Summary : Fjords, fortresses and fabulous food; Scandinavia has it all! Sail past Denmark’s famed Elsinore Castle, hike to Hågasån Fort, explore Sweden’s Weather Islands by kayak or Zodiac and take in Hidra Island’s Tanum UNESCO World Heritage site to view the Vitlycle Rock Carvings and a Bronze Age farm. Use all of your senses in Oslo; join a National Geographic photographer at Frogner Park, perhaps ski jump at Holmenkollen, and sample local produce and delicacies at Mathallen market. Your Scandinavian voyage is as active or leisurely as you choose; maybe you’ll just want to do as the natives do in summertime—slow down and enjoy the long daylight hours with pub visits, waterfront strolls, guided walks and magnificent views.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins
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Your first port of call is the lovely city of Bergen, perched on a fjord and ringed by seven hills. After embarking the National Geographic Orion and having lunch onboard, take a guided city walk to explore the city a bit before sailing to one of Norway's most spectacular fjords. (B)
Awaken this morning in the heart of Norway's western fjordlands, considered one of Europe's greatest natural attractions. Deep in the Hardangerfjorden—the fourth-longest fjord in the world—cruise beneath staggering cliffs, snow-dusted mountains, and rolling valleys dotted with tiny settlements. From your quiet anchorage, head out with naturalists to explore the area on a variety of Zodiac, kayak, and hiking excursions.
Enjoy a leisurely morning at sea as you sail along Norway's southern fjords. Arrive on the shores of Flekkefjorden, and go for a afternoon hike on Hidra—a lush island steeped in a rich maritime history dating back to before the Vikings. Visit the World War II-era Hågasån Fort, stroll past quaint wooden houses, and cruise in a Zodiac through the scenic channel that splits the island in two.
Sail back down the Oslofjorden and anchor outside the attractive coastal town of Risør to experience the "town of wooden houses," protected on Norway's heritage list. Risør has not only preserved its old wooden buildings, but it has also taken care of the archipelago. Zodiacs ferry you over to Stangholmen skerry for a walk to the lighthouse—and perhaps a unique experience kayaking near one of the "potholes" or small lagoons. Enjoy a relaxing outdoor seafood lunch on Stangholmen, with a Norwegian folk revival musical performance.
Cruise up the epic Oslofjorden to discover the delights of Norway's cosmopolitan capital. Visit the Fram Museum and learn about the early Norwegian polar expeditions, or take a private, backstage tour of Oslo's newest landmark, the Opera House, with its white sloping marble roof which rises directly from the fjord. Spend the afternoon with your team and a National Geographic photographer at Vigeland Park, training your lens on more than two hundred life-size human figures by native sculptor Gustav Vigeland. For further insight into the Norwegian consciousness, hear a talk from Thor Heyerdahl, Jr. the son of the Norwegian explorer and ethnographer of the same name. And since food is at the core of any culture, opt to join a cooking class at the Mathallen Gourmet Food Market to learn to cook Norwegian style.
Journey across the Skagerrak Strait to Sweden's westernmost archipelago: the Väderöarna, or Weather Islands. This seascape of rugged islets, skerries, and picture-perfect villages boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Scandinavia. Set out by kayak or Zodiac to encounter seal colonies and an array of seabirds. Dock at Grebbestad where you can bike or your guides will drive you to the evocative Bronze Age rock carvings in Tanum, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Summer in Sweden is a special time, so your guides have arranged a traditional Swedish dinner on shore to savor the long hours of daylight.
Dotted with yellow and red clapboard houses, Skagen is perched along windswept dunes at the northern tip of Denmark. Explore this charming fishing village, and delve into the history of the Skagen Painters—a community of Scandinavian artists who settled here beginning in the late 19th century, drawn by the town’s magnificent landscapes and remarkable light. Discover rich birdlife with your naturalists, or bike along the peninsula's white beaches. Cap off the day with a taste of the famous "Skagen Sild," a special herring dish that can only be enjoyed with a cold Danish beer. Skagen is perfect for a cycling jaunt. Grab a bike and head out along the beaches.
Arrive in Copenhagen and take a short drive through the city on your way to the airport, or extend your stay at an added post-stay hotel in Copenhagen. (B)
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Copenhagen to Bergen): 6/16/2017
Travel with a National Geographic photographer and certified photo instructor—at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. And, take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the expert photographers and instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Accommodations aboard ship; meals aboard ship; alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship; excursions; special access permits; transfers to and from group flights; use of kayaks; services of expedition leader, National Geographic photographer, naturalist staff and expert guide; services of a ship physician; gratuities; port charges and service taxes. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; extensions; passport and visa fees; immigration fees; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature including internet, laundry, etc; fuel surcharge may apply.