Explore a Thousand Years of Norway

June 14-25, 2024

Tour group walks through Maihaugen Museum outdoor area in Norway.
tour group rows Viking Ship on Vesterheim tour

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 emigration, 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 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 travel 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.

$4995 (Land only. Airfare not included.)
$610 single supplement
Prices are subject to change without notice.

Day 1 Friday, June 14: Oslo (D)

Tour begins in Oslo at the Thon Hotel Bristol with a Meet and Greet at 5:00 pm, followed by Evening Lecture with Knut Werner-Hagen: A Thousand Years of Norway and three-course dinner. Overnight at the Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 2 Saturday June 15: 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 with a Viking feast and music. Overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol, Oslo.

Day 3 Sunday June 16: Oslo (B, L)
Medieval Norway (1066-1537)

Morning Lecture with Knut Werner-Hagen: Medieval Norway. Visit the Medieval City (Oslo’s Pompeii), the oldest urban area in Olso. Lunch at Café Engebret. In the afternoon, explore Akershus Castle, which has stood guard over Oslo since 1299. Dinner and time to explore Oslo on your own. Overnight at the Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 4 Monday June 17: 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. Return to Oslo with Lecture with Knut Werner-Hagen: The Birth of Modern Norway at 4:00 pm at the Grand Hotel Meeting Room. Dinner on own. Overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 5 Tuesday June 18: Eidsvoll-Ottestad-Lillehammer (B, L, D)
Constitution (1814)

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 in Ottestad will highlight Norwegian emigration, primarily to the United States. Dinner and overnight at Clarion Collection Hotel, Lillehammer.

Day 6 Wednesday June 19: Lillehammer-Skilbladner 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 lunch and 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 Thon Hotel Bristol, Oslo.

Day 7 Thursday June 20: Oslo (B, L)
Independence (1905)

Morning Lecture with Knut Werner-Hagen: Independent Norway. Travel by bus to Aurskog to tour and have lunch at the Urskog Fortress – a part of the forgotten border defense line of 1905 against Sweden. Dinner on your own in Oslo. Overnight at the Thon Hotel Bristol Oslo.

Day 8 Friday June 21: Oscarsborg Fortress-Oslo (B, L)
War (1940)

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 on the island at Oscarsborg Hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the Thon Hotel Bristol, Oslo.

Day 9 Saturday June 22: Rjukan (B, L, D)
Norwegian and Nature

We travel to Rjukan for a guided city tour. Lecture with Knut Werner-Hagen: Norway Industrialization and War at Hotel. Dinner and overnight at Skinnarbu Nasjonalparkhotell, Rjukan.

Day 10 Sunday June 23: Vemork-Rjukan (B, L, D)
Industrial History

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. Lunch at Café Vemork. Afternoon ride on the Rjukan Gondola. Dinner and overnight at Skinnarbu Nasjonalparkhotell, Rjukan.

Day 11 Monday June 24: Oslo (B,L,D)

Travel back to Oslo for an afternoon tour of modern Oslo. Evening Lecture with Knut Werner-Hagen: Norway, Present, and Future and farewell banquet. Overnight at Thon Hotel Bristol.

Day 12 Tuesday June 25: Oslo-United States (B)

Airport shuttle departure for Gardemoen Airport. (Breakfast to go.)


The tour operator reserves the right to make changes necessary in order to give travelers the best experience possible.

Maximum of 35 participants
Please read “Tour Terms and Conditions”

Price Includes:
– Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
– Daily breakfast (B), 10 lunches (L), 7 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.

Reserve Your Spot on Tour

For more information about upcoming tours:

Rolf Svanoe
563-382-9681, ext. 240

Tour Guide and Leader

GUIDE: Knut Werner-Hagen

Knut’s knowledge and warmth will make this a truly memorable tour. Knut was instrumental in developing this history-focused tour of Norway with Vesterheim. 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.

LEADER: Rolf Svanoe

As Vesterheim Coordinator of Tours to Norway, Rolf has many connections to Norway and experiences leading tour groups. Find out more about him here.