In Oslo, art and history are around every corner. Take in the much-talked-about Opera House, with its otherworldly angles, or trace the steps of Nobel Peace Prize laureates and literary masters like Henrik Ibsen. Journey to the Bygdøy peninsula to absorb Nordic culture at the Viking Ship Museum, the Fram Museum and the Folk Museum. Savor fine restaurants and luxury boutiques along the Aker Brygge waterfront, or dive into the eclectic neighborhood of Grünerløkka for vintage shops, microbreweries and corner cafés. With its marvelous vistas, fascinating museums, cozy cafés, bustling waterfront and lively cultural scene, Oslo offers rewards for Nordic explorers of all kinds, from history buffs and literary types to students of modern Nordic design and aspiring arctic adventurers.
Discover Viking history in Stavanger and soak in the southern coastal region of the Norwegian Riviera in Kristiansand — with its walkable Posebyen (old town), forested recreational areas, fish market with harbor views and sandy beaches — before discovering the true gem of this itinerary: Norway's spectacular Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in the world. With 127 miles of beautiful villages, centuries-old architecture, towering mountains with snow-covered peaks, cascading waterfalls and rugged cliffs rising to more than 5,577 feet, this is nature at its most dramatic.
Finally, visit the charming village of Flåm, located off the Aurlandsfjord, a branch of the larger Sognefjorden in southern Norway. Without a single traffic light, Flåm is known for its quiet, peaceful rhythm. Explore majestically beautiful landscapes — some designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites — embark on a wildlife-spotting cruise through the fjords' narrow passageways or go on a kayaking or cycling excursion that passes by gushing waterfalls. Or take a ride on the famous Flåm Railway, a winding route on sheer slopes high above the sea.
From fascinating Viking history to rare views of stunning fjords and sleepy villages perched on seaside cliffs, this 14-day voyage is a specular tour of Norway’s impressive culture, customs and landscapes. Aboard Rotterdam, the newest cruise ship from Holland America Line, you’ll also enjoy exquisite dining, innovative entertainment, superbly appointed staterooms and suites, and the finest service and craftsmanship that reflects nearly 150 years of expertise. It’s the perfect introduction — or reintroduction — to this magnificent region.