Arrive Oslo, Norway
Tour begins at 6:00 PM at Grand Hotel Oslo or Hotel Bristol Oslo. A transfer is included upon arrival from Oslo Airport to Grand Hotel Oslo or Hotel Bristol Oslo. Please join us for a welcome reception and dinner at your hotel this evening. Stay: Grand Hotel Oslo and Hotel Bristol Oslo (D)
Set off to discover some of Norway's greatest heroes - from Arctic exploration to the arts. An Oslo city tour brings you to the Viking Ship Museum, home to two of the world's best-preserved wooden Viking ships, built in the 9th century, and other artifacts of the Viking period. Nearby, the Fram Museum is a reminder that Norway is an Arctic nation; more than 40% of it lies north of the Arctic Circle, and naturally Norwegians have undertaken many important polar expeditions over the centuries.
The museum chronicles some of the most famous, and its centerpiece is the wooden polar ship Fram, used on three historic expeditions, including Roald Amundsen's voyage to Antarctica. Go onboard and take a look around her cabins, lounges, cargo hold and engine room. A guided walk around Frogner Park introduces you to the work of Norway's most beloved sculptor, Gustav Vigeland; more than 200 of his granite and bronze human figures fill the palatial and popular park with life and emotion, capturing the free-spirited sensibility of the Norwegians, their strong connection to nature, and their willingness to embrace the totality of human experience. A guided visit to the Vigeland Museum, the sculptor's former studio, provides a look into his artistic process and inspiration. Lunch is at a local restaurant. This afternoon, embark Le Boréal in Oslo and settle in. Your yacht sails for Göteborg, Sweden tonight. Stay Seven Nights:
Aboard Le Boréal
Spend a relaxing morning at sea cruising south along Sweden's craggy west coast in the Skagerrak Strait en route to Göteborg. Tauck's exclusive onboard lecturer, Åsa Övrelid, shares insights and information about the region's geography, marine life, history, economics, politics, and more. A Norwegian native, she lives in Sweden and lectures at two Swedish universities; her talks, for Tauck guests, are always popular. After lunch onboard ship, disembark for an afternoon in clean, green Göteborg, Sweden's second largest city, laced with canals and dotted with parks.
On both choices of sightseeing here, you'll explore the lively Långgatorna neighborhood, a hive of homegrown fashion labels, indie bands, and craft beer bars - and for contrast stroll along Kungsportsavenyn, the city's elegant main avenue inspired by the Champs Élysées. But you'll also choose between a tour of Göteborg's Volvo Museum, taking you on a trip through a unique piece of Swedish 20th- and 21st-century history and design; and a visit to Botaniska, Goteborg's Botanical Garden, one of the largest in Europe. This evening onboard Le Boréal, join us for the ship's welcome reception and dinner as you sail across the Skagerrak Strait to Arendal, Norway. (B/L/D)
This morning Le Boréal arrives in Arendal, a popular seaport town on Norway's southern coast. Established in the mid-1500s, Arendal's historic center contains an area called Tyholmen, containing a number of wooden houses dating back to the 17th century; the inner harbor area, Pollen; and the beautiful 19th-century Trinity Church. Discover the town on a guided walking tour and during some free time to explore on your own. All aboard late this afternoon, as your yacht sails north along the North Sea coast for Stavanger. (B/L/D)
Welcome to the port city of Stavanger, Norway's oil capital on the oil-rich North Sea and a lively university town, for a choice of sightseeing. You may choose an overview tour of the city, on which you'll visit massive Swords in Rock, a powerful symbol of unity and peace that commemorates the battle of Hafrsfjord in 872, when Harald Fairhair united Norway as one kingdom. You'll also step even farther back in time on a guided visit at the Iron Age Farm at Ullandhaug, an archaeological site where you'll see how the prehistoric people of the Iron Age lived - in long buildings of rock and sod, with animals housed at one end and their owners at the other! Then it's on to the Norwegian Petroleum Museum, a Stavanger Port landmark, to learn just about everything you ever wanted to know about oil and gas.
Or, you can choose a Stavenger walking tour that includes the city's harborfront and Gamle Stavanger (Old Stavanger), a settlement of small white wooden houses from the 1800s set on narrow streets paved by ballast blocks, used long ago as ballast on the ships that sailed in and out of port. You may even be invited by the owner of one of these old houses to come inside for a look around. After lunch, your yacht sets sail through Lysefjord; keep your eyes peeled for Prekeistolen, a mammoth flat-topped cliff overlooking the water. Later, chart a course for Ålesund. (B/L/D)
Enjoy a relaxing morning at sea taking advantage of the amenities onboard your ship and hearing a talk by our Tauck Exclusive lecturer. This afternoon disembark in picturesque Ålesund, the most important fishing harbor in Norway, situated on seven islands on the Atlantic coast. You have four activities to choose from this morning: Join our local expert for a walking tour of the city's Art Nouveau - Jugenstil - architecture; nearly all the historic buildings went up between 1904 and 1907 after a fire had destroyed the town, making Ålesund a leading example of Jugenstil today. Enjoy a spectacular panoramic sightseeing tour of Ålesund, hopping from island to island to take in the amazing views; you'll drive through an intricate network of tunnels, carved out of granite, that link this maritime community. Head out on a guided kayaking tour around Ålesund. Or embark on a bicycle tour through town. Sail on to the village of Hellesylt, on famously scenic Geirangerfjord, this evening. (B/L/D)
Today may be the most beautiful day of touring and sightseeing anywhere! Disembark first thing in Hellesylt in the stunning valley at one end of the deep blue Geirangerfjord for a choice of activities. On one, head off for a full day's touring with a local expert around this UNESCO World Heritage Site. All day the views just keep getting better - as you ride a gondola up to the Sunmore "Alps" and drive through the mountains surrounding Geirangerfjord, and through Fjord og Fjell. Have lunch at a local fjord-side restaurant en route. Or you can stay aboard ship this morning and visit the charming hamlet of Geiranger on your own, perhaps visiting the Norwegian Fjord Center. Another choice is a shorter trip from Geiranger up to Dalsnibba, rising from sea level to nearly a mile high. And a third alternative is a kayaking trip on the Geirangerfjord. Reboard Le Boréal early evening and sail out of Geirangerfjord and south for Olden and Nordfjord tonight. (B/L/D)
Lake Loen, Norway
Awaken in Nordfjord and disembark early in Olden, a village on the shore of Nordfjord, where you'll take a quick trip to the summit of Mt. Hoven aboard the Sky-Lift cable car, prior to a choice of activities. From Mt. Hoven, you can choose an excursion into the scenic Loen valley for a short boat ride and a walk for views of the blue and white Kjenndalsbreen, an arm of Jostedal glacier, the largest glacier in Europe. The sight is definitely worth the walk! Or you can choose a drive from Mt. Hoven to Briksdalbre, where a ride on a "Troll Car" and a short hike to the foot of Briksdal Glacier lead to stunning views of one of Norway's most inspiring natural wonders, in a setting of roaring waterfalls and mountain peaks at the end of one of the Nordfjord's three branches. Return to Olden to board Le Boréal and continue sailing toward Bergen. This evening, enjoy a farewell reception and dinner onboard. (B/L/D)
Disembark your yacht in cosmopolitan Bergen, one of Northern Europe's oldest port cities, and join our local guide for a walking tour of the historic Bryggen harbor district lined with well-preserved brightly colored houses. This afternoon, continue getting to know Bergen on a city tour, and visit a traditional stave church before heading to Troldhaugen, the home of Edvard Grieg, Norway's greatest composer. Following your guided tour, enjoy a brief reception and a private piano concert featuring Grieg's music. After settling in at your hotel late afternoon, please join us this evening for a funicular ride up Mt. Floyen and a special farewell reception and dinner on the mountain featuring spectacular views of the harbor - an ideal finishing touch for your Norway cruise adventure. Stay: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel
, Bryggen and Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret (B/D)
Tour ends: Bergen. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included today to Bergen Airport from the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Bryggen or Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret. Allow three hours for flight check-in. (B)