During the exploration of the three capital cities of Scandinavia- Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm, enjoy the cosmopolitan urban lifestyle and uncover the legacy of the Vikings. After exploring Norway's spectacular fjords, mountains and waterfalls, you'll have a chance to discover the glories of Helsinki, Finland. Please note: Due to the winter season, the cruise on the Geiranger Fjord will be closed from the end of September 2015 later groups will go to Geiranger by bus instead.
Board our flight bound via Helsinki for our entry point into Copenhagen.
Upon arrival at Helsinki, we take a connecting flight for Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. Upon arrival, we start a half day panoramic sightseeing tour. Our first stop is the symbol of the city - the Little Mermaid in Hans C. Andersen’s fairy tale. Our tour also features the City Hall, the Agricultural Goddess Fountain, and a photo-stop at Amalienborg Palace. Highlight of the city tour is a visit to Rosenborg Palace, where you will see the three famous silver lions guarding the royal throne.
Today’s tour features two amazing castles: the Kronborg Castle and the Frederiksborg Castle. First we drive north through magnificent Danish countryside to Kronborg Castle, the setting chose by William Shakespeare for his famous play “Hamlet”. After lunch, we head to Hillerod to visit the Renaissance-style Frederiksborg Castle, which was built by the King Christian IV, and is currently a national history museum. Finally we board the luxurious ferry at DFDS pier to Oslo. Enjoy a spectacular Scandinavian buffet dinner on board.
After a typical Scandinavian buffet breakfast, we disembark at Oslo. The city tour takes us to the Viking Ships Museum for an orientation to the awesome technical skills the Vikings displayed in constructing their seafaring ships, and later to the Vigeland Sculpture Park, where granite and bronze sculptures portray joy and sorrow, life and death. Also, a scenic drive will give us a panoramic view of the city and the Oslo Fjord, including the Oslo City Hall, it is where the Nobel Peace Prize is given out every year. Some free time in the afternoon for leisure before traveling to Geilo, the ski resort for local Scandinavians. Enjoy a local dinner at the hotel.
Drive along the valley of Hardangervidda and travel to Bergen, the gateway to the Fjords of Norway. Our bus passes snow-capped mountains, tumbling waterfalls, tranquil lakes and lovely villages. After crossing the Hardanger Fjord, we arrive in Bergen, Norway’s second largest city and principal port on the west coast. Our first stop of city tour is the harborr side outdoor Fish Market where you may sample the freshly seafood.
Enjoy the picturesque Norwegian fjords from the train, and also from the ferry today. Travel north, pass by the mountain resort of Voss up to Stalheim for a photo stop from the panoramic spot. Later board the world famous scenic train at Flam. The train passes through narrow tunnels, past idyllic bays, and view a maze of islands along the Sogne Fjord, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Get off the train, pass through Europe’s longest tunnel crossing, where we arrive in Sogndal by ferry for dinner and an overnight stay.
After a traditional Scandinavian buffet breakfast at the hotel, we proceed to Briksdal. A scenic city orientation tour, lunch, and walking tour shows us the world famous Briksdal Glacier. Later in the afternoon, we cruise on the Geiranger Fjord and enjoy the most beautiful views of fjords in Norway. After disembarkation at Geiranger, you may join an optional excursion to the summit of Mount Dalsnibba. Please note: Due to the winter season, the cruise on the Geiranger Fjord will be closed from the end of September, 2014 any groups after September will be bused to Geiranger instead.
We head inland today through Eidstad, where we will enjoy wonderful views of the Eidsdal Fjord. Along the way there is more spectacular scenery as we drive through the valley to the 1994 Winter Olympic Town of Lillehammer. Upon arrival, enjoy free time at your leisure, perhaps strolling along the streets to explore the city.
Another scenic day: the rolling green pasture lands, dense forests, charming valleys, shimmering lakes, and towering mountains. We travel in our comfortable coach toward Karlstad, a lovely lakeside town of Sweden, were we will have a chance to browse through its charming shops. Later we arrive in the second largest city of Scandinavia, Stockholm. Visitors soon understand that the beauty of this Swedish capital is due to its unique setting on 14 islands and to the care with which city authorities control urban development and preserve historical treasures.
Our half-day tour of Stockholm gives us in a depth introduction to this perhaps the most beautiful of all Scandinavian capitals. The visit to Vasa Museum takes us back in time to an era when Sweden was the dominant maritime power of Northern Europe; the Vasa Ship, raised from the bottom of the sea after more than 400 years, is a testament to that power. Next visit the stunning City Hall and its fabulous golden mosaics. It is where the Nobel Prize Banquet is held after the ceremony. Board an overnight five star ferry to Helsinki, the beautiful city by the Baltic Sea. After a splendid Scandinavian buffet dinner, we’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the many facilities on board: duty free shopping, cinema, sauna, etc.
Upon early morning arrival at Helsinki, our sightseeing tour starts immediately featuring the majestic monument to the Finnish Composer Jean Sibelius. We also visit the Russian Uspensky Cathedral, Olympic Stadium, Senate Square, Lutheran Church, Market Square, Parliament Building, and the world famous Rock Church. After dinner, we check in to our hotel.
Bid Scandinavia a fond farewell as we board our international flight back to the States. Or make the most of your vacation with an optional extension to Russia.
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