New York, NY, April 2007 — Two new tours, the six-day “St. Petersburg Express” and seven-day “Scandinavian Capitals,” have been added to Norwegian Coastal Voyageâ€™s new â€œExplorationsâ€ program of short vacations. Whether combined with a cruise along the fjord-indented west coast of Norway or booked separately, these six two- to seven-day itineraries give visitors an array of choices: Norway’s spectacular Sognefjord and Hardangerfjord; the indigenous Sami culture and wilderness of Lapland above the Arctic Circle; a vintage ship cruise on the Gota Canal in Sweden; three Scandinavian capitals — Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo; and St. Petersburg and Helsinki. Seasonal scenic tours are scheduled from May to September; city packages operate year-round. Rates range from $499 to $559 per person, double, on two-day fjords trips to $2,039 to $3,019 for the seven-day Gota Canal cruise tour.
The new “St. Petersburg Express” tour, which costs $1,119, links by a sleek express train a three-night stay in imperial Russia’s former capital, founded by Peter the Great and restored to splendor, and two nights in cosmopolitan Helsinki, a showcase of architecture and modern Finnish design. The $1,239 package to Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, the lively capitals of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, gives travelers time to enjoy their historic and cultural sights, museums, shops and restaurants and complements cruising along the dramatic Norwegian coast.
Sailing across Sweden between Gothenburg, the largest port, and Stockholm on the Gota Canal aboard a classic vintage ship is a leisurely journey back in time past medieval towns, castles and lush countryside on an unusual cruise route with three canals, 66 locks, eight lakes, one river and two seas; cost is $2,039 to $3,019. Based on Inari, a cultural center and home of the Sami Finnish Parliament, the three-day “Taste of Lapland” at $649 introduces Sami culture, reindeer herding and the vast wilderness of salmon rivers, mountains and lakes in the far north of Finland and Norway.
Two-day tours at $499 to $559, focusing on the mighty Sognefjord or majestic Hardangerfjord, transport travelers over the mountains between Oslo and Bergen, Norway’s two largest cities, via thrilling rides on fjord ferries and the steep Flam and Bergen Railways through awesome scenery of cliff-lined fjords, cascading waterfalls and snow-capped peaks with stops at charming mountain villages.
Exploration programs for independent travelers include accommodations, breakfast daily and travel by train, motorcoach, ferry or ship. Participants have leisure time to explore destinations and dine at restaurants of their choice. Fjord tours add one dinner and Gota Canal cruises all shipboard meals. Optional excursions, activities and extra hotel nights are available.
The Norwegian Coastal Voyage fleet sails daily year-round, calling at 34 ports along the 1,250-mile coast between Bergen and Kirkenes. Brochures, information and reservations can be obtained from Norwegian Coastal Voyage Inc., (800) 323-7436 or (212) 319-1300; fax (212) 319-1390; for brochures, (800) 666-2374, 24 hours a day; www.norwegiancoastalvoyage.us.