AUD 10068 / pp
24 July - 14 August 2020
Travel to Russia and Finland, discover the three kingdoms of Denmark, Sweden and Norway during three- week journey and experience the best the Northern Europe has to offer. Start with in-depth exploration of Russia’s most famous cities and uncover the greatest treasures of Moscow and St Petersburg. Then, Scandinavia which will dazzle you with stunning views and unique landscapes. Attend the world famous Peer Gynt festival, Norway’s top summer cultural event .
Day 1: Arrival at Moscow
Arrival at Moscow. Meet & greet at the airport and transfer to your cosy hotel in the downtown. Evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: The Kremlin & Novodevichy convent
Discover Moscow, the heart of Russia and one of the oldest cities in the country. After breakfast, take off for full-day sightseeing tour . Visit Moscow Kremlin and explore all the highlights including the Armory Take a walking tour at Red Square, passing Lenin’s Mausoleum and astonishing Saint Basil's Cathedral, , the Bolshoi Theatre, KGB Headquarters & other attractions of the downtown. Ride a famous Moscow metro with its beautiful underground palaces, visit UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Novodevichy Convent built in 16th century, Sparrow Hills with the best viewpoint and and stroll along famous Arbat street. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3: Tretyakov Gallery, VDNKh & more
After breakfast, take a full-day sightseeing tour in Moscow. Visit the Tretyakov State Art Gallery, the foremost depository of Russian fine art in the world and enjoy the highlights of its unique collection. Stalin skyscrapers tour will introduce you to the famous Stalinist architecture style. They were built from 1947 to 1953, in an elaborate combination of Russian Baroque and Gothic styles. At the time of construction, they were the tallest buildings in Europe, and Main building of Moscow State University remained the tallest building in Europe until 1997. h. Visiting Museum of Cosmonautics to explore the fascinating story of space exploration. Overnight at the hotel. Suggestion for evening free time: visit Izmaylovo Kremlin to get an insight into an atmosphere of the past, see masters of handicraft at work — blacksmiths, potters, wood carvers, and also participate in the process of producing artworks of the national applied and decorative arts.
Day 4: Train to St. Petersburg
After breakfast, transfer to the railway station and board high-speed bullet train for 4 hours journey to St. Petersburg. Meet & Greet at the railway station and transfer to your hotel in the downtown. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Peterhof
After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour to the royal Peterhof Palace. Gardens and Parks are spread over more than four hundred hectares and include thirty-one amazing museums and beautiful Versailles-style gardens. Interiors, as always in Russia, are all made of gold. In summer, the Peterhof is especially good thanks to its famous fountains which run naturally. We shall visit the Grand Palace - the golden must-see! - and have a tour around the estate. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: The Hermitage & iconic landmarks
After breakfast, take a full-day sightseeing tour in St. Petersburg. Today, you visit one of the most important sites in Russian history and heritage, the world-famous Palace of the Hermitage, the former residence of the Royal Family. The Hermitage today is the second largest art museum in the world; its collection includes over 2.7 mln items. Then, take a tour to see the city’s iconic landmark: Isaac Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, the Peter and Paul Fortress and cathedral. Visit the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood — one of the most powerful constructions in Russian Orthodox Christian architecture, an absolutely enthralling must-see. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: The Catherine’s Palace & Amber Room
After breakfast, take a sightseeing tour in Pushkin/Tsarskoye Selo (30 km south of St. Petersburg). The tour includes the Catherine Palace and world-famous Amber Room. The stunning Rococo palace was the summer residence of the Russian Tsars. The residence originated in 1717 when Catherine I hired German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. Construction lasted for four years, and on 30 July 1756, the architect presented the brand-new 325-meter-long palace to the Empress. The afternoon is free at leisure to explore the city on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: St. Petersburg — Helsinki
After breakfast, transfer to the train station to board the express train to Helsinki, 3,5 hours ride Upon arrival, you will be met by World of Discovery’s team member to transfer you to your hotel in the downtown. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 9: Helsinki & Stockholm
After breakfast, check-out from the hotel and take a private 4-hour city tour. Travel between the city’s highlights by air-conditioned vehicle, and experience the Finnish capital’s 450-year-old past and stylish vibe. See landmarks such as Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral and the Sibelius Monument. Finish with a stroll in Market Square, where stalls offer contemporary Finnish foods and goodies. After the tour, head to the airport to take a short flight to Stockholm. Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to the hotel in the downtown. In the evening, join the group for a welcome dinner in a restaurant in Stockholm to taste the local cuisine. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Stockholm
After breakfast, start a bus sightseeing tour of Stockholm, including the Stockholm subway Art tour. We shall visit the Vasa Museum, home to the world's best-preserved 17th-century warship, which sat on the floor of Stockholm Harbor for more than 300 years. Resume the scenic drive through the city, making stops at Riddarholmen Island and Fjällgatan. See the Royal Opera, the Palace, the Parliament Building, and other highlights, as well as the scenic Strandvägen and tony Östermalm. In Gamla Stan, Stockholm's Old Town, disembark for a walking tour. Wind through the medieval town's narrow alleyways to see landmarks such as Järnpojk and Storkyrka. After lunch experience one of Stockholm’s most popular things to do: subway Art tour! Evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 11: Stockholm — Copenhagen
After early breakfast, transfer to Stockholm Central Train Station to board our train to Copenhagen at 8:25 a.m. At 1:32 p.m. arrive at Copenhagen and transfer to the hotel. After lunch in a local restaurant we head to a Copenhagen Panoramic City Tour with Harbor Cruise. As you cruise through the beautiful city, see impressive monuments like the Gefion Fountain, Rosenborg Castle and the Citadel of Copenhagen. Make a half an hour stop to witness the changing of the Royal Guard at Amalienborg Palace and photo stops at the Opera and the Little Mermaid, one of Denmark’s most renowned attractions;. After the bus tour head to the bustling old fish market at Gammel Strand and climb aboard the canal boat for the second half of our tour. Glide through Copenhagen’s thriving harbour with architectural mélange of colourful buildings and metropolitan structures. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 12: Copenhagen, Sagnlandet Lejre
After breakfast, we head to the land of legends «Sagnlandet Lejre» an atmospheric and exciting village, where 10 000 years of Danish history are brought to life. Houses and settings from the Iron Age, Stone Age, Viking Age and the 19th century, located in the beautiful historic landscape near Roskilde, a town that was once the capital of Denmark. Evening is free at leisure. Return to Copenhagen and overnight.
Day 13: Copenhagen – Aarhus – Aalborg
After having breakfast, head to Odden by transfer bus (113 km) and n take a ferry to Aarhus. The journey takes 75 minutes. We start our walking guided tour at Aarhus Harbour and stroll along old cobbled streets. Aarhus a a cozy and picturesque town, and our local guide will share the best photo locations for us to take great photos. so charge your camera well. One of the architectural pearls you will visit is the Aarhus Theatre, designed by the architect Hack Kampmann, one of the leading architects of the 19th century. From there we will walk on to the Concert Hall park, which is encircled by modern, distinctive buildings, all designed by leading Danish architects during the 20th and 21st centuries. After lunch and free time, head to Aalborg (118 km). Check-in at the hotel and overnight.
Day 14: Hirsthals - Larvik - Oslo
After delicious breakfast, head north to Skagen (69 km) where you can clearly see the border Baltic Sea and Northern Sea, that have different watercolours. Head to Hirtshals (5 km) and take a ferry to Larvik in Norway (4 hours). From there, we drive to Oslo (135 km). Check in at the hotel and rest.
Day 15: Oslo
After breakfast, take off for a full-day sightseeing tour in Oslo. Travel through the centre of the Norwegian capital and admire popular landmarks such as the medieval Akershus Fortress and Castle, the modern Opera House and the Bar Code area, the City Hall, the main street Karl Johan with the National Theatre, the University, the Royal Palace and much more. Continue to the world-renowned Holmenkollen Ski Jump, perched on top of the hill with the same name, one of the city’s best vantage points, and enjoy half an hour on your own to explore this beloved recreational area. Then head to the magnificent Vigeland Sculpture Park, one of Norway’s top attractions, drawing millions of visitors from around the world. Travel onwards to Bygdøy Peninsula, a picturesque city neighbourhood where some of Oslo’s top museums are located. First, visit the Fram Museum with the polar ship Fram, the strongest wooden vessel in the world that travelled along the Arctic Ocean in the late 1800s and reached the South Pole in 1911. Take a tour of the powerful schooner and learn about the incredible Norwegian polar expeditions. Then visit the Viking Ship Museum and marvel at the world's best-preserved Viking ships, more than 1000 years old, and at other original Viking artefacts. The evening is free at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 16: Oslo - Vinstra
After breakfast, transfer to Gala (3 hours) and check-in at the Lodge (7 km from the Peer Gynt Festival - transfer provided). "Peer Gynt" that takes place every year In the Gudbrandsdalen valley, is one of Norway’s leading cultural festivals. The festival is a celebration of Ibsen’s "Peer Gynt" drama and the historical person Per Gynt, who lived in the Gudbrandsdalen valley. The tales about Per have been told through generations, and these, together with the nature and culture in the valley, is what inspired Henrik Ibsen to write the dramatic poem. Enjoy a dinner at the festival and watch the famous Norwegian play at the fresh air. After the Festival we return back to our Lodge for overnight.
Day 17: Vinstra - Trondheim
After breakfast, head to Vinstra Railway Station to take a train to Trondheim (3 hours). Transfer from Trondheim Central Station to the hotel and check-in. The evening is free at leisure with optional Trondheim sightseeing tours. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 18: Trondheim - Kristiansund - Alesund
After breakfast, head to the harbour (walking distance from the hotel) and take a ferry to Kristiansund (3 hours 30 min) where the transfer bus meets the group to take us to Alesund. The journey will go through the Atlantic road, officially the World’s most beautiful drive beautiful roads list . Take a panoramic 4 hours ride and enjoy the stunning view The Atlantic Road takes you from lush coastal landscapes and heaths to bare rocks along the exposed Hustadvika, where you can see the sun sinking into the sea .The road itself has been voted the “Norwegian construction of the century”. The Atlantic Road connects the island of Averøy with the mainland via a series of small islands and islets spanned by a total of eight bridges over 8,274 meters. Arrive at Alesund and check-in at the hotel for overnight.
Day 19: Aalesund
After breakfast, the morning is free at leisure. After lunch, take a boat tour to Runde, the island of puffins. The island is a popular destination all year round but is extremely spectacular in the summer due to its teeming bird-life. Between 500,000 and 700,000 sea birds inhabit the island during short Norwegian summer , most of them in the cliffs. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 20: Aalesund - Geiranger - Hellesylt - Loen
Have an early breakfast at the hotel and depart to Geiranger (110 km). Have lunch at Geiranger with spectacular views over Norway’s most beautiful fjord and then take a ferry to Hellesylt. On arrival in Hellesylt, continue with the same bus (it takes the ferry as well) to Briksdalsbre Glacier. This magnificent Glacier, surrounded by towering mountainsides, cascading waterfall and river, and luxuriant flora is an arm of the Jostedal Glacier, the largest glacier on the European continent. The ice colossus is spread over 486 km² and has its deepest point at 400 m above the sea level. You can take a walk or use electric shuttle service to reach the viewpoints. After visiting Jostedal drive to Loen village. Overnight at the hotel (only 4* hotel is available here)
Day 21: Loen - Flam - Bergen
After breakfast, take a round trip with Loen Skylift that is in a walking distance. Loen Skylift is a spectacular new attraction and adventure arena, at the inner part of the Nordfjord, in the heart of Fjord Norway. A Cable Car will lift you from the fjord to 1011 m. Here you can enjoy the views of the fjord landscape - from the restaurant table, or while exploring in the mountains. Then drive to Flam, get off the transfer bus and take a breathtaking journey by Flamsbana. The Flåm Railway has been described as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world and is one of the leading tourist attractions in Norway. The journey features the finest aspects of the stunning scenery of Western Norway. The train runs from the end of Aurlandsfjord, a tributary of the Sognefjord, up to the high mountains at Myrdal station where we change the train to reach Bergen in 2 hours. Arrive at Bergen, transfer to the hotel, check-in. The evening is free at leisure with optional Bergen sightseeing tours.
Day 22: Bergen
Breakfast at the hotel. Optional Bergen sightseeing tours.Transfer to the airport/port of Bergen.
Drama in the mountains
With the Norwegian mountains as a backdrop, the festival is a nine-day celebration with events, concerts, exhibitions and lectures. The main event of the festival is the theatre production of Peer Gynt at Gålå.
Henrik Ibsen's poem
The festival is a celebration of Ibsen’s "Peer Gynt" and the historical person Per Gynt, who lived in the Gudbrandsdalen valley. The tales about Per have been told through generations, and these, together with the nature and culture in the valley, is what inspired Henrik Ibsen to write the dramatic poem.
A festival with traditions
The Peer Gynt festival is built on old traditions. In 1928 the first Peer Gynt Festival was held in Vinstra, and volunteers from the valley gathered to create the festival. Ever since then the volunteers have been involved in almost every activity, and they are essential to the success of the Peer Gynt festival.
Peer Gynt at Gålå
The theatre production of Henrik Ibsen’s "Peer Gynt" at Gålå has been a success since 1989 and has gathered some of the best professional actors and musicians in Norway. At the theatre venue by lake Gålåvatnet, the professional theatre meets professional musicians and 80 local amateur actors, and the result is one of the most popular theatre productions in Norway. The production is well suited for an international audience, with English and German introductions, summary booklets and audio guides.
The mountain concert "by Rondane"
Powerful music meets grand nature when the Peer Gynt festival presents famous artists at the outdoor stage on Kvamsfjellet mountain, overlooking the Rondane National Park. The concert gathers about 2000 spectators and is considered one of the highlights of the festival program. This concert is suitable for an international audience.
The Peer Gynt Art Exhibition
Every year the Peer Gynt Festival holds a new art exhibition. Art painters like Magne Furuholmen, Håkon Gullvåg and Ørnulv Opdahl are among the exhibitors that have previously exhibited at the festival. The exhibition is open every day during the festival.
The Church concert
During the festival, you can experience a unique concert in the Sør-Fron church, one of the most beautiful churches in the region. This is an acoustic concert, featuring Norway's most celebrated artists.
The Peer Gynt award
Each year, a prominent Norwegian person is awarded the Peer Gynt statuette. The members of the Norwegian Parliament select the winner. Amongst the winners, you can find Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway, explorer Thor Heyerdahl and author Jo Nesbø. The winner is celebrated in a ceremony at the festival.
The nature surrounding the festival is easily accessible for hiking. The Norwegian Trekking Association offers guided tours during the festival as a supplement to the cultural events.
Centrally located hand-picked hotels 3* or 4* in Moscow (3 nights), St. Petersburg (4 nights), Helsinki (1 night), Stockholm (2 nights), Copenhagen (2 nights), Aalborg (1 night), Oslo (2 nights), near Vinstra (1 night), Trondheim (1 night), Alesund (2 nights), Loen (1 night), Bergen (1 night)
Only 4* hotel in Loen (also if you choose 3* package)
Daily breakfasts at the hotels (except day 1)
Dinner on day 9 in Stockholm
Dinner on day 8 at Peer Gynt Festival
Lunch on day 20 in Geiranger
Moscow 8 hours guided tour: the Moscow Kremlin, the Armory, the Red Square, St. Basil's Cathedral (outside), Moscow metro tour, Novodevichy convent & Sparrow Hills
Moscow 8 hours guided tour: the State Tretyakov Gallery, Stalin's skyscrapers tour, the VDNKh & Museum of Cosmonautics
St Petersburg 6 hours guided tour: the Royal Palace of Peterhof
St. Petersburg 8 hours guided tour: the Winter Palace and the Hermitage, Isaac Cathedral, Kazan Cathedral, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Peter & Paul Fortress and Cathedral
Pushkin/Tsarskoe Selo 6 hours guided tour: Catherine’s palace & Amber room
Helsinki 4 hours guided tour: Senate Square, Uspenski Cathedral, the Sibelius Monument, Market Square
Stockholm 8 hours guided tour: Stockholm subway Art tour, Vasa Museum, Riddarholmen Island, Fjällgatan, the Royal Opera, the Palace, the Parliament Building, Strandvägen, Östermalm, Gamla Stan, Järnpojk, Storkyrka
Copenhagen 4 hours guided tour: Harbor Cruise, the Gefion Fountain, Rosenborg Castle, the Citadel of Copenhagen, the changing of the Royal Guard at Amalienborg Palace, the Opera, the Little Mermaid statue
The land of legends «Sagnlandet Lejre» 8 hours tour
Oslo 8 hours guided tour: the Akershus Fortress and Castle, the Opera House, the Bar Code area, the City Hall, the main street Karl Johan with the National Theatre, the University, the Royal Palace, the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, Vigeland Sculpture Park, Bygdøy Peninsula, the Fram Museum, the Viking Ship Museum
Aarhus guided city walking tour (2 hours)
Boat tour to Runde (8 hours)
Briksdalsbre Glacier tour (1,5 hours)
Moscow-St. Petersburg intercity high-speed train SAPSAN (economy class) one way
Train tickets (economy class) for train St. Petersburg - Helsinki ("Allegro")
Flight tickets (economy class) for the flight Helsinki - Stockholm
Train tickets (economy class) for trains Stockholm - Copenhagen, Flam - Murdal, Myrdal - Bergen
Ferry tickets (economy class) for ferries Odden - Aarhus, Hirsthals - Larvik, Trondheim - Kristiansund, Geiranger - Hellesylt
Meet & greet at every location
Full metro/public transport passes in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Stockholm
Transportation on tours as per program in a comfortable a/c bus
24/7 phone/WhatsApp support line
Tour is fully escorted by English-speaking tour director
English-speaking guides in 5 countries.
Travel tips online brochure.
Local SIM card in Russia.
Entrance Tickets to all listed attractions
Peer Gynt Festival one day entrance tickets 1st category
Loen Skylift entrance ticket
Flamsbana train ticket
Meals not mentioned
Optional tours and activities
The biggest Scandinavian cultural event - Peer Gynt Fesitval
The world-famous attractions of Moscow & Saint Petersburg
The breathtaking beauty of the Norwegian Fjords
Flamsbana, one of the most beautiful train journeys
The new spectacular attraction - Loen Skylift
The World’s most beautiful drive, the Norwegian Atlantic Road
Egypt / Australia
Thanks you Abby and Varvara and all the other staff members of World of Discoveries for making our stay in Russia over 2 and a half weeks easy, comfortable and memorable. Thanks for the great organisation with transfers and accommodation. Thanks also for organising a phone sim card for each one in our group. It made our life much easier to stay in touch with each other and with our family and friends back home. We loved our stay in Russia and will certainly come back soon.
I am a Sydney-based journalist who travelled to the 2018 World Cup with Discovery Russia, the sister company of World of Discoveries. Following is my review of that fabulous experience ... What a trip ... the World Cup, five cities, amazing camaraderie, and great tour leadership against the background of one of the globe’s most amazing countries ... Russia. My World Cup tour with Discovery Russia was one of the great experiences of my travel life. The Discovery Russia team provided a wonderful platform with an itinerary both practical and flexible. The local tours in each of the venue cities - Moscow, Kazan, Samara, Sochi and St Petersburg were informative and, importantly, fun. Considering the accommodation pressures created by the huge influx of Cup tourists, the hotels selected by Discovery Russia were more than adequate. Special mention goes to the Grand Hotel Tchaikovsky In St Petersburg. The tour leadership provided by the company was both expert and considerate. Importantly each traveller’s individual enjoyment and safety appeared to be the paramount consideration. This World Cup holiday was meant to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience for me but I am now planning for the next Cup. Bring on 2022 in Qatar!
I was extremely satisfied with my trip. Everyone at the agency have been courteous and helpful from the very beginning, trying to organize our 17 day World Cup experience. The guides and drivers are very professional and friendly, and the accommodations were simply superb. I highly recommend World of Discoveries as I know they will turn your trip into an unforgettable experience.
I decided to use the Tour Service of the World Cup after some extensive research into the tour alternatives. These guys seemed to differentiate its tour Service by providing a more culturally based service with a healthy dose of Football and Fun. My experience was that it as well run ie they delivered on their promises. They have a health mix of local staff and Australian staff. The Russian staff had a great empathy for the challenges for us Aussies traveling in a country where you had no language skills they bridged that gap with there wonderful help. I know there are many alternative tours but this one certainly lived up to its name. I felt I discovered part of Russia but there’s plenty more to go!’ Overall just a great experience
The team at World of Discoveries were awesome. Didn’t put a foot wrong at all, the tours great, the people even better. Alex who followed us around everywhere was fantastic and the organisation by Varya was exceptional. Everything was made easy and extremely helpful 24/7, I don’t think they slept the whole time. Thank you, my dad and myself loved it
Peter Gay & Andrew Carroll-Keays
Travelled on the TransMongolian Railway in Feb/Mar. Not too cold. Just take usual ski gear. Great scenery. Organisation was absolutely excellent. Every transfer and every guide were on time. The hotels were all very good. The Russian Sim (provided by the company) was great for keeping in contact with each other and the support line.