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: $4,995 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Traditional Viking boats in Norway  The brooding landscape of Glencoe  Glenfinnan Monument  The evocative Eilean Donan  The Ring of Brodgar, Orkney Islands  St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands  A Neolithic stone house at Skara Brae, 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 Bergen Aboard the 180-guest Le Champlain

9 days from $4,995

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

Activity Level 3:  Moderate / Active


Expectations: Ocean-going cruise that pulls into a pier for embarkation /disembarkation and for some shore excursions, and may use tenders at some ports. Excursions will be at a moderately active pace during the morning and/or afternoon. Some days will require early morning departures (8:00 or 8:30 a.m.). Daily activities will be of two to three hours each day. Expect some standing and walking for periods of time (up to two hours) during outdoor activities and tours, city tours, and museum visits. Walking during excursions can be two to three miles, sometimes over uneven terrain, such as cobblestone streets and at archaeological sites. When visiting the fjord region, there will be drives with hairpin turns and a one-hour train ride, which may have steps to board.  

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit, lead active lives, are comfortable participating in long days of activities, and expect some physical exertion. 

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

- Irving R.

May 21-29, 2019 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 — Bergen, Norway

Arrive in Bergen, founded on an old Viking settlement in 1070 and the Norwegian capital during the 12th and 13th centuries. Embark the Le Boréal. (D)

Day 3 — Bergen

The city of Bergen has a proud history as an important part of the Hanseatic League’s trading empire from the 14th to mid-16th centuries. Enjoy a walking tour of Bergen’s Bryggen (the old wharf), a World Heritage site that proudly displays its characteristically colorful wooden houses. See Troldhaugen, the summer home of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s most famous composer and walk the grounds of 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. Attend the Captain’s welcome reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 — Flåm Railway / Cruising the Norwegian Fjords

Later this morning, board the Flåm Railway, named one of the world’s most scenic train rides by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. 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 through 20 tunnels to the mountaintop train stop of Myrdal. Enjoy stunning views of snowcapped mountains, cascading waterfalls—including the awe‑inspiring Kjofossen—and picturesque hamlets along this alpine branch of the world‑renowned Bergen Line.

Norway’s fjords and islands offer some of Europe’s most phenomenal coastal scenery, where sea mist, shafts of sunlight and vivid rainbows congregate in a dazzling array of colors that seem to make the landscape greener and the fjords bluer. Be on deck this afternoon while cruising the majestic Sognefjord and the World Heritage-designated Naeroyfjord (time and weather permitting), passing traditional farmsteads and villages flanked by soaring mountains. (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 6000-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 5000 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.

Aboard the ship this evening, the director and head archaeologist of the Ness of Brodgar site will introduce and provide insights about this impressive ancient compound that lies outside of Kirkwall. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Kirkwall / Orkney Islands / Scotland

Nearly 5,000 years ago, ancient inhabitants of this archipelago employed technological prowess centuries ahead of their time to erect the Ring of Brodgar. Today, this magical compound rivals in the British Isles as the third largest stone circle raised 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 not a remote scatter of islands but instead 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.”

Hear the classically haunting sounds of a traditional Scottish bagpiper as you re-embark the ship. This evening, listen as a Scottish storyteller weaves the traditional stories that have been handed down by word of mouth for generations in these remote isles. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Portree, Isle of Skye / Kyle of Lochalsh

Cruise the coastline of ethereal Isle of Skye, home to some of Scotland’s most phenomenal geography. Disembark and depart by coach for a scenic tour of the Isle of Skye.  Drive through the Cullin Mountains to Portree, the capital of Skye, overlooking a sheltered bay.   

From the port village of Kyle of Lochalsh travel across a starkly beautiful land of rolling green moors to visit iconic Eilean Donan Castle, named for the sixth‑century Irish saint and one of the most iconic castles in the world. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Fort William and Scottish Highlands / Oban

Enjoy a full day’s journey experiencing the rich, resplendent beauty of the legendary Scottish Highlands. Along the way, pause at the bucolic village of Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied Jacobite Highlanders against King George II in 1745 to view the monument that commemorates the Jacobite Rising.

After lunch, travel along the picturesque, castle-dotted shores of Loch Linnhe to the splendor of majestic Glencoe—Scotland’s most scenic glen, much of which is owned and preserved by the National Trust for Scotland. Attend the Captain’s farewell reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Glasgow / Return

Disembark in Glasgow, a dynamic city where the indelible mark of Viking conquest still permeates the culture, and continue on the Glasgow and Edinburgh Post‑Cruise Option 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)

May 19-27, 2019 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart the U.S.

Day 2 — Glasgow, Scotland

Discover Glasgow, a dynamic Scottish city where the indelible mark of Viking conquest still permeates the art and culture. Transfer to the Le Champlain and while sailing away from port listen to the evocative melodies of a traditional bagpiper. (D)

Day 3 — Fort William / Scottish Highlands

Enjoy a full day’s journey experiencing the rich, resplendent beauty of the legendary Scottish Highlands. Travel to the bucolic village of Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied Jacobite Highlanders against King George II in 1745.

Along the way, enjoy the splendor of majestic Glencoe—Scotland’s most scenic glen, much of which is owned and preserved by the National Trust for Scotland. Attend the Captain’s welcome reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)

Day 4 — Kyle of Lochalsh / Portree, Isle of Skye

From the port village of Kyle of Lochlash travel across a starkly beautiful land of rolling green moors to visit the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, named for a sixth‑century Irish saint and one of the most iconic castles in the world.

Cruise the coastline of ethereal Skye, home to some of Scotland’s most phenomenal geography. Drive through the Cullin Mountains to Portree, the capital of Skye, overlooking a sheltered bay.

Aboard the ship, this evening, the director and head of the Ness of Brodgar will introduce and provide insights into this impressive ancient compound that lies outside of Kirkwall. (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Nearly 5000 years ago, ancient inhabitants of this archipelago employed technological prowess centuries ahead of their time to erect the Ring of Brodgar. Today, this magical compound rivals in the British Isles as the third largest stone circle raised 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 not a remote scatter of islands but instead 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.” Hear the classically haunting sounds of a traditional Scottish bagpiper as you re-embark the ship.

This evening, listen as a Scottish storyteller weaves the traditional stories that have been handed down by word of mouth for generations in these remote isles. (B,L,D)

Day 6 — 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 6000-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 5000 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. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Cruising the Norwegian Fjords/ Flåm Railway

Norway’s fjords and islands offer some of Europe’s most phenomenal coastal scenery, where sea mist, shafts of sunlight and vivid rainbows congregate in a dazzling array of colors that seem to make the landscape greener and the fjords bluer. Be on deck this morning while cruising the majestic Sognefjord and the World Heritage-designated Naeroyfjord (time and weather permitting), passing traditional farmsteads and villages flanked by soaring mountains.

Later this afternoon, board the Flåm Railway, named one of the world’s most scenic train rides by the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. 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 through 20 tunnels to the mountaintop train stop of Myrdal. Enjoy stunning views of snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls—including the awe‑inspiring Kjofossen—and picturesque hamlets along this alpine branch of the world‑renowned Bergen Line. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — 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 mid-16th centuries. Nearby, Troldhaugen was the summer home of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s most famous composer. Walk the grounds of the estate before visiting the reconstructed Fantoft Stavkirke, a traditional 12th-century wooden stave church, named for its post and lintel construction. Enjoy a walking tour of Bergen’s Bryggen (the old wharf), a World Heritage site that proudly displays its characteristically colorful wooden houses, before an afternoon at leisure in this charming city. Attend the Captain’s Farewell Reception this evening. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Bergen / U.S.

Disembark the ship in Bergen and continue on the Wonders of Norway and Copenhagen Post-Cruise Option 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)