Immigration Tour to New York City

October 5 – 10, 2025

Known as the city of immigrants, New York has welcomed people seeking economic prosperity and cultural freedoms for the past 400 years. For Norwegians, too, New York has held a central place in their immigration history. Norwegian sailors had a presence in the city since the 1600s and the first organized group of Norwegian immigrants to enter the United States, nicknamed the Sloopers, sailed into New York Harbor on their ship Restauration on October 9, 1825. Over time, New York has been an entry point for Norwegians as they embark on new adventures in the United States, and for some, New York itself became home.

Join us to experience this history first-hand as we explore the rich topic of immigration in New York City. Presentations on the city’s immigration past and present, the larger history of Norwegian immigration to the United States, and the local story of Norwegians who made lives for themselves in New York from the 1600s to today will prepare us to walk in those immigrants’ footsteps as we tour important sites.

Tour visits include the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration, and the Tenement Museum, where we will learn what everyday life was like for the city’s working-class migrants. We will spend time at Scandinavia House in Manhattan and Norwegian-American sites in Brooklyn as well as meet local Norwegian Americans living in the area today.

The tour will culminate on October 9, when we will welcome the arrival of the replica of the Sloopers’ ship, Restauration, to New York. We will also enjoy events and exhibits in conjunction with this commemoration of Restauration’s arrival exactly 200 years prior.

This tour is a collaboration between the Norwegian-American Historical Association (NAHA) based in Northfield, Minnesota, and Vesterheim, the National Norwegian-American Museum and Folk Art School, located in Decorah, Iowa, as part of Crossings, the bicentennial of Norwegian migration to North America ( The guides will be Anna Peterson, associate professor of history at Luther College and editor for NAHA, and local expert, Victoria Hofmo, president of the Scandinavian East Coast Museum in Brooklyn. The tour can easily be expanded to include your own interests in New York.

Check back for a complete itinerary and price.

The Restauration replica. Photo courtesy
Ellis Island

Reserve Your Spot on Tour

For more information about upcoming tours:

Rolf Svanoe
563-382-9681, ext. 240

Vesterheim is aware of concern about the impact travel has on the environment. We are committed to encouraging travel and cultural exploration, while taking responsibility for a fair share of the environmental cost tours incur. Starting in 2025, for each tour to Norway, Vesterheim will invest in the National Philanthropic Trust: Rick Steves’ Europe Climate Smart Fund. Read more here.

Tour Guides

GUIDE: Victoria Hofmo

Victoria Hofmo was born, raised, and still lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, the historical heart of Norwegian New York. She is three-quarters Scandinavian: Half Norwegian and one-quarter Danish/Swedish. Self-employed, she runs an out-of-school-time program that articulates learning through the arts and a local program for seniors. Hofmo is an advocate for arts and culture, education, and the preservation of the built and natural environment of her hometown, with a deep love for most things Scandinavian.

She founded the Scandinavian East Coast Museum in the early 1990s to document, educate, share, and celebrate Scandinavian history and Scandinavian contributions to the East Coast of the U.S. with a focus on the New York area. She was a writer for the Nordisk Tidende and its many iterations for several decades.

GUIDE: Anna Peterson

Anna Peterson is editor for the NAHA and associate professor of history at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. She researches and teaches in the fields of Norwegian migration, Native American, women’s and gender, and welfare state history. Anna is excited to share her knowledge of Norwegian-American history with you!

Tour Leaders

LEADER: Amy Boxrud

Amy Boxrud is executive director for the Norwegian American Historical Association, where she is responsible for leading the organization’s membership, communications, and development efforts. With a special interest in the field of public history, Amy enjoys creating unforgettable experiences for her fellow travelers.

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.