John Birge

Featuring the Copenhagen Tivoli Festival and Edvard Grieg Festival in Bergen

Summer in Scandinavia

Join host John Birge of Classical Minnesota Public Radio and fellow classical music lovers to experience the Nordic world of fjords, castles, glaciers, and the legacy of the Vikings on this Minnesota Public Radio and Earthbound Expeditions adventure. Travel by train, ferry, and coach through Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Ride the world's most scenic railway line to Bergen, tour Danish castles and palaces and attend a classical concert at Tivoli Gardens. See the Danish crown jewels, preserved Viking ships and the warship Vasa, rescued after more than 300 years on the bottom of Stockholm harbor. To top it off, you’ll be treated to a performance at the Edvard Grieg festival in Bergen. This 12 day Minnesota Public Radio classical Scandinavia journey has it all!

Trip Host

John Birge

John Birge has been hosting, producing and performing classical music for more than 25 years. Since 1997, he has been hosting on Minnesota Public Radio's Classical Music Service. He played French horn for the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops Orchestra and performed with them on their centennial tour of Europe in 1995. He was trained at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy.

Itinerary

Day 0: Wednesday, August 5

Optional Group Flight Departs Minneapolis for Stockholm, Sweden

Day 1: Thursday, August 6 - Välkommen till Sverige! Welcome to Sweden!

Your Scandinavia journey begins at 6:00pm at the group hotel in Stockholm. For those guests arriving on the group flight, an airport transfer is included from Stockholm Arlanda Airport to the hotel, located in the heart of the historic city. Meet your travel companions for an introductory walk of the city center. This evening you’ll enjoy a welcome reception and included dinner. Sleep in Stockholm (D)

Day 2: Friday, August 7 - Stockholm Royal Palace

One of the largest palaces in Europe, with over 600 rooms and no fewer than five museums, the Royal Palace is the official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden. Built primarily during the 18th century in the Italian Baroque style, in the very spot where the “Tre Kronor” castle burned down in 1697. We’ll tour rooms with splendid interiors from the 18th and 19th centuries, Rikssalen (the Hall of State) with Queen Kristina’s silver throne, and Ordenssalarna (Halls of the Orders of Chivalry) and have time for one of the museums. Sleep in Stockholm (B, L)

Day 3: Saturday, August 8 - Discover Stockholm

Enjoy an optional day trip to the Opera på Skäret festival in Swedish countryside. You’ll travel by 1930s train and enjoy lunch and dinner on the train. Upon arrival to the Opera på Skäret you’ll be treated to an exceptional opera. Excursion times: 9:00am -11:00pm Price: $199 per person. Or, begin your discovery of Sweden's capital with a guided visit to the impressive City Hall, where the annual Nobel Prize festivities take place. Tour the Vasa Museum, featuring the impressive Vasa, an ornate royal warship that sank in Stockholm's harbor following its launch in 1628. With your free afternoon, you may want to take a canal tour or stroll the cobbled streets of medieval Gamla Stan (Old Town). Sleep in Stockholm (B, L)

Day 4: Sunday, August 9 - From Sweden to Denmark for the Tivoli Festival

Depart Stockholm for Copenhagen today. You’ll arrive just in time to stroll through the old harbor. Stretch your legs and enjoy a short stroll along the waterfront to view the Little Mermaid sculpture and the Amalienborg Palace before dinner. This evening enjoy a “Welcome to Denmark” drink and then join your fellow travelers for an evening symphony concert at Tivoli Gardens. Sleep in Copenhagen (B, L)

Day 5: Monday, August 10 - Charming Copenhagen

This morning you are invited to join a knowledgeable local guide for a fascinating walk through the old alleyways of Copenhagen. We’ll visit the city’s charming harbor of Nyhavn and stroll down the Stroget, Copenhagen’s main pedestrian avenue. Our walking tour of the old town center will end right before lunch and your local guides will be available to offer you lunch restaurant suggestions as well as ideas for how to spend your free afternoon. This evening attend a classical concert together! Sleep in Copenhagen (B)

Day 6: Tuesday, August 11 - A Day to Explore Copenhagen

The day is yours to stroll the merry streets of Copenhagen. Art lovers might consider visiting the National Gallery, while history buffs might choose to visit the impressive National Museum. Spend an afternoon in the Tivoli Gardens or explore the Renaissance Rosenborg Palace, home to the Danish crown jewels. The possibilities are endless! Sleep in Copenhagen (B)

Day 7: Wednesday, August 12 - Castle and Ferry North to Norway

Today we journey to North Sealand, filled with quaint villages, historic palaces, lovely lakes, and dense forests. We’ll visit 17th-century Frederiksborg Castle, built by Christian IV in Danish Renaissance style. You’ll savor regional fare at local restaurant and drive the Yellow Roads along the "Danish Riviera" back to Copenhagen. This afternoon board the overnight ferry to Norway. Enjoy an independent dinner and a sunset on the Danish Sea. Sleep onboard the ferry (B, L)

Day 8: Thursday, August 13 - Oslo, Sculptures and Viking ships

Enjoy awe-inspiring scenery as you cruise up Oslo Fjord. Upon arrival in Norway's capital city, we’ll have a private tour of Oslo’s highlights, including the Viking Ship Museum, which features three well-preserved Viking ships dating to 800 AD, found in royal burial mounds with fascinating artifacts. You’ll also have time to see the Vigeland Sculpture Park, with its 212 life-sized sculptures by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, who devoted his career to the project. Sleep in Oslo (B, L)

Day 9: Friday, August 14 - Free day in Oslo and the Opera House

Enjoy free time this morning to enjoy the many sights of Oslo. We suggest a visit to the Fram Polar Ship Museum or the Edvard Munch Museum. This afternoon meet your fellow travelers for an exclusive tour of the Norwegian National Opera House. Sleep in Oslo (B, L)

Day 10: Saturday, August 15 - A Scenic Train to Bergen and the Grieg Music Festival

Today we travel west past the gorgeous fjords and mountains – aboard the Oslo to Bergen scenic train. Bergen is located on the Byfjord and is famous for its ancient harbor and open-air fish market. Your hotel is located right on the harbor in the city's old wharf district, featuring traditional wooden buildings and a medieval atmosphere. Founded in 1070 during the days of the Hanseatic League, it is one of the oldest large trading ports in Northern Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival in Bergen, we’ll tour the home of Edward Grieg and enjoy a concert. Sleep in Bergen (B, L)

Day 11: Sunday, August 16 - White Lady Cruise to the Fjords of Norway

Today, enjoy a fjord cruise to Mostraumen. On this half day excursion, you will see western Norwegian scenery at its best, with narrow fjords and majestic mountains. Since we’ll be departing early tomorrow morning, join your host and fellow travelers for a farewell luncheon feast featuring regional specialties. Sleep in Bergen (B, L)

Day 12: Monday, August 17 - Return Home with a Lifetime of Memories!

Your Scandinavia tour ends after breakfast in Bergen, Norway. ***Note: You may wish to stay on and further explore the fjords and enjoy the beauty of Norway.

IT'S INCLUDED!

  • With Classical MPR host John Birge
  • Pre-trip dinner at MPR HQ in downtown St. Paul
  • With expert Earthbound Expeditions guide
  • Copenhagen Tivoli Music Festival
  • The Edvard Grieg Music Festival
  • Rail journey from Oslo to Bergen
  • Backstage tour of Oslo Opera House
  • Fjord cruise in Norway
  • Walks with knowledgeable local guides
  • Transport by air-conditioned private motor coach
  • 11 nights in centrally-located four star hotels
  • Overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo
  • All breakfasts, plus 11 additional meals featuring regional specialties

Pricing and Terms

$5,995 per person, double occupancy $1,175 single supplement August 5, 2020: optional group flight departs Minneapolis - St. Paul August 6: trip begins in Stockholm, Sweden August 17: trip ends in Bergen, Norway 12 Days/11 nights (not including air travel) Ways to Save! Pay your final balance by check and save $100. Reserve your space by December 15, 2019 and save $50. MPR Custom Travel Alumni and Earthbound Expeditions alumni save $100. RESERVATIONS A $500 per person deposit is due at time of sign up. An additional $200 deposit is requested if opting for the group flight. Deposits are refundable for 60 days from your deposit date, minus a cancellation penalty of $75 per person. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. Deposits and payments can be made by check or credit card.

NOT INCLUDED

Trip insurance, international airfare, anything not listed in your MPR itinerary

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Health Matters: It is the responsibility of each guest to be aware of their physical abilities or limitations, and to be in sufficient good health to undertake the trip. To make the most of your journey and participate in the various planned group activities, you should be able to be on your feet and walk unassisted for two to three hours (often over uneven cobblestones or pathways) with frequent standing. If you have questions about the physical requirements for your journey, please email or call our travel office.

Concerts, Festivals and Events: If (for any reason) the organizers of a scheduled concert, festival or event cancel or postpone a planned activity with little or no notice, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to secure a similar event or secure another concert(s). Strikes, unscheduled delays, lack of funds and acts of God are beyond the control of Earthbound Expeditions. Cancellation of an event, festival or concert is not cause for refund.

Hosted Journeys: If a host or special guest is unable to attend as planned, Earthbound Expeditions will do its utmost to find another host who has similar interests, talents expertise. The inability of a host to participate in a tour is not grounds for a full or partial refund.

OPTIONAL GROUP FLIGHT - Details to be announced October 2019

~ Trip Itinerary Details May Change ~

Need more information?

Call us: (1) 800-723-8454 Earthbound Expeditions is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Contact us! Complete our contact form and one of our travel consultants will contact you to answer your questions and help you complete your reservation.