Itinerary & Accommodations
Day 1: Depart U.S. for Copenhagen, Denmark
Day 2: Arrive Copenhagen After arriving in the Danish capital today, this evening we meet our fellow travelers and Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director at a welcome dinner and briefing about the journey ahead at Copenhagen’s festive Tivoli Gardens. D
Day 3: Copenhagen A half-day tour introduces us to this most livable of cosmopolitan cities. We visit Christiansborg Palace, seat of the Danish Parliament; visit the popular Little Mermaid statue; and stroll along the narrow, historic streets of downtown to City Hall Square. The remainder of the day is free to explore independently. B
Day 4: Copenhagen We embark this morning on a full-day excursion, first to Elsinore (Helsinger in Danish), site of Kronborg Castle – the infamous setting of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – where our tour includes the Royal Chambers and Ballroom. Dramatically set on a spit of land between Denmark and Sweden, Kronborg (c. 1585), a UNESCO site, was widely renowned during the Renaissance. We then pass by Fredensborg Palace, the grand spring and autumn residence of the Danish royal family. This afternoon we 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. B,L
Day 5: Copenhagen/Oslo, Norway Today we set off for the cozy fishing village of Dragor, with its historic buildings and cobblestone streets, and where we visit Rosenborg Castle housing the dazzling crown jewels. Later we board the overnight DFDS ferry to Oslo, settling in our private outside cabins and enjoying dinner on board. B,D
Day 6: Oslo/Lillehammer/Gaala Upon disembarkation this morning, we board our coach for the journey north to ski country. We stop along the way in Lillehammer (site of the 1994 Winter Olympics) to visit the open-air museum at Maihaugen, among Norway’s most visited cultural attractions, with some 200 original historic buildings reconstructed on the site, farm implements, and everyday objects. Through the structures and artifacts, Maihaugen recounts everyday life here from the Middle Ages to modern times. Mid-afternoon we depart for the village of Gaala and our ski lodge hotel. B,L,D
Day 7: Gaala/Geiranger A day of beautiful scenery is in store as we travel from Gaala to Geiranger, en route negotiating hairpin bends to the summit of Mount Dalsnibba (alt. 4,900 feet) for stunning views of Geirangerfjord and the mountains, lakes, and waterfalls beyond. We reach the popular village of Geiranger mid-afternoon and get our first up-close look at Norway’s most dramatic fjord. A UNESCO site, Geiranger measures 10 miles long and 960 feet deep, and is lined with forested rock walls towering more than 6,000 feet above sea level. Formed over a million years ago during the Ice Age when the ice cap burrowed deep into mountain riverbeds, Norway’s fjords are among the deepest and most striking in the world. B,D
Day 8: Geiranger Today’s excursion on Eagle Road to Herdalssetra promises abundant thrills as we ride along 11 hairpin turns through mountain passes, catching glimpses of the dramatic fjord along the way. We visit a local farm for lunch then return to Geiranger mid-afternoon. Before dinner at our hotel tonight, we enjoy a reception there to view a private vintage car collection. B,L,D
Day 9: Geiranger/Bergen We can expect scenic overload on our full-day journey to Bergen from Geiranger. A series of ferry rides takes us across Geirangerfjord, past tiny villages and tumbling waterfalls, and amid steep mountains plunging into the fjord’s placid waters. Then, we cross stunning Sognefjord, a 125-mile-long waterway (and UNESCO World Heritage site) that reaches halfway across Norway. Upon arrival in Bergen this evening, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. B,D
Day 10: Bergen We see the highlights of this beautiful city (Norway’s second largest) on a morning tour that takes us through the old warehouse district of Bryggen. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts colorful houses packed tightly together, where Hanseatic merchants toiled in the 14th and 15th centuries. We also pass the city’s colorful fish and flower markets. Some of Bergen’s architecture dates to the 12th century, and we pass some of the town’s most venerable buildings, including 13th-century Hakonshallen fortress; the Maria Church – the city’s oldest building – dating to 1100; 16th-century Bergenhus fortress; and Old City Hall. We also visit Troldhaugen, the country home of composer Edvard Grieg, which overlooks lovely Nordaas Lake. The afternoon is free to enjoy Bergen as we wish. B
Day 11: Bergen/Lofthus On today’s journey to Lofthus, we travel through the breathtaking scenery of Norway’s Western Fjord District. Along the way, we stop to see the 150-foot Steindal Waterfall then at a floating salmon farm in this premier fish farm region. Last, we visit Steinstoe, one of the country’s largest orchards, where we enjoy a tour led by the family of the owner then get to know them over cake and coffee. Mid-day we reach our hotel, with the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner tonight is at our hotel. B,D
Day 12: Lofthus/Flåm It’s a day of extreme beauty and diverse transportation as we travel by coach to Gudvangen, where we board a ferry for Flåm, traversing stunning Naeroyfjord, a UNESCO site. After free time in Flåm, we embark the storied Flåm Railway for a thrilling hour-long, 12-mile route ascending the 2,900-foot-deep Flåm Valley. A masterpiece of engineering along precipitous mountainsides, the railway took nearly 20 years to construct – and as we will see, it was worth the effort. We pass through 20 tunnels that spiral in and out of mountains, curve around 21 hairpin bends, pass the mighty Kjosfossen Waterfall, and cross the Flåm River three different times. Our exhilarating excursion ends in Myrdal, where we board another train for the brief trip to Voss. Here we meet our coach for the return journey to our hotel via the 4,600-foot Hardanger Bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges. B,L,D
Day 13: Lofthus/Oslo En route to Oslo, we stop in Eidfjord to tour the Hardanger Nature Center showcasing the natural and cultural worlds of fjord country. Later we stop for photos at Voeringfoss Waterfall, considered Norway’s most beautiful, with a vertical drop of nearly 600 feet. Then we begin our route across the wild and barren Hardangervidda, Europe’s largest mountain plateau, which provides grazing lands for reindeer herds. We pass the resort town of Geilo, travel through the farm-dotted landscape of Hallingdal Valley, and proceed along Lake Kroederen, arriving in Oslo early evening. B
Day 14: Oslo This morning we visit the Museum of Cultural History, Norway’s largest collection of cultural artifacts, featuring fascinating Viking Age exhibitions, as well as Egyptian mummies and several ethnographic displays. We also tour the nearby Kon-Tiki Museum, with the original vessels and artifacts from Thor Heyerdahl’s 1947 voyage across the Pacific. This afternoon is free for independent exploration. B
Day 15: Oslo Our panoramic morning tour introduces Oslo’s highlights, including the Royal Palace, built in the early 19th century; imposing Askershus Fortress and Castle, around which Oslo was planned; and Akerbrygge, the redeveloped harbor area. We visit Gustav Vigeland’s renowned bronze sculptures of human figures at Frogner Park; and the esteemed Munch Museum, dedicated to the life and work of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The museum contains at least one print of every painting that Munch created throughout his life, and more than half of his original creations. Then this afternoon is free to explore on our own; tonight we gather for a farewell dinner at our hotel. B,D
Day 16: Depart for U.S. We transfer to the airport this morning for our return flight to the U.S. B
B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included
Scandic Copenhagen, Copenhagen / Days 2-4 / First Class
The Scandic Copenhagen sits in the center of Copenhagen, within easy walking distance of the Tivoli Gardens and just across the street from The Lakes, a chain of peaceful waterways popular with pedestrians and bicyclists. This contemporary hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and bar, fitness center, sauna, bicycles for rent, complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, and laundry service. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, ironing facilities, TV, and phone.
DFDS Ferry, Copenhagen/Oslo / Day 5 / Not rated
A modern overnight cruise ferry holding some 2,000 passengers, the DFDS ferry traveling between Copenhagen and Oslo offers a host of amenities and activities, including several restaurants and bars, nightclub, cinema, three small indoor pools, Jacuzzi, sauna, and tax-free shopping. Each small yet comfortable cabin has a private toilet and shower, and sea view.
Wadahl Hotel, Gaala / Day 6 / Not rated
This century-old hotel enjoys a tranquil and serene mountain setting in the heart of Norway’s ski country. The hotel prides itself on offering guests hospitality in a traditional Norwegian setting. Amenities include a swimming pool, sauna, tennis, and miniature golf; restaurant, fireplace lounge, and bar. The hotel also offers laundry and dry cleaning service and Internet access. The 100 guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer (upon request), mini-bar, TV, and phone.
Hotel Union, Geiranger / Days 7-8 / First Class
Dating to 1891 and rebuilt in 1979, the fourth-generation family-run Hotel Union sits amidst the splendid scenery of Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Amenities and facilities of the 197-room hotel include indoor and outdoor pools, spa, several restaurants and bars, Internet access, and a collection of vintage cars (including a 1919 Cadillac) once used to drive visitors around the area. Comfortable guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, TV, and phone. Please note that due to the unique nature of the hotel, rooms may vary.
Radisson Blu Royal, Bergen / Days 9-10 / Superior First Class
The recently renovated Radisson Blu Royal is superbly located in the city center of Bergen near the historic wharf area. The hotel offers two restaurants and a bar; a fitness center with sauna and solarium; a safe at reception; room service; and laundry service. Each of the 263 guest rooms has private bath, tea- and coffee-making facilities, mini-bar, TV, and phone.
Hotel Ullensvang, Lofthus / Days 11-12 / Superior First Class
Family run for five generations, this gracious 172-room hotel sits on the eastern shore of Sorfjorden, part of majestic Hardangerfjord. The hotel has two restaurants, a bar, and several lounges; Internet access; indoor swimming pool; indoor tennis court; fitness room; golf simulator; Jacuzzi; sauna; and solarium. During the summer guests can lounge in the delightful fjord garden (where composer Edvard Grieg’s cottage still stands), swim in the surprisingly comfortable waters of the fjord, or explore the fjord by row boat or paddle boat. Guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.
Thon Hotel Opera, Oslo / Days 13-15 / First Class
The Thon Hotel Opera is located close to the Oslo Central Station and a short walk to shops and dining on Oslo’s main street and many other attractions. The 480-room hotel’s amenities include a restaurant and bar; complimentary Wi-Fi internet access, fitness room; and laundry and dry cleaning services. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, minibar, TV, and phone.
Scandic Continental, Stockholm / Extension / First Class
The Scandic Continental enjoys an ideal location in downtown Stockholm, within walking distance of dozens of shops, restaurants, and cafes; and within walking distance of the city’s old town, opera house, city hall, and other landmarks. Decorated in a warm, contemporary style, the hotel boasts amenities including a restaurant, open-air café, and rooftop bar; fitness center; sauna; bicycles for rent; laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee); and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access. Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.