START OF TOUR IN AMSTERDAM
Welcome to Amsterdam and the start of your Northern Explorer tour! Meet your tour leader at the accommodation this morning. After everyone's checked in, get ready to experience the gorgeous Dutch countryside. Visit a local Dutch farm and see how clogs and local cheese are made! You will also have the opportunity to join an optional excursion which further explores the Dutch countryside. Later this evening, enjoy a canal cruise of Amsterdam - one of the best ways to see this amazing city and its sights! Afterwards, enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. The rest of the night is free. Stroll around the canals (keep an eye out for bicycles!), visit Dam Square or the famous red light district. (Start Point: 10:00AM)
AMSTERDAM - HAMBURG - NORTHERN GERMAY
Depart Amsterdam this morning and travel towards a new country, Germany! Arrive in Hamburg in the late afternoon and embark on an orientation tour with your tour leader. Hamburg is an impressive harbour town and top cultural destination home to over 50 museums! Your tour leader will show you some of the city’s highlights and give you some tips for what to explore during your free time. Enjoy some time to grab dinner, why not eat a hamburger in the city they were named after? Later, travel on to the accommodation for the night situated in a quaint town in Northern Germany. Get some rest tonight as tomorrow we make our way to Denmark where more adventures await!
NORTHERN GERMANY - ODENSE - COPENHAGEN
The journey continues to Scandinavia after breakfast. Cross the border into Denmark and head towards the Danish capital, Copenhagen. The drive offers fantastic views as well as a crossing of Europe's longest bridge. En route, enjoy a visit to Odense, the birthplace of fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen! Arrive in Copenhagen and enjoy an orientation tour of the city. It'll soon be evident why this charming city has been voted one of the world's most liveable so many years in a row! It's clean, safe, and very easy to get around and blessed with cosy cafés and world-famous restaurants!
COPENHAGEN - HELSING0R - GOTHENBURG - OSLO
The tour will visit three countries today; Denmark, Sweden and Norway! Depart Copenhagen and take a short drive to the port town of Helsingør this morning. This town is home to Kronborg Castle, the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet. See the castle from the water as we take a short ferry ride to Sweden. Then, enjoy a drive from the port of Helsingborg through the stunning rural Swedish scenery while travelling towards Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city and the home of Volvo. Here, join your tour leader for an orientation tour and find a spot to enjoy lunch. Next, cross the border into Norway and travel north to Oslo. Norway’s capital city is full of Scandinavian culture and charm! Enjoy a free evening to explore the city.
OSLO FREE DAY
Look forward to exploring Oslo today! Begin with a locally guided tour of Norway’s cool, compact and captivating capital city. Oslo is surrounded by stunning scenery and is famous for its green spaces and museums. A local expert will showcase the city’s highlights including Akershus Castle, the Royal Palace and the Oslo Opera House. After the city tour, the rest of the day is free to explore as you wish. Why not visit one of the city’s famous museums or galleries, stroll around town admiring the architecture or choose a local spot to enjoy lunch and dinner?
OSLO - SIGTUNA - STOCKHOLM
Wave farewell to Norway as the tour travels back to Sweden. Find out why Sweden is ranked as one of the most naturally beautiful countries in Europe on a drive through various landscapes. Pass Karlstad on the shores of Lake Vänern before arriving in Örebro where the group has free time for lunch. After lunch, it’s time to visit Sigtuna. This beautiful mediaeval town is the oldest in Sweden. It’s home to old church ruins as well as the oldest main street in Sweden - Stora Gatan. Next, the tour continues to Stockholm, Sweden’s gorgeous capital! Arrive in the evening and absorb the vibrant atmosphere of the Scandinavian capital city. Enjoy an included dinner with the group tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
STOCKHOLM FREE DAY
Discover the highlights of Stockholm today! Discover the top attractions and learn all about Sweden’s capital city on a locally guided tour. See the Royal Palace, the AF Chapman Ship and take a walk through Gamla Stan; Stockholm’s famous Old Town. Enjoy free time from lunchtime onwards. The Royal Sweden & Vasa Museum optional, which takes place over two days, is a great way to learn more about Sweden’s royal history and see relics of its past! Today, the optional visits the Vasa Museum. Alternatively, relax in one of Stockholm’s green spaces or sample some local cuisine!
Please note: Today’s optional excursion will take place over day 7 and day 8 due to the timing of the tour's schedule.
STOCKHOLM OPTIONAL FREE MORNING - HELSINKI (OVERNIGHT FERRY
Spend time this morning exploring the city of Stockholm! The numerous islands that make up the town offer fascinating walks, especially through the Djurgården. If you’re joining part two of the Royal Sweden & Vasa Museum optional, look forward to visiting the stunning Drottningholm Palace this morning! Otherwise, spot beautiful old ships in the harbour and visit some of the many world-class museums and art galleries. See if you can catch the changing of the guards at the Royal Palace! This afternoon it's time to travel to the next destination - Finland! This afternoon, take an overnight ferry, arriving in Helsinki, Finland, tomorrow morning.
Arrive in Helsinki in the late morning and head off on a tour of the city with a local guide. See the highlights of Helsinki including the Helsinki Cathedral and Senate Square. You will have the afternoon to explore the Finnish capital at your own pace. An effortlessly cool city, Helsinki prides itself on being slightly off-the-wall, playing with decor and design traditions to humorous effect. Elegant cafés, magnificent museums and impressive Art Nouveau architecture all combine to create a city that is certain to leave an impression! Enjoy an included dinner with the group tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
HELSINKI - TALLINN
Today it’s time to travel to the Baltic States! Catch a ferry from the port in Helsinki, cross the Gulf of Finland and arrive in Tallinn, Estonia. With the strong mediaeval influence combined with modern structures, Tallinn is one of Europe's most enchanting cities! Enjoy an included group lunch at a local restaurant before seeing the highlights and wonderful historic sights of Tallinn with a local guide on a walking tour. Explore the UNESCO-listed historic centre, see Town Hall Square, St Olav’s Church and more! Enjoy a free evening to discover more of the city.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
TALLINN - RIGA
Travel onwards to Latvia today! Depart Tallinn and head towards Riga, Latvia’s capital city. En route, sightsee in scenic Pärnu, a resort town in Estonia, and visit the seaside town of Saulkrasti in Latvia before a sombre visit to the Latvian War Cemetery, dedicated to the soldiers who fought in WWI. Later, arrive in Riga which is possibly the most vibrant of the Baltic cities and blessed with a culture that you'll find irresistible! In contrast to its smaller neighbours, Riga goes all out with a buzzing atmosphere and impressive Art Nouveau architecture. Join your tour leader on a walking tour. Explore some of its most notable landmarks and sights, including the famous central markets and many beautiful churches.
HILL OF CROSSES - VILNUIS
Lithuania is calling today! The first stop of the day is the Hill of Crosses - a pilgrimage site loaded with around 100,000 crosses which is an impressive sight to behold. Arrive in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, and set off on an orientation tour of the city before enjoying some free time. Lithuania's capital exudes Old Town charm, so much so that it's been added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. In contrast to the medieval history, there are also reminders of Vilnius' more recent and darker past, including remnants of the ghettos where the Jewish community lived during Nazi occupation, and the influence of the Soviet Union. It is an intriguing city to discover.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
TRAKAI - WARSAW
This morning, travel to the final destination in Lithuania - Trakai National Park. The main attraction is undoubtedly a view of the iconic brick-built castle at its centre, which lies on an island surrounded by crystal-clear water. Next, head towards the Polish border. En route to Warsaw, your tour guide will offer insights into the city and its surroundings on a driving tour. As the cultural hub of Poland, Warsaw is a city of energy and action, racing to replace what was lost after being utterly destroyed in World War II. Arrive at the hotel, check in and join the group for an included dinner this evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
WARSAW FREE DAY
Enjoy a city tour of Warsaw’s Old Town with a local guide this morning. Meet your guide at the hotel and then embark on the tour, taking in a number of highlights and seeing the bustling square at the heart of the old town. This afternoon is yours to spend as you wish! Visit some of the highly regarded museums, such as the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, the Chopin Museum, or the extensive collections of the National Museum. On a Sunday, you can enjoy free entry to the Royal Palace and the occasional free music concert in Łazienki Park. Alternatively, you can further explore the Old Town and make the most of your time in this charming city.
POZNAN - BERLIN
Heading west through Poland, stop in Poznań, a city famous for its historic old town. Enjoy your free time to have lunch and admire the colourful buildings and beautiful architecture of the Old Market Square. Cross the border into Germany and continue to the city of Berlin! The German capital rose in power under Nazi rule leading up to the Second World War and then endured division during the Cold War, which is symbolised in the infamous Berlin Wall. Reminders of the past are everywhere, but Berlin has been reborn and is filled with vibrant modern culture today. Take a driving tour through the city and see some famous landmarks, including Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
BERLIN FREE DAY
Today is a free day in Berlin. Revisit some of the sights from yesterday's driving tour, or strike out on your own to discover more of the city for yourself. Alternatively, choose to join the fascinating Berlin+ tour for a trip into the past. For an incredible bird's eye view of the city, head up the Berlin TV tower - located close to Alexanderplatz, it has become an icon of the capital. If you fancy some museum action, head over to museum island, a collection of five world-famous museums in the heart of Berlin’s city centre. Want to let your hair down after a day of exploring? Berlin has you covered, offering an incredibly vibrant nightlife complete with bars, clubs and shows - from theatre to cabaret.
BERLIN - AMSTERDAM
After breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to Berlin and travel back to the Netherlands, enjoying the beautiful German and Dutch landscapes during the drive. Arrive back at the Amsterdam hotel for tonight, and the evening is free to do as you wish. To celebrate the last night of the tour, and say farewell to your tour leader, driver and fellow passengers, join in for the optional farewell dinner.
Today, the tour concludes after breakfast. By now, you will have enjoyed 18 days on tour, visiting amazing countries and making unforgettable memories! Be sure to share your contact details with your fellow travelers. We hope you've enjoyed your Northern Explorer Tour as much as we have! (End Point Amsterdam: 10:00AM)