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2024 Nordic Trip: Nordic Design


When: June 24 – July 7

Join the National Nordic Museum on a two-week exclusive Design and Architecture tour in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland! Immerse yourself in the heart of Nordic design and culture. Together, we'll visit design museums and explore some of the most important landmark buildings in the major Nordic cities.

This intimate tour will be guided by National Nordic Museum CEO Eric Nelson, University of Washington History Professor, Terje Leiren, and University of Washington Architecture Associate Professor, Peter Cohan. Scroll down to learn more!

Price per person - $ 7,285.00
Additional single occupancy price - $ 1,589.00

Questions? Please email Development Officer Jenny Iverson at

Ready to book? Click the button below!

  • Monday June 24, Copenhagen (D)

    This evening we meet in the lobby of our hotel (all rooms on high floors with excellent views of Copenhagen) and make the short walk to Tivoli Gardens for a festive welcome dinner. Free time afterward to walk around Tivoli Gardens.

    Day 2: Tuesday, June 25, Copenhagen (B)

    This morning we’ll walk through Copenhagen’s inner city seeing both historic and modern buildings, including the Vor Frue Church with its many sculptures by Thorvaldsen, the Round Tower, the City Hall, and the Black Diamond Library. We’ll stop at historic plazas and visit the Danish Design Museum.

    Day 3: Wednesday, June 26, Copenhagen to DFDS (B,D)

    Today we drive up the scenic Danish coast to visit the Louisiana Museum. Afterward, we make our way to the DFDS ship for a mid-afternoon departure for our overnight cruise to Oslo.

    Day 4: Thursday, June 27, Oslo (B)

    We wake up this morning cruising into the Oslo Fjord. Upon arrival, we’ll see Oslo’s iconic Opera House and walk through the surrounding new harbor area, Bjørvika. We’ll then do a short walking tour along Oslo’s main street, Karl Johans Gate, and have a tour of the Oslo City Hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize is handed out. Some free time for lunch on your own before making a short walk through the Palace grounds and on to our hotel. Late afternoon is free to explore Oslo.

    Day 5: Friday, June 28, Oslo to Gothenburg (B,D)

    This morning we’ll visit Oslo’s new National Museum. We’ll tour the first floor with its extensive collection of Norwegian design from the Middle Ages to the present. Afterward, there will be free time to look at the extensive collection of paintings on the second floor, including the Munch room with the original version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. After lunch on your own, we’ll depart for Gothenburg where we’ll have a group dinner.

    Day 6: Saturday, June 29, Gothenburg (B)

    We spend the day in Gothenburg and will visit the Volvo and the Röhsska Museums. We’ll then walk along Gothenburg’s main avenue, seeing some landmark buildings and Carl Mille’s monumental Poseidon sculpture. Free time in the afternoon to explore Gothenburg from our centrally located hotel.

    Day 7: Sunday, June 30, Gothenburg to Växjö (B,D)

    Today we depart Gothenburg and make our way to Sweden’s glass kingdom. Along the way, we’ll stop at Älmhult to visit the Ikea Museum and learn about the Ikea story and its significant impact on design around the world. We end the day in Växjö, where we’ll visit its Glass Museum.

    Day 8: Monday, July 1, Växjö to Stockholm (B,D)

    This morning we make the short drive to Kosta Boda to have a tour of the glass-blowing factory and Art Glass Museum as well as free time for shopping. Afterwards, we make our way to Stockholm where we’ll have dinner at our hotel.

    Day 9: Tuesday, July 2, Stockholm (B)

    This morning we go to Djurgården, Stockholm’s museum island, to visit the Nordiska and Liljevachs Museums. Afterward, there will be free time to visit the nearby Vasa Ship Museum and the Skansen open-air museum on your own. The rest of the day is free.

    Day 10: Wednesday, July 3, Stockholm (B)

    Today we’ll walk to the nearby Stockholm City Hall for an inside tour of this amazing National Romantic building, site of the Nobel Banquet. Then we’ll amble along Stockholm’s waterfront to see the Modern Art and the National Art Museums. The rest of the day is free to explore Stockholm on your own.

    Day 11: Thursday, July 4, Stockholm to Silja Line (B,D)

    A late morning departure from our hotel will take us to the UNESCO-listed Woodland Cemetery and the nearby St. Marks Church. Then on to the Millesgården Sculpture Park dedicated to Sweden’s foremost sculptor. Afterward, we’ll head to our overnight cruise to Helsinki with the Silja Line. Our ship will navigate through a myriad of small scenic islands as we snake our way out of Stockholm’s archipelago. We’ll enjoy a buffet dinner on board.

    Day 12: Friday, July 5, Helsinki (B)

    Today we wake up in Finnish waters and will depart our ship mid-morning in Helsinki. We’ll board our bus and see, the Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral, the Lutheran Cathedral, the famous “Rock Church”, the Kiasma Art Museum by Steven Holl, and Helsinki’s new central library, Oodi, considered a calling card for Finnish architecture. Along the way, we’ll see buildings designed by Alvar Aalto and fantastic National Romantic edifices.

    Day 13: Saturday, July 6, Helsinki (B,D)

    This morning is free to explore Helsinki. In the afternoon, we’ll walk from our hotel to visit the Finnish Design Museum. In the evening we’ll have a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

    Day 14: Sunday, July 7, Helsinki(B)

    The tour ends after breakfast.

    • All group transportation and entrances in the itinerary
    • Centrally located hotels with breakfast daily
    • Seven dinners
    • Overnight cruises from Copenhagen-Oslo and Stockholm-Helsinki with seaview cabins
    • Talks by University of Washington Professors Terje Leiren and Peter Cohan
    • A tour director during the trip
    • Porter service where available
    • All gratuities for all group activities: tour director, local guides, bus driver,  and porters
    • Airfare
    • Airport transfers
    • Travel insurance
    • Copenhagen – Scandic Copenhagen, Superior rooms with city views
    • DFDS – Seaview cabins
    • Oslo – Radisson Blu Scandinavia
    • Gothenburg – Scandic Europe
    • Växjö – Clarion Collection Cardinal
    • Stockholm – At Six
    • Silja Line – Seaview cabins
    • Helsinki – Radisson Blu Hotel Aleksanteri

Meet Your Guides


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    Eric Nelson

    Eric Nelson joined the National Nordic Museum as Executive Director/CEO in January 2008, where he has overseen the expansion to the Museum into a nationally and internationally recognized center for sharing Nordic culture, values, and innovation. He has been honored with the Gold Hazelius Medal, the only non-Swede to receive this recognition, as well as having been named awarded the Knight of the Order of the White Rose of Finland by the President of Finland Sauli Niinistö and Knight 1st Class of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

    Under Nelson's leadership, the Museum has become the only museum in the United States – and indeed the world – that showcases the impact and influence of Nordic values and innovation in contemporary society, and tells the story of 12,000 years of Nordic history and culture, across all five Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – and the Sámi people of Arctic Europe.

    In addition to its collection and exhibitions, the National Nordic Museum serves as a convener on critical issues including innovation, economic development, environmental policy, cultural identity and societal issues. The Museum presents more than 100 programs annually including contemporary art exhibitions, concerts, lectures, films and educational events.

    Nelson is a graduate of the prestigious Getty Museum Leadership Institute and holds a Master of Art degree in History and B.A. in History from California State University. He has served as a guest lecturer at the University of Washington, California State University, Sacramento and San Francisco State University. A native of Napa, California, Nelson previously served as Executive Director of the Napa Valley Museum from 1999 to 2007. Prior to this role, he was Curator of Exhibits and Collections and then Executive Director of the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa for eleven years.

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    Terje Leiren

    Professor Leiren teaches courses in Scandinavian history and culture at the University of Washington. He joined the UW faculty in 1977 as professor of Scandinavian studies and history. His courses include the popular "History of the Vikings." Leiren served as Chair of the Department of Scandinavian Studies from 1995 - 2010 and as Acting Department Chair in 2014-2015. Professor Leiren was the first holder of the Department's Sverre Arestad Endowed Chair in Norwegian Studies from 2007 to 2017. He also held an appointment in the Department of History as Adjunct Professor of History In 1996, Professor Leiren was knighted by His Majesty King Harald V of Norway and awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.

    Professor Leiren also served as co-General Editor of the New Directions book series with the University of Washington Press between 2006 and 2015. The UW Press New Directions series offers interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the Nordic region of Scandinavia and the Baltic States and their cultural connections in North America. By redefining the boundaries of Scandinavian studies to include the Baltic States and Scandinavian America, New Directions in Scandinavian Studies presents books that focus on the study of the culture, history, literature, and politics of the Nordic region. During his time as co-general editor, eleven books appeared in the series.

    His many publications include an updated and revised edition of the Historical Dictionary of Norway for Rowman and Littlefield Publishers published in 2019. Professor Leiren has contributed to, and appeared in, television productions for the History Channel, PBS, the A&E Network as well as NRK and TV2 in Norway.

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    Peter Cohan

    Peter Cohan is an associate professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. Over the past 25 years and through numerous travel/study programs he has exposed students to the incredible richness and variety of architecture and design in Nordic countries.

    He has twice received the Lionel Pries Prize for excellence in teaching. He also leads an architecture practice, Peter Cohan Architect, specializing in single-family residential design. His research interests focus on the nature of materials, their expressive role in construction, and the practical application of tectonic theory to architecture. He has written a number of papers and articles on this subject in addition to exploring these issues in teaching and practice.

    Cohan also has an abiding interest in Scandinavian architecture. He is the director of the Scan|Design Visiting Guest Professor Program, which annually brings a distinguished Danish architect to teach in the CBE, and the Scan|Design Architecture Internship Program, which provides internships in Denmark for students enrolled in the Master of Architecture programs.