In western Norway, deep fjords cut through snowcapped mountains, and remote valleys are only accessible by railways and roads that are masterworks of engineering. Climb aboard five different trains to experience the country's astonishing natural beauty from Oslo to Bergen. Cruise the waters of the Sognefjorden and the Geirangerfjorden and delve into a rich seafaring history as you encounter Viking longships and medieval churches.
Arrive in Oslo and check in to our hotel. Gather for a welcome dinner tonight.
Grand Hotel Oslo (D)
Explore Norway's cosmopolitan capital, situated at the head of a more than 60-mile-long fjord. Wander through Vigeland Park, filled with hundreds of life-size human figures by native artist Gustav Vigeland. Attend a lecture by a paleontologist who will share stories about a National Geographic Explorer's discovery of a primate fossil in Norway's far north. Then visit the Munch Museum to see the works of Edvard Munch, including The Scream. Venture to the Bygdøy Peninsula to visit the Norsk Folkemuseum, an open-air assemblage of historic buildings from across the country, and see some of the best-preserved Viking longships in existence at the Viking Ship Museum.
Grand Hotel Oslo (B,L)
Norway’s several thousand miles of railways stretch
from the southern tip of the country to above
the Arctic Circle, offering breathtaking views of
rolling hills, mountains, lakes, and fjords. Climb
aboard the Røros Railway and travel to the mining
town of Røros—a World Heritage site and one of
the oldest wooden towns in Europe. Explore the Olavsgruva copper mine that made the town famous, then stroll past 17th- and 18th-century buildings where residents still live and work. Later, catch a train to the lovely city of Trondheim, situated on the southern shore
of Trondheimsfjorden at the mouth of the Nidelva
Scandic Nidelven Hotel (B,L,D)
Said to have been founded in the tenth century by
Viking King Olaf I Tryggvason, Trondheim served
as Norway’s capital until the early 1200s. Today,
high-tech culture mingles with medieval architecture
in this university town. Visit the Nidaros
Cathedral, a cherished landmark built on the
gravesite of Norway’s patron saint and prized for
its stained glass windows. Take a musical tour at
the Ringve Music Museum and enjoy a mini-concert
performed on antique instruments. Later, explore
on your own or discover the city on an optional
urban kayaking excursion.
Scandic Nidelven Hotel (B,L)
Catch a morning train to Dombås and board the
Rauma Railway. Take in stunning scenery through
panoramic windows on a journey past craggy alpine
peaks, glacier-fed waterfalls, and the emerald
waters of the Rauma River. Cross the historic
Kylling Bridge and marvel at the 3,300-foot
Trollveggen, Europe’s tallest vertical rock face.
Continue by coach to Geiranger along the famed
Trollstigen—the Troll’s Footpath. Wind through
the mountains along 11 hairpin turns, keeping an
eye out for troll statues inspired by Norwegian
fairytales. Stop en route to taste local produce at
Hotel Union (B,L,D)
Set out by ferry for an unforgettable cruise on the World Heritage site of Geirangerfjorden, a ten-mile passage lined with sheer rock walls and punctuated with waterfalls. Disembark at Hellesylt and drive to Balestrand, located on the Sognefjorden—the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Along the way, skirt the edges of Nordfjord, passing tumbling cascades, lush pastures, and lakes. Stop in Sandane for lunch and view a spectacular panorama of fjordlands and mountains. This evening, settle into our historic hotel overlooking the Sognefjorden.
Kviknes Hotel (B,L,D)
Cross the Sognefjorden by ferry for a visit to the
Hopperstad Stave Church, one of Norway’s most
intact medieval churches. Back in Balestrand, visit
a cider house to taste local ciders, fruit wines,
and brandies. Then discover the town’s history
as a hub for 19th-century European artists who
were inspired by the Sognefjorden’s captivating
scenery. Walk along the fjord’s edge, dotted with
villas built in the popular Swiss style of the period,
and keep an eye out for dragon heads atop the
gables—a motif from Norse mythology.
Kviknes Hotel (B,L,D)
Take a scenic cruise across the Sognefjorden and
up the narrow Aurlandsfjorden to the village of
Flåm. Board the world-famous Flåm Railway,
named by National Geographic Traveler as one
of the top ten train journeys in Europe, and make a
thrilling ascent of some 2,837 feet in just one
hour, passing through 20 tunnels. At the mountain
station of Myrdal, transfer to the Bergen line and
continue across the spine of Norway to the coastal
city of Bergen.
Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret (B,L)
Bergen was once an important trading center of
the Hanseatic League, which dominated commercial
activity in northern Europe in the Late
Middle Ages. Discover the city’s maritime history
on a tour of Bryggen—the old wharf—and stroll
through the local fish and flower market. This
afternoon, explore the former home of celebrated
Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, nestled
in the hills above Bergen, and enjoy a private
piano recital of Grieg’s music. Then sit down to a
farewell dinner at a restaurant with splendid views
overlooking the city.
Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret (B,L,D)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your
Geographer, conservationist, and explorer David Scott Silverberg has lived in Norway for many years and has explored the country's terrain by backpack, ski, and snekke (boat). He researches and teaches on the geologic development, biological evolution, conservation challenges, and political-economic environment of Norway. A National Geographic grantee and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, David has worked in more than 100 countries, and he teaches at several international universities. His mix of exploration, research, and photo and video storytelling has been popular with National Geographic travelers for years.
David will join the following departures:
Jul 01 - 10, 2018
Jul 15 - 24, 2018
Jul 29 - Aug 07, 2018
Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single
room, add $975.
International airfare to Oslo and return from Bergen is not included in the expedition cost.
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, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
Although included excursions are not strenuous, guests should be able to explore on foot for up to several hours at a time and be capable of boarding trains and buses using stairs that may be steep. There is no porter service at train stations or aboard express boats, though larger luggage can be sent ahead. Guests will manage their own overnight bags for some journeys. This expedition is not suitable for anyone with a serious medical condition or limited mobility.