Northern Lights & Arctic Circle by Rail
If it’s a picturesque train journey through wintery mountains and past tiny Scandinavian towns you’re looking for, then check out our very own version of the Polar Express. On this scenic nine-day trip, you’ll start in Oslo and head up north to get a taste of the highlights of Lapland. Once you disembark, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to visit museums, take part in winter activities like snowshoeing and dogsledding, and get acquainted with small-town life.
Oslo orientation walk. Dovre Railway. Norland Railway. Lofoten Islands stay. Northern Lights tour. Polar Museum Visit (Tromsø). Ofoten Railway.
Ride the rails of Scandinavia across the Arctic Circle, explore the Lofoten Islands with an eye out for the Northern Lights, check out life in the small towns of the far north.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) is a natural phenomena and is highly weather dependent. The ability to view the Northern Lights during your trip will be dependent on the appropriate weather/atmospheric conditions.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Train (seats), train (beds), private van, ferry, public bus, walking.
About our Transportation
As often as possible, we’ll be using the railway systems around Norway and Sweden. To reach more remote locations we will be using buses and ferries. You will be expected to travel by foot between stations and hotels.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Standard hotel (4 nts), fishing cabins (2 nts), winter cabins (1 nt), overnight train (1 nt).
This itinerary mostly stays at 2-3 star hotels up to Scandinavian standards. Where possible, we’ve opted to use local accommodation that will show the characteristics of the surrounding area, like fisherman cabins on the Lofoten Islands.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Getting to City Box Hotel:
The hotel is approximately 250 metres from Oslo Central Train Station. The best way to get to Oslo Central Station from Oslo Airport is via train. Upon arrival at the train station, find the main entrance and simply head west towards Strandgata. Once on Strandgata, take the first right onto Prinsens Gate where you will find the Hotel on the left.
There are two train options from Oslo Airport (OSL):
1) The Flytoget Airport Express Train departs from Oslo Airport every 10 or 20 minutes. Duration to the train station is 19–22 minutes. Price per one-way ticket is 180 NOK.
2) NSB Regional Trains, lines R10, R11 and L12 will take you from Oslo Airport to Oslo Central Station. The journey takes 25–30 minutes. Price per one-way ticket is 93 NOK. Please check the timetables link for frequency: https://www.nsb.no/en/timetables
If you would like to take a taxi from the airport, you can go to the taxi information desk in the Arrivals Hall. They have information about the fixed rates and available taxis. You will then have the option of choosing the most cost effective company available.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBER
G Adventures Berlin office: +4915203076785
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from within Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from within Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from within New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. You must be prepared to carry your luggage up and down stairs, as well as on and off transportation.
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Antibacterial wipes/gel
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Flight info (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Head lamp
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Ice grips for shoes
• Insurance info (With photocopies)
• Passport (With photocopies)
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)
• Small hot water thermos
• Thermal underwear
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information
• Warm hat
• Warm winter coat
• Watch and alarm clock
• Weather-appropriate clothing
• Wool socks
• Wool sweater
Note: If you are prone to sea sickness, we recommend talking to your doctor about options to prevent symptoms for the ferry ride from Bodø to the Lofoten Islands.
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2).
Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program, and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day, depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €30-40 per person, per week can be used.
- Akershus Fortress Visit (Free)
- Holocaust Center Visit (50NOK per person)
- Munch Museum Visit (120NOK per person)
- Vigeland Park Visit (Free)
- Fram Museum (120NOK per person)
- Bakklandet Neighbourhood Visit (Free)
- Old Town Bridge Visit
- Market Square Visit
- Nidaros Cathedral Visit (100NOK per person)
- Wildlife Spotting Cruise (800-1200NOK per person)
- Hiking (Free)
- Lofoten War Museum (100NOK per person)
- Concert at Arctic Cathedral (150NOK per person)
- Dog Sledding (1700-1890NOK per group)
- Arctic Cathedral (50-170NOK per person)
- Arctic-Alpine Botanic Gardens (Free)
- Reindeer Sledding (1090-1795NOK per person)
- Snowshoeing (800-1300NOK per person)
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: ENWR, ID: 24257
Day 1 Oslo
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting. If you arrive early enough the Edvard Munch museum is well worth a visit.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Oslo (1B)
On the inside, Oslo’s state of the art architecture and plethora of galleries make a great playscape for those looking to get cultured, while it’s close proximity to the countryside and surrounding nature parks are a perfect option for those looking to get active. Take a day to explore this world-class Scandinavian city – we promise that you won’t run out of things to do.
Day 3 Oslo/Trondheim (1B)
Depart for a scenic ride on the Dovre Railway to Trondheim.
Train (6.00-7.00 hours)
Day 4 Trondheim/Bodø (1B)
Spend a free day exploring Trondheim. Opt to visit the neighbourhood of Bakklandet, the old town bridge, cafés along the wharves, Market Square, Nidaros Cathedral or the old city streets. In the evening, board an overnight train on the Norland Railway to Bodø.
Wake up north of the Arctic Circle in the coastal port town of Bodø.
Overnight train (beds) (10.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Bodø/Lofoten (1B)
There will be multiple opportunities to spot the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) on this trip. If you don’t see them here, don’t despair.
Northern Lights Tour
Ferry (3.15 hour(s))
Day 6 Lofoten (1B)
Enjoy free time on the islands with an optional wildlife-spotting cruise or scenic hikes.
Day 7 Lofoten/Tromsø (1B)
If keen, there are more opportunities for Northern Lights viewing here.
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s))
Day 8 Tromsø (1B)
Visit the Polar Museum in the late morning. Take the rest of the day to discover this quaint town and scenic surroundings. Opt to try dog-sledding, snowshoeing or reindeer-sledding.
Polar Museum Visit
Day 9 Tromsø (1B)
Depart at any time.