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Norway and the North Cape: A Voyage Above the Arctic Circle Aboard Minerva

Program Number: 21467RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/12/2014 - 7/30/2014;
Duration: 18 nights
Location: England/Norway
Price starting at: $4,199.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 47; 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Discover the otherworldly beauty of the Arctic and the fascinating culture of Norway on this voyage to the Land of the Midnight Sun. Learn about Vikings and more modern explorers like Roald Amundsen, visit remote villages of brightly-colored houses and stand atop the dramatic cliffs of the North Cape.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day; some uneven, hilly terrain and stairs without railings.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

London (England), 2 nights; aboard Minerva, 15 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival London (England) / coach to Portsmouth to embark Minerva:

Discover England’s grand capital city including the Royal Mews, where the Royal Family’s horses are kept, and the National Portrait Gallery. Lodging: Hotel overlooking the Thames and the Tower Bridge.



Days 5-7: At Sea / Floro (Norway):

From England, sail through the North Sea to Floro, a lovely town set on a striking coastline. In recent decades, the oil industry has joined the traditional herring fishing industry here.



Days 8-9: At Sea / Bodo:

Continue north, crossing the Arctic Circle just before arriving in the town of Bodo. Learn about the Saultsraumen maelstrom, an extremely strong natural whirlpool.



Day 10: Tromso:

Experience the city known as the “capital of the Arctic,” the launch point for many daring expeditions. Visit the Polar Museum and the iconic Arctic Cathedral.



Day 11: Honningsvag:

Navigate through islands and past fjords to Honningsvag, a town of cheerily colorful homes. From here it’s a short journey to the North Cape, a dramatic 1,000-foot-high cliff at the northernmost extreme of the continent.



Day 12: Sortland:

Sail through the lovely Vesteralen archipelago and go ashore in the fjord-side town of Sortland, known as “the blue city” for the color of many of its houses.



Day 13: Leknes:

In the Lofoten Islands, take a shore excursion to the Lofotr Viking Museum, a reconstruction of the Viking chieftain’s village that once occupied the site.



Days 14-15: At Sea / Flam:

Enjoy a ride on the famous Flam Line railway, passing spectacular waterfalls as you chug through a narrow valley and up a mountainside.



Day 16: Bergen:

Walk along the Bryggen, a wharf lined with centuries-old wooden warehouses. Learn about the Hanseatic League, the alliance that dominated European trade in the Late Middle Ages.



Days 17-19: At Sea / Portsmouth (England) / disembark / coach to London for departure


MV Minerva

This stylish, newly upgraded vessel is operated by a long-established British company and boasts a loyal following of British travelers. It offers its 350 passengers two restaurants plus al fresco dining, a cinema, two bars, a library/card room, a swimming pool, a gym and a sauna. The spectacular Orpheus Lounge provides panoramic views of your surroundings.


Meals and Lodgings
   Millennium Gloucester Hotel
  London, UK:England 2 nights
   MV Minvera
  Aboard the MV Minerva, UK:England 15 nights
 Millennium Gloucester Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: A modern hotel in fashionalbe Kensington, next to Gloucester Road underground station.
  Contact info: 4-18 Harrington Street
London,  SW7 4LH UK:England
phone: +44 (0) 20 7373 6030
web: www.millenniumhotels.co.uk
  Room amenities: Air-conditioning. In-room amenities include: satellite television, pay per view movies, direct dial telephone, broadband internet connection (chargeable), tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, mini bar and use of the hotel's fitness centre and Business Centre.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar. •24 hour Concierge •24 hour room service •Multilingual staff •Theatre and tour reservations •Laundry and dry cleaning services •Foreign exchange •Postal/parcel service •Maid service •Air conditioning •Safety deposit boxes (available in rooms and at reception) •Shoeshine and valet services •Car rental •Doctor on call •Car park •Wifi Gym.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBC. For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to travelinfo@roadscholar.org
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 MV Minvera
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: No matter which corner of the globe you choose to discover, after exploring ashore, you will always appreciate Minerva’s stately comforts: a relaxed lounge with entertainment, well-stocked library, restaurants, gym, Wheeler bar and Shackleton's bar. An elegant environment in which polished wood and gleaming brass are complemented by works of art and fresh flowers. With over 50 years experience in discovery cruising, Swan Hellenic knows all the ingredients for the perfect cruise. From the on board environment to inspiring itineraries, and from our knowledgeable reservations team to our European ship's officers and attentive crew, we are committed to providing you with the ultimate discovery cruise experience. You will travel with like-minded people and as you share the experiences of your voyage, you may find acquaintances turn into lasting friendships. Your cruise will be further enriched by the presence of distinguished speakers drawn from the academic, diplomatic and media worlds. Their presentations and the more informal conversations you can enjoy in the Darwin Lounge will really bring our destinations to life.
  Ship Information: Gross Tonnage - 12,449 Length - 437 ft Beam - 66 ft Draft - 19 ft Cruising Speed - 14 knots Passenger Decks - 6 Stabilisers - retractable fin Registration - Bahamas Passengers - 350 Crew - 160; mainly Filipino and Ukrainian Officers - British and European Entered Service - 29th April 1996
  Contact info: Swan Hellenic - North America
1800 S.E. 10th Avenue, Suite 205
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 866-923-9182
web: us.swanhellenic.com/homeus.html
  Room amenities: TV, Hairdryer and Personal Safe in Every Cabin
  Facility amenities: Facilities include: 44 Balcony cabins 100 Outside cabins (74% outside cabins including 23% balcony cabins) 2 Restaurants Orpheus Lounge Internet Lounge Livingstone Lounge Darwin Lounge Shackleton & Wheeler Bars Cinema Library/Card Room Boutique and Gift Shop Swimming Pool Gymnasium, Sauna and Spa Services Complimentary Launderette with Washers and Dryers Beauty Salon Medical Centre Telephone, Fax and E-mail Facilities
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program begins in the late afternoon on Day 2 in London, England at the program hotel. You will be staying at Millennium Gloucester Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast on board the MV Minerva. You will be staying at MV Minvera the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. **IMPORTANT: REGISTERING FOR YOUR CRUISE ONLINE** Swan Hellenic requires all guests to provide full passport details, including address and telephone number. They also require next of kin contact information in case of an emergency. This information must be received no later than 60 days prior to departure. Passengers must visit the website at www.swanhellenic.com - click on "Already Booked" then "Required Passenger Information" to enter your details. The embarkation date is the date you board the ship. Furnished data will be provided to foreign government immigration officials and is required for on-board administration. PLEASE NOTE: Your cruise documents will not be issued prior to your online registration, and embarkation onto the ship may be denied.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to the site
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: The Heathrow Express departs the airport every 15 minutes and takes 15 minutes add 6 minutes from T5.) to London Paddington. An Express single costs GBP26. Paddington Station connects to the Bakerloo, District and Circle lines on the underground.
To Start of Program
  Location:  London
  Transportation to site: If arriving and departing on group travel days. Complete the Participant Information Form on-line. Or in the complete the form in the preparatory materials and return to Road Scholar in the UK Please include departure and arrival date, departure airport, airline, flight number, arrival airport, date and time. We recommend completing the form on-line as information will be kept for future programmes. Arrival Day Transfer Information: Once you have passed through Customs and Immigration and Baggage Reclaim, you will be channelled through into the Arrivals Hall where a Road Scholar driver will be waiting; he/she will be holding a Road Scholar sign. If you cannot see your driver, and are arriving to Heathrow Terminals 1-4, please proceed to the Tour Services Information Desk and wait to be met. If arriving into Terminal 5, please proceed to Costa Coffee café. Your driver may be meeting more than one arrival and will not be allowed to enter the Arrivals Hall until the last flight has landed. Should you fail to connect with your driver, the following telephone numbers should be used: Prior to 8am, Monday to Friday and at weekends: City Transfers UK 24 Hour PASSENGER CONTACTS: Local rate: ++ 44 (0) 208 969 2777 Freephone: ++ 0800 389 8368 After 8am (Monday to Friday), please call the Road Scholar Great Britain office. For all pre-departure emergencies and questions please contact Participant Services toll-free on 877-426-8056 Monday-Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm ET For emergencies during the programme please contact the Group Leader on the mobile phone number provided in this document. Please note that these emergency numbers operate for the duration of the programme only. The Road Scholar Great Britain office number is 01227 811900.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the MV Minerva
  Transportation from site: Complete the Participant Information Form on-line. Or in the complete the form in the preparatory materials and return to Road Scholar in the UK Please include departure and arrival date, departure airport, airline, flight number, arrival airport, date and time. We recommend completing the form on-line as information will be kept for future programmes. The coach will depart the ship and travel directly to London Heathrow Airport. We will disembark between 8-9:am. The journey time to the airport is approx. 2 hours depending on traffic. Check in for international flights is 3 hours. Please ensure that you leave enough time to check in for your departure flight. We do not recommend booking flights that depart London before 2:00 pm.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures from the US
(Saturday, July 12)
   
 In Transit: Flights depart from various US gateways

Day 2: Flights arrive in London, England
(Sunday, July 13)
   
 Arrive To: London, England. Individual car transfers from Lodnon Heathrow Airport to the hotel. Transfers are based on flight arrival times.
 Afternoon: Join your group leader for your program orientation at 5:00pm in the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Millennium Gloucester Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: London, England
(Monday, July 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: The Queens Gallery and overview of London: Depart the hotel for a panoramic overview of London's monuments and most famous sights. Your London expert continues a discussion of the city's history, as well as its architecture throughout the ages. Next, visit the the Royal Mews. Hear how the Mews serves The Queen in the performance of her official duties and prepares for major state and ceremonial occasions, from the State Opening of Parliament to royal weddings.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local pub
 Afternoon: Your afternoon is free for independent exploration or join your Group Leader for a discovery walk near your hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own. There are many restaurants conveniently located near the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Millennium Gloucester Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Hampton Court Palace/ Embark MV Minerva
(Tuesday, July 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Hampton Court Palace: Discover the History of Hampton Court Palace and Explore the wonders of this majestic building, and the stories behind it, enjoy Henry VIII's Apartments and the display in the Council Chamber Take a walk through the Tudor Kitchens Enjoy Young Henry VIII exhibition Visit William III's Apartments Discover the Georgian Private Apartments
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: The coach departs Hampton Court for Portsmouth (approx. 2 hours). Board the Minerva. The ship is scheuled to set sail at 4:00 pm.
 Dinner: Group dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activites.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea/Unique Road Scholar Lecture.
(Wednesday, July 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship. Breakfast - with a wide range of options - can be enjoyed in the Swan Restaurant, the Veranda or out on the open deck around the pool. Morning coffee and pastries are served in the Veranda and afternoon tea in the Swan Restaurant. Both restaurants offer the same wide choice of menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship. Lunch is served in the Swan Restaurant or the Veranda.
 Afternoon: Continue cruising. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities. Road Scholar lecture by David Saunders "Under Northern Lights" Despite, the often harsh conditions an amazing variety of wildlife thrives beyond the Arctic Circle; from Polar Bears adapted over millennia to this hostile environment - to delicate northern flowers and birds like the stunning Snowy Owl.
 Dinner: Group dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: At Sea/Unique Road Scholar Lecture.
(Thursday, July 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities. RS lecture David Saunders "The Shetland Bus" Norwegian Special Operations in the Second World War especially the remarkable heroism of those in small fishing boats who made the perilous journeys between Shetland and Norway. Delivering supplies, secret agents, rescuing escapees and aiding Norway’s struggle against the Nazi occupation.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Floro, Norway
(Friday, July 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Floro at 10:00 am. The ship will be berthed within walking distance from the small town of Floro for independent exploration. Field trips will depart after lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Enjoy a scenic drive along the western coast of Norway to Ausevika where you will visit one of the largest field of petroglyphs found in Norway. The area covers 1500 square meters and the rock is covered by some 300 carvings. There are many motifs of animals, humans and abstract figures.. Wooden walkways have been built in order to protect and preserve these cultural relics. You follow boardwalks to study the figures at the petroglyph site. There will be a short city sightseeing of Floro before returning to the ship. Minerva is scheduled to depart Floro at 6:00 pm
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: At Sea/Unique Road Scholar Lecture.
(Saturday, July 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities. RS lecture David Saunders "One of Those Silent Men who Gets Things Done" The Norwegian explorer Amundsen was first to the South Pole but, as this lecture reveals, there was so much more to him than simply this one expedition. There are important links with Amundsen to be followed up during our visit to Tromso.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Bodo, Norway
(Sunday, July 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Bodo at 8:00 am. Bodo has a modern look but a rich history. It was granted a township status in 1816, and grew during the rich herring fisheries in the last part of the 19th century. On May 27th 1940 Germany launched a massive attack on Bodo and in 2 1/2 hours most of the town was reduced to rubble and the subsequent rebuilding forever changed the face of Bodo. The main sights include the County museum, Domkirken (church), the town square, galleries, shops and cafes are also located in the centre. During a short drive, you will pass by the custom house, harbour area, "Swedish town" and the National Aviation Museum. You will enjoy panoramic views and photostop at Ronvikfjellet before driving to Saltstraumen, the world's strongest tidal current, half an hour's drive from the city. Your visit is timed for the strongest point of the tidal, which is every six hours when 400 milion cubic meters of water rush through a narrow sound - 150 meters wide and 3 km long - connecting Saltenfjord and Skjerstadfjord. The current has a speed of up to 20 knots, and it creates powerful whirlpools up to 10 meters in diameter and 4-5 meters deep.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to depart Bodo at 2:00 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Tromso, Norway
(Monday, July 21)

Note: Guiding is not allowed inside the Arctic Cathederal. The Cathedral can close for services at short notice. Most signs in the Polar Museum are in Norwegian only. There are some uphill, gravel paths at the gardens. Flash photography is not permitted at the museum or the cathedral. The Polar Museum is housed in an old warehouse with low ceilings, it can become warm inside and there is no air conditioning.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Tromso at 8:00 am. Drive to the stunning Arctic Cathedral, designed to reflect the nature of the region; the spires, for example, are said to represent crevasses and the whole eastern wall is constructed of glass. After an independent visit, continue to the interesting Polar Museum where a guided visit will introduce you to Arctic life, hunting and the polar explore Roald Amundsen. You'll aslo enjoy a short sightseeing drive through the city including a photoshop at attractive Lake Prestvannet. To complete your tour enjoy a short independent visit to the world's most northerly botanic garden.
 Lunch: Lunch on board the ship
 Afternoon: Return to the ship. 5:000pm ship departs Tromso.
 Dinner: On board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Honningsvag, Norway
(Tuesday, July 22)

Note: Time permitting, a photostop will be made at a Sami camp on the way to the Hall. It can be very cold and windy at the Cape, so please dress warmly. There is a gift shop, cafe, and post office at the Hall. Coaches will return on an "as & when filled basis. Entrance fees are included.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Honningsvag at 8:00 am. Honningsvag - the true gateway to the North Cape - is the world's northernmost village. It's a modern fishing harbor in a spectacular landscape of forests, fjords, and waterfalls on the southern side of the island of Mageroy, connected to the North Cape by a 35km road. From mid-May to the end of July, the Midnight sun remains above the horizon leading to 24 hour daylight. Occassionally there is a spectacular sight of a carpet of low clouds over the sea. Today, you will journey along the coastline, past a flat mountain plateau, to the bleak North Cape, the northernmost point of mainland in Europe. Once at the North Cape, enjoy an independent visit where you can stand on the 300m high cliffs and admire the views and also visit the extraordinary North Cape Hall, cut into the rock. Here you can visit the small ecumenical St. John's chapel, joined by tunnel to the visitor's center, and watch an excellent film (repeated every 30 minutes) showing the region through the seasons.
 Lunch: Return to the ship for lunch.
 Afternoon: Afternoon is at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart Honningsvag at 2:00 pm.
 Dinner: On board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Sortland, Vesteralen Islands, Norway
(Wednesday, July 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Spend the morning sailing towards the Vesteralen Islands.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Sortland at 2:00 pm. Start from the Blue City of Sortland, you will head south towards the Sortland Sound where you will have a view of Blokken, an important place during the Norwegian Resistance during WWII. Pass over the characteristic bridge, where in the distance you may see the old Hurtigreten (Coastal Express) boat MS Finmarken at the docks. From the city of Stokmarknes, you will follow the Vesteralen fjord rounding the southern most point of Langoya Island. Soon you will reach Eidsfjord (the Herring Fjord) where the typical "Fiskebonde" used to dwell. Here your guide will tell you the fascinating story of the reslationship between the fishing and farming industries, and learn about the rich history of the people who lived and worked on the islands.
 Dinner: On board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Leknes, Lofoten Islands, Norway
(Thursday, July 24)

Note: You will begin with a short video presentation, followed by an introduction from a local museum guide before visiting the museum independently. Rooms in the museum are quite small. Coaches drop off and pick up at different points, the site is quite open. There is a short walk from the drop off to the museum. Toilets and a cafe are available in the museum grounds. The reconstruction of the longboat is not available to view at the museum.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva arrives in the Lofoten Islands at 8:00 am. Discover scenic Lofoten by coach with your local guide. Your tour commences with a scenic drive southward before enjoying a photostop at the beautiful long white sandy beach at Flakstad. Continue to the traditional fishing village of picturesque Reine. Here you can enjoy time at leisure to explore this pretty village admidst the scenic surrounds of Reinefjord, craggy Alpine Peaks and the village itself with its small colorful wooden houses. Discover Vikten, a dramatic landscape of steep mountains and coastal scenery. Here artists Ase and Asvar Tangrand have built a unique art center offering handblown glass and ceramics. You can watch the artists at work, browse through the shop, or take a short stroll to enjoy the local landscape and scenery.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart Leknes at 2:00 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard actvities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: At Sea/Unique Road Scholar Lecture.
(Friday, July 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities. RS lecture David Saunders "Whales & Dolphins" Less than 100 species of these mysterious and enigmatic animals occur in the oceans and seas of the world, and some great rivers. Sperm, Killer, Minke and Pilot Whales are likely to be encountered in Norwegian waters with Harbour Porpoise always possible in the fjords.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Flam, Norway
(Saturday, July 26)

Note: There is a 5-10 minute walk from the quay to the train and back again. This is a scheduled train service; Swan Hellenic will be allocated carriages on the train. The train is a very popular attraction and there may be crowds or queues at the stations. The carriages are not air conditioned and can get quite stuffy in warm weather. There are metal steps onto the train and toilets are available on board.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Continue sailing towards Flam, Norway. RS lecture David Saunders "The Navy’s Here!" A war of science and seamanship, of ambuscade and stratagem.’ If Great Britain and its allies had lost the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest campaign of the Second World War, then Germany would have triumphed indeed. Our voyage will have taken us past several key areas in this campaign, like Grimstad Fjord nears Bergen from where the Bismarck set sail.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Flam at 12:00 noon and depart at 7:00 pm. After a short walk to the station, set off on a memorable ride on the famous Flam Railway. The route follows the Flam River before climbing the steep, narrow valley up Myradalsberg mountain. Along the way you'll pass spectacular waterfalls, including the 93m Kjosfossen fall; the train will slow down to allow for photos at the best viewpoints. On arrival at Vatnahalsen, you'll leave the train to enjoy light refreshments at a nearby hotel and have time to admire the fine views, or take a short walk, before rejoining the train for the return journey to Flam.
 Dinner: On board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Bergen, Norway
(Sunday, July 27)

Note: This field trip is entirely on foot. Depending on Minerva's berth, there may be a fairly long walk from the quay into the town center. There may be queues at the funicular. Flash photography is not permitted in the museum. There are approximately 40 steps at the Hanseatic Museum which are quite steep and narrow. There is low lighting at both the museum and Schotstuene. The order of visits may vary.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Minerva is scheduled to arrive in Bergen at 8:00 am. Walking from the quay you'll pass Bergenhus Fortress, dating from 1261 when Bergen was the capital of Norway, and continue along the Bryggen to admire its wooden warf buildings (reconstructed in teh 18th century after a fire in 1702 reduce the city to ashes). You'll visit the Assembly Rooms, "Schotstuene", where Hanseats enjoyed their food and social life. You will also visit the Hanseatic Museum, which provides an authentic picture of the working life of the German merchants and their apprentices. Continue on foot to the lower station of the funicular, and then ascend by funicular to the summit of Mount Floien. Despite being only 320m above sea level, on a clear day you will have wonderful views of Bergen and out to the North sea. Descend by funicular and walk back to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure. Minerva is scheduled to depart Bergen at 7:00 pm.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship.
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: At Sea
(Monday, July 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship.
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities.
 Dinner: Dinner on board the ship
 Evening: Shipboard activities.
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: At Sea/Unique Road Scholar Lecture.
(Tuesday, July 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at leisure on board the ship
 Morning: Relax on board the ship as you sail on the Minerva. On board presentations from the shipboard lecturers will offer an in-depth look at the locations you will be visiting.
 Lunch: Lunch at leisure on board the ship
 Afternoon: Continue cruising. Enjoy on board presentations and other shipboard activities. RS lecture David Saunders "What You Need is a Good Milking Goat" A very personal story of life and wildlife 50 years ago on the island of Skomer off the Pembrokeshire coast where David and his wife, together with two small children, lived for seven years as the only inhabitants other than thousands of seabirds. Farewell meeting.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board the ship
   
Accommodations: MV Minvera
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Portsmouth, England / Disembark / Departures
(Wednesday, July 30)
   
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the London Heathrow Airport for flights returning to North America. The transfer from Portsmouth to the airport is approximately 2 hours. There will be one transfer in the morning.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Churchill and the Norway Campaign


Author: Graham Rhys-Jones


Norway - Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture


Author: Linda March


Description: Avoid being offended, or worse offending Norway locals, instead familiarise yourself with local customs and cultures by reading "Culture Smart! Norway". This handy, pocket-sized book will help you to ease your way into a different culture and will assist you in making sure you don't develop incorrect stereotypes. Good preparation can go a long way in readying yourself for your journey. Whether you are setting off to Norway in order to travel, learn, work or relocate, "Culture Smart!" will provide you with a wealth of information on everything from climate, population, doing business, nightlife and so much more. "Culture Smart! Norway" offers an in-depth insight to the customs and cultures of Norway, an area where many other guidebooks only scratch the surface.



Norway Eyewitness Guide


Author: Snorre Evensberget


Description: This superb guide features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.



Norway: The Land of the Fjords


Author: Fabio Bourbon


Description: Fantastic photos of the Fjords in Norway.



Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings


Author: Peter Sawyer


Photographic Guide to the Marine Mammals of the North Atlantic


Author: Carl Christian Kinze


Target Tirpitz


Author: Patrick Bishop


The Helm Guide to Bird Identification


Author: Keith Vinicombe, Alan Harris & Laurel Tucker


The Shetland Bus


Author: David Howarth




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