Scandinavia, June 2022

In reading over the forums, it seemed to me the 2 week "Scandinavia" trip was due for a review.
Background: We traveled in June 2022 and took our three adult children. It was our 11th Tauck tour, so we have enough under our belt (and have done another one since) to be able to comment on the expected level of service and hotel quality. Although this was a “classic “ tour, there were 21 people on our trip. It was a really nice group, and everyone interacted with our family members. This is a great trip to take adult children on. The hotels are in walkable neighborhoods, and there are plenty of distractions and places for them to go to during down time. (meaning - craft cocktails)
Tour Directors: Our TDs were fabulous. There was an initial issue with the assigned TD, so we had a sub for the first day or so. Both were wonderful. Stand outs, in fact.
Overview: Alex, the main TD, explained to us early in the trip that the Scandinavian levels of luxury travel and service are different from American and other European countries. It was a recurring theme throughout the trip. Thus, during transfers you are moving your luggage around more than you usually would in other Tauck tours, and the airport experiences can be a bit challenging. Of course the porters take your luggage to and from the rooms, but at the airports you may have to take your luggage in and out and may have to check it, albeit with some TD assistance. Scandinavian countries are very big on automation at airports; the problem is what happens when the automated flow breaks down and the humans on site are hard to find. …… Security lines were LONG LONG LONG. But - the flights were safe and there were no appreciable delays. One just has to set their expectations to the correct levels. This is not business class travel. It was, however, completely worth it.
Hotels: The hotels are not as grand as other Tauck hotels, but they are lovely. The nicest hotels on the trip are in Copenhagen ( Radisson Collection Royal Hotel) , Loen ( Hotel Alexandra), Alesund ( Hotel Brosundet) and Oslo ( Grand Hotel Oslo ) . Aside from Loen and Oslo, our rooms were small and we were stepping over our suitcases. Our kids had huge rooms ( go figure?). Service is average in all but the Loen and Oslo hotels. In Bergen (Clarion Hotel Havnekontoret) we had a room with many broken things (broken safe, broken coffee maker, no heat, etc) and there was no service. There were no building engineers on site and the desk people had no experience. All of the hotels were in excellent locations.
Sightseeing: Incredible natural beauty everywhere we went. The sights were amazing. The cultural aspects were not of the typical “art museum" variety, but were of the more societal, architectural, and archeological. The largest art installation we saw on the trip was the Vigeland Sculpture Park. Other art museums are strictly for your own spare time.
Food : Heavy emphasis on seafood ( big surprise..). I usually order vegetarian menus on Tauck ( I only gain 5 lbs instead of the obligatory 10). In this era of farm to table restaurants, this translated into a lot of cabbage for me.
Weather: Wonderful. Most days were sunny ( our TD assured us it was not the norm.) Obligatory snow storm at the top of the highest viewpoint in fjord country with yummy hot chocolate.
1. Stockholm: With our early extra day we went to see the Viking collection at the Swedish History Museum and Skansen. The Vasa experience was exceptional - we had it all to ourselves.
2. Copenhagen: We had a wonderful lunch at a small restaurant on the water (‘The Boathouse”). The food was great and we loved the design. That evening we went to Tivoli, an amusement park that is over 100 years old and it was fabulous! You can see where Walt Disney got his ideas. The dinner at the Operahouse was great. Once again we had it all to ourselves.
3. Bergen: On the way we visited the home of Edvard Grieg and were treated to a lovely piano recital. In our free time we took a funicular ride to the top of Floyen, where the views of Bergen and the fjord were spectacular. Walking around the seaport and old town was really fun. For those with a medical background, the Leprosy museum is a not to be missed experience. We took a boat ride to a private island restaurant which specialized in seafood. Seafood lovers raved about it. 4. Loen: The scenery on the way to Loen is spectacular ( all of the scenery on this trip is spectacular) . The hotel Alexandra is a family owned business, and the owner has a reception for Tauck guests where he regailed us with tales of his life and the hotel. We all enjoyed it. We had a Tauck barbecue which was great with plenty of options ( for everyone, even me…) The Briksdal glacier is just stunning. I cannot say enough about how beautiful the scenery is on this trip.
5. Alesund: On the trip to Alesund we drove to the highest viewpoint in fjord country, Dalsnibba, where we were treated to a snowstorm! We loved it! The dinners in Alesund were excellent in the two different local restaurants we went to .
6. Oslo: The Grand Hotel was elegant and beautiful ( I am running out of adjectives) ! Oslo is a remarkable city which absolutely leaves you feeling like you need to go back. After a visit to the Vigelund Sculpture Park, we went to the Fram museum, which houses the Norwegian Polar expedition ship, The Fram. What a truly fascinating place and indeed one of the absolute highlights of the trip. The farewell reception was a delight. We had cocktails in the library of the Grand Hotel and dinner in a private room overlooking the main dining room.

Recommendations: Take an extra day on either end of this trip. There are so many things to do in Oslo, you probably need 2 more days to really scratch the surface.

We loved this trip. The natural beauty was astounding. Our tour director was one of the best we have ever had with Tauck. He was completely focused on taking care of everyone and making sure we were all happy. In a group that consisted of our familial millennials as well as multiple 80 something year olds, this was a true accomplishment.


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    Thank you so much for this review. We had the tour booked for 2020 but of course it was cancelled and we have not been able to rebook it yet. I have read less positive reviews than yours, so I was glad to see it and get some extra ideas!

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    Thank you for such detailed information! We are doing a small group tour in June and I’m getting excited. I’m just very nervous about packing and laundry options.

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    Mother of Poodles - I took this tour in 2022 and I'm in agreement with all your remarks, the scenery was incredible, i could have had an extra day in Stockholm, loved Old Town.

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    As others have said,thanks so much for the detailed review. We go in June also, and this was very helpful !

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    I love Scandinaia (including Finland). I took a similar 19 day non-Tauck tour ("Maupintour") of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland in 1983; I understand that the late Tom Maupin was a former Tauck Director (TD) way back before he set up his own company then. The tour used boat, plane, train, and bus over the entire 19 days. A wonderful experience for food, sightseeing, wine, etc. Scandinavia is definitely worthwhile to see. :-)

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