygdøy Peninsula to the Oslo city centre via ferryboat (an approximate 10-minute journey). The tour concludes at about 2.30pm. Make your way to the pier to board an overnight ferry travelling to Copenhagen, Denmark. The ferry departs at 4.30pm and you will be staying in an Outside Cabin.
Please note that you will need to make your own way to the tour’s departure point, located at Haakon VII’s Gate 1, next to Riktige Leker toy shop.
Day 18: Copenhagen (B)
Arrive in the Danish capital this morning, at about 10am. Arrange your own transfer to the hotel. Luggage storage is available should rooms not be ready for check in. It is then time to step onto a Hop On Hop Off bus and boat for a sightseeing trip around the city. This excursion comes complete with an English audio guide, and gives you the flexibility to spend however much time you like in some of the city’s most prolific sights. The bus takes you between a range of Copenhagen’s palaces and museums, and you can then move onto the boat portion to see the city from a watery vantage point. Some of the bus stops include the Little Mermaid statue, Nyhavn, Christiansborg Palace and the Opera House. From the boat, you can choose to stop at Gammel Strand, the Royal Danish Playhouse and Christianshavn. The boat also stops at the Little Mermaid statue. Once you have had your fill of hopping on and off, the rest of your day is leisure time.
Day 19: Copenhagen – – New Zealand (B)
Take breakfast at the hotel before checking out and making your way to the airport in time to board your return flight to New Zealand.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the hotel to your next travel arrangements.
Day 20: New Zealand
Arrive back in New Zealand.