Day 1 – Arrive in Oslo, Norway. Welcome to Oslo! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome dinner at your hotel.
Day 2 – Oslo – Eidsvoll – Lillehammer. Start your tour of the land of fjords, lakes, mountains, thundering waterfalls, and gleaming glaciers with a picture stop at Eidsvoll, where the country’s democratic constitution was signed in 1814. Then, proceed along lovely Lake Mjosa to Lillehammer, proud host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Enjoy a guided walking tour of the unique MAIHAUGEN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM, followed by a light lunch with local specialties.
Day 3 – Lillehammer – Lom – Dalsnibba – Loen. Drive through the wide Gudbrandsdal Valley, the lush dairy and timber land of Ibsen’s drama, Peer Gynt. Take pictures of the lonely stave church of Lom, then, climb above the tree line to 5,000 feet for a breathtaking panoramic view from the Dalsnibba lookout above Geirangerfjord, and taste aquavit, the most traditional Christmas schnapps in Norway. A leisurely one-hour CRUISE past the famous “Seven Sisters” cascade, is next. Dock at Hellesylt and head south via Lake Hornindal to peaceful Loen.
Day 4 – Loen – Fjaerland – Stalheim. Follow the shoreline of the innermost branch of Nordfjord, then cross the mountains to the serene Vatedalen Valley and pristine Lake Jolster. The mountain scenery gets more rugged as you approach the tunnel underneath Jostedalsbreen, Europe’s largest glacier. Stop to see one of the mighty tongues that radiate from Jostedal Glacier into the surrounding valleys. Next, visit Fjaerland’s excellent NORWEGIAN GLACIER MUSEUM and watch a thrilling five-screen film. In the afternoon, enjoy a two-hour CRUISE on spectacular Sognefjord and Naeroyfjord. Land at Gudvangen and continue to Stalheim, high above the majestic Naeroydal Valley.
Day 5 – Stalheim – Voss – Bergen. This morning, you may wish to join an exciting optional Flam train ride. Then, leave Stalheim and see the popular lakeside resort of Voss on your way to pretty Bergen. During your orientation tour, hear about its 11th-century origins and its association with the Hanseatic League. Stroll through the colorful fish market and the narrow lanes of ancient Bryggen.
Day 6 – Bergen – Latefoss – Telemark. Hear about fruit farming and how cider is made at the Steinsto farm and enjoy a glass of APPLE CIDER. Then, cross Hardangerfjord by FERRY and drive through the orchards along Sorfjorden, whose tranquil splendor inspired Grieg’s Morning Mood. More scenic delights: thundering Latefoss and the wild Hardangervidda mountain plateau, where Fridtjof Nansen prepared for his polar expeditions. Next is rustic, unspoiled Telemark.
Day 7 – Telemark – Vemork – Heddal – Oslo. Focus on VEMORK, scene of the daring sabotage action celebrated in The Heroes of Telemark. Learn all about the dramatic events of 1943 from your Local Guide, and also gain an insight into the technology of hydroelectric power generation, one of the pillars of Norway’s economy. Leave the narrow Rjukan Valley via Lake Tinnsjo, where saboteurs sank a ferry loaded with heavy water, dashing Nazi hopes of winning the race for the atomic bomb. Before returning to Oslo in the afternoon, admire the HEDDAL STAVE CHURCH, the largest of the country’s remaining medieval wooden churches.
Day 8 – Oslo. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the National Theater, Parliament, and the Royal Palace. Stroll through magnificent FROGNER PARK with Gustav Vigeland’s 200-plus extraordinary bronze and granite sculptures and visit the modern CITY HALL. In the afternoon, an optional excursion to see relics of Norway’s glorious seafaring past is available. Tonight, celebrate the success of your journey with a farewell dinner at your hotel.