SPRINGFIELD, Pa. -- Home At First, a family-owned and
family-travel-oriented FIT operator, introduced Scandinavia
products in this year's catalog.
In Europe, the operator previously served only Great Britain and
Travelers can design their own itinerary, choosing from 12
regions in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, or select one of three
All the properties Home At First uses in Scandinavia, said
co-owner Judi Fahnestock, "are either historic inns or family-run
hotels. We try not to use anything larger than 30 rooms."
Accommodations used include the nautically themed Lord Nelson
Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden; the seven-room Trugstad Gard (meaning
"Old Farm") outside Oslo, Norway, and the 28-room Tanums Gesgifveri
in Tanumshede, Sweden.
Trugstad Gard is owned by a husband-and-wife team, and the wife,
Tove Haga, prepares the meals.
"Wild game is a specialty of hers, but chicken, her favorite
farm animal, is never on the menu," Fahnestock said.
"She's a bit of a character," Fahnestock added. "She collects
"You really get to know the people at the hotels. The hotel
owners go out of their way to make people happy," she said.
Tanums Gesgifveri is located three miles from the Swedish coast
and within about a mile's drive of Europe's largest site of Bronze
Age rock carvings -- Vitlycke.
The three preplanned itineraries are a driving tour, a
fly-rail-boat tour, both set at a 10-night minimum, and a 14-night
minimum fly-rail-drive, which visits north of the Arctic
The independent driving tour stays in a mix of city, town and
village lodgings and visits Gothenburg, Sweden; Oslo, Kristiansand
and Stavanger, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The Car(e)free rail-boat-air tour stays at city accommodations
and visits Gothenburg and Stockholm; Bergen, Norway, and
Fahnestock said she recommends this itinerary during the snowy
The 14-night Maxi stays in small town and city accommodations
and visits Copenhagen; Gothenburg and Stockholm, and Narvik, Norway
-- north of the Arctic Circle -- and either Bergen or
Prices for packages range from $1,999 (through March 31 and Nov.
1 through Dec. 16) to $2,405 (June 26 through Aug. 16) and include
transatlantic air, accommodation and a car rental.
A five-day Scanrail pass, in lieu of a rental car, is included
for itineraries of less than 14 nights.
The land-only, all-season price is $1,499.
Additional days are $110 per person, per day, during low season
and $140 the rest of the year.
All accommodations come with a private bathroom and
Guidebooks and driving maps are included in the price, and a
company representative meets with participants for an itinerary
review for vacations beginning in Gothenburg from April through
Full packages are commissionable at 10%, and a 7% commission is
paid on ground arrangements only.
One inter-Scandinavian flight is included with a roundtrip
transatlantic flight on SAS.
Fahnestock said most of Home At First's Scandinavian itineraries
are customized, and she recommended that agents provide clients
with the company's toll-free number to facilitate the process.
"The package is difficult for agents to sell if they are not
willing to give Home At First direct client contact," she said.
"Trust makes things easy. We have very loyal travel agents, who
are happy to use us that way, but most don't."
For additional information, call Home At First at (800) 523-5842
or fax (610) 543-4970.
The e-mail address is [email protected], and the Web site is www.homeatfirst.com.