LATTE is on assignment this week in Norway, courtesy of Hurtigruten, where we have joined a group of VIP travel advisors on the expedition and adventure specialists’ maiden famil for APAC sellers.
Hosting the famil are Natalie King, Senior Group & Expedition Specialist, and Alean Penaflor, Marketing and PR Executive from Hurtigruten APAC’s head office in Melbourne. The duo have three years experience with Hurtigruten between them and are making their inaugural visit to Norway. They are joined by co-host Arnaud Michelin, Country Manager Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia for Finnair.
Over the past few days we’ve trialled a hybrid version of Hurtigruten’s ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ program before joining MS Nordlys on the northbound Original Norwegian Coastal Express voyage between Bergen and Kirkenes, inside the Arctic Circle.
‘Norway in a Nutshell’ is a component of Hurtigruten’s immensely popular ‘Follow the Lights’ escorted small group tour that was developed by Hurtigruten APAC to cater for the Australia and New Zealand market. ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ provides a showcase of Norway’s scenic route between the capital, Oslo, and Bergen on the west coast – the primary starting point for Hurtigruten’s voyages along the world’s longest coastline. The ‘Follow the Lights’ program has proven to be such a success in Australia that it’s now been exported by Hurtigruten to other markets abroad.
After a few days in Oslo the travel advisors boarded a train and were whisked away to the mountain rail station of Myrdal, the joining point for The Flåm Railways journey down to Flåm. InFlåm, participants were divided into two groups and took part in popular activities available to visitors: a RIB high-speed boat ride or a road-trip up to the Stegasteine lookout which overlooks.
Today our Norway in a Nutshell journey continued from Flam – where we awoke to fresh flurries of snow – before joining a ferry ride from Flam to Gudvangen, followed by a bus ride to Voss, and a train ride to Bergen where we are overnighting ahead of joining our voyage aboard MS Nordlys to Kirkenes.
Stay tuned to LATTE’s Facebook page for more updates from Norway as we sail the Original Norwegian Coastal Express over the next week, courtesy of Hurtigruten Norway and Finnair.
Lead image: Participants on the Hurtigruten/Finnair famil at the Kjosfossen Waterfall, from left, are: Mark Spurway, MTA; Arnaud Michelin, Finnair; Athena Franks, Clean Cruising; Natalie King, Hurtigruten; Debra Collins, Spencer Travel; Richard Muff, Main Beach Travel; Stacey Lyons, Home Travel Company; Laura Martino, Phil Hoffmann Travel; Darin Warburton, Travel Associates; Alean Penaflor, Hurtigruten; Jeff Leckey, House of Travel (NZ) and Charles Denham, Imagine Holidays.