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SOLD OUT: National Nordic Museum's Viking Trip August 21-September 3, 2023


Join the National Nordic Museum’s Executive Director/CEO Eric Nelson and Professor Terje Leiren on a two-week exclusive tour of major Viking sites in Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway in 2023. Featuring unique stops and rare experiences not offered on most tour itineraries!

Included in this exclusive tour are accommodations at centrally located hotels, daily breakfast, a full-time bilingual tour manager, sightseeing, entrances and local guides, and the option to add a travel protection plan.

This tour includes whisper systems that allows the group to safely distance while still hearing guides perfectly through their headphones.

For additional questions, please email Development Officer Jenny Iverson at

Learn more about the highlights of the trip in this video with Eric Nelson and Terje Leiren.

  • Monday, August 21: Reykjavik (L,D)
    Visit the Settlement Exhibition, where we'll see the earliest evidence of human habitation in Iceland from the 870s, as well as a 10th century Viking long house. This evening we will have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Tuesday, August 22, Reykjavik (B)
    Visit the National Museum of Iceland to learn about the country's history from the Viking settlement to present day! The rest of the day is free to explore Reykjavik.
  • Wednesday, August 23, Reykjavik (B)
    We venture today into the Icelandic countryside to visit Thingvellir, the site of the Icelandic Viking Thing (a type of democratic assembly) from 930 and located on the visible fault line of the drifting North American and Eurasian continental plates. We then visit Reykholt, the site of the home of Snorri Sturluson, the great Icelandic writer who, in the 1200's, wrote down many of the Norsk sagas that we have today. Here we will see his bathing pool or "think tank" where he, very likely, hung out with his friends discussing history, culture, and politics of the day!
  • Thursday, August 24, Stockholm (B,D)
    After arrival in Stockholm, visit Gamla Uppsala, an important historic site before and during the Viking era. We'll see three royal burial mounds from the 6th century as well as visit the museum with artifacts and exhibits about Gamla Uppsala. 
  • Friday, August 25, Stockholm (B)
    Today we'll visit the Historiska Museum, which is noted for its treasure trove of Viking coins, jewelry, and other artifacts. The rest of the day will be free to explore Stockholm on your own.
  • Saturday, August 26, Stockholm (B)
    Enjoy a full day excursion to Birka, an important Viking era trading center and now an UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site, a stop of great significance and not usually visited by tours!
  • Sunday, August 27, Visby (B,D)
    Our stop in Visby includes Gotland, the center of Baltic trade in the Viking age linking east and west, and opportunity to explore the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia!
  • Monday, August 28, Visby-Oskarshamn (B)
    Exploring the Gotland Museum, we'll see its extensive collection of Viking age artifacts, including silver hoards and Rune Stones. 
  • Tuesday, August 29, Copenhagen (B,D)
    On our way to Copenhagen, we'll stop at the Kalmar Castle and learn about the Kalmar union that united the Scandinavian countries in 1397.Then we'll drive through the scenic Skåne landscape and make a stop at Trelleborgen, a reconstructed Viking ring fort from the late 900’s.
  • Wednesday, August 30, Copenhagen (B)
    We'll tour the Danish National Museum, with its extensive Viking and Iron Age collection. The rest of the day will be free to explore Copenhagen.
  • Thursday, August 31, DFDS ship to Oslo (B)
    Our final morning in Denmark, we'll visit Roskilde to see five original Viking Ships and learn about how they were made and used. 
  • Friday, September 1, Oslo (B)
    Upon arrival in Oslo, we’ll head to the historic Vestfold district in Norway. Here we’ll see the Borre burial mounds and visit the nearby Midgard Viking Center. Then we’ll make a stop in Tønsberg – founded in the 9th Century by Vikings, it’s considered to be Norway’s oldest city. 
  • Saturday, September 2, Oslo (B,D)
    This morning, we’ll go for a walking tour of downtown Oslo and end up at the Historical Museum, which has the only surviving Viking helmet (no horns!) and a fine collection of Viking and pre-Viking jewelry. Your afternoon is free to explore Oslo before our farewell dinner.
  • Sunday September 3 (B)
    Tour ends after breakfast.
  • All group transportation and entrances in the itinerary
  • Transfer from arrival airport in Reykjavik (transfer will be at 10:00 am)
  • Flight from Reykjavik to Stockholm
  • Centrally located hotels with breakfast daily
  • Seven dinners and one lunch
  • Overnight cruise, from Copenhagen-Oslo with outside cabins
  • Three lectures by Terje Leiren, Professor Emeritus of Scandinavian Studies and History, University of Washington
  • Tour Director during the trip plus local city guides
  • Porter service where available
  • All gratuities
Not included:
  • Airfare to Reykjavik and from Oslo
  • Transfer to airport at end of the trip
  • Travel insurance
  • Reykjavik: Alda Hotel
  • Stockholm: Clarion Sign
  • Visby: Clarion Hotel Wisby
  • Oskarshamn: Clarion Collection Hotel Post
  • Copenhagen: The Square
  • Copenhagen to Oslo: Overnight ship, DFDS with sea view
  • Oslo: Thon Bristol
Airline Flights:

Airfare to and from the trip is not included (the group flight from Reykjavik to Stockholm IS included). Icelandair has good connections from the US to Iceland and back from Oslo and other Nordic cities. For those of you leaving from Seattle, we recommend that you book Icelandair flight FI682, which leaves Seattle on August 20 at 6:55 pm and arrives at Reykjavik on August 21 at 9:20 am. A bus will be waiting for all those on that and earlier flights. We’ll meet those who have arrived to Reykjavik on an earlier day at a downtown location for an early lunch.

Those flying with Icelandair will need to book two one-way tickets. The first to Reykjavik and the second back home from Oslo or another city, if you so choose. There is no significant extra cost for this. Other airlines that currently fly to Iceland from the US are United and Delta.

Activity Level:

There will be some walking in the cities to museums and on tours. A couple of the archaeological sites may have some uneven surfaces that we walk on.

Price per person:



  • Meet Your Tour Guides: 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.

  • Meet Your Tour Guides: 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.