I went on this tour as a female solo June 18-July 1, 2017.
I don't want to do a day by day but will post thoughts/reviews/impressions in sections.
Please feel free to ask any question.
ITINERARY: I was pleased with the itinerary. I enjoyed every stop. I was OK with the one night stops as they were all interesting and worth seeing and were on the way to the next big destination. To make the itinerary even more perfect for me would likely make it less marketable, but I would like to have had one more night in each capital that was all free time. Or, I would make the trip into two different tours and add more destinations. As I posted in another thread, I have mixed feelings about the free time. I would have preferred more. Several of my tour mates however, wanted less free time. It was a perfect mix of city and country. Rating: 4 1/2
TOURMATES: 26 total. Five married couples, Two family groups (Grandpa/Grandson), (Mom, Dad, Daughter), Three all female friend groups (2, 2, and 3), Three solo female, One solo male. Age 16-87. I think about 8 states represented, all Americans but 3 living in Germany and 1 in London. Varied backgrounds/professions: attorneys, teachers, doctor, minister/counselor, engineer, military, artist, business. Many retired, some not. Everyone friendly and inclusive, no cliques. I think I shared a meal with everyone. Rating: 5
GUIDES: Asa (the first A has a halo, pronounced Osa) was our tour guide. She is fabulous. Personal, vibrant, efficient, on the ball, knowledgeable, in charge, sweet. We had one injury and one dental problem that was handled well. Rating: 5 Bus driver Peng. Also fabulous. Very personable, kind, caring man. Skilled driver. Rating: 5 Stockholm local guide Hakan (first a with a halo, Hokan). Excellent orator and communicator. Very good at getting across complex ideas. My favorite local guide. Kalmar Castle guide Arnand. I enjoyed him quite a bit. I am not a castle fan, but I was a fan that day. The rest were either good or adequate.
BUS TIME: For those of you afraid of bus time, don't be. First of all, the tour is busy and it isn't so bad having a minute to write in a journal, read your news feed, or take a quick nap. Asa gave us many cultural or history talks on the bus that I enjoyed immensely. As everyone says there is enough room to have your own seat to spread out. I left my bus bag on the bus. It might have my rain jacket, my journal, book, snacks, water. Peng kept a cooler of drinks for sale cheap. My overall favorite day was the drive through the Jotunheimen mountains, breathtakingly beautiful.
FOOD: I am not a picky eater. I would say the food was good or adequate. I like to try different foods or familiar foods prepared in a new way. For that reason I would give a 4 1/2 rating. We had several group lunches together on bus days. One was a buffet in a small town and two picnics. One picnic was a choice of sandwich with drinks and cookies, the other one we packed from the breakfast buffet (charge for that was paid by the tour). Peng baked us kanellbulla (cinnamon rolls) and they were fantastic. Our first night we had traditional Swedish meatballs. In Denmark we had a traditional Christmas meal. These two meals there were no other choices which was fine with me. In Oslo I had game stew (moose and reindeer) and the other choices were reindeer filet or reconstituted dried cod. Scandinavian breakfast food is yogurt and granola and half sandwiches. I am still eating black bread (I love my husband, he learned how to make several different versions of this and is keeping me supplied), cheese, cold cut (or leftovers), cucumber, sprouts, tomato. On days we had a group dinner I frequently bought a snack at a food stall or grocery for lunch. Asa would take our choices ahead of time so we didn't have long waits at the restaurants.
More to come....