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Nordkapp Adventure
16 days
Norway, Russia - Trip code NKP

Nordkapp Adventure

On this journey of discovery, we venture from St. Petersburg up through Russia and into Norway, to the most northern point in mainland Europe. This is uncharted territory for Explore, so on this first ever recce departure we'll be asking for your feedback to help us put together an exciting new trip for 2018 to this remote but fascinating region. We will travel by road and use a couple of overnight trains as we make our way north and visit iconic cities including Murmansk, Alta and Tromso and stop off at unusual sights along the way. We take a boat across the White Sea to Solovetsky Island, which is home to a monastery that was formerly a prison camp for politicians of Imperial Russia. We also see traditional Russian wooden architecture on the UNESCO listed Kizhi Island in Lake Onega. The pinnacle of our journey will be reaching the edge of Europe as we arrive at Nordkapp and take an 18 kilometre hike to the actual most northern point in Europe, Knivskjellodden, which few tourists venture to. There will be just one departure of this trip in 2017 in June when we will be able to experience the bizarre sensation of the midnight sun.

Trip highlights

  • St. Petersburg - Discover the city on foot and take a boat trip to the lesser visited Fort Alexander I and explore Kronstadt Military Port
  • Solovetsky Island - Visit the monastery which was a former prison camp for politicians of Imperial Russia
  • Murmansk - See the world's first nuclear-powered icebreaker ship 'Lenin' and the Museum of the Northern Fleet
  • Kizhi Island - Experience one of Russia's greatest open-air museums on an island in Lake Onega
  • Nordkapp - Reach the globe marking the end of the North Cape and walk to Knivskjellodden, the true most northern point in mainland Europe
  • Alta - See the UNESCO listed rock paintings at the Alta Museum and have the chance to walk to the Alta Dam
  • Tromso - Chance to take an evening cable car ride up Mount Storsteinen
Accommodation grade:
Standard
Our standard, mid-range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with other amenities such as a restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Generally rooms will be comfortable with en suite facilities.
Trip pace:
Full on
Full on paced trips are for travellers who like their holidays packed with activities and experiences, moving on quickly from place to place with lots of early starts and long, busy days. Some may find them tiring, but others get a buzz from packing their precious holiday-time as chock-a-block full of new experiences as possible!
Group Size:
12 - 18
Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

2018 Departures Coming Soon

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Why book this trip

On this one off adventurous recce trip we will take a group of pioneering travellers to venture into uncharted territory for Explore. We will travel from St. Petersburg up through Russia and cross into Northern Norway on our quest to reach the most northern point in mainland Europe. We will use your feedback and the experience you have to help hone our future 2018 group departures to this destination.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 15
Transport
  • Bus
  • Boat
  • Train
Trip staff
  • Explore Tour Leader
  • Driver(s)
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
Read more
FairFX currency card
Read more

Trip information

Country information

Norway

Climate

Seasonal Climate Despite the northern latitudes the climate in Norway is not extreme, due to the affects of the North Atlantic Drift. Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching the high teens and rain a regular feature year round along the coast. North of the Arctic Circle the sun does not set between the middle of May and the end of July, so you can expect to encounter the midnight sun during this period.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Lutheranism

Language

Norwegian

Russia

Climate

In European Russia snows usually start in November and stay till late March/early April, when a great thaw occurs with temperatures ranging from about 5°C in October and April to -15°C in January.

Time difference to GMT

+3

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Orthodox Christianit, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism

Language

Russian

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Alta: Alta Canyon and Dam price subject to group numbers, €270 fixed cost for guide to be split between group. Tromso: Mount Storsteinen cable car NOK 170.

Clothing

Although we will be travelling in June the weather in the far north of Russia and Norway can still be unpredictable and chilly so layers are needed, including a warm sweater and windproof outer garment. Raingear is essential and other items that may prove useful are gloves, a scarf, a warm hat and lightweight thermals. For our walk to Knivskjellodden you should pack a scarf, hat or a hooded top, warm jacket, gloves and full waterproofs. Ladies should also take a headscarf with them for entering churches.

Footwear

You should bring comfortable waterproof walking boots (these will be needed for the uneven and boggy terrain at Knivskjellodden) and trainers or sandals for relaxing.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a day pack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself. This trip is at a full on pace, including several train journeys with short walks and/or stairs between platforms, stations and accommodation, so for this reason please take care to make sure you can comfortably carry your own luggage throughout the trip.

Equipment

We recommend taking binoculars, an umbrella, camera, water bottle, sun cream, sun hat and sunglasses. There may be a number of mosquitos at some of the locations visited (especially at the lakes if there is little wind), so we recommend taking mosquito repellent with you. When travelling on the overnight trains you may also find a toilet roll, torch and hand sanitiser useful. For our walk to Knivskjellodden you may want to bring walking poles.

Tipping

Explore leader
At your discretion you might also consider tipping your Explore Leader in appreciation of the efficiency and service you receive.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly you should allow approximately £30.00 for tips. In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.
Country Information

Norway

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£18.00 - 25.00
Dinner price
£35.00 - 40.00
Beer price
£6.00 - 8.00
Water price
£2.00 - 3.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Norwegian Krona
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Take Norwegian Krona with you
Where To Exchange
Recommend you buy some Norwegian Krona before departing the UK (or whist in transit in Oslo).
ATM Availability
ATMs are available in Myre and at Oslo and Evenes Airports.
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are generally accepted at many hotels and optional excursions may be paid for by credit card.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

Russia

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£12.00 - 16.00
Beer price
£2.00 - 4.00
Water price
£1
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Rouble.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
We recommend that you take your money in Euros or US Dollars cash. For US Dollars notes should be in good condition (not torn or marked), issued after 1990 (pre-1990 are often refused) and ideally in small denominations. Euros and Dollars are easily transferable into the local currency, Roubles.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns - your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
Cash can be withdrawn both in Moscow and St. Petersburg
Credit Card Acceptance
Local currency (Russian Roubles) can also be drawn on credit cards from ATM's in both Moscow and St Petersburg.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers cheques are accepted in Moscow and St Petersburg but are very time-consuming to change and attract unfavourable exchange rates

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Boat, Train

Accommodation notes

Booking a Single Room

All of our group tours are planned and operated on a twin-share basis, meaning that the standard cost is based either on individual travellers sharing accommodation with another group member of the same sex, or people who book together sharing accommodation. Please refer to the tour notes where the single room option availability is detailed on a night by night basis for this tour, and the price for the available nights is detailed on the dates & prices tab by departure date. For Self-Guided trips the Single Room supplement offers the option of a single room each and is charged per person. The Single Room supplement also applies to the third person in a party of three that will be accommodated in a single room.


For the overnight train journeys we will use sleeper carriages with four bunk beds and bedding provided (two beds on floor level and two above) per compartment and with a shared toilet and wash basin in each carriage. There are no shower facilities on board. Luggage is stored under the bottom bunk beds and above the cabin door for the top bunks. There is the possibility that you will be sharing with non-Explore clients in the same cabin. This is one of the last places in Europe where you can experience authentic overnight rail travel with the local people and it's a great way of getting from place to place during the night, so you maximise on the amount of time you have in each place during the day to explore. Take snacks, toilet roll, hand sanitiser and an open mind with you for maximum enjoyment. During our stay in Rabocheostrovsk on day 5 we will be spend the night at an accommodation complex made up of eight two-storey simply decorated cottages that we will be split between. There is a restaurant, bar and sauna on site.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Norway: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office. Russia: All nationalities require a single entry visa in order to enter Russia. As part of the visa requirements you will need to obtain a Russian Travel Voucher and Authorisation from the local Russian authorities. Explore will request this on your behalf approximately 8 weeks prior to departure. Please allow a minimum of 5 working days for the travel voucher and authorisation to be processed. Due to the visa processing times, Explore are unable to accept bookings within one month of travel. For British passport holders: From the Dec 10th 2014 onwards, all applicants must present themselves in person to the Russia Visa Processing Centre in London, Manchester or Edinburgh, on the day of application, to provide biometric information (fingerprints). There is currently no appointment system in place for this new process, so applicants will be seen on a first come, first serve basis. It is likely this will mean lengthy queues and waiting times. The biometric process is not optional, and any applicant who refuses to provide their fingerprints will automatically be refused a visa. This information is not stored and applicants will therefore need to travel to the Processing Centre each time a visa is required. In the event an application is rejected due to inaccurate or incomplete information, fingerprints must be resubmitted as part of the revised application. For more information regarding this new process - we recommend contacting the Russian Embassy direct, their website is http://rusemb.org.uk/visa/ It is essential that you provide Explore with the correct passport information at the time of booking, as this will be required in order to request the travel voucher and letter of invite, as well as pre-book any applicable train tickets. Corrections and amendments will incur additional charges, so please double check that the information we have for you is up to date and correct, this includes your passport number, full name as per passport (including middle names), date of birth and place of birth; if customers renew or reissue their passports from the details initially given to Explore, train tickets must be cancelled and purchased again, which involves extra costs and may result in customers being in differing train carriages to the rest of the group. If you intend to renew your passport please let Explore know at the point of booking and please ensure that you have the new passport no later than 8 weeks prior to travel. Once you receive your travel voucher and authorisation, you may notice that the dates of entry and exit displayed do not match your exact dates of entry and exit. This is not a problem and it is often the case that the entry date is earlier than your actual tour start date and the exit date is later than the end of the tour. On your visa application you will need to insert the dates of entry and exit exactly as they are stated on your authorisation letter. In the very unlikely situation that the date band showing on your authorisation letter is ever less than your planned travel duration, please notify Explore as soon as possible and we will get this updated. You will be required to enter a reference number and a confirmation number on your visa application. These can be found at the top of your authorisation letter under the heading 'Voucher Number'. The 6 digit long number is the reference and the 4 digit number is the confirmation number. If arriving in Russia more than 72 hours before day 1 of your Explore holiday, and staying at a different hotel to the joining hotel, or with friends, then please contact Explore to provide us with the address of your accommodation before you begin to apply for your Russian visa Please ensure that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of return to your home country.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Included activities

This trip is designed to introduce you to this region of Northern Europe in just 16 days; there's a lot of ground to cover, a couple of rail journeys and a considerable amount of walking, so please be prepared for the busy nature of this enthralling holiday. Please also pack light to ensure that you can lift your bag onto the trains.

Non refundable permits

Norway

Vaccinations

Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Russia

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A, polio and diphtheria. Tick-borne encephalitis is recommended by some medical sources if travelling in certain areas of Eastern Europe, at specific times of the year. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling. The Russian government advises that certain medications must be declared upon entry into the country, and you may also be required to carry a prescription with you. You should consult your local consulate for up to date information prior to travel.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
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