Norway highlights and Northern Lights holiday
Description of Norway highlights and Northern Lights holiday
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PlanetThis spectacular itinerary ensures as little time driving as possible and celebrates the best of the coastline accessible by train, ship, and RIB boat. Norway is a pioneer in sustainable and innovative travel, and we have selected activities which embrace that; for instance, the Flam railway, which takes you along one of the world’s most spectacular train rides, is powered by hyrdro-electric energy from the Kjosfossen waterfall, one of the iconic stops on route.
At the heart of this journey is your trip by ship through the Fjords. Traditionally the company Hurtigruten had exclusive access to this route, but in 2017 the Norwegian government ended their 130-year monopoly by granting the operator Havila, who themselves have a rich history in the region dating back to 1950, access and allowing them to also take travellers along the coastline. With this change comes innovation; traditionally the ships on this route are powered by fossil fuels however the Havila ships are fitted with batteries (the largest ship battery pack in the world) and can run on renewable hydroelectric power for up to 4 hours at a time. Not only will the lack of noise and emissions improve the tourist experience and disruption to the vulnerable fjords, but the approach is essential to meet the strict zero emissions regulations for the fjord region to be introduced by the Norwegian government later this decade. The hull is specially designed for maximum energy efficiency, and excess heat from cooling water and sea used for heating on board.
All of the accommodations have been hand selected for their ties to the local community, and for their environmental credentials. One example is our support of Nordic Choice hotels (who will be your hosts in Oslo and Bergen) which are famous for their efforts in sustainability. The accommodation is ISO 14001 certified (which is given to enterprises that have a high-quality environmental managing system for organizational performance), has launched plastic free initiatives in partnership with WWF, where possible is powered by renewable energy and are taking great strides to reduce water consumption and reduce the use of chemicals. Even though access to water is not an issue in Nordic countries compared to other parts of the world, this hotel is conscious of the energy consumed for heating, and chemicals required for purification, so reduction makes up part of their overall environmental policy. In addition to this they provide sustainable, organic, fair-trade food, and only use sustainably produced palm oil. Your hosts also encourage guests to eat less meat and substitute this for plant-based alternatives.
PeopleAs a company Sustainable tourism is at the forefront of our business philosophy, and supporting local people and their businesses to ensure socio-economic benefit and sustainability for local communities is at the heart of what we do. We encourage the use of local suppliers and guides for guided walking tours or day excursions and as a destination specialist based in Norway we partner with some of the best guides in the country that are keen to support local restaurants and show the hidden gems of the city. For instance the welcome meal is at Engebret Café, the oldest restaurant in continuous operation in Oslo dating back to 1857, has deep roots in the community and champions traditional cuisine which celebrates the best of Norwegian raw materials.
We are a small, family run business with our headquarters in Norway. As a Nordic destination specialist we ensure that all of our outbound sales staff are Nordic in nationality, this not only provides our travellers with the expertise required to design an enriching experience, but it also ensures that we are providing employment opportunities for local people. Our employees are all paid above the living wage minimum, with additional financial benefits in place to create a fair working place for all. We also recognise the importance of creating employment opportunities for underrepresented populations, and as such over 50% of our management team are female. In addition to this we are proud to partner with education institutions and provide internship opportunities, which has led onto full time positions with our team.
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