Tour begins: 1:00 PM, Radisson Collection Royal Hotel. A transfer is included from Copenhagen Airport to the Radisson Collection Royal Hotel, Copenhagen in the heart of this historic city. Gather this afternoon for a city tour that includes a visit to Rosenborg Palace, built in Dutch Renaissance style, where you'll see the Danish Crown Jewels. Tall towers and red brick masonry define this “petite” 16th-century castle, in use by Danish regents as a royal “summer house” until about 1710. Meet all of your traveling companions at this evening's welcome reception at the hotel, followed by dinner at a local restaurant in celebrated Tivoli Gardens.
North Zealand, Frederiksborg Palace & more of Copenhagen
Head out from the city this morning to North Zealand, a region of woodlands, villages, lakes, royal parks and castles. You'll enjoy Tauck's early-entry, private visit to 17th-century Frederiksborg Palace, built atop three islands in a small lake, and considered one of the finest examples of Dutch Renaissance architecture. After a Danish family-style lunch in a local restaurant in North Zealand, return to "wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen." The afternoon and evening are free to explore as you wish, perhaps discovering the historic Nyhavn area and strolling along the Stroget, Copenhagen's main street, and enjoying dinner on your own. We've included admission to the famous Tivoli Gardens amusement park, which you can visit at your leisure this evening. This city-center 160+-year-old amusement park is set within a 20-acre garden; from thousands of blooms to a lakeside beer garden, fireworks, a roller coaster and evening music, it’s a Danish experience unto its own.
From Copenhagen to Toftaholm, Sweden
Departing Copenhagen, our Scandinavian tours take you along the Yellow Roads from Denmark into Sweden today, past idyllic meadows, forests, and lakes. In Helsingborg, enjoy a guided visit of Sofiero Slott, for a taste of the former royal Swedish life. A majestic castle built in 1865 as one of the Swedish royal family's country mansions and later donated to the city of Helsingborg, today it's a museum with a magnificent heritage of flowering beds and kitchen gardens. Continue on to lovely Toftaholm, where your lodging is a family-run manor house hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Vidostern that gets you away from it all; enjoy dinner at the hotel tonight.
Across the Swedish countryside to Stockholm
Drive northward today from Toftaholm through southern Sweden and the Lake Vattern area, passing through the city of Linkoping. Stop for lunch at Loftstad Slott, a manor house in Norrkoping once owned by the family of Axel von Fersen the Younger, a Swedish count who served with French forces in the American Revolution, and was involved in attempts to save his close friend Marie Antoinette and her royal family from the French Revolution. Continue on to Sweden's capital city, Stockholm. After a city orientation tour and check-in at your hotel, enjoy a guided tour of the Swedish Royal Opera House, followed by drinks and dinner.
Discover Stockholm & the Vasa Museum
Begin today's discovery of Sweden's capital with sightseeing including a guided visit to Stockholm's iconic City Hall, where the annual Nobel Prize award festivities take place. You'll see the Council Chamber; the Gold Room, whose walls are sparkling with 18 million pieces of gold mosaic and glass depicting events in Swedish and world history; and the famous Blue Room, misnamed because the architect changed his mind and left its beautiful red-brick walls intact. Stockholm sightseeing continues with a panoramic lakeside drive over bridges that crisscross between Stockholm’s small islands, offering views of Gamla Stan (Old Town) and a skyline of 17th- and 18th-century buildings, the Baltic Sea, Lake Malaren, the elegant Strandvagen waterfront, the inner harbor, the Royal Palace, the Cathedral and Parliament. Next, visit the Vasa Museum, featuring the impressive Vasa, an ornate royal warship that sank in Stockholm's harbor following its launch in 1628 and was raised in 1961. The rest of the day is free to explore as you wish – perhaps take a canal tour, or walk through the cobbled streets of medieval Gamla Stan.
Fly across Sweden and Norway to Bergen
Travel to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport and have lunch before boarding a flight to Bergen on Norway's west coast. After becoming familiar with the city on an orientation tour, settle into your hotel, then join us aboard a private boat for a ride to a local restaurant whose owner entertains you with stories over dinner; return by boat to your hotel on Bergen's historic Bryggen waterfront.
Explore Bergen & Grieg's Troldhaugen
Along with its centuries-old maritime legacy, modern Bergen also enjoys a reputation as an important hub for the arts. Get a feel for this heritage on an excursion to Troldhaugen, the beloved composer Edvard Grieg’s former lakeside villa, today a living museum and concert center; Norway's foremost composer is perhaps best known for his musical score for the play Peer Gynt. Return to the city to spend the afternoon and evening at your leisure. Your hotel is set close to Bryggen, the city's old wharf district, featuring traditional wooden buildings and a medieval atmosphere; founded in 1070 during the days of the Hanseatic League, it was one of the oldest large trading ports in Northern Europe and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Via Oppedal & Lavik to Loen
Journey northward today along the Norwegian coast, through photo-worthy landscapes that vary from wide-open fjords to green hills, icy glaciers and massive mountain ranges, as you set out from Bergen, ferry across part of the Songefjord from Oppedal to Lavik, and wind your way through the countryside to Loen, from which you'll explore Norway's inspiring fjordlands during a three-night stay at the venerable Hotel Alexandra, operated since 1884 by five generations of the Loen family. Enjoy a barbecue dinner tonight at the hotel.
Learning all about glaciers at Briksdal
Travel today to one of Norway’s most inspirational natural wonders – Briksdal Glacier, set between roaring waterfalls and mountain peaks at the end of one of the Nordfjord's three branches. Meltwater from the glacier has created three emerald-green lakes in the valley; a ride on a "Troll Car" past thundering waterfalls and a short hike to the foot of the glacier lead to views of absolutely stunning scenery – it's a Scandinavia tour highlight! Enjoy a three-course lunch in Briksdal, then return to your resort to take advantage of its many amenities (some at additional cost) or explore Loen as you please. A local fjord guide gives a lecture at the hotel this evening prior to dinner.
Cruising the Geirangerfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Your tour continues with a morning of unforgettable views as you drive from Loen to Oye, a serene alpine village on the Hjorundford, where you'll have lunch at the Hotel Union Oye, in operation since 1891 and a favorite retreat among the elite for decades. Then take a cruise on Geirangerfjord, one of the longest, deepest, and most scenic fjords in the world. It was recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site; you'll see the sheer, crystalline rock walls rising 4,500 feet from the water, with waterfalls with names like the Seven Sisters and Bridal Veil cascading over the edge. Arrive back in Loen late afternoon to spend the evening as you please, and have dinner at the Hotel Alexandra.
Glaciers and fjords en route to Flåm
After departing Loen and the Hotel Alexendra, begin the day's discoveries with a visit to the Norwegian Glacier Center in Fjaerland, where you'll learn all about these fantasy-like landscapes and their impact on those who have called them home through history, and have lunch. This afternoon, continue on to Gudvangen and board a ferry cruise along the Naeroyfjord, one of Norway's narrowest fjords and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to Flåm. During the 19th century, Flåm was a popular destination for ships carrying English and German travelers eager to experience Norway's fjords, mountains and waterfalls, and became a crossroads for passengers, mail and freight between the railroad and steamships on the fjords. Check in to your countryside hotel in Flåm, and enjoy regional cuisine for dinner at the hotel tonight.
A stave church & on to Oslo
Depart Flåm this morning and travel to Laerdal for a guided visit to the Borgund Stave Church. In 1180, the locals here helped to slot posts (staves) into the ground to support some 2,000 skillfully crafted timber parts of their new church. Dedicated to the apostle Andrew, it is one of the country's finest, best-preserved examples of a traditional and iconic Norwegian wooden stave church; with its lavishly carved portals and dragons' heads roof carvings, it looks very much as it did when built over 800 years ago! After lunch, continue on through the stunning Norwegian countryside to the capital city of Oslo for a two-night stay; enjoy the evening as you please in Oslo tonight.
Oslo, Vigeland sculptures & Viking ships
A city orientation tour of Oslo offers views of the city's striking modern opera house and downtown City Hall. With a local guide, take in the Vigeland Sculpture Park, with its 212 life-sized granite and bronze sculptures by famed Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869–1943), who devoted his career to the project; spotlighting many works that carry a humanistic message, the park is a popular Oslo destination. Next up, view skillful Norwegian works of a mariner’s kind during a guided visit to the nearby Viking Ship Museum, featuring three well-preserved Viking ships dating to 800 AD, found in royal burial mounds with fascinating artifacts – representing some of the best-preserved Viking ships in the world. Following a free afternoon in Oslo, please join us this evening for a farewell reception and dinner at a local restaurant in the heart of the city.
Tour ends: Oslo. Fly home anytime. A transfer from Grand Hotel Oslo to Oslo Airport is included. Please allow a minimum of 3 hours for flight check-in at the airport.