Follow in the footsteps of the Vikings as you explore many of northern Europe’s fascinating cities and scenic areas. This budget-minded northern European tour starts in Amsterdam with a canal cruise and ends in Bergen with guided sightseeing. Along the way, you’ll stay in Hamburg, Copenhagen area, Gothenburg, Oslo, and the Flam area.One of the northern Europe and Scandinavia tour highlights is a breathtaking ride on the Flåm train, one of the world’s most scenic train rides, which passes through 20 tunnels and climbs to an elevation of 2,833 feet. Witness hypnotic waterfalls cascading down the side of steep, snowcapped mountains; rivers winding through deep gorges; farms on the side of steep slopes; and views of Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, where you’ll take a scenic cruise amid majestic mountains, fresh mountain air, and the spectacular landscape dotted with small, idyllic villages. Witness charming little fishing villages, rocky islands, and granite rocks along the scenic Skagerrak coastline from Gothenburg – Sweden’s second-largest city and one of Europe’s major seaports – to Oslo. Also enjoy the drive through Norway’s Hallingdal Valley with its splendid mountains, lakes, and rivers. Guided sightseeing excursions are included in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, and Bergen. In the German town of Bremen – a Hanseatic city with a history dating back 1,200 years– you’ll see the Town Hall, built between 1405 and 1410. In Denmark, follow the Viking trail in Roskilde and in Norway, visit the Viking ship museum in Oslo. In Bergen, see the Bryggen Hanseatic wharf with foundations, a UNESCO World Heritage site dating to the 12th Century. These are just a few of the many highlights of this value-minded tour to Scandinavia. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty and wonderful memories.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN AMSTERDAM AREA, HOLLAND.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers Dinner
Day 2 AMSTERDAM AREA.
For centuries, this tiny nation of seafaring traders played a leading role in world history. It wrested 40% of its territory from the hostile sea, and produces a healthy agricultural surplus in the midst of Europe’s most densely populated area—yet Holland manages to remain quaint and scenic. Enjoy a CANAL CRUISE to see Amsterdam from water level. Complete the experience watching skilled craftsmen cut and polish precious stones at a DIAMOND CENTER, and following a Local Guide pointing out Amsterdam’s highlights on the included city tour. This afternoon, spend some time exploring on your own, or complete the experience with one of our optional excursions Breakfast
Day 3 AMSTERDAM AREA–BREMEN, GERMANY–HAMBURG.
This morning, travel to the Hanseatic city of Bremen, which majestically straddles the Weser River. Settlements date back to the 7th century, but the city rose in prominence as trade with Norway, England, and the Netherlands increased in the 11th century. Bremen’s attractions include the opulent Town Hall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the massive, 15th-century statue of Roland, the city’s protector; the oldest wine cellar in Germany; and the bronze sculpture of the Bremen Town Musicians from the Grimm Brothers’ famous fairytale. Continue to Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, and arrive in time for an optional harbor cruise.
Today’s Distance: 311 mi/ 500 km Breakfast
Day 4 HAMBURG–PUTTGARDEN-RØDBY FERRY–ROSKILDE, DENMARK–COPENHAGEN AREA.
Your day begins with a guided tour of Hamburg, one of Germany’s greatest maritime cities. Marvel at the impressive Town Hall; the landmark St. Michael’s Church; the ruins of St. Nicholas’ Church; the unusual Elbe Philharmonic Hall; and more. Later, enjoy a pleasant FERRY ride from Puttgarden in Germany across the Fehmarn Belt Strait to Rødby, Denmark, and visit Roskilde, a former hub of Viking trade routes, with its UNESCO World Heritage site listed Gothic Cathedral. Arrive in Copenhagen.
Today’s Distance: 217 mi/ 350 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 5 COPENHAGEN.
During the Viking era, Copenhagen was just a small village. Now capital of Denmark, it is home to many fascinating landmarks, including the world-famous Little Mermaid sculpture. Enjoy an included city tour with a Local Guide. Round off the day with an interesting optional excursion Breakfast
Day 6 COPENHAGEN AREA–HALMSTAD, SWEDEN–GOTHENBURG.
Via the ØRESUND BRIDGE, the longest road and rail bridge in Europe, travel across the strait that separates Denmark and Sweden. Stop in Halmstad on the Nissan River with its 17th-century castle. Walk along the stone streets of the town center, lined with cafés, and admire the Pablo Picasso sculpture, Female Head, before heading towards Gothenburg, Sweden’s thriving, second-largest city, which is one of Europe’s major seaports.
Today’s Distance: 205 mi/ 330 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 7 GOTHENBURG–FREDERIKSTAD, NORWAY–OSLO.
Take the scenic route along the Skagerrak coastline to Frederikstad. Then cross the border into Norway and head for the capital city of Oslo.
Today’s Distance: 186 mi/ 300 km Breakfast
Day 8 OSLO.
Your guided sightseeing begins with stunning vistas of Akershus Castle, the 14th-century fortress guarding the harbor, followed by the VIKING SHIP MUSEUM, National Theater, Parliament, Royal Palace, Broadcasting House, and Gustav Vigeland’s distinctive sculptures in FROGNER PARK. This afternoon, enjoy leisure time to relax or explore on your own Breakfast
Day 9 OSLO–HØNEFOSS–FLÅ–GOL–FLÅM AREA.
A scenic drive today through Hallingdal Valley via the peaceful village of Flå. Forest-clad dales and soaring mountain peaks are around every bend on your scenic journey to Gol, where we stop for a visit. Arrive in the quaint area of Flåm, nestled at the entrance to the stunning Aurlandsfjord.
Today’s Distance: 273 mi/ 440 km Breakfast Dinner
Day 10 FLÅM AREA–SOGNEFJORD–BERGEN.
Today, experience breathtaking Norway with a special treat! Start the day on the renowned FLÅM TRAIN to Myrdal, witnessing some of the world’s most scenic wilderness. Along the way, see mighty waterfalls, towering mountains, and verdant valleys. Later, a leisurely CRUISE showcases one of Norway’s most famous fjords, the SOGNEFJORD. Continue to Bergen through the heart of Fjordland.
Today’s Distance: 137 mi/ 220 km Breakfast
Day 11 BERGEN.
With fjords on one side and 1,000-foot-high Mount Fløyen on the other, Bergen is hailed as the “City of Seven Mountains.” Your guided sightseeing tour takes in the main sights, including the Bryggen Hanseatic wharf, one of the landmarks of Bergen’s bayside area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site Breakfast
Day 12 BERGEN.
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.