2013 tour title: Scandinavian Sojourn
Travel on and off the beaten path in Scandinavia’s cosmopolitan cities and breathtaking landscapes and experience the Midnight Sun as it illuminates long summer days. Explore the treasures of Sweden’s Stockholm, including the medieval Old Town and a museum highlighting Scandinavia’s ship-faring culture. In Oslo, learn about Norway’s history and contemporary culture through tours of the Norwegian Folk Museum, Frognerpark, and the Viking Ship Museum.
Crossing into western Norway, see breathtaking fjords with soaring snowcapped mountains, lush forests, and deep crystalline waters, which you’ll experience by foot, ferry, coach, and rail. Highlights include a cruise through the dramatic Geirangerfjord, a World Heritage site, and a thrilling ride on the Flam Railway. Farther south, in picturesque Bergen, tour the lively fish market and the 14th-century Hanseatic merchants’ quarter, a World Heritage site. Conclude in Denmark’s Copenhagen as you stroll the istoric streets, see City Hall Square, and behold the dazzling crown jewels at Rosenborg Palace.Special ValueThis tour is specially designed for a small group of 16 to 24 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding travel value. Prices include airfare, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees.Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this tour!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at the top of the page!Itinerary
Days 1-2 — Depart U.S. for Stockholm, Sweden
Arrive in the Swedish capital and transfer to your hotel with time to relax before tonight’s welcome dinner. (D)Days 3-4 — Stockholm, Kalmar
A morning city tour features a visit to the Vasa Museum displaying the war ship Vasa
, which sank on its maiden voyage in 1628 and was raised virtually intact in 1961, and the medieval Old Town Gamla Stan. The afternoon is free to explore Stockholm independently. Set out by coach the next morning for historic Kalmar, stopping en route at the Gota Canal connecting Sweden to the Baltic Sea. Overnight in Kalmar. (2B,D)Days 5-7 — Kalmar, Copenhagen
After touring historic Kalmar and its 12th-century castle, continue to Copenhagen. The next morning’s tour reveals why Copenhagen is one of the most livable of cosmopolitan cities. Visit Rosenborg Palace, housing the dazzling crown jewels; see the popular Little Mermaid statue; and stroll the narrow, historic streets of downtown to City Hall Square. Take the afternoon and the following morning to explore Copenhagen’s diversions independently. Visit the nearby fishing village of Dragor and Christianborg Palace, seat of the Danish Parliament, before boarding the overnight ferry to Oslo, settling in your private outside cabin and enjoying dinner on board. (3B,2D)Days 8-9 — Oslo, Gaala, Geiranger
Arrive in Norway and journey north to ski country. Stop in Lillehammer to visit the open-air Maihaugen Museum with its more than 200 original buildings depicting Norwegian culture and history. Overnight in Gaala. The next morning travel to Geiranger, site of the country’s most dramatic fjord. En route enjoy another thrilling drive up to the summit of Mount Dalsnibba (alt. 4,500 feet) for stunning views of Geirangerfjord and the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls beyond. A World Heritage site, Geirangerfjord is 10 miles long and 960 feet deep. Reach your hotel in Geiranger mid-afternoon. (2B,L,2D)Days 10-11 — Geiranger, Bergen
The morning excursion on the Eagle’s Road promises abundant thrills as you ride along 11 hairpin turns through mountain passes. Visit a local farm for lunch and then return to Geiranger for a relaxing afternoon. Before dinner at your hotel tonight, enjoy a reception there to view a private vintage car collection. Then take a full-day journey to Bergen, crossing Geirangerfjord by a series of ferries amid some of Norway’s finest scenery. Arrive in Bergen in the evening and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (2B,L,2D)Days 12–13 — Bergen, Lofthus
This morning see the highlights of Bergen – Norway’s second largest city – on a tour featuring Trolhaugen, country home of composer Edvard Grieg; the lively fish market; the colorful 14th-century Hanseatic merchants’ quarter of Bryggen, a World Heritage site; and 16th-century Bergenhus fortress. The afternoon is free for independent exploration. The next day is one of extreme beauty and diverse transportation as you travel by coach to Voss, where you’ll board the Flam Railway for a thrilling hour-long excursion through 2,000-foot deep Flam Valley, hurtling through mountainside tunnels and across the Flam River. En route experience the grandeur of Naeroyfjord, a fjord arm of stunning Sognefjord and a World Heritage site, and the Aurland fjords in the Flam Valley. Continue traveling by train, coach and ferry to Lofthus on Hardangerfjord in Norway’s western fjord district. (2B,L,D)Days 14-15 — Lofthus, Oslo
Today enjoy more stunning scenery as you visit a local orchard, where you’ll meet the family who runs it over cake and coffee, and then a nearby salmon farm. The next morning tour the Hardanger Nature Center, a museum showcasing life in Norway’s fjord country. After lunch on your own visit the mighty and popular Voringfoss Waterfall. Continue to Oslo, arriving early evening. (2B,D)Day 16 — Oslo
A morning tour of Norway’s pastoral capital includes the Norwegian Folk Museum and Vigner Sculpture Park, with its intriguing bronze sculptures of human figures by artist Gustav Vigeland. Visit the Viking Ship Museum, housing the well-preserved remains of wooden ships that crossed the ocean in search of new lands more than a thousand years ago. The afternoon is free to explore Oslo’s many parks, galleries, and museums. (B,D)Day 17 — Return to U.S.
Transfer to the airport this morning for your return flight to the United States. (B)