An adventure filled with historic treasures and astounding natural beauty. Your journey begins in Copenhagen, the city that inspired children’s fairy-tale author, Hans Christian Andersen. Glide along Copenhagen’s famous canals, with treasured sites revealed at each twist and turn. An overnight ferry ride brings you to Oslo, where you’ll witness once-in-a-lifetime views of the magnificent Olso Fjord and delve into the vanished world of the Vikings. Then soak up stirring vistas from both land and sea, of snow-covered mountaintops, dramatic fjords, wild waterfalls and verdant countryside on journeys aboard the famous Bergen and Flåm railways, and a cruise across the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the famous Sognefjord.
Depart gateway city for Copenhagen, Denmark
Upon arrival, transfer to the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen. Free Time: The afternoon is free to explore. Visit Town Hall Square, or take a walk through Nyhavn. This waterfront neighborhood is an excellent place to see everyday people enjoying their city. This evening, get to know your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception.
Enrichment: Scandinavia Today. Discuss the current events shaping contemporary Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Discovery: Rosenborg Castle. Enter the 400-year-old Renaissance palace where Danish royals once held court. View furnishings and portraits of monarchs from Christian IV to Frederik VII. In the treasury, admire the crown jewels, including Christian IV’s exquisite crown and Christian III’s jewel-studded sword. Elegant swans glide along the moat as you roam the fragrant gardens, filled with fruit trees and statues. Enjoy a traditional Danish lunch at a local restaurant. Discovery: The Canals of Copenhagen. Cruise the picturesque waterways weaving through Copenhagen. Learn the city’s rich history while soaking up spectacular views as you drift past Amalienborg Palace, the Danish royal family’s home; the Little Mermaid statue; the Opera House; and the distinctive Black Diamond library with shiny black facets reflecting the sea and sky. Free Time: Explore the world of famous Danish design at the Design Museum, browse the enticing food stalls in Torvehallerne market or visit the Carlsberg Brewery for a beer tasting.
Discovery: Copenhagen, Past and Present. Enter secret courtyards, stroll past hidden squares and immerse yourself in the old-world ambience of Copenhagen during a walking tour of the city. Your expert guide shares enchanting tales of history and famous Danes, including storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, while you roam the city’s warren of crooked back streets full of quaint buildings and celebrated landmarks. Free Time: Stroll through Tivoli Gardens, and ride one of the world’s oldest wooden roller coasters, or explore the Strøget pedestrian-only shopping area.
Copenhagen | At Sea
Free Time: Make the most of your last morning in Copenhagen. Visit Christiansborg Palace, home of the Danish Parliament, or view exhibits and artifacts at the National Museum. Stroll through Højbro Plads to see the statue of Absalon, the 12th-century bishop considered to be the founder of Copenhagen. This afternoon, transfer to the port and board an overnight ferry for Oslo, Norway. Admire the beautiful scenery before enjoying an authentic Scandinavian smorgasbord for dinner.
This morning, be sure to go on deck, where the morning is waiting to greet you with one of the most breathtaking views of the Oslo Fjord. Lush, green forests line the fjord, which stretches for 62 miles. Many people come to the fjord to camp, fish, kayak and enjoy other outdoor activities. Discovery: Oslo. Visit Holmenkollen Ski Jump, the vertiginous slope used in the 1952 Winter Olympics. Take in fantastic panoramas of beautiful Oslo Fjord and the idyllic coastline. The nearby Ski Museum guides you through Norway’s 4,000-year history of Nordic and downhill skiing. Continue to Vigeland Park, filled with more than 200 bronze and granite sculptures by renowned artist Gustav Vigeland. Enjoy an introduction to Norwegian cuisine at lunch. Check in to the Clarion Collection Hotel Bastion. Free Time: Explore Oslo at your leisure. Visit the Nobel Peace Center, or view masterpieces by Norway’s most famous artist, Edvard Munch, at the Munch Museum. Relive the day’s highlights with your fellow travelers at a group dinner tonight.
Discovery: The Vikings. At the Viking Ship Museum, view beautifully preserved ceremonial burial ships, buried more than 1,100 years ago. These longships once carried their royal owners into the realm of the dead and offer precious insight into the vanished world of the Vikings. Continue to the Kon-Tiki Museum to see the balsa raft Kon-Tiki, which Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 1947, and the totora-reed boat Ra II which he used to cross the Atlantic in 1970. Free Time: Explore more of Oslo on your own with a stroll along the Harbor Promenade, or visit the National Gallery to see some of Norway’s finest art.
Oslo | Bergen
Discovery: Bergen Railway. Travel to Bergen on Europe’s highest altitude railway and one of the most scenic routes in the world. See breathtaking scenery as you travel across the Hardangervidda, a plateau at more than 4,000 feet above sea level. The tracks climb to Finse, the highest point on the route, then the landscape changes dramatically as the train edges along dramatic fjords, tumbling waterfalls and green forests. Enjoy lunch on the train. Upon arrival, check in to the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bergen.
Enrichment: The Fjords of Norway. Learn about the crucial role the beautiful fjords have played in Nordic geologic and cultural history. Discovery: Bergen. Framed by seven hills and seven fjords, beguiling Bergen was a major trading center of the Hanseatic League maritime merchants in the late Middle Ages. Explore the 14th-century merchants’ quarter of Bryggen. Visit 750-year-old King Haakon’s Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower, the most important Renaissance-era monument in Norway. Step inside St. Mary’s Church, built between 1130 and 1170, the church has been in continuous use since the early medieval era. Tour hilltop Troldhaugen, the country home of composer Edvard Grieg. Free Time: Consider taking a cable car to Ulriken for an aerial view of the city from the highest of the seven mountains that surround Bergen.
Discovery: The Best of Norway. Journey through some of the most wild, scenic wonders of Norway. Begin with a train journey on the Bergen Railway to Myrdal. Continue on a thrilling ride aboard the Flåm Railway, one of the steepest train rides in the world. Wind past snow-dusted peaks, where tiny farms cling to precipitous slopes and rivers and waterfalls slice through deep ravines. Spiral through mountainside tunnels to the pristine Aurlandsfjord, which is a branch of the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest fjord. Cruise to Gudvangen before exploring Voss, where vistas of mountains, forests, lakes and waterfalls await you! Tonight, gather for a Farewell Dinner.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for the return flight home