June 20-July 2, 2019
2019 Heritage Tour:
Explore a Thousand Years of Norway
Explore Norway’s past, present, and future on this unforgettable journey. Stand in places where Norwegian history happened, revel in the beauty and culture of Norway today, and ponder what the future holds for this country and its citizens. We will discover the significance of the Vikings, the Plague, the Reformation, nineteenth-century emigration, and WWII. At every point along the way, we’ll experience the spectacular scenery, delicious food, and warm hospitality that is Norway.
We begin in Oslo, with visits to the Royal Palace, Parliament, and City Hall. Then it’s on to Tønsberg to be a Viking on the sea aboard the VS SAGA Oseberg. Next we fly north to Trondheim, the Viking capital of Norway and home of Nidaros Cathedral, to begin our trip southward again to Oslo by coach, train, and boat. All along the way we’ll stop to explore the places and the people of key periods in Norway’s history.
We will visit the UNESCO world heritage village of Røros, touring the village and its mines. We’ll also tour Maihaugen, an outdoor museum of farming culture, and Garmo, one of Norway’s oldest Stave churches. At Eidsvoll we will experience the site of the signing of the Norwegian Constitution in 1814. We will travel from Eidsvoll to Oslo on Norway’s first railway line.
Upon our return to Oslo, we will take a boat ride to Oscarsborg Fortress, which played a pivotal role in Norway’s fight against German occupation during WWII. The end of our tour is a trip to Rjukan to visit Vemork, which was at the center of one of the most important acts of sabotage committed during WWII. The area is also one of great natural beauty and a good place to contemplate Norway today and its future.
- Day 1 Thurs., June 20: Minneapolis-Oslo Depart Minneapolis on a transatlantic flight to Oslo, Norway, via Reykjavik to explore Norway’s past, present, and future on this unforgettable journey.
- Day 2 Fri., June 21: Oslo (D)
Arrive at Gardermoen Airport in Oslo. Meet your guide Knut Werner-Hagen and transfer to your hotel in Oslo’s city center. Enjoy a few hours to explore downtown Oslo before the welcome gathering and light supper. Overnight at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Oslo.
- Day 3 Sat., June 22: Tønsberg-Borre-Oslo (B/L/D)
Depart by coach for Tønsberg to be the crew on board the Viking ship, SAGA Oseberg. After lunch experience more of the Viking Age at Midgard Center in Borre with a dinner feast in the great mead hall, a reconstruction from the Viking Age. Overnight at Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz, Oslo.
- Day 4 Sun., June 23: Stiklestad (B/L/D)
Our morning flight north to Trondheim arrives in time for lunch in Hell. Then on to the site of the Battle of Stiklestad, one of the most famous Norwegian battles where King Olaf II was killed on July 29, 1030. A guided tour of Stiklestad Nasjonale Kultursenter offers a grounding in the Olaf heritage. Overnight at Scandic Stiklestad, Verdal.
- Day 5 Mon., June 24: Tautra-Trondheim (B/L)
Walk where early Christian communities were founded, beginning at Tautra Abbey located on an island in the municipality of Frosta. We’ll explore both ruins from the 13th century and Tautra Monastery founded in 1999 near the medieval monastery. Arrive in Trondheim for a guided tour inside the spectacular Nidaros Cathedral. Overnight at Scandic Nideleven, Trondheim.
- Day 6 Tues., June 25: Røros (B/L)
Knut’s lively morning lecture will enhance what you’ve experienced and introduce you to what’s ahead. Travel to UNESCO world heritage village of Røros with a guided tour of Røros Museum and the Olav Mines. End the day with a walking tour and dinner on your own in the quaint village of Røros. Overnight at Røros Hotell, Røros.
- Day 7 Wed., June 26: Gudbransdalen Valley – Lillehammer (B/L)
Start out the day with Knut, whose morning lecture will frame this day of travel through the beautiful Gudbransdalen Valley, known for its unique mountain farms. Overnight at Clarion Hotel Hammer, Lillehammer.
- Day 8 Thurs., June 27: Lillehammer (B/L/D)
This day begins at Maihaugen, an impressive outdoor museum of farming culture. It includes one of Norway’s oldest stave churches, Garmonkirken. You’ll have time on your own to explore. Enjoy beautiful scenery and dinner aboard the historic paddle steamer, Skibladner, as we sail south on Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa, landing in Hamar. Overnight at First Hotel Victoria, Hamar.
- Day 9 Fri., June 28: Eidsvoll-Oscarsborg (B/L/D)
Begin the day with another insightful lecture by Knut, followed by a tour of the Constitution Building in Eidsvoll where the Norwegian Constitution was signed in 1814. Enjoy a typical 1814 lunch in the museum café and a presentation by museum staff. Continue south by coach and ferry to the island of the Oscarsborg Fortress. Overnight at Oscarsborg Hotel.
- Day 10 Sat., June 29: Oscarsborg-Kongsberg (B/L)
Knut leads the day at Oscarsborg Fortress with a lecture and guided tour of the site that played a pivotal role in Norway’s fight against German occupation during WWII. After lunch at Oscarsborg Hotel, depart for Rjukan area with overnight at Quality Hotel Grand, Kongsberg.
- Day 11 Sun., June 30: Rjukan (B/L/D)
The morning guided tour at Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum focuses on the industrial center of Rjukan and the heavy water operations of WWII. Relax and enjoy the area’s natural beauty and walking trails. Overnight at Gaustadblikk Høyfjellshotell, Rjukan.
- Day 12 Mon., July 1: Oslo (B/D)
Arrive in Oslo midday and venture out for lunch and an afternoon on your own. Enjoy Knut’s last lecture and celebrate the entire Norwegian experience with your fellow travelers at the farewell dinner. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
- Day 13 Tues., July 2: Oslo-United States (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the transatlantic flight home.
The tour operator reserves the right to make changes necessary in order to give travelers the best experience possible.
Here is what previous tour participants say about Knut:
“Knut made history come alive and his enthusiasm is priceless!”
“If Knut ever publishes his lectures, I will buy them! Loved the format and his love for Norwegian music. He is a treasure.”
“Knut obviously loves his country and is a great representative for Norway. Lectures were fun and informative.”
Price per person double occupancy $6,295
Single Supplement $700
Land Only* $5,370
*Land Only price includes everything except the round trip flight between Minneapolis/St. Paul and Oslo
Minimum of 25 participants
Maximum of 35 participants
Price Includes (as listed in this itinerary):
- Round-trip coach airfare on Icelandair from Minneapolis/St. Paul
- Airport taxes and fees (as of 11-15-2018)
- Airport/hotel transfer for group flights
- Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
- Daily breakfast (B), 9 lunches (L), 7 dinners (D)
- Ground transportation in a comfortable motor coach
- Gratuity to bus drivers
- All domestic ferry crossings and tunnels for coach and passengers
- Admission fees to museums and attractions
- Vesterheim luggage tags and tour information kit
Please read “Tour Terms and Conditions.”
Reserve Your Spot on Tour
Tour Guide and Leader
GUIDE: Knut Werner-Hagen
Knut’s knowledge and warmth will make this a truly memorable tour. He holds a master’s degree in history from the University of Oslo and has written numerous articles and books. Knut served as an officer in the Norwegian Army for 30 years and during the last 15 years of his career, he lectured on military history at the Norwegian Military Academy in Oslo. Knut has led several tours to Norway for Vesterheim and he had the privilege of guiding His Majesty King Harald V and the Prime Minister of Norway.
LEADER: Katherine Johnson
Vesterheim’s Coordinator of Tours to Norway looks forward to welcoming you on this spectacular tour to Norway. Katherine has had the privilege to plan and lead academic tours for graduate business students to China, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. Her congenial personality and attention to detail will contribute to making your tour experience interesting, memorable, and relaxing.