Scandinavian Journey: Featuring Norway and Denmark
Take a Scandinavian journey featuring cosmopolitan cities and breathtaking countryside, as well as famed fjords and soaring snowcapped mountains.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
Smithsonian trips combine the elements of education, experience and just plain fun. If you enjoy art, history, culture and an occasional behind-the-scenes look at another country, these trips are for you. The fact that all expenses, transportation and baggage handling are included just adds to relaxed enjoyment.”
Excellent value, strong intellectual contact which we never could have gotten on our own and choice urban and natural scenery.”
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This 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.
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. In Denmark’s Copenhagen stroll the historic streets, see City Hall Square, and behold the dazzling crown jewels at Rosenborg Palace. Visit the nearby port city of Elsinore, immortalized in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and tour Karen Blixen’s house and 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 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 Oslo, where you’ll learn about Norway’s seafaring history and contemporary culture through tours of the National Gallery, Frognerpark, and the Viking Ship Museum.
Days 1-2 — Depart U.S. for Copenhagen, Denmark
Arrive in the Danish capital and transfer to your hotel with time to relax. This evening, meet your fellow travelers, Smithsonian Journeys Expert, and Tour Director during a welcome dinner at Copenhagen's festive Tivoli Gardens. (1D)
Days 3-4 — Copenhagen
This 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 to explore Copenhagen independently. The next day take an excursion to the port city of Elsinore (Helsinger in Danish), with its well-preserved architecture, Gothic churches, and cobblestone streets. See Kronborg Castle, the setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and a UNESCO World Heritage site, where your tour includes the Royal Chambers and Ballroom. This afternoon visit the Karen Blixen House and Museum in coastal Rungsted. Save for her years in Africa, the writer known as Isak Dinesen (Out of Africa) spent most of her life here, where she was born in 1885. The house boasts its original furniture and décor; the site itself comprises the house, a museum, bird sanctuary, and park. (2B,1L)
Day 5 — Copenhagen, Oslo, Norway
After a morning at leisure in Copenhagen, set off midday for Christianborg Palace, seat of the Danish Parliament; and the cozy fishing village of Dragor, with its historic buildings and cobblestone streets. Late this afternoon, board the overnight DFDS ferry to Oslo, get settled in your private outside cabin, and enjoy dinner on board. (B,D)
Days 6-7 — Oslo, Gaala, Geiranger
Upon arrival this morning, board your coach for the journey north to ski country. Stop along the way in Lillehammer (site of the 1994 Winter Olympics) to visit the open-air Maihaugen Museum, among Norway's most visited cultural attractions. Mid-afternoon, depart for the village of Gaala and your ski lodge hotel. The next morning, experience spectacular scenery as you travel to Geiranger. En route, ascend to the summit of Mount Dalsnibba (alt. 4,900 feet) for stunning views of Geirangerfjord and the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls beyond. After reaching the popular village of Geiranger mid-afternoon, get your first up-close look at Norway's most dramatic fjord. A World Heritage site, Geirangerfjord measures 10 miles long and 960 feet deep. Stay overnight at your hotel in Geiranger. (2B,1L,2D)
Days 8-9 — 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. Enjoy a reception with an opportunity to view a private car collection before dinner at your hotel. The next day comprises 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,1L,2D)
Days 10-11 — Bergen, Flaam, 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 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 by coach and ferry to Lofthus, nestled on Hardangerfjord in Norway’s western Fjord District. (2B,1L,1D)
Days 12-13 — 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,1D)
Day 14-15 — Oslo
A half-day tour of Norway’s pastoral capital includes the National Gallery, Vigeland Sculpture Park, with its intriguing bronze sculptures of human figures by artist Gustav Vigeland, and a ferry ride and visit to Norway's Resistance Museum. The afternoon is free to explore Oslo’s many parks, galleries, and museums on your own. The next morning, 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. Also tour the nearby Kon-Tiki Musuem, with the original vessels and artifacts from Thor Hyerdahl's 1947 voyage across the Pacific. Enjoy a free afternoon before your farewell dinner this evening at your hotel. (2B,1D)
Day 16 — Return to U.S.
Transfer to the airport this morning for your return flight to the U.S. (B)