Norway has some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. This tour can be combined with our tour to Iceland
LAND TOUR: $ 7,695 Canadian/person (includes breakfasts + dinners or lunches)
Begins July 14th in Tromso and finishes July 28th in Oslo.
If you wish to explore the Norwegian capital more thoroughly, you can stay on in Oslo for a day or more after the tour finishes and/or you can arrive in Tromso a day or more before the tour starts.
It is possible to combine our Norway tour with our Iceland tour. Please call for details.
Limited to 16 travelers + Norman & Julie Bruce
Norway has some of the most spectacular scenery on earth, with a coastal distance of over 2,500 km (over 1,500 miles.) Carved by the relentless North Atlantic Ocean for eons, when the indentations of the world-famous fjords are included, the coastline of mainland Norway stretches to nearly 29,000 km (nearly 18,000 miles)! There are also thousands of islands offshore. Norway forms the western side of the Scandinavian Peninsula, most of its inland area being the Scandinavian
Mountains. For over 1,600 km (over 1,000 miles), these glacier-covered mountains are the border with Sweden. Lying between latitudes 57° and 81° North, much of the country is above the Arctic Circle (66 North.) In some of the more remote areas of the north, we experience many marvels of modern engineering – long, graceful bridges linking islands and tiny communities, dr
amatic roads climbing almost-vertical cliffs, and tunnels carved under fjords and through mountains. Eighteen of Norway's most stunning roads have officially been designated National Scenic Routes, their natural beauty having been enhanced with breathtaking examples of art and architecture. What is special about travelling in Norway is that people live just about everywhere. Even on the narrowest mountain ledge or small crag, there will be a house. Not surprisingly, Norwegians love the outdoors and little Norway usually dominates the medal table at the Winter Olympics every 4 years. Our small group allows us to immerse ourselves in the lifestyle and culture of the cities and fishing villages we visit. Our focus is on the majestic scenery of fjords, offshore islands, mountains and glaciers. However, we also learn about the rich history of the robust people who have made this rocky land their home. We focus particularly on the “Viking Age” in the 8th, 9th and 10th Centuries and on the modern period, since the discovery of oil, which has seen such rapid change. During the 20th Century, Norway saw one of the most dramatic transformations of its economy of any European country. With rugged terrain and climate which are among the harshest in the world, Norway was one of the poorest countries in Europe until the 1960s. Its hardy people risked their lives fishing on the open seas or scratched a living farming the rocky landscape. In 1966 all that changed when the first of many huge offshore oil fields were discovered. Norway has controlled its revenues from its oil industry very strongly, using them to fund one of the most comprehensive welfare states in the world. Today, the petroleum industry accounts for about 25% of the country's GDP. As measured by the World Bank, Norway has the fourth-highest per-capita income in the world and the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, with a value of over 1 trillion US dollars. As we travel to the bigger cities and to tiny, remote fishing and farming villages, we learn how all this money has been used to make life more comfortable for the people in what has become one of the most egalitarian and environmentally aware societies on earth. Norway has one of the lowest crime rates in the world (despite the many Norwegian detective novels and movies you may have read and seen!)
The Food in Norway! Each full day of the tour we include breakfast and either dinner or lunch. Not surprisingly, ultra-fresh seafood is one of the great highlights of Norway. Many of these dishes are served at cozy little restaurants that have a wonderful local atmosphere. However, many of these unique restaurants are too small to accommodate groups. On most days we include dinner together as a group but on 2 days we include lunch together and give you the freedom to choose your own special restaurant for dinner. On these 2 evenings, Julie and Norman will make suggestions for restaurants close to our hotels.
This tour is not suitable if you need walking assistance in the form of walking sticks or canes. You must be in reasonably good shape to enjoy this tour – there is a lot of walking and exploring through the back streets of old historic towns where our bus cannot enter. Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes as some of our walking tours can take up to 2 hours.
(updated April 16th, 2021)
Day 1 Thurs July 14th
Arrival in Tromso.
Today we fly into Tromso, the furthest north that we travel on our tour. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and/or explore the “capital” of northern Norway. The city is also known as the 'Gateway to the Arctic' because it was the embarkation point for many Arctic expeditions. This is the perfect place to see the “midnight sun.” Because the Earth is rotating on a tilted axis, the North Pole is angled towards the sun during the summer months. That’s why, for several weeks, the sun never sets above the Arctic Circle. Many restaurants here specialise in dishes using fresh ingredients from the Arctic.
First of 2 nights in Tromso. Clarion Collection Hotel With or similar. No meals.
Day 2 Fri July 15th
Tromso Sightseeing + the Sami People
Tromso, Norway’s “Arctic capital”, is located 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. With a population of nearly 77,000, Tromso is the 12th most populous municipality in Norway and the 3rd largest city north of the Arctic Circle anywhere in the world. This is also the world’s northernmost university town. Surrounded by chilly fjords and craggy peaks that remain snowcapped for much of the year, Tromso sits on Tromsoya Island and is linked to the mainland by a gracefully arched bridge and a tunnel. In previous centuries the town was a centre for seal hunting, trapping and fishing, and was later a launchpad for several notable Arctic expeditions, including some led by Roald Amundsen. This morning we take a guided tour of the city including Tromsdalen Church, also known as the “Arctic Cathedral” – a daring piece of architecture built in 1965. The 'Return of Christ' glass mosaic window was added in 1972 and dominates the interior. The cathedral is a landmark visible from the Tromso Sound, the Tromso Bridge and when flying into Tromso Airport. The cathedral’s organ was built in 2005 and comprises 2,940 pipes, the longest of which measures 32 feet (9.6 metres) and the smallest just 5 mm. The bellows are made of reindeer hide. Situated in a restored 1830s warehouse on the seafront, the Norwegian Polar Institute (in partnership with the Fram Centre in Oslo) showcases some of the climate and environmental research that is taking place in the Arctic area.
This is the area of Norway where the majority of the country's indigenous people – the Sami – live and this afternoon we travel out onto the tundra to meet some of them and learn about their traditions and how they live today. The total population of Sami in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia is estimated to be approximately 80,000 and about half of them live in Norway – although they roam over this whole vast area, regardless of country, following their reindeer herds. In the Tromso area (now referred to as “Norwegian Lapland” and “Sapmi” in their language) we are close to Norway’s border with both Sweden and Finland. We will learn about the Sami’s 8 seasons and the genius of their sustainable, cyclical economy based on reindeer herding. Norway is home to more than 200,000 reindeer and today about 3,000 Sami people are still involved in reindeer husbandry.
Reindeer have always been a central part of Sami culture. There is almost no part of the reindeer that they don’t use: meat for food, fur and skin for clothes and shoes, and the horns are transformed into everything from useful tools to beautiful art. We have the chance to feed wild reindeer and enjoy a reindeer-pulled sled ride. Around the fire in a peat-covered ‘gamme’ hut or a ‘lavuu’ tent, the Samis will share stories from their lives and introduce us to their traditions and local sagas. For most of the 20th Century, the Sami in Norway were forbidden to speak their own languages and had to learn Norwegian under strict assimilation policies. As a result, slightly less than half of the Sami in Norway speak a Sami language today. For this, the Sami people got an official apology from the Norwegian government in 1999. Of the 9 different Sami languages in the world, 5 are in use in Norway today. None of these languages resemble each other, nor are they related to Norwegian – or any other Scandinavian language. In 1989, the Sami Parliament was opened after numerous protests in the 1970s and ‘80s against the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the Altaelva River, known as the “Alta controversy.” Since then, the Norwegian Sami have been able to elect representatives to a parliament that focusses solely on Sami issues. Our Sami hosts introduce us to the sounds of their noaide drum and their traditional folk songs, ‘joik’ – one of the oldest song traditions in all of Europe. The survival of joik, despite pressure for cultural assimilation by the Norwegian government, is in itself a remarkable phenomenon. For a long time joik was condemned as sinful and, in the 1950s, it was forbidden to use joik in Sami-area schools. Today joik is practised in many situations as part of everyday life.
Second of 2 nights in Tromso. Clarion Collection Hotel With or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 3 Sat July 16th
Land of the Midnight Sun
Northern Norway is the largest part of the mainland, with 35% of its land mass. The Arctic Circle region is a place of magical light – the Midnight Sun in Summer and the Northern Lights in Winter. This is not just a vast land of unspoilt natural beauty, but of miracles of human ingenuity and survival. Each tiny island and village tells its own story of seafarers, fish-farmers and the Sami people who have lived here for generations. Today we travel south and west from Tromso through a fairytale landscape of misty mountains, green pastures and glaciers to the coast near Skutvik, the gateway to the stunning Loften Islands.
First of 2 nights near Skutvik. Sentrumsgarden Motell or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 4 Sun July 17th
Today we take a 1-hour ferry ride out to the world-famous Lofoten archipelago, an area of picturesque villages by the sea backed by the famous Lofoten Wall of jagged peaks. This is often referred to as the “World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage.” After landing at Svolvaer, the “capital” of the Lofoten Islands, we join our bus and guide to drive to Borg and the Viking Museum at Lofotr. This is the location of the largest Viking-age building ever found. Close to the remains of the original building is a full scale reconstruction of the chieftain’s residence. If the weather is nice, we will continue on to Nussfjord, one of Norway's oldest and best-preserved fishing villages. This afternoon we take the ferry back from Svolvaer to Skutvik.
Second of 2 nights near Skutvik. Sentrumsgarden Motell or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 5 Mon July 18th
Crossing the Arctic Circle
This morning we drive south and stop at Fauske, known as “The Marble City” because of its mines for famous pink marble. The town is the last stop on the Northern Railway. From Fauske we continue south to Rognan, a small pretty town at the end of the Skjestadfjord. Rognan lies on the infamous “Blood Road” built for the Germans in WW2. It involved thousands of prisoners of war, many of whom perished and are buried in this area. We continue to the Arctic Circle Centre, located right at 66 degrees northern latitude and close to the border with Sweden. The exhibits here highlight the region’s art, cultural heritage and trade. The Centre’s post office can stamp your postcards with a special Arctic Circle postmark. From the Arctic Circle Centre our destination today is Mosjoen on the trout-filled Vefsna River. The town has many historic links to Britain. Mosjoen offers northern Norway’s answer to Bergen’s harbour: a picturesque row of carefully restored and preserved traditional wooden buildings dating back to the 18th Century. In the town centre is Sjogata Street, with its mix of galleries, craft workshops, museums, shops, cafes, restaurants and private houses. The Fru Haugans Hotel, dating from 1794, is the most impressive building in town.
Overnight in Mosjoen. Lyngengarden Hotel Skaret or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 6 Tues July 19th
Today we continue south through Helgeland (an area inhabited by trolls and other magical creatures) into the Namdalen Valley, on to Lake Snasavatn and along the Trondheimsfjord to the city of Trondheim, the first capital of Norway – which has been a pilgrimage site for nearly 1,000 years. Surrounded by countless large- and small-scale food producers, Trondheim is the city in Norway with the strongest focus on local food. The city is scattered with high-quality restaurants, one of which we enjoy our dinner tonight.
First of 2 nights in Trondheim. Thon Hotel Prinsen or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 7 Wed July 20th
Today we enjoy a full-day guided tour of Trondheim, Norway’s 3rd largest city – although it only has 140,000 inhabitants. A settlement was founded here in 997 by King Olav Tryggvason as a trading post, which served as the capital of Norway during the Viking Age until 1217. With its colourful warehouses, waterways and wooded hills, Trondheim is one of the most photogenic cities in Europe. The historic centre with its narrow streets and timbered houses is located on a peninsula where the River Nidelva enters the Trondheim fjord. Here we visit the elaborate Nidaros Cathedral, the first Christian church in Norway, Scandinavia's largest medieval building and the northernmost Gothic structure in Europe. The original stone cathedral was built between 1070 and 1300 and houses the grave of St Olav, the Viking king who replaced the pagan Nordic religion with Christianity. In 1153 Norway became a separate archbishopric. Different parts of the cathedral were built in different centuries and restored after multiple fires.
The outside is covered in statues of biblical characters and Norwegian bishops and kings. We also visit the Munkholmen viewpoint, the marina and the NTNU university campus. We see the Stiftsgarden, the current royal residence in Trondheim. Built between 1774 and 1778 at the height of Trondheim's golden age as a private residence for the widow of a wealthy trader, the 140-room late-baroque building is the largest wooden palace in Northern Europe. We wander the palace gardens, one of Trondheim's most peaceful spots. We also see the Kristiansten Fortress, which was built on a hilltop to keep an eye on the city after the great fire of 1681. The fortress helped save the city from conquest by Sweden in 1718. During the Second World War, it was taken over by the Nazis, who executed 23 Norwegian resistance fighters here. You also have time to explore the partly pedestrianized town centre, with its many shops, bars and restaurants. Today we include lunch together. This evening you might like to enjoy your dinner (at your own expense) at a small restaurant down by the harbour. Julie and Norman will suggest restaurants for this evening.
Second of 2 nights in Trondheim. Thon Hotel Prinsen or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 8 Thurs July 21st
This morning we leave Northern Norway and travel to the wild Atlantic coast in Western Fjord country. Driving along the open coast, we enjoy a number of pretty internal ferry journeys as well as the famous “Atlantic Road” (one of Norway’s 18 National Scenic Routes – the natural beauty of these ultra-scenic roads is enhanced by dramatically constructed viewing points designed by some of
Norway’s finest modern architects.), which was once ranked by the UK's Guardian newspaper as the “world's best road trip”, even though the main section of the route is barely 8 km long. Construction was begun in 1983 on the 8 elegantly curving bridges that connect 17 storm-lashed islets and the road was opened in 1989. During that time, the project experienced 12 winter hurricanes! In 2005 it was chosen as the “Norwegian Construction of the Century.” The full Atlantic Road that we drive is 36 km long with stunning views of the ocean and the hundreds of offshore islands around every corner and from the highest point of each bridge. In addition to the amazing bridges themselves, several scenic lookout points are enhanced with cutting-edge architecture. For instance, the glass-fronted viewing platform at Askevagen provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the archipelago, the ocean and the shore.
Overnight in Alesund. Scandic Parken Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 9 Fri July 22nd
Atlantic Coast to Fjordland
The town of Alesund is surrounded by turquoise fjords and sits atop a series of small islands stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean. This is the home base for Norway's largest cod-fishing fleet and is considered to be among the most photogenic cities in all of Europe. Behind it tower steep mountainsides, highlighting the snow-capped summits of the Sunnmore Alps which drop almost 2 kilometres down into the fjord. The architecture of the city adds to its stunning location. In 1904, as an overnight winter hurricane shook the city, a fire broke out in the fish preserving factory and quickly spread to the nearby wooden houses. When morning broke, more than 10,000 people had lost their homes. In fact, only one house was left standing. The locals were quick to name it “The Miracle House”! More than 30 architects collaborated in rebuilding the city in stone, brick and mortar. They chose the contemporary “jugendstil” (art nouveau) style, drawing inspiration from all over Europe. Most of the buildings were built in the 3 years following the fire, giving Alesund its unusually consistent architecture. This morning we have a guided walking tour of the “art nouveau city”, starting at a former pharmacy – which was the city’s first listed art nouveau building and today is a museum which documents Alesund's unique architectural heritage.
This afternoon we drive inland through more stunning mountain and fjord landscapes to the village of Andalsnes, Norway's mountain capital and home to the Norwegian Mountaineering Centre. The next section of our route takes us round many hairpin bends on the Trollstigvegen (the Troll’s Road). For several centuries this route was an important transport artery between Andalsnes and the village of Valldal, first as a path and then as a bridleway, until construction of the present road started in 1916. Parts of the original pack horse track are still visible as we travel through “the Land of The Trolls'. Today Valldal is known for growing the world’s most succulent strawberries – they become extra flavourful from growing under 24-hour daylight! Beyond Valldal we travel on another of Norway’s 18 National Scenic Routes, where the natural drama is increased by feats of modern engineering. The Ornesvingen lookout has its own waterfall flowing through the viewing platform! We descend the famous “Eagle Road” with its 11 hairpin bends and spectacular panoramic views stretching from Geiranger township over its fjord with its near-perpendicular mountainsides to the Seven Sisters waterfall and Mount Dalsnibba (1,600 metres above sea level.)
Overnight in Geiranger. Hotell Utsikten or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 10 Sat July 23rd
Fjord Cruise + Glacier Museum
This morning we take the 1-hour ferry ride along “the most beautiful fjord in the world.' The UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord is a truly majestic combination of high cliffs, plunging waterfalls and deep blue water. On our journey along the S-shaped waterway we pass the waterfalls of Dei Sju Systre, Friaren and Brudesloret and see abandoned mountain farms high above us. We end our cruise in the old Viking port of Hellesylt, through which a roaring waterfall cascades. While in this little town, you might like to visit the Peer Gynt Gallery which displays wood carvings fashioned by a local carpenter to illustrate the Peer Gynt legend. Rejoining our coach, we ascend into the mountains to the village of Stryn and on south around the Innfjord to visit Jostedalsbreen National Park, which surrounds the mighty Jostedalsbreen Glacier. Mainland Europe's largest ice cap covers an area of 487 sq km and in places is 600 metres (almost 2,000 feet) thick. In Fjaerland we visit the striking Norwegian Glacier Museum, where we are greeted by recreations of two 30,000-year-old woolly mammoths outside. This interactive museum provides a great overview of the processes of glacier and fjord formation. This, the official visitor centre of the national park, provides great views of the Boyabreen and Supphellebreen arms of the main glacier.
Overnight in Balestrand. Dragsvik Fjordhotell or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 11 Sun July 24th
Ferry Ride + Flam Railway
This morning we take a 2-hour ferry cruise through the very heart of western Norway's magnificent fjord region. We sail along the UNESCO-listed Aurlandsfjord past the UNESCO-listed Naeroyfjord on a truly out-of-this-world experience, below snow-capped mountains towering up to 1,800 m /6,000 ft above our heads. Amazingly, even these seemingly-perpendicular mountains are dotted with sheltered hamlets and high mountain farms. Our destination is the village of Flam (meaning 'plain, flat piece of land', referring to the flood plains of the Flam River), which sits in a truly spectacular setting at the head of the Aurlandsfjord. This fjord is an arm of the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, which extends more than 200 km inland to the foot of the Jotunheimen Mountains. This area is considered to be one of the most spectacular travel destinations in the world. While in Flam, you have time for lunch and a visit to the “Black Church”, which dates back to Viking times. From the village we take the legendary Flam Railway for one of the world's most spectacular rail journeys. This is Europe’s steepest railway line, dropping 862 metres (2,831 feet) down to the fjord below. The stunning 55-minute journey covers 20 km (12 miles) on an average gradient of 1 in 18 (5.5%) and offers truly eye-popping panoramas. Lonely Planet Traveller has recognised the Flam Railway as one of the 'Best train journeys in the world.' The decision to build the line was made in 1908 but financing wasn’t approved by the Norwegian parliament until 1923 and the line didn’t open until 1942, due to the difficulty of construction. Eighteen of the 20 tunnels carved out of the sheer cliffs were chiseled out by hand, which took one month of hard labour for each metre excavated. Once we reach the highlands, we transfer to the Bergen Railway which takes us down to the west coast.
After arriving in Bergen, we transfer by bus to our hotel. Bergen is the second-largest city in Norway, although Bergen municipality has a population of less than 300,000. Bergen is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Norway, surrounded by 7 hills and 7 fjords. Many of its extra-municipal suburbs spread out onto surrounding islands. The city looms large in Viking sagas and was the seat of the medieval kingdom of Norway until the 14th Century. The rest of this afternoon is free for you to explore picturesque Old Bergen along the busy harbour with its myriad shops, boutiques and the famous open-air fish market or you may prefer to go up Mount Floyen on the funicular behind the town if it is a good day (everything in Bergen depends on the weather!)
First of 2 nights in Bergen. Scandic Bergen City Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 12 Mon July 25th
The city of Bergen has traditionally been thought to have been founded by King Olav Kyrre in 1070 AD. Modern research has, however, discovered that a trading settlement had already been established in the 1020s or 1030s. During the early Middle Ages it was a major trading post and, until 1789, a “bureau city” of the Hanseatic League of city-states based in the Baltic Sea and trading all across northern Europe. In this capacity Bergen enjoyed exclusive rights to mediate trade between Northern Norway and abroad. Bergen was also Norway's capital in the 13th Century and the largest city in Norway until the 1830s. The city has survived many
disasters, including several fires and the explosion of a Nazi ship during World War II. Our tour starts in the centre of town on Vagen Harbour at Torget, also called the fish market, where fishermen and farmers display their freshest produce. Next we walk over to Bryggen, the wharf that is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The wooden warehouses lining the docks run in long, parallel and often precariously leaning rows of gabled buildings. Each has stacked-stone or wooden foundations and reconstructed rough-plank construction. The current 58 buildings date from after a great fire in 1702, although the building pattern is from the 12th Century. Archaeological excavations suggest that the quay was once 140 metres further inland than its present location. By the early 14th Century there were about thirty 2- and 3-story wooden buildings, each usually shared by several trading firms and combining business premises with living quarters and warehouses. Each building had a crane for loading and unloading ships. We explore the narrow passageways between the buildings and learn just how important the trade in dried codfish was to Bergen’s development under the Hanseatic League. Our walk continues down the wharf to the end of the Holmen Promontory and the Bergenhus Fort, also known as “Hakon’s Castle”, which dates from the 13th Century. Within the castle walls is King Hakon’s Hall, an impressive ceremonial hall built by King Hakon Hakonsson in 1247–61 and completed for his son's wedding and coronation. Spread over 3 floors, it's been much restored and the highlight is the large feasting room on the top floor, where lavish banquets were held. Bergen's oldest cathedral is located behind the castle, the 12th Century Mariakirken church. The nearby Rosenkrantztarnet is a 16th Century tower residence. Today we include lunch together.
In the afternoon we travel south of Bergen by coach to Troldhaugen, the home of Norway’s most famous composer – Edvard Grieg. The site consists of an exhibition, the composer's house and his final resting place by the waters of beautiful Nordasvatnet Bay. Grieg and his wife Nina Hagerup spent summers at this charming Swiss-style wooden villa from 1885 until his death in 1907. Surrounded by fragrant, tumbling gardens and occupying a semirural setting on a peninsula, it's a truly idyllic setting. Returning to the city, you have some free time to explore some of Bergen’s other delights. You may like to visit the KODE 3 art gallery, which displays paintings by Norway’s most famous artist – Edvard Munch. This evening you might like to enjoy your dinner (at your own expense) at a small restaurant down by the harbour. Julie and Norman will suggest restaurants for this evening.
Second of 2 nights in Bergen. Scandic Bergen City Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Lunch.
Day 13 Tues July 26th
Bergen – Oslo by train + Oslo sightseeing
Today we travel by train on the famous Bergen Railway line, the highest major rail route in Northern Europe. From Bergen we ascend among snow-covered peaks from the spectacular fjords of the west coast to desolate uninhabited moorland around Myrdal at 1,222 metres above sea level, where the snow stays all year round. Small hunting cabins are scattered over the landscape. From here we descend via forests sprinkled with holiday homes to the Oslofjord and the flatlands of the east.
This afternoon we start our tour of Scandinavia’s oldest capital city. Of Norway’s total population of nearly 5.5 million, 1.7 million live in the greater Oslo area. The city is the economic and governmental centre of the country, being the hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. The European Commission awarded Oslo the prestigious “European Green Capital” title for 2019 for having one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world, excellent and well-patronised public transport and a commitment to its green spaces and reducing pollution. Easy access to the sea and islands of the Oslofjord in front of the city and the ski slopes and forests in the hills around it allows the people of Oslo to indulge in a wide range of their favourite outdoor activities all year round. We start our tour of Norway’s capital by walking to Oslo’s City Hall to see the magnificent murals in the huge entrance hall, known as the venue for the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony each year. We continue to the Opera House, which is a stunning piece of modern art in itself. Opened in 2008, it is the largest cultural building to be built in Norway since the start of the 14th Century, and has become a new landmark for the city. Its most striking feature is its white sloping roof, which looks like a field of snow that you can walk on and from which you get wonderful views of the city centre and harbour.
First of 2 nights in Oslo. Scandic Byporten Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 14 Wed July 27th
More Oslo sightseeing.
This afternoon we drive up to Norway's most popular visitor attraction, Holmenkollen Ski Jump, which was built in 1892 and was used in the 1952 Winter Olympics. Each year it hosts the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup competitions. There are fantastic views down onto Oslo and its fjord from here.
The city has a wonderful collection of museums, reflecting Norway’s long and diverse history. This afternoon we visit the Viking Ship Museum, housing 3 of the best-preserved Viking ships in the world. Around 1,100 years ago, 2 longships were dragged up from the shoreline and used as a centrepiece for grand ceremonial burials – most likely for important chieftains and nobility. Along with the ships, were buried many items for the afterlife: food, drink, jewellery, furniture, carriages, weapons, and even several dogs for companionship. Discovered in Oslofjord in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the ships and their wares are beautifully restored, offering an insight into Viking life. The burial chamber beneath the Oseberg held the largest collection of Viking-age artefacts ever uncovered in Scandinavia. The sturdier 24-metre-long Gokstad, built around 890, is the finest remaining example of a Viking longship. The fragmentary remains of the Tune are incredibly well preserved. These were the kinds of ships the Vikings used to discover the Americas, 500 years before Christopher Columbus!
We then ferry to the Kon-Tiki Museum, which houses the balsawood raft used by Thor Heyerdal to sail across a vast area of the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia in 1947. He carried out this dangerous voyage across the open ocean to support his theory that the first Polynesians could have come from South America. He followed this up with equally-challenging expeditions on the reed boats Ra and Tigris.
We return to the city and wander Oslo’s main street, Karl Johans Gate, which stretches from the Norwegian Royal Palace to the Parliament building with the University, National Theatre and City Hall in between. You have some free time before dinner. You may like to explore the green expanse of Frogner Park which incorporates Vigeland Park, the open-air sculpture park which exhibits 192 sculptures with more than 600 full-sized statues. This is the world’s largest collection of human figures by the same author (Gustav Vigeland 1869-1943.)
Second of 2 nights in Oslo. Scandic Byporten Hotel or similar. Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 15 Thurs July 28th
This morning we fly from Oslo to North America, arriving the same afternoon. Breakfast at our Oslo hotel, if not leaving too early.
Those who wish to may add extra days in Oslo after the tour. We have only included one day in Oslo city on our tour.
- Accommodation mainly in 4-Star and good 3-Star hotels. All our hotels have en-suite bathrooms and heating/cooling.
- Land transport by our own coach, train and ferry.
- Sightseeing and entrance fees as mentioned in the itinerary.
- Tipping for drivers and local guides
- Breakfast + Dinner daily (except on July 20th and 25th, when we include lunches instead of dinners.)
- Guiding by Royal Heights tour leaders Julie and Norman Bruce with the assistance of our expert Norwegian local guides in each area.
- Visa fees. Canadian passport holders do NOT currently require a visa for Norway. Your passport must be valid for 3 months beyond the date you leave the Schengen Area (i.e. until at least Oct 28th, 2022, if you are returning to Canada directly after finishing our Norway tour.)
- Lunches (except on July 20th and 25th, when we include LUNCH instead of dinner.)
- We do NOT include porterage. Porters MAY be available to help you with your suitcase and you should be prepared to tip them if you use their services. Please only bring one piece of luggage per person and make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move your own luggage when necessary.
- Trip Cancellation / Interruption and Medical Insurance. This insurance is strongly recommended. We can put you in touch with our insurance expert for a quote.
- Single Supplement charge, if requested ($1,470 Canadian)
- Personal Expenses such as souvenirs, laundry and drinks not included at meals.
- Arrival & departure transfers. We can arrange individual or group transfers when you have confirmed the arrival & departure times of your flights. Please contact us for a quote.
Our flight specialist estimates the cost of the airfare to be approximately $1,800 Canadian departing Vancouver to Tromso (TOS) via Frankfurt and Oslo with Lufthansa & returning from Oslo via Munich with Lufthansa. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS AN ESTIMATE FROM VANCOUVER AND IS ONLY VALID AT THE TIME OF POSTING. You do NOT have to come to Vancouver to join this tour.
Our published price is based on 2 people sharing a room. If you would like to share, we will do our best to find you a roommate. The EARLIER you pay your deposit, the more likely we are to be able to find you a roommate. If you wish to be guaranteed a single room, there is a Single Supplement charge of $1,470 Canadian. Those people traveling alone but wishing to share will be informed 3 months prior to departure if a roommate is not currently available. At that point, you will be invoiced for the Single Supplement. If a roommate subsequently joins the tour, your single supplement will be refunded with the final documentation.
Land portion of the tour must be booked directly with Royal Heights Tours. You can secure your place on the tour with a $400 per person non-refundable deposit. We take payment by cheque, Visa or Mastercard for the $400 /person deposit. Your invoice for your Land tour will be e-mailed to you in mid-April 2022. Payment will be due by May 14th, 2022. Price quoted is for FINAL PAYMENT by cheque. Should you wish to pay the outstanding amount for the LAND tour by credit card there will be an administration fee of 2.5% on the outstanding amount.
- Our office staff are not medically qualified to advise you on which immunizations you require. Please consult your local travel health clinic.
- You MUST be in good physical condition to join this tour, We enjoy a lot of walking tours of smaller towns where our bus cannot travel. Our guided tours of museums/historic buildings can involve climbing up stairs and be over an hour in length.
- Please make sure your luggage has wheels so you can move it easily.
BC Travel Registration # 3379
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.