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From majestic mountains and fjords to lively seafaring cities, discover the Nordic charms of Denmark and Norway on an adventure the whole family will love. In Copenhagen, trace the legacy of fairy-tale writer Hans Christian Andersen, and meet a National Geographic grantee who is using science and art to create amazing replicas of prehistoric creatures. Examine ancient Viking ships with an archaeologist in Oslo, and take in the view from atop a soaring Olympic ski jump. Ride the world-famous Flåm Railway past thundering waterfalls, cruise the spectacular Sognefjord, and go biking in Bergen’s mountains.
Go behind the scenes at an urban beekeeping project in Copenhagen and experience the honey-making process from hive to jar.
Take a breathtaking ride aboard Norway’s Flåm Railway, named by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top 10 train journeys in Europe.
Visit a sheep farm in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøydalen valley, and go biking in the mountains outside Bergen.
Delve into a rich seafaring history as you encounter Viking longships, bustling wharfs, and spectacular fjords.
Itinerary - 9 Days
Day 1 — Copenhagen, Denmark
Arrive in the Danish city of Copenhagen after your overnight flight from the U.S. You’ll be greeted at the airport and assisted with your transfer to your hotel in the heart of the city. After time to relax this afternoon, meet your fellow travelers and expedition team during a welcome dinner and enjoy specialties of the local cuisine at a local restaurant.
Scandic Copenhagen (D)
Day 2 — Copenhagen
Explore the highlights of Copenhagen, beginning with the iconic Little Mermaid statue, which was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale. Cross a moat-like canal to visit Christiansborg Palace, home to the Danish parliament and venture inside the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art for a fun and interactive experience. This afternoon, go behind the scenes at the Bybi City Bee project which is working to restore the local bee population by training a new generation of urban beekeepers. Venture to the city’s rooftops to meet some of the beekeepers and their bees and learn about the vital role that bees play in sustaining the planet’s ecosystems. Follow the honey production process from hive to jar—and taste some honey too. Dine on your own this evening.
Scandic Copenhagen (B,L)
Day 3 — Copenhagen/Oslo, Norway
This morning, meet paleontologist and National Geographic grantee Mats Eriksson, who will share his fascinating work creating life-sized replicas of extinct organisms in collaboration with a Copenhagen-based design studio. Visit the studio to see some of these amazing 3-D sculptures and talk with Mats about the prehistoric fossils that inspired them. Then head to Tivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. Have lunch in the park and explore this whimsical world of carnival rides, open-air stage shows and historic architecture. This afternoon, get into the seafaring spirit aboard an overnight ferry to Oslo. Gaze out at the waters of the North Sea, where Vikings once sailed and enjoy dinner on board.
DFDS Ferry (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Oslo
Rise and shine this morning to the dramatic landscapes of the Oslofjord and drop anchor in Norway’s
cosmopolitan capital. Disembark and set out to explore the Vigeland Sculpture Park, a magical landscape decorated with more than 200 stone, bronze and cast iron sculptures by native artist Gustav Vigeland. Visit the Viking Ship Museum, where you’ll be welcomed by a local expert archaeologist who leads us on a tour of some of the world’s best-preserved Viking longships and learn about the discovery of these centuries-old wooden vessels in three royal burial grounds along the Oslofjord. Then delve into the history of Arctic exploration at the Fram Museum, which showcases the wooden ship sailed by Norwegian polar explorers Nansen and Amundsen. This afternoon, explore Oslo at your leisure before gathering for dinner.
Radisson Blu Plaza (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Oslo
Begin the day at the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and Tower, home to the world’s most modern ski jump. Explore 4,000 years of Nordic skiing history inside the museum including exhibits on snowboarding and modern skiing. Ride an elevator to the top of the futuristic ski-jump tower, which offers panoramic views of Oslo and the surrounding area. This afternoon, we meet our pen pals in Frogner Park for a lively afternoon in the city’s biggest playground. Explore the park’s tree-lined paths, bridges, and fountains and play some typical Norwegian games. Tonight, head out for a family dinner on your own.
Radisson Blu Plaza (B,L)
Day 6 — Oslo/Flåm Railway/Stalheim
Take an express train from Oslo to Myrdal, then embark on an unforgettable ride aboard the Flåm Railway. Descend some 2,800 feet, passing through 20 tunnels and weaving amid thundering waterfalls and towering mountains. Arrive in Flåm village, situated on the shores of Aurlandsfjorden—a branch of the spectacular Sognefjord. Enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Sognefjord, the country’s longest and deepest fjord, gazing up at sheer cliffs and waterfalls that cascade down forested slopes. Disembark in Gudvangen and drive through Norway’s western fjord lands to the mountain village of Stalheim. This evening, sample tasty Norwegian dishes at our hotel.
Hotel Stalheim (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Stalheim/Bergen
Leave Stalheim and drive through the ruggedly beautiful scenery of Nærøydalen. Pay a visit to the Sivle Farm that has been in the same Norwegian family for generations. Take in sweeping views of the countryside as we explore this historic property which lies in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nærøydalen valley. Continue to Bergen and check into our hotel. Enjoy an evening at leisure to explore one of northern Europe’s oldest port cities, which was once an important trading center of the Hanseatic League. Dine on your own in town.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (B,L)
Day 8 — Bergen
Explore Bergen’s maritime heritage on a walking tour of the Bryggen wharf area, a World Heritage site renowned for its brightly-painted buildings and narrow wooden alleyways. At the Hanseatic Museum, learn about the lives of the merchants and sailors who inhabited the city in the 18th century. This afternoon, set off on a biking excursion in the mountains outside Bergen, followed by a thrilling funicular ascent to the summit of Mount Fløyen. Tonight, celebrate our adventures together at a farewell dinner.
Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (B,D)
Day 9 — Bergen
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
About this Expedition
We tap into National Geographic’s vast network to design unique travel experiences for the whole family, filled with hands-on activities and memorable moments. A special aspect of this expedition is the Kid-to-Kid Connection, which links every young traveler with a pen pal of similar age in Norway. Kids will meet their pen pals at Oslo's famous Frogner Park—a wonderland of giant sculptures, fountains, ponds, and gardens. They'll learn about traditional Norwegian culture as they explore the park together, and enjoy a friendly game of soccer in Norway's largest playground.
Our dynamic Expedition Leaders enrich each experience with their insights, knowledge, and energy, and a Young Explorer Leader joins every group to facilitate fun activities that help kids get the most out of the places we go. As we travel, we’ll also meet up with fascinating people doing meaningful work in the field.