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Tours

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StockholmGamla UppsalaUppsala CathedralUppsala CemetaryAnsgars Cross, BirkaThe Ansgar ChapelCopenhagenThe old city of AarhusOslo

Vikings in Denmark, Sweden & Norway

This distinctive tour through Sweden, Denmark and Norway places the Viking Age in the wider context of European history, and in Scandinavian history, from the Bronze Age to the modern day. Through this tour of archaeological sites, objects and landscapes, Norse gods and Viking heroes will come alive once again.

July 9 – 25, 2017 (17 Days)
$7,485 (exc. international airfare)
Single supp: $1,500

July 8 – 22, 2018 (17 Days)
$7,695 (exc. international airfare)
Single supp: $1,350
All meals included

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Tour Description

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Travel through Scandinavia’s spectacular and varied landscape, and learn how it would come to shape life in the Viking Age
  • Explore the huge royal burial mounds of legendary Viking rulers at Gamla Uppsala, Sweden’s Norse cultic center

  • Enjoy a free afternoon in the Swedish capital of Stockholm to take in some haute cuisine, cutting-edge shops, or culture
  • Stop in Birka and Sigtuna, the market towns from where intrepid Vikings would make the journeys to Russia and Constantinople

LED BY

July 2018
Prof. Kenneth W. Harl

Meals: All breakfasts, 10 lunches & 4 dinners

2017 ITINERARY

July 9 & 10:
We arrive into Stockholm on Monday and transfer to our hotel.
Hotel: Stockholm.

July 11: GAMLA STAN
We begin at the Museum of National Antiquities. We continue to Vasamuséet, home to the Vasa warship built in 1628. We walk through Stockholm’s old town, ‘Gamla Stan’, Here we see Swedish parliamentary buildings, Riddarholmen Church and the Great Square.
Hotel: Stockholm.

July 12: UPPSALA
We start the day in Gamla Uppsala, touring the three huge royal burial mounds that legend attributes to kings Aun, Egil and Adlis. In modern Uppsala we visit Domkyrkan, Sweden’s largest cathedral, and the manuscript room of the University Library.
Hotel: Stockholm.

July 13: BJÖRKÖ
We spend today on the island of Björkö. Here we explore the Viking town of Birka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site founded in 750 CE. Birka greatly benefited from its strategic location and was once an important Viking trading center.
Hotel: Stockholm.

July 14: STOCKHOLM
Our morning begins at the Ramsund carvings, which depict several sagas about Sigurd. We visit Anundshög, the largest royal burial mound in Sweden, where standing stones represent ships and a rune stone. Leisure time this afternoon.
Hotel: Stockholm.

July 15: GOTLAND
We travel to the ancient Baltic island of Gotland and spend our day exploring Visby, its historic buildings and Gotlands Fornsal Museum. Most notable among the museum’s collections are the Hall of Picture Stones and the Viking Treasury with its hoard of gold and silver.
Hotel: Strand Hotel ,Visby.

July 16: FROJEL
We tour the town of Visby, including the excavations and medieval church at Frojel. Enjoy an afternoon of free time to explore Visby at your leisure.
Hotel: Strand Hotel ,Visby.

July 17: LUND
After a morning flight to Malmo, we make out way to the historic city of Lund to see its magnificent Cathedral, considered a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture. In the afternoon we cross into Denmark via the Öresund bridge.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Copenhagen.

July 18: COPENHAGEN
We visit Copenhagen’s National Museum, which displays material covering Danish prehistory, most notably the Gundestrup cauldron. The museum’s ethnographic galleries are among the most important in the world, with many traditional artefacts from Arctic and non-European countries. We tour the city this afternoon, stopping to view Copenhagen’s most important sites.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Copenhagen.

July 19: ROKSKILDE
We begin in Roskilde and visit the fabulous Roskilde Domkirke and its splendid royal chapels. We continue to the Viking Ship Museum, which houses five preserved ships excavated from Roskilde fjord, and stop in Gammel Lejre, which holds the remains of a Viking ship burial.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Copenhagen.

July 20: AARHUS
We stop today at the huge Trelleborg Fort, one of seven Viking ring castles We cross the Great Belt Bridge and continue to Ladby to visit the Ladbyskibet Viking Chief burial. Our last stop is Jelling, to view the burial mound of Viking king Gorm the Old.
Hotel: Royal Hotel, Aarhus.

July 21: AARHUS
Aarhus has been designated a European Capital of Culture 2017 — and rightly so. Our walking tour of the old city begins with the cathedral and includes the Viking Museum. We depart for the Silkeborg Museum, which houses the Tollund Man. If time allows, we will end our day at the Moesgard museum.
Hotel: Radisson Blu Hotel, Copenhagen.

July 22: COPENHAGEN
After a morning exploring this famous city, we board an overnight ferry to Oslo.

July 23: OSLO
We begin at the Kulturhistorisk Museum, which houses several magnificent stave church portals. We spend the afternoon walking in the city center, dotted with important landmarks.
Hotel: Thon Bristol Hotel, Oslo.

July 24 & 25: BYGDØY
We visit three museums — Vikingskipshuset, specially constructed to house three 9th century Viking ships; Frammuseet houses the Fram, the ship that carried Roald Amundsen to the South Pole; and the fine Folk Museum. We gather for our farewell dinner on the night of the 24th, flying home on the 25th.
Hotel: Thon Bristol Hotel, Oslo.

We transfer to the airport for flights home or onward travel.

MAP

Vikings 

LED BY

Jul 2017
Prof Kenneth W. Harl

Jul 2018
Prof Kenneth W. Harl

Additional Information

Calendar Year

2017, 2018

Reservation Form

2018 Tour Details

Thoughts about Viking society are evolving. No longer considered just barbarian plunderers and savages, it is now accepted that many Viking raids were focused on trade and meeting foreign mercenaries.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Traverse Scandinavia’s incredibly diverse landscapes and learn how they shaped life in the Viking Age
  • Enjoy a free afternoon in the Swedish capital of Stockholm where you can explore local gastronomy or vibrant culture

  • Discover the huge burial mounds of legendary Viking rulers at Gamla Uppsala, Sweden’s Norse cultic center
  • Stop in the market towns of Birka and Sigtuna, from which intrepid Vikings would travel to Russia and Constantinople

WHAT TO EXPECT

The Vikings were great seafarers, raiders and traders. Far from being a race of barbarians, they presided over an extensive trading network. Travel through the Viking homeland, exploring society’s trade links, burial customs and religious ideals – to discover what it meant to be a Viking. Discover a variety of Scandinavian burial traditions practised by the Vikings through archaeological sites and museum exhibits. The elaborate Viking chief ’s ship burial at Ladby is a particular highlight. Though we may think of Vikings primarily as pagans, they were quick to adopt Christianity and integrate it into existing customs. We also explore churches and temples across the region, discussing the transitional period.

2018 ITINERARY

DAY 1: STOCKHOLM
Our flight departs for Sweden, arriving on Day 2 of the trip.
Hotel: Nobis Hotel, Stockholm.

DAY 2: STOCKHOLM
We land in Stockholm, Sweden’s eclectic capital: an immaculate city of islands, bridges and Scandinavian style, first founded by the Vikings in around 1000 AD. We take the rest of the day to unwind after our flight, coming back together in the evening for an introductory lecture from our Guide Scholar, followed by dinner at our hotel.
Hotel: Nobis Hotel, Stockholm.

DAY 3 STOCKHOLM
We begin our first full day in Scandinavia with a visit to Vasamuseet, a maritime museum named for the 17th-century ship which is its centerpiece: the only preserved vessel of that era in existence. Artefacts displayed along with the ship include weaponry, keepsakes, and human remains – a direct glimpse into Sweden’s seafaring past.

Our next stop is the Swedish History Museum, with a Viking exhibition that aims to reveal the truth about these people and their mostly peaceful lives. The museum paints a picture of the every-day through artefacts such as jewelry, textiles and tools. Keep your eyes peeled for the “smoothing stones” – early precursors to the ironing board!

Taking lunch in the old town area, Gamla Stan, we continue with a walking tour of Stockholm’s Medieval streets, stopping at its earliest religious building, the Great Church, as well as the Riddarholmen, the Medieval burial site of many a Swedish royal and aristocrat.
Hotel: Nobis Hotel, Stockholm.

DAY 4: UPPSALA
Following breakfast we make our way to Uppsala’s cathedral, Domkyrkan, a 13th-century monument celebrated as the tallest church in the Nordic countries. Having admired the Domkyrkan’s grand interiors, we drive on to the Old Norse restaurant of Odinsborg for a bountiful Swedish buffet.

In the afternoon we head for the Gamla Uppsala Museum, an Iron Age settlement containing a number of prehistoric tombs, including three prestigious Royal Mounds. Excavations here have also revealed boat graves dating from the Viking period, and a wealth of intricate hidden treasure, much of which is now on display.

Later we pay a visit to the 13th-century Brick Gothic church of St Mary’s in Sigtuna, Sweden’s first Christian town, followed by the rugged ruins of St Olaf’s – which are thought to stand atop the foundations of a far older, sacred building…
Hotel: Nobis Hotel, Stockholm.

DAY 5: BJÖRKÖ
We make like the Vikings this morning and take to the sea on a ferry from Stockholm to the beautiful island of Björkö.

Following a barbecue buffet lunch, we embark on a walking tour to Birka Vikingastaden, an archaeological area thought to be the location of Sweden’s first city. Now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, Birka was established in the 8th century, and became an important trading center during the Viking age. Extensive excavations have revealed around 3,000 graves here, one of which contained the earliest ring inscribed with Arabic lettering to have ever been found in Scandinavia.

We return to Stockholm by ferry, being sure to enjoy the natural sights and sounds of the archipelago.
Hotel: Nobis Hotel, Stockholm.

DAY 6: ANUNDSHÖG
This morning we drive to Anundshög, where we find Sweden’s largest burial mound – a final resting place for royalty from the 6th to the 8th centuries. The site features standing stones laid out in the form of ships, as well as an intricate rune stone. Evidence of damage suggests that it may have been deliberately destroyed by Christian converts hoping to eradicate the influence of Paganism.

Our next stop is Sigurdsristningen, where we view the mysterious standing stones and Ramsund carving: runes depicting scenes from the legendary tale of Sigurd the dragon-slayer. This stunning selection of Nordic art dates from around 1000 AD.
This afternoon we return to Stockholm for free time to experience the city at our leisure. Visit its stylish boutiques, wander the peaceful paths of the botanic garden, or treat your taste buds with some of the city’s prized Scandinavian cuisine.
Hotel: Nobis Hotel, Stockholm.

DAY 7: COPENHAGEN
We bid farewell to Stockholm this morning and fly to Copenhagen, a city frequently named as the happiest in the world. Much like its Swedish counterpart, Copenhagen was founded by the Vikings in the 10th century, and since then has grown from a humble fishing village to become one of the world’s most hip and happening capitals.

Upon arrival we skip back across the Swedish border into Lund, the oldest surviving city in the country. While here we enter Lund’s 11th-century Romanesque cathedral, a building renowned for its original crypt, in which we find the famous statue of Finn the Giant, the cathedral’s creator, embracing an underground pillar.

The day ends at our hotel in the heart of Copenhagen, where we enjoy a welcome dinner and drinks as a group.
Hotel: Radisson Blu, Copenhagen.

DAY 8: COPENHAGEN
We spend the whole of this morning exploring the National Museum of Denmark, the country’s largest institute of cultural history. On site we find an impressive collection of artefacts charting all aspects of Viking society, from food and weapons to magic and rituals. Don’t miss its exhibition of silver hoards, as well as the findings of the Mammen grave, a burial site from the Viking era, which features both Pagan and Christian symbolism.

This afternoon we make our way to the tranquil countryside setting of Gammel Lejre, an Iron and Viking Age settlement which was once the home of chieftains and kings. Six sets of stones marking the outlines of ships still stand here, the largest being over 80 meters long. We visit the excavations as well as the site’s enlightening museum, before returning to Copenhagen in the late afternoon.
Hotel: Radisson Blu, Copenhagen.

DAY 9: ZEALAND
Roskilde Domkirke is our first destination today – a magnificent UNESCO World Heritage church on the island of Zealand, celebrated for being the first Brick Gothic church in all of Scandinavia. We stop next at Vikingeskibsmuseet Roskilde, a museum all about prehistoric and Viking seafaring, within which we find the remains of the Skuldelev Ships – vessels deliberately sunk in the 11th century to block enemy attacks from the sea.

After spoiling ourselves with a buffet lunch, we spend the afternoon on a relaxing bus tour of the capital, stopping at all of its most intriguing and important landmarks.
Hotel: Radisson Blu, Copenhagen.

DAY 10: TRELLEBORG
We start the day with a scenic drive to Trelleborg’s modern Museum of the Viking Age. The museum offers a chance to imagine life as it would have been at this well-preserved 10th-century fort – one of just seven Viking ring castles discovered in Denmark and Sweden.

Our second stop of the day is the Vikingemuseet Ladby, where we view a preserved Viking ship contained within the burial mound at which it was originally discovered.

Stopping for lunch at the old-timbered Restaurant Den Gamle Kro – a much-loved inn that dates back as far as the 17th century – we resume our explorations with a walking tour around the city of Odense. It was here, in 1086, that King Canute IV was murdered by uprising peasants – an act which marked the passing of the last of the Viking kings.

We continue to Jelling, seat of the first monarchs of Denmark at the time of the Vikings, and home to the famous Jelling Stones, the runes of which are typically associated with the birth of the Danish nation.

Our final destination of the day is Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, founded on the shores of a fjord in the 8th century, where we check in to our historic four-star hotel.
Hotel: Radisson Blu, Copenhagen.

DAY 11: AARHUS
Our eleventh day begins with a tour of Aarhus, taking in its towering cathedral, a 12th-century construction built over the church at which the beloved son of King Canute V, Saint Niels, was laid to rest in 1180. Before leaving the city we also stop at the Vikingemuseet, an underground museum erected on the same spot where Århus was first founded. A treasure trove of displays and artefacts, including a preserved Viking well.

In the afternoon we pay a visit to the Silkeborg Museum, home to the incredible remains of the Tollund Man, a perfectly mummified 4th-century corpse discovered in a peat bog in the 1950s.

We proceed to catch a local ferry, which carries us back across the water to Copenhagen.
Hotel: Royal Hotel, Aarhus.

DAY 12: OSLO
This morning is ours to enjoy Copenhagen at our own pace – its gardens, galleries, museums and shops – before boarding our overnight ferry to Oslo.

Onboard this evening we enjoy a private lecture from our Guide Scholar, followed by an indulgent buffet dinner with the group – a wonderful way to travel between countries, and one which would surely have met with the Vikings’ approval!
Hotel: Overnight ferry.

DAY 13: OSLO
After breakfast onboard we disembark in Norway’s capital, and waste no time heading straight for the Kulturhistorisk Museum, with its stellar collection of over 1,000,000 Nordic artefacts, including original carved standing stones.

Following this, we break for lunch in a contemporary brasserie. Feeling thoroughly fueled, we take an afternoon walking tour of the city, getting to know such sights as the sumptuous Oslo Cathedral, Stortinget – the seat of the Norwegian government – and the City Hall, with its striking 1950s murals.
Hotel: Thon Bristol, Oslo.

DAY 14: BYGǿY
Our final full day in Scandinavia begins with a drive to the verdant Bygdøy Peninsula, where we stop at the Viking Ship Museum, an attraction housing original vessels and maritime artefacts. Among the many highlights is the Oseberg Ship, part of the largest ship burial ever discovered.

We continue on to the Frammuseet, a fascinating museum which charts the history of Norway’s polar expeditions. Here we step aboard Fram herself, for an in-depth look at the legendary vessel which transported Amundsen on his pioneering voyage to the South Pole.

We also dip into the neighboring Kon-Tiki Museum, which tells us all about Thor Heyerdahl’s daring 1940s voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

After a light lunch at a lovely waterside restaurant, we proceed to the Norsk Folkemuseum, an engaging 19th-century museum which boasts a re-erected 13th-century church, a Medieval farmhouse, and a gripping exhibition on Sámi culture through the ages.

This evening we celebrate our last night together in style, with dinner and drinks at the exceptional DS Louise, a nautical-themed restaurant in the harbor serving superb Norwegian cuisine.
Hotel: Thon Bristol, Oslo.

DAY 15: HOME
We transfer to the airport and board our return flight home.

Accommodation

Clarion Signs Hotel

In the center of Stockholm, this hotel focuses on Scandinavian design and is a truly first-class hotel. The decor reflects the nature of Scandinavia with wood, leather and stone materials combined with innovative lighting. Relax on the rooftop bar or in the spa, also on the 8th floor with panoramic views across Kungsholmen.

 

 

Strand Hotel, Visby

In the World Heritage town, the hotel is surrounded by medieval houses and alleys, it certainly sets the atmosphere for the tour. The hotel is a converted brewery and keeping with tradition the hotel has a selection of local beers and benefits from a spa and pool. There is enough to keep you busy in the evening at the hotel, but why not wander down the port, with-in easy walking distance?

 

 

Radisson Blu Hotel, Copenhagen

This hotel has a stunning spiral staircase and reflective façade, with fresh & modern décor this hotel will leave you feeling refreshed. The modern rooms with ‘egg chairs’ are packed full of amenities for your every need, including high-speed WiFi, minibar, and 24-hour room service… and an insider’s tip, make sure you try the city’s famous bakery right opposite the hotel.

 

 

Royal Hotel, Aarhus6625_33_z

The stunning hotel is fit for a King or Queen. The traditional décor throughout exudes comfort and luxury and creates a warm and cozy atmosphere. The hand selected food on the breakfast menu won’t fail to delight either, with a selection of freshly made bread and pastries, & meat from local producers.

 

 

Thon Bristol Hotelhotel-bristol-kongress-pause

The Thon Bristol Hotel is in a great location, a short walk from the pedestrian shopping street, seafront and Royal Palace. The historic hotel is comfortable and clean, with all the modern amenities – WiFi, minibar, TV & en-suite. This hotel in the perfect mix of traditional and modern decor in a chic and sophisticated style. The dining room has a grand staircase with beautiful dark wood furnishings and Chesterfield-style seating, however moving through the hotel you’re met with bright colors and flat-screen TVs.