Norway in a Nutshell® + Balestrand
Oslo | Flåm | Balestrand | Voss | Bergen
Daily Departures April 01 – September 26
This unique journey is an expanded version of the traditional Norway in a Nutshell® and incorporates a fascinating side journey to Balestrand, located on the pristine waters of the Sognefjord. Stay at the Kviknes Hotel, the oldest fjord hotel in Norway, filled with artwork from famous personalities who visited or made their home in the village. The traditional architecture of the main building is constructed entirely from wood, and it’s easy to see why the expansive view from these intricately-carved balconies overlooking the phenomenal craggy fjordscape have inspired generations of travelers.
NOTE: All of our Norway in a Nutshell series itineraries are sample itineraries with suggested number of nights. Tour nights and locations can be added or subtracted from each tour as needed.
Day 01: Oslo
Arrive at Oslo Airport today and transfer to your hotel on your own for check-in. After settling in, the rest of the day is at leisure to explore this exciting Scandinavian capital!
Also known as the Viking capital of Norway, Oslo is a diverse mixture of modern and ancient. There are so many options for exploration and discovery: the fascinating Viking Ship Museum—which houses Viking ship findings from Gokstad, Oseberg, and Tune—is located here, along with the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Akershus Fortress, and the World War II Resistance Museum.
Overnight at your hotel.
Thon Hotel Opera
Day 02: Oslo
A traditional Scandinavian buffet breakfast greets you early this morning at the hotel. After breakfast, the day is free to wander the city and get a feel for the Nordic atmosphere. You’ll have the opportunity of taking optional tours and excursions, such as our Oslo Food Tour (must be pre-booked), listed at the end of this itinerary.
Overnight at your hotel and prepare for a breathtaking Norway fjord tour the following day.
Thon Hotel Opera
Day 03: Oslo – Myrdal – Flåm (Flåm Railroad) – Fjord Cruise – Balestrand
You’ll leave Oslo Station this morning aboard the train, taking in the incredible mountainscapes around you as you journey 5 hours to Myrdal and embark for a special 1-hour journey on the world-famous Flåm Railway. Descend 2,838 feet down the side of the Sognefjord, gorgeous views of the surrounding nature and wildlife at every turn.
Arrive in the enchanting fjord town of Flåm, located at the tip of the Aurlandsfjord. Waterfalls cascade down the side of the mountains, colorful cottages dot the hillside, and snow lines the roof of the world above—even in summertime! From here you’ll catch an express boat directly from the Flåm pier, gazing in awe at craggy walls and waterfalls as you bisect the Sognefjord on your way to historic Balestrand. There’s an amazing amount of history here, and a lot to explore!
Check in at your hotel, a historic Swiss-style gem (and the oldest fjord hotel in Norway) overlooking one of the most magnificent bends of the Sognefjord, and enjoy a sprawling smorgasbord dinner—the traditional buffet dinner of Scandinavia.
Day 04: Balestrand
A buffet breakfast in your hotel’s dining room overlooking the calm waters of the Sognefjord awaits this morning. Enjoy an entirely free day to relax and experience quintessential fjord life in this charming town.
Smorgasbord dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 05: Balestrand – Flåm – Fjord Cruise – Aurlandsfjord – Nærøyfjord – Gudvangen – Stalheim Canyon – Voss – Bergen
A sumptuous Scandinavian breakfast awaits you in the morning. Scout out the sights of Balestrand on your own during the first half of the day, and then catch the express boat back to Flåm for lunch. You’ll depart from here on a spectacular fjord cruise down the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord to Gudvangen, the breathtaking harbor village at the head of Stalheim Canyon.
Board the bus and be prepared to press your nose to the glass: the deep mountain clefts and waterfalls of Stalheim Canyon are an unbelievable sight filled with mountain flowers and verdant greenery. Once you reach the resort town of Voss, board your final train on the Bergen rail line and arrive in center-city Bergen—minutes away from the famous Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf.
Enjoy the rest of the evening and relax, taking advantage of Bergen’s small-town cosmopolitan atmosphere and exploring the city’s local shops or grabbing a bite to eat (recommendations upon request).
Overnight in your hotel; both offer a light complimentary evening meal.
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz
Day 06: Bergen
This morning you’ll enjoy another delicious Scandinavian buffet breakfast. On your last full day in Norway you can take advantage of one of our optional tours and excursions, such as the Bergen City Walking Tour, listed at the end of this itinerary.
You’ll have a free afternoon and evening to enjoy a last night in Norway and shop for souvenirs. Overnight at your hotel.
Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz
Day 07: Depart Bergen
This morning, enjoy a final Norwegian buffet breakfast at your hotel before departing for the airport on your own.
- 6 nights’ accommodations in Oslo, Flåm, Balestrand, and Bergen, including daily Scandinavian buffet breakfast and 2 dinners (Kviknes Hotel), in centrally-located or first-class hotels (all rooms with private facilities)
- Train ride between Oslo – Myrdal, standard class (includes required seat reservations)
- Train ride on the world-famous Flåm Railway
- Express boat Flåm – Balestrand
- Express boat Balestrand – Flåm
- Fjord cruise (2-hour) on the spectacular Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord
- Bus tour through the impressive Stalheim Canyon to Voss
- Train ride on the Bergen rail line from Voss to Bergen
Optional excursions (descriptions can be found at end of tour):
- Oslo Food Tour with a local English-speaking guide
- Walking tour of Bergen with a local English-speaking guide
NOTE: NOTE: Tour nights and locations can be altered and/or additional nights are available for booking at any hotel on this itinerary. There is an upgrade available on the train between Oslo and Myrdal to Komfort Class. It includes a PC jack, coffee/tea, and a Norwegian newspaper for $22 p.p. per train. This does not apply to the Flåm train or the local Voss-Bergen trains.
2019 STARTING PRICES | DAILY DEPARTURES ON REQUEST
P.P. double/twin: from $1639
Single supplement: from $408
Suggestions for Activities and Sights
Please ask us for more information about the tours and excursions listed below.
Oslo – Oslo Food Tour
In the late morning you have the option to meet back at your hotel and begin an Oslo Food Tour, a glimpse into the genuine cuisine of Oslo through its harbor, vibrant riverside, and market halls. The tour explores the cultural heart of Norway’s capital, and you’ll traverse the city for four hours—discovering local food gems and taking in the sights on foot. The tour ends mid-afternoon. Price: $188 p.p.
Bergen – Bergen City Walking Tour
Head out on a city walking tour of Bergen with a local guide! The tour will take you through both Bergen’s most famous sights and the lesser-known, including Bryggen Harbor, the Bergen Fortress area, the train station, and some of Bergen’s most historic landmarks. The guide is very knowledgeable about the history of each place you visit—from Bergen’s founding in 1070 through the Middle Ages and WWII to the present—and there will be ample time for questions. Price: $480.