SCANDINAVIA is one of the safest places in the world for single tourists and it is also one of the most beautiful places in the world.
This knockout combination, plus her knowledge of the region and her desire to explore it further, has inspired veteran Grafton travel agent Christine Byrne to organise a special trip for locals in Europe's late summer 2018.
Tailor-made to cater for older women without partners, or whose partners do not want to travel; this is a trip for those who want to experience the wide world of breathtaking mountain peaks plunging into sapphire fjords, storybook towns, vast forests and multitudinous islands, but who may be nervous about setting out on their own.
There is no singles supplement on this tour, which has a land-only cost of $2775, with twin-share accommodation.
"I've been trying to do this for about four years," Christine said.
The veteran Grafton travel agent is understandably excited that it is finally going to 'lift off' on August 30, 2018.
Christine, who lost her own husband five years ago, knows all about travelling on her own, but she also has a son who has lived in Finland for the last 18 years and she often travels to Scandinavia.
The members of Christine's small local group, so far aged 48 to 70, will join a larger group in Europe for the Cosmos Viking Explorer bus tour, after touching down in Amsterdam.
Accommodation will be in three-and-a-half-star accommodation and the trip will take the group through Holland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway in 12 days.
It will also include a cruise on the Sognefjord, Europe's largest fjord and a journey on the famous Flamm railway, described by Lonely Planet as the world's most beautiful train journey.
The 20km Flamm train line is also the steepest standard-gauge railway in the world.
The trip will end at the spectacular Hanseatic seaport of Bergen.
"It's the last tour (Cosmos) do just as summer finishes," Christine said.
"I used to do a lot of Rotary exchange and I keep in contact with a lot of them.
"One of the girls is in Bergen.
"I just went over (to Finland) to babysit the grandkids.
"I know what you can and can't do in these countries.
"But this time I'm going with everyone else as part of the tour.
"I'm comfortable with Cosmos and I'm happy with someone else doing the talking - I can go off and do different things like day tours and I'm going to Czechoslovakia after the tour finishes."
Meanwhile Christine would like names for interested people before Christmas if possible, so she can get the best prices for flights and she is happy to organise.
Once the group is assembled, Christine plans a getting-to-know you gathering so your fellow travellers are not complete strangers.
Christine can be contacted at the Grafton Flight Centre on 66434890; 0437043827 or email: Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org.