Day 1: Oslo: Arrivals
On your arrival at the Oslo International Airport, you will be met by our chauffeur for your private transfer to your upscale hotel in the center of Oslo. Today, you can rest after your flight or, depending on when you arrive, you may venture out to explore Olso's landmarks, close to the hotel: Karl Johan High Street leading to the Royal Palace, the Akershus Fortress with stunning views of the Oslofjord, the Ibsen Museum, the Nobel Peace Center, the Norwegian Resistance Museum, and the Barcode skyscraper neighborhood with its restaurants and bars. In the evening, we'll meet the rest of the group for a festive welcome dinner to celebrate our upcoming Nordic adventure.
Day 2: Oslo
Today, we'll spend the day enjoying the smorgasbord of Oslo's highlights. We'll start with a panoramic tour of the city, leading to Bygdoy Peninsula. We'll continue with a guided visit of the Fram Museum devoted to polar exploration, followed by a fascinating visit to Gustav Vigeland's Sculpture Park, the largest collection of outdoor art in Europe. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a Norwegian lunch on the Aker Brygge waterfront, then we'll have some free time for individual exploration of central Oslo with the Oslo Cathedral and the Norway National Theater. In the afternoon, we'll continue our immersion in Norwegian culture, as we enjoy a private tour of one of the city's most amazing modern structures: the Oslo Opera House.
Day 3: Oslo to Tromso
This morning, we'll start with a cinematographic Oslo harbor cruise along the scenic shores of the Oslofjord and the city's shimmering expanse of water, even prettier during the spectacle of winter. After some free time for lunch, we'll check out of the hotel and transfer to the Oslo Airport for our afternoon flight to the city of Tromso, above the Arctic Circle, in Norwegian Lapland. Set against the background of the Lyngen Alps, with the sacred Tromsdalstind peak, Tromso is in the world's best place to see the Northern Lights. After checking into our design hotel in the city center and enjoying a relaxing dinner, we'll be in for a very special experience: we'll don the winter suits and boots (provided) and set out for a Northern Lights chase, accompanied by experienced local guides. Here, above the Arctic Circle, we'll have the best chance of experiencing this magic color show, as the night sky explodes into a light show of green, white, pink, blue and violet.
Day 4: Arctic Ice Domes, the Sami Culture, and Reindeer Sledding
Today, we'll venture out into the Arctic Wilderness, where we'll get to experience some of the most memorable highlights of this trip. We'll start with a tour of the famous Tromso Ice Domes, a fairytale seasonal structure built entirely of snow and ice, including its surreal Ice Bar. After a heartwarming Nordic lunch, we'll meet with the Sámi, the indigenous people of the Arctic, and their reindeer, the true heroes of the Arctic, who have been living with the Sami for centuries. We'll join our Sami guides on a reindeer sledding safari, while we'll learn the Sámi secrets of surviving in the Arctic and see the traditional Sami culture artifacts and treasures, before enjoying a traditional Sami meal, while keeping our eyes on the sky, for the unearthly beauty of the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, which frequently flicker silently across the Arctic sky, mesmerizing all who see them.
Day 5: Husky Safari, Aurora Dinner Cruise
Dog sled is one of the oldest modes of transport in human history and it is still used by the Sámi. Today, we'll have a chance to follow in the footsteps of the Norwegian explorers Amundsen and Nansen and experience the thrill of dog sled riding and mushing during a husky safari outside Tromsø. We'll get instruction on mushing, dress up in Arctic gear, then meet our teams of dogs which will pull us through the snowy Tamokdalen Valley, taking several stops for photos. On return to the camp, we'll be greeted with hot drinks and a Norwegian stew, before returning to the city. In the evening, we'll have another chance to chase the beautiful Northern Lights, as we set out for the Aurora dinner cruise, to sail in complete silence around the Arctic capital and enjoy the city of Tromso from the sea while experiencing the tastes of the North onboard the electric catamaran.
Day 6: Tromso, Arctic Wilderness Tour, Flight to Bergen
This morning, we'll tour the polar city of Tromso, to see its Arctic Cathedral, a daring piece of architecture inspired by the arctic nature and featuring distinctive peaked roof and soaring stained-glass windows, and the iconic Blue Bridge. We'll continue with a road trip in the Tromso region to further explore the Arctic wilderness, with its iconic winter landscapes and the indigenous wildlife. We'll see monumental mountains, idyllic valleys, dramatic fjords and inlets, sandy beaches and tiny Norwegian villages. After enjoying a home-made winter picnic, accompanied by the famous hot chocolate and Norwegian cookies, we'll transfer to Tromso airport and take a short flight to Bergen. After checking into our beautiful hotel, right on the famous Bryggen, lined with brightly colored wooden houses from the Hanseatic era, we'll share our experiences from the Arctic over an elegant dinner at the hotel's restaurant.
Day 7: Bergen
Founded more than 900 years ago, Bergen has its roots in the Viking Era. As one of the ports of the Hanseatic League, for several hundred years Bergen was the center of prosperous trade between Norway and the rest of Europe. Bryggen, or the Hanseatic Wharf, with its colorful wooden houses is the most obvious remnant from that time, and this is where many of the city’s restaurants, pubs, craft shops and historical museums are located. Today, we'll enjoy a guided tour of the city, taking the Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen for great views of this sailors' town, visiting Bergen's salty Fish Market, strolling along the Bryggen Wharf, and seeing the 16th century Bergenhus Fortress The afternoon will be free, to enjoy the urban explorations at leisure.
Day 8: Norway in a Nutshell
Today, we'll take a full day "Norway in a Nutshell" excursion, through some of the most magnificent scenery in Norway. In the morning, we'll board a train to Myrdal to ride the Bergen Railway, a high altitude rail route through the wild and wonderful mountain scenery. In Myrdal, we'll take the heart-stopping Flåm Railway, one of the steepest railways in the world and a masterpiece of engineering. The 12 mile ride through the towering mountains offers panoramic views of some of the wildest and most magnificent Norwegian mountain scenery, including the famous Kjosfossen Waterfall. On arrival in Flåm, a charming village surrounded by steep mountainsides, cascading waterfalls and narrow valleys, we'll ascend the Stegastein Viewpoint, for 360° views of the fjords and snow-capped mountains, then enjoy a relaxing lunch with views over the Aurlandsfjord. Afterwards, we'll take a two hour cruise through the narrow Nærøyfjord and the famous Aurlandsfjord to Gudvangen, where our journey will continue, as we traverse a landscape of breathtaking fjords, mountains, waterfalls and past tiny settlements, coming back to Bergen in the evening.
Day 9: Trondheim
Norway’s first capital, Trondheim was founded in 997 by the Viking King Olav Tryggvason, and the city occupies a very special place in Norwegian culture and history. After breakfast today, we'll board a short flight to Trondheim to spend the day exploring this beautiful place. Today's tour of Trondheim will be a journey through Norway's 1,100-year history, taking in its foreboding monastery, impressive wooden buildings lining the Nidelva River, colorful wharves, a beautiful red-painted city bridge dating back to 1861, and it will culminate at the impressive Nidaros Cathedral, where three Norwegian queens and seven kings have been crowned. Built over the burial place of St. Olav, the patron saint of Norway, this enormous building, with its intricate details and decorations, dates back to 1070. After returning to Bergen in the afternoon, we'll celebrate our Nordic adventure and the new friends we made on this journey with a farewell dinner at an elegant Bergen restaurant.
Day 10: Departures
Depending on your flight departure time, you may have some time this morning to enjoy a stroll through the scenic town of Bergen, before your private airport transfer in accordance with your flight departure time.