Uncover the ancient and tumultuous Viking legacy of remote seafaring destinations as you sail from the northern Scottish Isles to their Norwegian homelands.

Starting at: $5,895 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Traditional Viking boats in Norway  The brooding landscape of Glencoe  The Jacobite steam train, traveling from Fort William to Mallaig  Glenfinnan Monument  St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands  A Neolithic stone house at Skara Brae, Orkney Islands  The Ring of Brodgar, Orkney Islands  Evocative landscape of the Shetland Islands  The town of Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands  The archaeological site of Jarlshof on the Shetland Islands. Credit: National Geographic Image Collection/Alamy  Typical village along the Sognefjord  Norway's beautiful Flam Valley  The famous Flam Railroad amid Norway's dramatic landscape  The fjords of Bergen  The World Heritage site of Bryggen, in the town of Bergen  Panorama of Bergen

Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords

A Cruise from Glasgow to Copenhagen Aboard the 220-guest Le Boréal

9 days from $5,895

Uncover the ancient and tumultuous Viking legacy of remote seafaring destinations as you sail from the northern Scottish Isles to their Norwegian homelands.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Edinburgh/Glasgow Pre-Program Option — 3 Days, 2 Nights

Explore two of Scotland’s great cities and their histories of feuding clans, medieval knaves and royal and religious intrigue. In Edinburgh, discover the historic Old Town, Royal Mile and iconic Edinburgh Castle and visit the Museum of Scotland for a glimpse of the nation’s formative years from the Bronze Age to Roman and Viking invasions. While in Glasgow, visit its magnificent Glasgow Cathedral, award-winning St Mungo Museum, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Accommodations for two nights are in the luxury Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, located in Edinburgh’s neoclassical New Town.

Copenhagen Post-Cruise Option 3 Days, 2 Nights

Scandinavia’s most cosmopolitan city and the capital of Denmark is an inviting and exuberant showcase of culture rooted in Viking ancestry, Hans Christian Andersen stories and historical architecture. See Amalienborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens and cruise the 400-year-old canals past Christiansborg Palace, the King’s Palace and gardens. In the nearby town of Roskilde visit its ancient cathedral, a World Heritage site, and explore the Vikings’ life at sea in the fascinating Viking Ship Museum. Accommodations for two nights are in the centrally located, deluxe Copenhagen Marriott Hotel.

Pre- and post-program options are available at additional cost. Details will be provided with your reservation confirmation.

Smithsonian surpasses any organized trip we have taken in the past several decades.

- Irving R.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 — Glasgow, Scotland

Arrive in Glasgow, a dynamic Scottish city where the indelible mark of Viking conquest still permeates the art and culture. Transfer to the Le Boréal and depart to the dulcet sounds of a traditional bagpiper. (D)

Day 3 — Scottish Highlands / Oban / Fort William / The Jacobite Steam Train / Mallaig

Enjoy a full day’s journey through the lush, resplendent beauty of the legendary Scottish Highlands. From Oban, travel through the heart of the Highlands and see the picturesque Pass of Brander, Loch Awe with views of the striking Kilchurn Castle and Rannoch Moor, one of the last remaining wildernesses in Europe. Enjoy the splendor of majestic Glencoe, most of which is owned and preserved by the National Trust for Scotland, and continue along the verdant shores of Loch Linnhe. After lunch in Fort William, board The Jacobite steam train—immortalized as the Hogwarts™ Express in the Harry Potter film series—for “one of the great railway journeys of the world” through awe-inspiring natural landscapes. Begin your train journey in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, and ride past Loch and River Morar to Mallaig near Loch Nevis, the deepest seawater loch in Europe. Along the way, stop at Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied Jacobite Highlanders against King George II in 1745.

This evening, attend the captain’s welcome reception. The ship will overnight in Mallaig. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 — Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Seven hundred years before the pharaohs built Giza’s pyramids and Neolithic man raised Stonehenge, ancient inhabitants of this archipelago employed technological prowess centuries ahead of its time to erect Ness of Brodgar. Today, this mysterious compound rivals the scale of the fifth‑century B.C. Athenian Acropolis, though it was constructed nearly three millennia earlier. Walk around the stone monoliths of the Ring of Brodgar, which were raised more than 3,500 years ago to chart the seasons.

See the ceremonial Stones of Stenness en route to visit the settlement of Skara Brae. Archaeologists suggest these sites, along with the Ness of Brodgar, were inhabited by an early Orcadian culture known for decorative arts and sophisticated craftsmanship. Pilgrims and traders carried the Orcadian innovations to the mainland and beyond—making Orkney more than just a remote scatter of islands but rather a hub of Neolithic civilization.

Thousands of years later, the Vikings established the port town of Kirkwall on Orkney’s main island, leaving behind the towering 12th-century St. Magnus Cathedral, known as the “Light of the North.” Enjoy time at leisure to explore Kirkwall.

Hear the evocative melodies of a traditional Scottish bagpiper as you reboard the ship. This evening, listen as a seanachaí weaves the traditional stories that have been handed down by word of mouth for generations in these remote isles. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Dock in Lerwick and explore the majestic Shetland Islands, declared a Global Geopark by UNESCO for their geologically diverse landscapes and seascapes carved and shaped by ice. Admire nature’s endlessly changing colors and textures, and listen for the clamor of gannets and puffins crowding the dramatic sheer rock cliffs. Though remote, these islands have a unique 6,000-year-old culture, where Scotland meets Scandinavia at this North Atlantic crossroads and legacies linger in the fascinating archaeology, dialect and traditional music.

From Lerwick, the capital of Shetland, journey to the island’s southernmost point, scanning the verdant landscape for Shetland’s famous ponies grazing on the rolling, grass-covered knolls. Visit Jarlshof, a pending World Heritage site and an extraordinary settlement revealing 5,000 years of human history, including late Neolithic stone houses, a Bronze Age village, an Iron Age broch and wheelhouse, Norse longhouses, a medieval farmstead and a 16th-century laird’s house. 

Day 6 — Cruising the Norwegian Fjords / Flåm Railway

Norway’s fjords and islands offer some of the most stunning coastal scenery in Europe. Be on deck to watch the light play off granite cliffs and pristine cobalt blue waters once plied by Viking longships.

Cruise the majestic Sognefjord to the charming town of Flåm, passing traditional farmsteads and villages flanked by soaring mountainsides. Upon arrival, board the Flåm railway, named one of the “most scenic train rides in the world” by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine and the “best train journey in the world” by Lonely Planet. This masterpiece of Norwegian engineering, the steepest standard-gauge railway track in Europe with an impressive elevation difference of 2835 feet, opened to the public in 1940 and travels 13 dramatic miles and through 20 tunnels to the mountaintop train stop of Myrdal. Enjoy stunning views of snowcapped mountains, cascading waterfalls like the awe-inspiring Kjofossen, picturesque hamlets and unique rock formations along this alpine branch of the renowned Bergen Line. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Bergen, Norway

The city of Bergen was founded on an old Viking settlement in 1070 and has a proud history as an important part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th- to 16th-centuries. Enjoy a walking tour of Bergen’s Bryggen (the old wharf), a World Heritage site, which still flaunts its characteristically colorful wooden houses. See Troldhaugen, the summer home of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s most famous composer, and tour his estate. Then, visit the reconstructed Fantoft Stavkirke, a traditional 12th-century wooden stave church, named for its post and lintel construction. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Bergen. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Cruising the North Sea

Spend the day at leisure cruising the North Sea and enjoying a series of lectures. This evening, attend the captain’s farewell reception. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart Copenhagen, Denmark for the U.S.

Arrive in Denmark, long considered the spiritual and historic home of the Vikings and from whence sailed their intrepid predecessors—the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Disembark in Copenhagen and continue on the post-cruise option to further explore the rich heritage of the Danish capital. Or, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)