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  • Friday 19 to Sunday 21 June

  • Stockholm, Sweden

  • 4* hotels in a superb location

  • Direct Brussels Airlines flights to Stockholm

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With the planned lifting of the travel restrictions from 8 June and Brussels Airlines starting up again (and Sweden being open anyway),
this trip is in principle confirmed. We are now waiting for the new flight schedules. If you still would like to join, there
are a few extra spots available. Contact us at info@expatclub.org. The indicated price is not correct, it will be lower.

Celebrate the longest day on the Northern Hemisphere in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, the Swedish capital Stockholm. With its many islands connected by 57 bridges, historic city centre and numerous parks the city is truly the “Beauty on the Water” as it sometimes lovingly called. This alone should be reason enough to spend there a few days. But Expat Club has not picked this weekend without reason. Everywhere in Scandinavia, as well as in other Northern parts of the world, the ancient Midsummer festival is celebrated. Much older than Christianity, this festival originated as the summer solstice festival and is know almost equally important as Christmas. During this long weekend we will discover the best of the city, including the ABBA and Vasa museums. We also make a boat ride through the city and the rest of the area, and of course we take part in the Midsummer festivities.

Overview

What's included?

  • Direct flights Brussels to Stockholm
  • 12kg hand luggage + 1 personal item
  • Private airport transfers to/from Stockholm by bus or taxi van
  • Two nights in a great 4* hotel in Stockholm (super location)
  • 2x delicious buffet breakfast
  • A 75-minutes special amphibious bus tour over land and water
  • A 120-minutes guided walking tour through Stockholm Old Town
  • Entrance fees Vasa Museum
  • Entrance fees ABBA Museum
  • Entrance fees Skansen Museum Park (with midsummer festivities)
  • Tram ride Sunday morning to downtown
  • Return Archipelago boat trip to Vaxholm Island (2x 1 hour)
  • Lunch in Waxholm Hotell on Sunday
  • Great group of international people
  • A lifetime expat memory

Optional items

  • Single room (surcharge)
  • Dinners (t.b.c.)

Our flights

We will fly with Brussels Airlines direct from Brussels to Stockholm. Hand luggage (12kg) and a personal item is included. Checked luggage (23kg) is optional (book during your reservation).

  • Friday 19 June: Brussels 09h55 – Stockholm 12h00
  • Sunday 21 June: Stockholm 20h25 – Brussels 22h40

 

Who can join us?

Expat Club is known for welcoming a wide variety of international people on its trips. This creates a special, open-minded, safe and friendly environment in which everyone should feel comfortable. You do not have to be a member, and of course Belgians are more the invited too to join us. We always welcome many solo travellers, couples, retirees, and small groups of friends. This trip is not suitable for smaller children.

Midsummer

Program

As with all Expat Club trips, our Stockholm program has been carefully designed. We normally don’t deviate much from our schedule, but all times below are still indicative and may change if required by circumstances, such as traffic conditions. Sometimes we have to switch around program parts, for instance if the weather is not good for an outdoor activity.

Friday 19 June
08h00 – Meeting at Brussels Airport, Starbucks
09h55 – Direct flight to Stockholm Bromma Airport
12h00 – Arrival Stockholm Bromma Airport
12h30 – Transfer to city
13h15 – Arrival hotel (check-in likely not possible before 13h00)
14h00 – Start guided tour part I – Ocean tour with amphibious bus
15h30 – Start guided tour part II – Walking tour in Gamla Stan (old town)
17h00 – Free time
18h00 – Check-in hotel
19h30 – Dinner at hotel (t.b.c.)
21h30 – Bar time

Saturday 20 June
07h30 – Breakfast
09h15 – Guided tour Vasa Museum
10h30 – Abba Museum
12h30 – Lunch
14h00 – Midsummer Festivities Skansen
20h00 – Dinner
21h30 – Bar time

Sunday 21 June
08h00 – Breakfast
10h00 – Checkout (leave luggage)
10h10 – Transfer to centre
10h30 – Boat to Vaxholm Island
11h30 – Arrival Vaxholm Island & free time
12h30 – Lunch in Waxholms Hotell
14h00 – End lunch & free time
15h30 – Return to Stockholm (or earlier)
16h30 – Arrival Stockholm & transfer to hotel
17h00 – Free time
18h00 – Transfer to Stockholm Bromma Airport
20h25 – Direct flight to Brussels
22h40 – Arrival at Brussels Airport

 

Program Friday 19 June
Today we meet all at the Starbucks at Brussels Airport. You can check-in on your own, but if you already want to meet some other people in our group, here is your chance! If you travel alone, it’s the perfect time for a first coffee. If you prefer to go straight to the gate, just let us know that you’re there and we’ll see you on board. Btw, if you have things to do in the morning and want to come later to Stockholm, please inform us first and we’ll do our best to get you a later flight (no guarantee, surcharges may apply). After arrival we go to our hotel, do two guided city tours (!!!) and have a nice dinner at night in/near our hotel (t.b.c.).

Guided tour part I: Ocean Bus – Sight seeing with a splash!
After arrival on Friday afternoon and dropping our luggage in our hotels (check-in is only from 15h00), we will first go for a first-time-for-Expat-Club amphibious sightseeing tour. We namely take our seats in a very special bus that can both drive us through town and go for a little swim. You will get see many of city´s most known attractions whilst our guide tells fun and interesting stories along the way. Experience the thrill when we drive a 10 ton bus into the water. What is better than seeing all highlights first from the road and then from the water? The tour takes about 1h15.

Guided tour part II: Gamla Stan, the Old Town
After a short break we will continue by foot through Stockholm’s Old town. The Stockholm Old Town tour is like an episode from Game of Thrones, but it’s all real! Old town, or “Gamla stan” as it is known locally, is by far the most mythical and legendary neighbourhood in all of Stockholm. As the city’s historical center, this is where you find out about ancient events and hear fascinating stories and tales!

We’ll find out about the Stockholm Blood Bath, the cannonball wedged in house façade and the legend of St George and the Dragon. At the same we learn about modern-day Stockholm and Sweden and see many of the famous buildings like the Riksdaghuset (Parliament), the Kungliga Slottet (Stockholm Palace), and the Riddarhuset (House of Nobility), while finding our ways through the small streets of Stockholm’s oldest neighbourhood that is situated on a small island in the archipelago.

 

Program Saturday 20 June
Today we are going to explore Stockholm even more than yesterday. We begin with a visit to the Vasa Museum to look at an old ship… Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Well, a 4.7 Google rating suggests otherwise, as well as Tripadvisor’s #1 of 306 things to do on in Stockholm.

The Vasa or Wasa is a Swedish warship built between 1626 and 1628. The ship foundered after sailing about 1,300 m into its maiden voyage on 10 August 1628. Today we learn about its story, but also marvel at this incredibly beautiful 17th century ship that is unique in the world. Oh btw, this museum is just around the corner from our hotel, so we can just take it easy this morning.

 

The ABBA Museum
In 1974 four young Swedish musicians won the European Songfestival with the song Waterloo: Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulveaus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. We could stop right there, the rest is namely history. A whopping 350 million sold albums  later Expat Club visits the one and only museum dedicated to the incredibly successful band ABBA. Sorry, we don’t know how to mirror that first B, but you get to point.

Abba The Museum | by Graham C99 (schnappi, own work), via Wikimedia Commons NL

ABBA The Museum is an interactive place where your experiences will be saved on your ticket. To be able to see the recorded material, visit the museum’s website and log in with your ticket number. In the exhibition, you can virtually try on ABBA’s costumes , sing, play, mix original music and become the fifth member of ABBA by performing on our large stage together with Björn, Benny Frida and Agnetha. On an iPad, you can choose different instruments from the studio and listen to how they sound on a recording when all the other instruments have been removed.

 

The afternoon
After a nice lunch in or close to our hotel we will all pretend to be Swedish and join the Midsummer festivities in the Skansen Park. Skansen is the first open-air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located right next to our hotels. It was opened already in 1891 by Artur Hazelius to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era. Visiting Skansen is worth it around the year, but we are going there when there are a lot of festivities.

We are going to enjoy a traditional midsummer at Skansen! You have the opportunity to bind birch wreaths‚ see the raising of the leafy maypole‚ dance and play games around the maypole‚ enjoy folk music and folk dance. You do whatever you feel like doing and “integrate with the Swedes” as much as you like. The exact program is not known yet, but we’ll update you whenever Skansen shares it with us.

If you have had enough of celebrating with the Swedish people, you can always blow some steam off in Gröna Lund, or colloquially Grönan. This amusement park is also located at just a few minutes from our hotel, so it’s a great place to hang out for a few hours in the late afternoon or evening. Admission costs less than €15 but you have to pay extra for the attractions.

 

Vaxholm near Stockholm

The Vaxholm waterfront  where we go on Sunday morning and afternoon | by Bengt Nyman (own work), via Wikimedia Commons

 

Program Sunday 21 June
We have already seen the Stockholm city center. We have already explored various museums. We have already put a self-made wreath on our heads. And we have already danced the little frogs dance with the Swedes. Now it’s time to discover the beautiful surroundings of the Swedish Capital. Lets take a boat to sail a bit further away, namely to the lovely island of Waxholm.

Stockholm Archipel

The waters in the archipelago are used by countless ships and ferries. We’ll be sailing through these beautiful landscape.

The boat ride alone is worth it already. With more than 30,000 islands, ancient fishing villages and centuries-old towns, inviting coves, cliffs and soft sand beaches, the Stockholm archipelago offers something for everyone. Our destination is the island of Vaxholm.

Vaxholm is often referred to as the capital of the archipelago. People here have lived off herring fishing for many generations. In the 1500s, King Gustav Vasa decided to put the defence of Stockholm’s inlet here. It was the beginning of what would be almost 500 years of military history for Vaxholm residents. The Citadel still stands on the strait just outside the city. A visit there will bring you back to a time when the old fortress was its own little society populated by senior military offers and their wives, soldiers, servants and prisoners. Toward the end of the 1800’s, Vaxholm became a popular resort area for Stockholm’s socialites. It was also around then that the city became known for its Vaxholm herring – a delicacy that is still served today at local restaurants. Vaxholm is now a lively island city where fishing huts and large houses coexist with small shops, cafés and restaurants. There are also several nice beaches, beautiful nature and some of Sweden’s best water sports clubs. Its proximity to Stockholm and central archipelago location make Vaxholm a perfect destination whether it’s for a day trip, weekend holiday, or as a base for day trips to other islands. (source: Stockholmarchipelago.se)

Upon arrival we will be enjoying lunch in the Waxholm Hotell. Since we’d love to keep everyone together, this is already included in the trip price. Needless to say you will also have time to explore part of this island or go to the citadel on your own before we head back to Stockholm city center.

 

Accommodation

We will be staying in a two super 4* hotels of the BW Premier Collection, both located in the middle of where it all happens during the Midsummer weekend: Djurgården.  This island is known for the Vasa Museum and the Skansen open-air museum, but also for the ABBA Museum, the Gröna Lund amusement park, and the Aquarium. And with a short 10-minute tram ride, or a short boat ride and you are right in the (old) city center. No wonder they both get super high location ratings as well as hotel ratings. It’s the perfect place to stay for our Midsummer weekend.

 

BW Premier Collection Hasselbacken
The historic Hotel Hasselbacken is located next to the Skansen Open-air Museum. It offers a popular buffet breakfast and rooms with flat-screen satellite TVs and free Wi-Fi. Each air conditioned room at Hotel Hasselbacken includes wooden floors and a marble bathroom with shower. Some rooms have seating areas. Swedish and international dishes are available at the elegant restaurant, featuring crystal chandeliers and waterfront views. Guests can enjoy a drink in the lobby bar, which has an outdoor terrace in the summer. Guests can work out in the well-equipped gym or rent a bicycle. The sauna and the cold pool provide relaxation. In this hotel we can offer single rooms, as well as a double/twin rooms that can be used by couples or two friends travelling together.

BW Premier Collection Pop House (the ABBA hotel)
This hotel is in the same building as ABBA The Museum. It offers air-conditioned rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and free WiFi access. A flat-screen TV, minibar and a laptop safe are featured in all the brightly decorated rooms at Pop House Hotel. Each room has a bathroom with toiletries from the Swedish brand La Bruket. Guests enjoy free access to Pop House’s small fitness room. International à la carte dishes are served with American wines at the in-house restaurant. In this hotel we can offer single rooms, as well as a double/twin rooms that can be used by couples or two friends travelling together.


Room types

In both hotels we can offer you a single room (for 1 person, surcharge applies), a double room (one large bed for a couple or parent/child), or a twin bed room (2 single beds, for 2 friends sharing or for 2 solo travellers who would like to share and prevent paying for the single surcharge). You can indicate your preference during the checkout process.

Room sharing option
For 2 friends travelling together we can offer a comfortable twin room with 2 single beds. These rooms are also offered to our solo travellers who would rather not pay the surcharge for a single room. We offer this free service for those travelling alone to share a room with another traveller. During the reservation process you can simply indicate you would like to stay in a twin room. You will not have to worry about finding a room partner; just book and we’ll do the rest. During the trip to Stockholm we namely introduce you to the other ladies and gentlemen who also would like to share a room. Of course we only offer single gender rooms. NOTE 1: we have only 1 male shared room available that we only guarantee until 31 December 2019. NOTE 2: each hotel has limited rooms available!

 

Flights & transportation

We will be taking convenient direct flights from Brussels Airport to Stockholm Bromma Airport by Brussels Airlines. A private transfer from the airport to the hotel is included (by bus or taxi vans). We meet 2 hours before our flight at the Starbucks in the main departure hall of Brussels Airport. You can take 1 piece of hand luggage on board (max 12kg) and a personal item. If you also would like to check-in a bag of 23kg, you can indicate this during the reservation proces.

    • Friday 19 June: Brussels 09h55 – Stockholm Bromma 12h00
    • Sunday 21 June: Stockholm 20h25 – Brussels 22h40

In Stockholm whenever we travel as a group, transportation is already arranged and included in the price. This includes the trips from/to the airport, the tram rides to downtown for our programs and the boat rides in and around Stockholm.

Comments

  • The flights will be carried with Brussels Airlines.
  • If you would like a later flight on Friday 19 June, or an earlier flight on Sunday 21 June, you should contact us before making the booking. We cannot guarantee this works, but we will do our best to get your your preferred flights.
  • This trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are indicative and may change if required by circumstances.
  • The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation and/or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do or do not want in the package, please let us know and we may consider an up-sell or a discount on a case by case basis.
  • You are personally responsible for getting a good travel insurance that covers you for any unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses during the trip. This costs very little, just search online (e.g. €60 per year for a family). We also advise you to get a cancellation insurance in case you cannot join anymore (e.g. due to illness or a family emergency).
  • You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip. If you share the room with someone else you are equally responsible for leaving it the way you found it.
  • Expat Club cannot be held liable for long delays that influence the program, for instance delayed or cancelled flights that lead to missed guided tours, neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the airplane, taxis, blocked streets, etc. We are doing our very best to pro-actively avoid problems and possibly adapt the program in the most optimal way, but what we cannot take responsibility for what we cannot influence.
  • Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the visit the various festivities in the city.
  • Expat Club cannot be held liable for you losing your way in Stockholm. It is your responsibility to stay with the group and to find your own way back if necessary, as well as to be on time for all departures.
  • If you do not have a room partner and you still would like to share a room (male/male, female/female), then we will introduce you to all other ladies or gentlemen in the group in the same position. During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you opt for the room-sharing, you will not have to pay the single fee if there is in the end no one else to share the room with, unless you decide to take a single room during the trip. In that case you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
  • If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, either from the same order or from a separate one once you indicated you want to share the room with him or her, you will have to pay the single room supplement.
  • Expat Club may “upgrade” or “downgrade” you to another hotel. In case of a downgrade, you will receive a reasonable compensation. This is not our normal way of working, but it does happen that hotels accidentally overbook or experience problems (Expat Club itself does never overbook trips!).
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Expat Club is open to anyone who wishes to join interesting, fun and informative local events, and who likes to travel from Brussels to tourist hotspots, historic destinations, and the most scenic regions in Belgium and surrounding countries. We welcome expats and international-minded Belgians of all ages and professional backgrounds, including singles, couples, families with children, retirees and small groups of colleagues and friends. It’s almost impossible you would not fit into our diverse, open-minded and friendly community.

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