June 1-14, 2022
2022 Heritage Tour:
Explore a Thousand Years of Norway
The beautiful capital city of Oslo will be home base for this journey through the countryside of Norway’s past, present, and future. We will discover the significance of the Vikings, the Plague, the Reformation, nineteenth-century immigration, and WWII.
The tour begins as we venture south to Tønsberg to sail the Viking ship, Saga Oseberg; then north to Eidsvoll to visit the Constitution Building where the Norwegian Constitution was signed in May 1814. In Lillehammer we’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of Maihaugen, an impressive outdoor museum of farming culture and home to one of Norway’s oldest stave churches. Back in Oslo, we will ferry to Oscarsborg Fortress, a place that played a pivotal role in Norway’s fight against German occupation during WWII. Traveling west to Rjukan, we will visit the Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum and the renovated heavy-water cellar made famous during WWII.
As we journey through Norway’s past thousand years, our expert guide Knut Werner-Hagen will give presentations and share stories that bring the history of Norway to life. At every point along the way, we’ll experience the spectacular scenery, delicious food, and warm hospitality that is Norway.
Note: Although we are proceeding with the plan to travel in summer 2022, circumstances may cause us to change plans and not go. Please know your safety as our guests is our top priority.
Day 1 Wed., June 1: Minneapolis-Oslo
Depart Minneapolis on a transatlantic flight to Oslo for this journey through Norway’s past, present, and future. Explore the sites where some of the most important events in Norwegian history took place, highlighted along the way by engaging lectures from Knut Werner-Hagen.
Day 2 Thurs., June 2: Oslo (D)
Arrive at Gardermoen airport in Oslo. Meet our guide Knut Werner-Hagen and transfer to hotel in city center. Enjoy a few hours to relax in downtown Oslo before a welcome gathering and light supper. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 3 Fri., June 3: Tønsberg-Borre-Oslo (B/L,D)
Viking Period ( – 1066)
We depart Oslo in the morning, traveling south along the Oslo Fjord to Vestfold. In Tønsberg you will be the crew on board the Viking ship, Saga Oseberg. After lunch experience more of the Viking Age at Midgard Viking Center in Borre. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 4 Sat., June 3: Oslo (B,L)
Medieval Norway (1066-1537)
Our day begins in the Medieval City, the oldest urban area in Oslo. We will explore Akershus Castle, which has stood guard over Oslo since 1299. Time to explore Oslo on your own. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 5 Sun., June 5: Halden-Oslo (B,L)
Under Danish Rule (1537-1814)
After breakfast we depart for Fredriksten Fortress in the town of Halden. Built from 1663-1665 to protect Norway against frequent attacks from Sweden, the imposing fortress is on the ridge above Halden with a beautiful view of the town and fjord. Lunch served within the fortress at Kongshallene. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 6 Mon., June 6: Eidsvoll-Lillehammer (B,L)
We travel to Eidsvoll, the cradle of Norwegian democracy, for a tour of the Constitution Building where in May 1814 the Norwegian Constitution was signed. Experience a typical 1814 lunch in the museum café and a presentation by museum staff. A stop at the Norwegian Emigrant Museum will highlight Norwegian emigration, primarily to the United States. Overnight at Clarion Collection Hotel, Lillehammer.
Day 7 Tues., June 7: Lillehammer-Skibladner Paddle Steamer-Oslo (B,L,D)
Union with Sweden (1814-1905)
The day begins at Maihaugen, an impressive outdoor museum of farming culture and home to one of Norway’s oldest stave churches. Enjoy a guided walking tour plus time on your own to relax and explore the grounds before boarding the historic paddle steamer, Skibladner. We will view beautiful scenery and enjoy dinner as we sail south on Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa. We disembark in Hamar for the drive back to Oslo. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 8 Wed., June 8: Oslo (B, L)
First, enjoy a guided tour of the Parliament. After lunch at the Grand Hotel, travel to Urskog Fortress – a part of the forgotten border defense line of 1905 against Sweden. Dinner on your own in Oslo. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 9 Thurs., June 9: Oscarsborg Fortress-Oslo (B,L)
Travel by coach to Drøbak to catch the ferry to the island of Oscarsborg. The day includes a guided walking tour of the Oscarsborg Fortress, the site that played a pivotal role in Norway’s fight against German occupation during WWII. Lunch at Oscarsborg Hotel. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 10 Fri., June 10: Rjukan (B,L,D)
Norway and Nature
We travel to Rjukan with a stop on the way at Heddal Stave Church. Arriving at Gaustaråen we take the rail to the top of Gaustatoppen, one of Norway’s most spectacular views and the highest point in Vestfold og Telemark county. Overnight at Skinnarbu Nasjonalparkhotell, Rjukan.
Day 11 Sat., June 11: Vemork-Rjukan (B,L,D)
Rjukan’s unique industrial history has earned it UNESCO world-heritage status. We begin with a guided tour at Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum, the industrial center of Rjukan. You will experience the recently renovated heavy- water cellar, the location of the hydrogen factory and the target of Operation Gunnerside in February 1943. Overnight at Skinnarbu Nasjonalparkhotell, Rjukan.
Day 12 Sun., June 12: Rjukan-Oslo (B,L)
Returning to Oslo, we’ll stop for lunch at Holmenkollen Ski Museum with its spectacular view of Oslo. Enjoy an evening on your own in this wonderful walkable city. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 13 Mon., June 13: Oslo (B,D)
Our last day begins with Knut’s final lecture focused on the Norway of today, the Norwegian people, and their hopes for the future of this spectacular country. Enjoy lunch and the afternoon on your own before our closing dinner. Overnight at Grand Hotel, Oslo.
Day 14 Tues., June 14: Oslo-Minneapolis (B)
After breakfast, transfer to airport for transatlantic flight home.
The tour operator reserves the right to make changes necessary in order to give travelers the best experience possible.
Per person, double occupancy TBA
Single Supplement TBA
Land Only TBA
Maximum of 25 participants
Please read “Tour Terms and Conditions”
– Round-trip coach airfare from Minneapolis/St. Paul
– Airport taxes and fees (as of 10-17-2021)
– Airport/hotel transfers for group flights
– Hotel accommodations for 12 nights
– Daily breakfast (B), 10 lunches (L), 6 dinners (D)
– Ground transportation in a comfortable motor coach
– Gratuity to bus drivers
– Admission fees to museums and attractions
– Use of a personal listening device
– Vesterheim luggage tags and tour information
Please Note: The tour will involve standing, walking (including cobblestones and uneven terrain), and stairs. There may not be elevators at all sites. You will handle your own luggage at airports, and at hotels.
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 memorable and relaxing.