Begin your Nordic adventure in the effortlessly sophisticated Danish cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus. In Norway we explore its innovative capital, Oslo, and less-famous port cities such as Kristiansand, Stavanger and Ålesund, where awe-inspiring sights are everywhere you turn. Feel the sheer power and grace of nature’s chef-d’oeuvres, from far-reaching fjords and dramatic daredevil cliffs to gushing waterfalls and mighty mountains that humble and inspire. There’s a reason the world-famous Geirangerfjord is UNESCO-listed and one of the most photographed scenes in Norway – and you’ll discover just why. We also visit Edinburgh, Scotland’s effervescent capital city, for a tour of its historical highlights before disembarking in Tilbury, just an hour away from London.
Our extraordinary cruise crosses the North Sea aboard the excellent Aegean Odyssey, a ship large enough to comfortably traverse the world’s oceans, yet small enough to access more characterful ports and navigate rivers. Travelling in a small group of like-minded solo travellers, you’ll enjoy the pleasures of being at sea along with the comforts of a well-appointed hotel. To help you get acquainted with the culture and history of the places we visit, there are fascinating talks on board by guest speakers who are experts in their field.
Arrive at Gatwick airport for your flight to Copenhagen. On arrival, we transfer by coach to the superb MV Aegean Odyssey, moored in this elegant city. Carrying just 350 guests and offering a relaxed and convivial atmosphere, the superb ship is small enough to sail rivers and reach more characterful ports inaccessible to mega liners. On the other hand, there is an excellent selection of amenities, including two dining venues, several comfortable bars and lounges, a relaxing spa centre and a well-stocked library.
After some time to settle into your spacious and well-appointed cabin, you are invited to join your tour manager for a warm welcome.
Start the day with a hearty breakfast in the trattoria-style Terrace Café and Grill. Our adventure then begins with a guided tour of Copenhagen, a real revelation best-known for its iconic Little Mermaid statue, inspired by Denmark’s most famous son, Hans Christian Andersen. We’ll see the Royal Danish Theatre which played a key role in his life, as well as the imposing Houses of Parliament, lavish Christiansborg Palace and magnificent Amalienborg Palace, home to the Danish royal family.
You are free this afternoon to explore this beautiful city under your own steam. Why not visit the world-famous Tivoli Gardens? The magical ambience is said to have moved Hans Christian Andersen to write his beloved fairy tale, The Nightingale, and inspired Walt Disney to recreate the atmosphere in his own amusement park.
Dinner is served at Aegean Odyssey’s elegant Marco Polo restaurant. Enjoy complimentary wine with your meal as we bid farewell to Copenhagen and recall the day’s events with your companions.
Awake this morning in Aarhus, Denmark’s second city and a European Capital of Culture in 2017. There is time to explore the city at leisure, so why not take a fascinating journey back through history in Den Gamle By? Awarded three stars in the Michelin Travel Guide, the old town is an open-air museum, where you’ll encounter folk dressed in 19th-century clothing, observe how people lived in 1927, and see entire streets recreated from the 1970s. Art enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, which features international installations and a circular panoramic path with fantastic 360-degree views of the city.
This afternoon as we set sail for Norway, you may wish to find quiet areas for relaxation aboard Aegean Odyssey or meet your newfound solo-traveller friends for a drink at the bar.
After breakfast we have a choice of tours to explore Norway’s capital city. Your first option begins with a drive past the Akershus Fortress and Royal Palace to Vigeland Sculpture Park, the world’s largest sculptural park by a single artist, which features more than 200 bronze and stone sculptures by Gustav Vigeland. The tour continues to Holmenkollen and the world-famous skip jump. This jaw-dropping run has hosted multiple world championships and the 1952 Winter Olympics, and the views across the city are absolutely stunning. Finally, we visit the Viking Ship Museum to see the world’s best-preserved longboats and some of the finest artefacts made in Norway some 1,100 to 1,200 years ago.
Alternatively, after our visit to Vigeland Sculpture Park, you may wish to continue to the Opera House and City Hall instead. A masterpiece of contemporary design, Oslo’s white-marble Opera House with its gently sloping roof reflects Norway’s love of mountaineering while allowing for a comfortable walk to the top, where you are rewarded with fantastic views over the waterfront. The red-brick City Hall is one of Oslo’s most famous buildings, as it is where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every December.
One of the joys of life aboard Aegean Odyssey is the sense of relaxation it brings. A leisurely morning’s cruising affords us plenty of time to catch up on some reading or treat yourself to a pampering session at the ship’s health spa.
We arrive this afternoon in Kristiansand, a charming city with a lively fishing harbour and an old quarter where the architecture is striking as it is diverse. During our scenic drive through the city’s broad streets, we’ll see the quadrant plan laid out by King Christian IV in 1641 and the circular Christiansholm Fortress, once used to repel British warships but today doubles as a popular venue for cultural events.
We visit the Vest-Agder open-air museum, which features an impressive collection of historic buildings, some dating back to 1580. Our tour includes a guided walk through the carefully reconstructed streets for an excellent insight into the daily life of Norwegians from the 17th to 19th centuries.
We’ll also see the 400-year-old Søgne Old Church, Norway’s oldest half-timber church, decorated in Baroque and Renaissance-style paintings. Our drive takes us along the coastal road through some of the most picturesque fishing villages in southern Norway, with marvellous views of the sea.
This morning we find ourselves in Stavanger, an enchanting coastal town whose old town boasts some of the most beautiful and best-preserved wooden buildings in Norway. Many of Stavanger’s pretty white cottages now house galleries and handicraft boutiques. To help us get the most out of our visit, a local guide will take us on an eye-opening walk through town.
We also enjoy a guided tour of the Canning Museum, which was a sardine-canning factory in the 19th century. As we discover how the factory once functioned, it’s easy to imagine locals at work. A short stroll south of old Stavanger then takes us to Norway’s oldest cathedral, founded by Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester.
Back on board, lunch is a mouthwatering affair of choices from the grill, local specialities and a selection of refreshing salads, all freshly prepared by professional chefs. This afternoon we cruise northward along the stunning Norwegian coast.
For many, today will be a highlight of the cruise as we experience some of Norway’s most spectacular scenery. You have a choice between a dramatic train journey aboard the renowned Flåm Railway and an unforgettable drive through the mountains.
A masterpiece of engineering, the standard-gauge Flåm Railway climbs to roughly 2,845 feet above sea level, zigzagging through tunnels and forest-covered mountains. Enjoy the ride from fully enclosed coaches with elegant interiors and comfortable seating as your local guide brings to life the stunning surroundings. Have your camera at the ready to snap the ever-changing views as the train follows the salmon-rich Flåm river and passes magnificent waterfalls.
Alternatively, we drive from Flåm through incredible mountain scenery to the old Viking village of Gudvangen overlooking Nærøyfjord, which is said to be the most beautiful and wildest arm of the Sognefjord. We continue through the steeply sided Nærøy valley, following salmon streams to the multi-tiered Tvinde waterfall and Oppenheim Lake, before pausing at the wonderfully located Stalheim Hotel for high tea with astonishing mountain views. Our return journey is every bit as dramatic as we descend Stalheimskleiva, Norway’s steepest road, and wind our way over a dozen hairpin bends while admiring the superb scenery.
As we slip our moorings this evening, you can still enjoy Scandinavia’s long summer days on Aegean Odyssey’s spacious sun deck. You’ll be able to see the exceptional Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord aptly nicknamed ‘the King of the Fjords’. For dinner, you can choose to dine outdoors at the Terrace Café or at the elegant Marco Polo restaurant. Menus are always inspired by the fresh ingredients of the areas we visit.
This morning we arrive in lovely Bergen, which stretches up the mountainsides and watches over the sea. Norway’s second-largest city somehow manages to ooze small-town charm as well as a fresh youthful atmosphere, despite being founded more than 900 years ago. After breakfast we have a sightseeing tour of Bergen’s many highlights, such as Bryggen or the Hanseatic Wharf, which has been a place of trade for a thousand years. The colourful wooden buildings of this UNESCO World Heritage site today house numerous craft shops. We also see the imposing medieval hall of King Håkon Håkonsson, Rosenkrantz Tower and St Mary’s Church, one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Norway.
For a memorable finale we ride the only funicular railway in Scandinavia, Fløibanen, to the summit of Mount Fløyen. At over 1,000 feet above sea level, the views over Bergen and the fjords are a breathtaking sight to behold.
We return to the ship this afternoon and continue our northward voyage along the pristine coast.
Today is another highlight as we experience one of Norway’s most stunning fjord areas. From the charming village of Hellesylt, we embark on a wonderfully scenic journey through the idyllic mountain village of Stryn and pass crystal-clear Hornindalsvatnet, Europe’s deepest lake. We stop for lunch with panoramic views of Oppstrynsvatn lake, which beautifully reflects the surrounding snow-dusted mountains.
After lunch, we wind our way up to the top of Mount Dalsnibba for unforgettable views of the outstanding Geirangerfjord, the jewel in the crown of the Norwegian fjords. With snowy peaks, wild waterfalls and lush forests, this truly is a fairy-tale landscape. Alternatively, you may wish to enjoy the views from a different perspective on a panoramic tour of Geiranger itself. Spectacularly situated at the head of the deep-blue Geirangerfjord, the village nestles in a beautiful green valley guarded by majestic peaks.
Upon our return to Aegean Odyssey, there’s time to relax before dinner. After another delicious meal, perhaps reflect on the day’s exciting events with your fellow travellers in the Lido Bar, or enjoy an aperitif in the Charleston Lounge to the soothing sounds of the ship’s resident trio.
This morning we find ourselves in Ålesund, a picture-postcard fishing town set rather aptly on a hook-shaped peninsula at the mouth of the Geirangerfjord. There’s free time to explore the lively town and see its incredible wealth of Art Nouveau architecture; the ornate turrets, spires and ornamentation adorning colourful buildings lend a fairy-tale feel. If you’re feeling energetic, you may wish to climb the 418 steps of the Aksla viewpoint for stunning panoramas over Ålesund, the coast and mountains.
As we slip our moorings this afternoon, why not head up to the observation deck to take in unhindered views of this beautiful landscape?
After a leisurely morning’s cruising, we arrive this afternoon in Ulvik, nestled between dramatic snow-clad peaks at the corner of the glistening Hardangerfjord. A short drive takes us to the Hardangervidda Nature Centre, perfectly located at the foot of the mighty Vøringsfoss waterfall. The immersive exhibitions explore the fascinating interaction between man and nature, and allow us to immerse ourselves in the marvellous Norwegian landscape. A 225-degree panoramic film takes visitors on an exhilarating bird’s-eye flight over the spectacular Hardangerfjord and waterfalls of the region – you’ll feel as though you are soaring above the fjords, diving into deep canyons and gliding between mountains.
To really experience the sheer power of Mother Nature, we drive up the towering mountains and stop at the manmade Sysendammen, one of Norway’s largest dams. Here we stroll along the 265-foot-high walls and take in wonderful views across the vast Hardangervidda plateau. Time seems to slow down in the stunning silence, and on a clear day you may be able to catch a glimpse of the magnificent, blue-tinted Hardanger glacier, which film buffs may recognise from The Empire Strikes Back. We then continue our drive down to Norway’s most famous waterfall, the Vøringfossen, which plunges dramatically some 550 feet to the steeply sided Måbødalen valley.
This evening, we bid a fond farewell to Norway and begin our voyage across the North Sea towards Scotland.
Today we enjoy a full free day at sea. There are rejuvenating early-morning yoga sessions to set you up for the day. A special feature of cruising aboard Aegean Odyssey is the lecture programme led by celebrated guest speakers, whose engaging talks are certain to enlighten and entertain as they bring to life the fascinating sites we visit.
For those who appreciate the fine tradition of afternoon tea, you’ll be delighted to know this can be enjoyed on board, making the experience even more magical. You’ll find a selection of freshly prepared sandwiches, cakes and scones, served with a hot cup of Darjeeling. Light snacks are also served if you’d like to stay up for a late-night discussion with your fellow travellers. And should you need anything, the utterly charming crew on board are always ready to serve with a smile.
This morning we visit Edinburgh, a bustling beauty draped across craggy hills facing the sea. You have a choice between a walking tour along the famous Royal Mile and a visit to one of Scotland’s most important historic buildings, Stirling Castle.
Our guided walk along the Royal Mile takes us through the heart of the old town, from magnificent Edinburgh Castle to the splendid Palace of Holyroodhouse. The cobbled street is flanked by towering medieval tenements on each side, between which narrow lanes meet to create a secret world. But the Mile offers more than centuries of rich history, such as the ultra-modern Scottish Parliament building and the lively Grassmarket area now awash with eclectic shops and lively bars.
Alternatively, we visit Stirling Castle, once a residence of the Stewart monarchs. The fabulous royal palace is a sumptuous riot of colour, with beautifully woven tapestries and oak medallions carved with images of royals, while the castle kitchens bring to life the bustle of cooking for the monarchs.
It’s your last free day cruising, so what is it to be? Enjoy the sun on the spacious decks, cool off in the outdoor pool, or indulge in some pampering at the spa. The on-board library has a fine selection of books and comfortable seating. In the evening, head to the Lido Bar to enjoy the sunset with your favourite cocktail. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner, a fitting finale to an incredible two-week journey.
We’ll have arrived this morning in Tilbury. After breakfast, say farewell to your newly made friends and dedicated crew before your return journey. A coach transfer to Tilbury rail station or Gatwick airport will be available for your convenience.
The price includes outbound flight to Copenhagen, overseas and UK transfers, fourteen nights aboard the Aegean Odyssey including all meals and wine/beer with dinner and two cocktail receptions, all tours and visits as detailed in the itinerary, and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager throughout.
Please note, we can not guarantee whether you will be allocated a double or a single cabin.
We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.
All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us.
|Arrival airport||Start ship location||Transfer time||End ship location||Transfer destination||Transfer time|
|Copenhagen||Copenhagen||45 mins||Tilbury||Tilbury train staion||5 mins|
|Gatwick airport||1 hr 30mins|