Norway’s Trains & Fjords

11-day Escorted Tour


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 in to our hotel. Then head to the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, which hosted events for the 1952 Winter Olympics. Take in 4,000 years of Nordic and downhill skiing history at the Ski Museum; and, from the observation deck on top, enjoy a spectacular vantage of Oslo and its fjord. Gather for a welcome dinner tonight. Overnight at the Grand Hotel Oslo. (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-sized human figures by native artist Gustav Vigeland. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before venturing to the Bygdøy Peninsula to see some of the world’s best-preserved Viking longships at the Viking Ship Museum. At the Kon-Tiki Museum, enjoy a specially arranged meeting with a family member or biographer of Thor Heyerdahl and learn about his family’s scientific seafaring adventures, chronicled in the pages of National Geographic magazine. Then view the famed Kon-Tiki raft, the papyrus boat Ra II, and other artifacts of seafaring history. Overnight at the Grand Hotel Oslo. (B,L)

DAY 3: Flåm

Catch a train to Myrdal, and then board the Flåm Railway, named by National Geographic Traveler as one of the top ten train journeys in Europe. Take an unforgettable ride along one of the steepest normal-gauge railroads in the world, descending a steep valley through 20 tunnels and past thundering waterfalls to the fjord village of Flåm. Settle into your hotel overlooking Aurlandsfjord, then visit a shoe factory in Aurland village—birthplace of the penny loafer. Switch up your perspective of Aurlandsfjord from the nearby Stegastein’s viewing platform, which floats 2,000 feet above the fjord. This evening, sample beers a local brewery before dinner.  Overnight at the Fretheim Hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Undredal/Gudvangen/Flåm
Begin the day with a stroll through the picturesque village of Undredal, where you’ll sample the town’s world-famous brown goat cheese and visit Scandinavia’s smallest stave church. Meet with members of a local choir and enjoy a performance before returning to Flåm for lunch. Board a boat for a cruise across two spectacular fjords—Aurlandsfjord and Naerøyfjord, which together with Geirangerfjorden is a World Heritage site. Savor views of towering cliff faces sprinkled with waterfalls, then disembark in charming Gudvangen before returning to our hotel in Flåm. Overnight at the Fretheim Hotel. (B,L)

DAY 5: Geiranger
Travel overland to Geiranger, winding through the mountains and stopping en route at the Norwegian Glacier Museum and at the newly opened Geiranger Skywalk. Perched 4,900 feet above sea level, the lookout is the highest scenic viewpoint overlooking a fjord in Europe. From here, take in spectacular views of Geirangerfjorden and look across the surrounding mountain peaks to spot the Blåbreen glacier. Upon arrival in Geiranger, settle into our hotel overlooking Geirangerfjorden. Overnight at the Hotel Union. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Geirangerfjorden/Trollstigen
This morning, enjoy a special visit to the Norwegian Fjord Centre before it opens to the public. Peruse exhibits on the region’s natural and cultural history, learning how the dramatic fjord landscape was created and how people came to inhabit the extreme terrain. Then set out by ferry for an unforgettable cruise on the World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjorden, a ten-mile passage lined with sheer rock walls and punctuated with waterfalls. Disembark at Hellesylt for a drive 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. Overnight at the Hotel Union. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Rauma Railway/Trondheim
Transfer to Andalsnes 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. In Dombås, switch trains for the ride to Trondheim, where we’ll check in to our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure. Overnight at the Britannia Hotel. (B,L)

DAY 8: Trondheim
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. On a city tour, 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 “secret tour” of the cathedral’s concealed chambers, hidden rooms, and medieval tombstones. Continue across the Nidelva River to Bakklandet, and enjoy lunch in this charming neighborhood of colorful wooden houses. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure, then gather for dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the Britannia Hotel. (B,L, D)

DAY 9: Bergen
Fly to the coastal city of Bergen, 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 colorful old wharf, and a designated World Heritage site. Dine on your own tonight. Overnight at Hotel Havnekontoret. (B,L)

DAY 10: Bergen
Delve deeper into Bergen on a city tour. Begin at the former home of celebrated Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, nestled in the hills above Bergen. Stroll the villa’s gardens and visit the studio where many of Grieg’s most famous works were composed. Next, visit the Fantoft Stave Church, originally constructed in the Middle Ages and reconstructed following a suspicious 1992 fire. Spend your final afternoon at leisure, then gather for a festive farewell dinner at a restaurant serving traditional Norwegian dishes. Overnight at Hotel Havnekontoret. (B,L,D)

DAY 11: Bergen
After breakfast, transfer to the Bergen airport and catch your flight home. (B)

2020 Dates:

June 14-24
July 26-August 5 (with National Geographic Expert David Silverberg)
August 9-19 (with National Geographic Expert David Silverberg)

The Prices

2020 Pricing
Single $11,990


Join National Geographic Experts on 2019 departures. These talented and informative individuals are sure to enhance your journey.

– Transfers upon arrival and departure
– Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
– Meals as indicated in the itinerary
– Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
– All gratuities

– Airfare to and from destination, as well as internal airfare where applicable
– Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
– Visas
– Alcoholic beverages

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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