“NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL” – The Fjords of Norway & The Flåm Railway
Bergen-Balestrand-Lærdal-Aurland-Flåm-Oslo, or return to Bergen
Dates: 15-17 June
NORWAY IN A NUTSHELL
All-inclusive price for two persons in twin room NOK 15990.-
All-inclusive price for one person in single room NOK 9295.-
0715: Meet at hotel lobbies (Multiple).
0725 to 0740: Shuttle bus will pick up at hotels for transfer to Strandkai Terminal.
0750: Arrival of shuttle bus with all participants, boarding of catamaran.
0800: The tour starts by public catamaran boat service.
The cruise will go straight north, through the archipelago of Bergen and the surrounding area before entering the world’s largest fjord the Sognefjord.
The tour director will give an insight into the history of the fjord and the people that has managed to survive between the steep mountains. The group will pass settlements where you would never believe people could have survived. Information on the importance of the aqua cultural industry will also be given as the boat cruises into the Sognefjord.
This tour includes a visit to the world´s longest fjord and the world´s longest road tunnel. A private orientation is given by the Norwegian Public Road Administration. The group will also be given the opportunity to join a private visit to the White Caves in Gudvangen. An optional trip to the Hydro Power Plant in Aurland is also included.
1150: Arrival in Balestrand
Balestrand with Kvikne Hotel in the background
Arrival at Balestrand at 1150 hrs. Check in at the famous Kvikne Hotel where traditions extend back to 1752. The Kvikne family assumed ownership of the hotel in 1877, and have owned and operated the facility to this day. The original hotel was built in the traditional “Swiss” architectural style, and despite the many phases of expansion and restoration work, the appearance of the building remains true to the original concept. As a result, Kvikne’s is a modern hotel with personality and “soul” and with the atmosphere of centuries.
Relax and enjoy this pristine fjord shore location. There is plenty of things to enjoy and explore in the small village. Read more about activities in Balestrand here.
The mountains around Balestrand are also spectacular! There is a good, varied network of paths that are well marked. Everyone can find a walk to suit them. The paths also offer viewpoints, benches and picnic sites. Read more about mountain walks here.
At 1800 hrs we will organize a private sightseeing walk to the nearby St. Olaf’s Church. This church built in a stave church style was completed in 1897. It belongs to the Church of England and is under the spiritual administration of the Bishop of Gibraltar, who is in charge of all Anglican churches on the European mainland. The church was erected in memory of Margaret Sophie Green Kvikne – a vicar’s daughter from Yorkshire, England – who came to Norway as a mountaineering pioneer. She married Knut Kvikne. It was said that she never felt at ease with the Lutheran rituals in Norwegian churches. She died in 1894, but at her death bed, Knut promised her to build an Anglican church. The church building was completed in three years. Enjoy a short recital in the church before dinner is served in the main restaurant of the hotel.
Friday: 16 June 2017
The Nærøy Fjord
Breakfast at the hotel before check out and departure at 0900 hrs.
We go by bus from Balestrand via Sogndal to Lærdal and through the 24.5 km long Lærdal tunnel (the world’s longest road tunnel) to Aurland. Orientation is given by the Public Road Administration. You can find additional information about the tunnel here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lærdal_Tunnel
From Aurland we will take a boat trip through the Nærøyfjord, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, to Gudvangen. Here, steep mountainsides of 1400 m plunges down into the fjord on each side of the boat – at the narrowest only 200 m across. The passengers will cruise through areas of the fjord where the sun never manages to find its way! Pass fantastic waterfalls, snow capped mountains and small picturesque farms on the way through this fjord. Refreshments will be served onboard.
After 2 hours cruising, the boat will arrive at the base of the Nærøyfjord, at the small settlement of Gudvangen, where the travellers will board the private coach for a visit to the White Caves in Gudvangen.
The tour through the cave-labyrinth begins in a welcoming hall where helmets and jackets are given to those who wish. (The average temperature is approx. 8°C all year round.) Thereafter guests continue through the cave tunnels in single file. The whole route is laid with carpet so it is easy to follow. The naturally white mountain walls, partly with running water and small lakes, gives quite incredible reflections and effects with the right use of lighting. The visit in the cave will be private for the group.
After this visit, the coach will take the group to the fjord village of Flåm for dinner and overnight at Fretheim Hotel. Before dinner, we will make an optional visit to the hydro power plant in Aurland, a 20-minute drive from Flåm. The hydropower development in the Aurland Valley is an elegant network of dams, tunnels and power stations. The same water is used several times as it passes through the various power stations on its way from the high mountains to the bottom of the fjord. Alternatively, for those who want to stay in Flåm, a visit can be made to the Flåm Railway Museum.
Saturday 17th June 2017:
Breakfast at the hotel.
Depart Flåm with the Flåmsbanen from Flåm to Myrdal station on the Bergen Railway Line. From Myrdal you can go either to Oslo or Bergen, where the tour ends.
08:45 – 14:45 Flåm-Oslo
Departure on train bound for Oslo. Group Seated together
09:45 – 13:57 Flåm-Bergen
Departure on Train bound for Bergen. Group seated together
The group will board the take the famous Flåm train up the steep, steep mountainside. This is one of the most spectacular train rides in the world! You will be breath taken! The group will get off the train at the mountain train station of Myrdal, where they will change trains and hock onto the Bergen line train.