Norway’s Trains & Fjords


10-day Escorted Tour

First-class

The Tour

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.

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The Itinerary

DAY 1: Oslo, Norway
Arrive in Oslo and check into the Hotel Continental. Gather for a welcome dinner tonight. (D)

DAY 2: Oslo
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. At the Natural History Museum, learn about the work of National Geographic Explorer Jørn Hurum during a visit with “Ida,” a 47-million-year-old distant relative of humans and the most complete fossil primate ever found. Then 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. Overnight at the Hotel Continental. (B,L)

DAY 3: Røros/Trondheim
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. 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 River. Overnight at the Scandic Nidelven Hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Trondheim
Said to be 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 grave site of Norway’s patron saint that is prized for its stained glass windows. Take a musical tour at the Ringve Music Museum and enjoy a concert performed on antique instruments. Later, explore on your own or discover the city on an optional urban kayaking excursion. Overnight at the Scandic Nidelven Hotel. (B,L)

DAY 5: Rauma Railway/Geiranger
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 green 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 products at a summer farm. Overnight at the Hotel Union. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Geirangerfjorden/Balestrand
Set out by ferry for an unforgettable cruise on the UNESCO 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. Have lunch at the water’s edge and then learn about the Norwegian folk art of rosemaling at a local village. This evening, settle into the historic Kviknes Hotel overlooking the Sognefjorden. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Sognefjorden/Balestrand
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. Overnight at the Kviknes Hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Flåm Railway/Bergen
Take a scenic cruise across the Sognefjorden and up the narrow Aurlandsfjorden to the village of Flåm. Sample award-winning handcrafted beers at a Viking-style brewery, then board the world-famous Flåm Railway, named by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top ten train journeys in Europe. 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. Overnight at the Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret. (B,L)

DAY 9: Bergen
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 the city, 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. Overnight at the Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret. (B,L,D)

DAY 10: Bergen
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B)

2017 Dates:

June 15-24
June 29 - July 8 (with National Geographic Expert David Silverberg)
July 13-22 (with National Geographic Expert David Silverberg)
July 27 - August 5 (with National Geographic Expert David Silverberg)

The Prices

2017 Pricing
Accommodations
Price
Deposit
Double
$9,495
$750
Single $10,470
$750

Other

Join National Geographic Expert David Silverberg on select departures in 2016. A geographer, conservationist, and explorer, David 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.

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The Highlights

  • Journey across alpine peaks, emerald valleys, and sparkling rivers on five railway lines including the Flåm—one of the steepest normal-gauge railroads in the world.
  • Glide into spectacular fjords beneath sheer rock walls and waterfalls.
  • Explore the mining towns of Røros and Bergen’s old wharf, both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
  • Experience Norway’s culinary delights on visits to farms, villages, and markets.
Fjords of Norway (Photo by National Geographic)
Fjords of Norway (Photo by National Geographic)
Rauma Line
Rauma Line
Flam Railway
Flam Railway