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Scandinavia, Unleashing The Viking In US All

May 25, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Cruises have long been thought of as something for the retired comprising all-inclusive cocktails, formal evenings, dining with the Captain, plus organised fun such as ballroom dancing and bingo nights. The on-board activities and even the destinations themselves haven’t exactly been aimed at the adventurous. However, those in the cruise industry are pushing the boat out on this theory!

With the increasing popularity of the always-cool, cultural and stylish, Scandinavia, cruises around the Baltic Seas seem to be a hit with travellers of all ages.

With Qatar Airways flying daily into Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo,and more recently Helsinki, travelling to Scandinavia from Australia has never been easier and with return flights starting at $1,305*, it’s never been more affordable either.

Adam Radwanski, Senior Manager at Qatar Airways Australasia said the launch of Helsinki was in response to the popularity of Scandinavia as a holiday destination: “Qatar Airways is the first Middle Eastern carrier to serve all four Nordic capitals, including Helsinski which was launched in October 2016.

“The Helsinki route has been steadily gaining traction. The Nordic capitals rank high among the top 20 destinations among our Australian passengers and many of them embark on the popular fly-cruise holiday itinerary when they arrive in the Nordics. Not forgetting also, our codeshare arrangement with Finnair – fellow oneworld alliance member – provides passengers with convenient connectivity beyond Helsinki in the greater Baltic region.”

Qatar Airways recently partnered with cruise specialists, APT Luxury Cruising and Touring (APT), which offers adventure cruises allowing explorers to witness the stunning aurora borealis, meet indigenous Inuit people and see polar bears in their natural habitat.

One of APT’s more adventurous expeditions enables travellers to explore the more rustic side of Norway with its Fjord Trekking Tour. Carved by the relentless North Atlantic for eons, the Norwegian fjordlands are a challenge thatbeckons hikers and mountaineers of all ages and abilities. With its great green hills, monstrous peaks, enormous glaciers, and breathtaking scenery, people flock to this isolated chunk of Scandinavia, hiking boots in tow in search of their own personal Valhalla.

It is the thrill of these types of expeditions that seems to be appealing to a younger demographic; a cruise doesn’t always have to be piña coladas and steak dinners. In fact, onboard an APT ship, rather than salsa classes, guests can attend daily lectures by experts in geology, history and ornithology and onshore activities such as ski mountaineering, camping and kayaking can be enjoyed.

With Qatar Airways most recently launching direct flights out of Adelaide, South Australian travel agent, Phil Hoffmann Travel, confirmed how popular cruises can be with 30 per cent of passengers last year flying to Europe to connect to a voyage holiday. And it’s not just the younger generation that have a sense of adventure, Phil Hoffmann explained: “Our customers travelling overseas to connect to a cruise are very much baby boomers but they definitely want to explore less travelled places.

“Because the landscape around the Baltic region is still so rugged and unspoilt and couldn’t be further from the Australian landscape this is the appeal. As well as the natural wonders such as the Norwegian Fjords and Northern Lights, the cities themselves are full of culture and history which attracts all demographics from sitting in trendy cafes to visiting the Royal Palace in Stockholm.”
Qatar Airways flies to Scandinavia daily from Perth, Sydney, Nelbourne and Adelaide (daily service resumes 2 December) via the award-winning Hamad International Airport in Doha.
Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 19th year of operation, the airline has a modern fleet of 190 aircrafts flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents. Qatar Airways brings travellers from Australia to more destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa than any other airline serving Australia today.

In recent months, Qatar Airways announced an unprecedented expansion of its network with 13 new destinations launching in 2016 and 2017 including Pisa, Marrakech, Helsinki, Seychelles and many more.

For more information on Qatar Airways, please visit: www.qatarairways.com/au

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