WIN an Extraordinary Northern Europe Journey

Subscribe to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 2020 season for your chance to win an extraordinary, all-luxury Northern Europe journey for two people valued at $50,000.

Abercrombie & Kent is a proud partner of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and we're delighted to be able to offer this extraordinary prize to encourage even more people to experience the Orchestra in full force in 2020:  

Subscribe to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's 2020 season by Friday 6 September 2019 and you’ll be in the draw to WIN an extraordinary Abercrombie & Kent 13-day Northern European private journey for two valued at $50,000. The journey traverses iconic European cities and extraordinary landscapes: London, Reykjavik, Bergen, Berlin and St Petersburg.

The winner and guest will travel in true luxury, staying in some of the world's great hotels, enjoying spectacular scenery, and visiting historic monuments and magnificent museums with expert guides leading the way, providing a tailor-made take on each city and its unique experiences.

Return flights to Europe are provided courtesy of Emirates, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's Principal Partner. 

See below for the complete itinerary and visit sydneysymphony.com/terms or call the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on (02) 8215 4600 for full competition details and terms & conditions.

Note. This itinerary has been created in conjunction with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. It is just one example of the bespoke private travel experiences we can create and deliver in Northern Europe and in more than 100 countries and on all seven continents, drawing on our global network of 56 offices and more than 2,500 travel experts on the ground around the world. Talk to your travel agent or call us on 1300 851 800 and make your own dream journey a reality.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive London, United Kingdom

Arrive in London, where you are met and transferred privately to your hotel with the rest of the day at leisure. 

Overlooking Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, the Four Seasons offers an elegant peaceful retreat in the bustling heart of the city. Executive rooms are appointed with contemporary honey-oak features, a separate living space, and fitted with a private marble bathroom. Enjoy 24-hour in-room dining or a gourmet meal in the hotel’s French restaurant with a 3 Michelin-star chef. A vibrant bar and lounge features an impressive menu of creative cocktails. The luxury spa includes eight treatment rooms and a sauna. There is also a fully equipped fitness centre. Tower Bridge is a mere 500 metres away, while St. Pauls Cathedral is a short 20-minute walk.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square 


Day 2: London

Ferry across the Thames to ascend the Shard, the tallest building [currently] in the European Union, and take in the sweeping views over the city. Savour the culinary pleasures of Southwark Market with a local food guide. Stroll the historic South Bank, past the London Eye, to Parliament, where you have a private tour and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea (full day with guide).

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square | Meals: B 


Day 3: London

Today, meet your guide and driver and travel outside London to explore the Royal Horticultural Society Home Gardens at Wisley, which cover 270 acres and feature formal gardens, model gardens, glass houses, a laboratory and an arboretum (full day with guide).

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square | Meals: B 


Day 4: London - Reykjavik, Iceland

Early this morning, transfer by private vehicle to the airport for your flight to Reykjavik, the cultured coastal capital of Iceland.

Upon arrival in Reykjavik, you are met and privately transferred to experience the Retreat, an exclusive enclave on the edge of the famed Blue Lagoon. Bathe in the thermal waters, just relax or take advantage of the many available treatments.

After lunch and checking in to your hotel, meet your guide and explore the city, viewing Hallgrimskirkja church, the Harpa performing arts centre and Iceland’s Parliament building. Later, visit the National Museum of Iceland to learn how this island nation was built. Tonight, dine on Icelandic cuisine (full day – 8 hours with guide).

The Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, is situated in the oldest part of Reykjavík at the junction of Icelandic history and style. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the charming building housed a grand department store, Thomsen Magasin, run by Consul Thomsen and his family. The interiors of the hotel pay tribute to Thomsen who welcomed the first foreign dignitaries to Iceland, establishing a legacy of international hospitality. The boutique guest rooms, each with a balcony, are designed with cosmopolitan flair, eclectic vintage charm, and with comfort in mind. The hotel features a restaurant and lobby bar. Other amenities include a wellness spa and complimentary fitness centre.

Accommodation: Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel | Meals: B L D


Day 5: South Island

Meet your guide and drive along Iceland’s scenic south shore, en route to a private farm that specialises in the famed Icelandic horse. This small native breed has two more gaits than most horses — the smooth-riding tölt and the speedy skeið. Learn about day-to-day life here, ride the horses if you wish and join your host family in their home for a bountiful farm lunch on this exclusive experience. Return to Reykjavik, stopping to view waterfalls and stunning black-sand beaches as you go (full day with guide).

Accommodation: Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel | Meals: B L


Day 6: Reykjavik - Bergen, Norway

This morning you will be met and privately transferred to the airport for your flight to Bergen.

Upon arrival in Bergen at 2:50 pm, you are met and privately transferred to your hotel. In the evening, take a short 10-minute stroll to the pier for a lovely, short boat tour arriving at Cornelius, one of Bergen’s top restaurants.

Occupying the upper floors of the old Stock Exchange building, which dates back to 1862, Bergen Børs has become Bergen's most fashionable hotel — with one of the city's very best restaurants, Bare. Swedish designers have worked with a palette of muted greys, blues and browns in the interiors to allow the hotel's existing details to shine. Some of the 127 rooms retain their original stained-glass windows, while others feature coffered ceilings and parquet flooring. Pinstriped wallpaper and window furnishings, houndstooth upholstery and chequered tiles are a nod to the suited businessmen who once occupied the building.

Accommodation: Bergen Bors | Meals: B D 


Day 7: Bergen

Meet your guide for a half day walking tour of Bergen. Begin your day at the colourful Fish Market, and then stroll along the Bryggen (Bergen’s old wharf), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the Bergen Fortress. Gain a deeper insight into medieval-era sea trade here with a visit to the Bryggen Museum. Then, stop to view stately 12th-century St. Mary’s Church. This afternoon, ride the Floibanen funicular to a lookout point for the panoramic views. You may choose to join your local guide for a leisurely hike along the mountaintop (full day with guide).

Accommodation: Bergen Bors | Meals: B 


Day 8: Bergen - Berlin, Germany

After breakfast, transfer privately to the airport for your flight to Amsterdam and connecting flight to Berlin.

On arrival in Berlin, enjoy a brief orientation drive before you check in to your hotel. Savour a scenic sundowner at the German Reichstag (Parliament).

Hotel De Rome is one of the most prestigious hotels in Berlin within easy reach of the key attractions. Once the headquarters of the Dresdner bank, the 19th century building was converted into a splendid luxury hotel and boasts a fascinating history. The 145 rooms and suites are spacious and stylish, with designer touches combining contemporary design with historic detail. Take a dip in the swimming pool, located in the former jewel vault; visit the grand ballroom in what was once the old cashier's hall; and fall asleep in an oak-panelled suite in the old bank director offices.

Accommodation: Hotel de Rome | Meals: B 


Day 9: Berlin

Today, meet your guide and drive to Potsdam to view the Glienicke Bridge, site of Cold War spy exchanges. Explore Sanssouci Palace, visit a former KGB prison and enjoy a guided tour of Cecilienhof Palace, site of the historic Potsdam Conference attended by Harry S. Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Afterward, return to your hotel for an evening at leisure (full day with guide).

Accommodation: Hotel de Rome | Meals: B 


Day 10: Berlin - St. Petersburg, Russia

This morning you are met and transferred privately to the airport for your flight to St Petersburg.

Upon arrival at the St Petersburg airport, you are welcomed to Russia by your English-speaking assistant, who accompanies you during the private transfer to your hotel. Experience St Petersburg in the manner Peter the Great intended with a one-hour private journey on a canal boat. When establishing the "Venice of the North" on forty-two islands within the River Neva's complex delta, he envisaged the river would be the main thoroughfare of the city, and until the mid-eighteenth century, there were no bridges and people crossed between islands by ferry. Your cruise allows you to gain a unique perspective of the city, the granite embankments appearing like peculiar pedestals for the magnificent palaces.

Located within a restored 19th century Russian palace, the Four Seasons Lion Palace is a luxury property in the heart of St Petersburg right behind St Isaac's Square, with major landmarks such as the State Hermitage, Mariinsky Theatre, Kazan Cathedral and Mikhailovsky Castle right on the doorstep. Immaculately appointed rooms have been fitted out to reflect the original 19th century décor with marble bathrooms. Dining options include two of the city's most fashionable eateries, and leisure facilities include a fitness centre and spa complex complete with vitality pool and Russian steam room (two hours with guide).

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace | Meals: B 


Day 11: St. Petersburg

Experience one of the most famous museums in the world today with your expert guide who accompanies you to the awe-inspiring Hermitage, housed in the lavishly-decorated Winter Palace. The Hermitage occupies six magnificent buildings and houses three million pieces of artwork from the Stone Age to modern times. The main building and largest part of the museum is the rococo-style Winter Palace, residence of the Tsars from 1762 to 1917. 

The museum was commissioned by Catherine the Great, and she and her successors built the Hermitage collection in large part with purchases from the private collections of the Western European aristocracy and monarchy. By the time Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, he was heir to the greatest collection of art in Europe. The whole museum complex was bombarded during the siege of Leningrad in WWII but re-opened to the public in 1945.

Please note that the famous Impressionist collection is now housed in the General Staff Building, one of the most famous architectural monuments in St Petersburg, a 5-minute walk from the main Hermitage collection, and we can arrange a guided tour for you.

After lunch at leisure, find your bearings in St Petersburg on a drive through the historical city centre, seeing highlights such as Nevsky Prospect, Palace Square, the Winter Palace, the Admiralty and Vasilevsky Island. Visit the fascinating Peter & Paul Fortress, which Peter the Great built in 1703 to provide protection from the Swedes. The Fortress Cathedral is the burial place of most of Russia's Tsars and Tsarinas from the eighteenth century onwards, including Peter the Great himself. Afterwards, visit St Isaac's Cathedral, whose gilded dome dominates the city skyline. The cathedral's construction began in 1818 and was not completed until 1858. Sculptures and massive red granite columns ornament the façade, while the interior is even more lavishly decorated with mosaics, icons and columns of malachite and lapis lazuli (full day with guide).

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace | Meals: B


Day 12: St. Petersburg

This morning, drive to Peterhof, the great summer estate and artistic gem of Peter the Great, nestled on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. After his victory over the Swedes at Poltava in 1709, Peter decided to build a palace "befitting of the very highest of monarchs" and a visit to Versailles in 1717 furthered these ambitions. Over 5,000 labourers, serfs and soldiers were employed in the creation of this magnificent estate that was officially opened in 1723. The park features numerous palaces, summer houses and pavilions; a prominent highlight is the Grand Cascade, a delightful sequence of 37 gilded bronze sculptures, 64 fountains and 142 water jets descending from the terraces of the Great Palace to the Marine Canal and the sea. To avoid the crowds, the Grand Palace is opened for you before official opening hours. Afterwards you are whisked back to St Petersburg by hydrofoil (subject to availability).

Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea (subject to availability) at the home of a well-known artist, Yuri Petrochenkov, who will be delighted to show you his wonderful collection of portraits, icons, antique furniture and other unique pieces of Russian art. Yuri is perhaps best known for his exquisite porcelain eggs, two of which have been bought by Malcolm Forbes for his collection of Faberge Eggs. During your afternoon tea, Yuri and his wife, Nelly, will entertain you with many stories about this intriguing country.

Afterwards, admire the stunning treasures at the Fabergé Museum with your expert guide. Founded by entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg, the museum opened its doors in December 2013 to display a glittering collection of Faberge eggs and objets d'art created by Peter Carl Fabergé and his contemporaries. Vekselberg's collection of Faberge objects is rated as one of the world's most valuable and includes items he bought from the Forbes family for $100 million in 2004. His mission is to repatriate the work of the great Russian masters that was sold off by the Bolsheviks and to make it available to the public. One of the most famous pieces on display here is the Imperial Coronation Egg, made in 1897 (full day with guide).

Accommodation: Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace | Meals: B


Day 13: St. Petersburg - London

You are met at your hotel today by your English-speaking assistant and privately transferred to the St Petersburg airport for your departure flight.

Meals: B