Kingdoms of the North

12 - 26 May 2019
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

Embark on a journey that takes you to the great frozen Kingdoms of the North; through Norway up to the Arctic Circle, down to gracious Edinburgh and finishing in the remote landscapes and ancient cultures of the Orkney Islands. There is also an optional extension to the awe inspiring landscapes of Iceland after the tour.

Norway is a remote land possessing otherworldly beauty, ancient history and a thriving arts and cultural scene. It is a land of Viking heritage, beautiful music, magnificent fjords and rich medical and military history. Travel with Professor John Pearn through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world and experience Norway’s music, folk culture and long history – and the midnight sun - on a journey to the Arctic Circle and back. Continue to the gracious city of Edinburgh with its long history and culture and onto the remote Orkneys with their ancient Neolithic and Viking heritage. You may also continue to the magnificent glacier lands of Iceland and learn of its rich Viking heritage after the tour.

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Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, ​Professor John Pearn

​Professor John Pearn

Professor John Pearn is a clinician and medical historian based in Brisbane, Australia. He has been an Academic and Clinical Teacher for 50 years in Medicine and Health Sciences, based at the University of Queensland. He is the Author of some thirty books and more than 200 published papers on the history of medicine and health. As Major General John Pearn, he served in the Defence Reserves for 35 years, ultimately in the appointment of Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Force. He commanded the 2 Field Hospital, formerly No. 1 Casualty Clearing Station which was the pivot medical unit on the beach at Gallipoli, 25 April 1915. Professor John Pearn was a founder, later President and then Honorary Life Member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine. He is an historian of the Order of St John. He has been a Member of the Council for the International Society of the History of Medicine for many years; and its Vice President for the last four years. His books include the history of one of the Greek Islands and research publications on Simpson (of Gallipoli fame) and on ancient Greek medicine.

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  • Tel: (Toll Free) 1-8777-398-764
  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • 12 May Sun Bergen:   Arrive Bergen. Welcome dinner
  • 13 May Mon Bergen: See Gamlehaugen, the Royal Residence in Bergen. Continue to Troldhaugen see Edvard Grieg’s Villa, the composer's cottage, gardens and museum. Hear a concert at Grieg’s home. Visit the North Sea Museum and learn of the Shetland Bus and Norway in WW2
  • 14 May Tues Bergen / Cruise: Take the funicular up Mt Fløien for magnificent views.  Explore old Bergen including the medieval Hanseatic Wharf Bryggen, Bergen Fortress and the Maritime Museum. At leisure until embarking on the Midnatsol  
  • 15 May Wed Cruising – Nordfjord - Alesund – Geirangerfjord: Wake early to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord. Visit the lovely art nouveau town of Alesund. Cruise the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord with its 800 metre cliffs. Talk: 'Alex Munthe and family in Norway'
  • 16 May Thurs Cruising – Trondheim: Visit the former Viking Capital of Trondheim and learn of Olav Tryggvason, King of Norway. Visit Nidaros Cathedral, the Bishop's Palace, the quaint timbered area of Bakkelandet, Kristiansen fortress and the open-air living history museum. Board Hurtigruten, passing through the narrow Stokksund toward charming Rørvik. Talk: 'Norwegian Folk Tales, Trolls and Legends'
  • 17 May Fri Cruising – Lofoten Islands: Cross the Arctic Circle (and Arctic ceremony) and cruise by the 1000m high Lofoten Wall. Visit the Lofoten Viking and WW2 Museums (alight into one port and leave from another, taking a bus in between). At leisure to celebrate Norway’s National Day. 
  • 18 May Sat Cruising – Tromso: Briefly dock at Risøyhamn, Harstad, and Finnsnes and continue to Tromsø, the capital of the Arctic. At leisure. Talk: 'The Sinking of the Tirpitz'
  • 19 May Sun Cruising North Cape: Cross the 71st parallel and disembark at Honningsvåg to visit the spectacular North Cape with its 1000m cliffs. Continue north into the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. Talk: 'Polar Explorers and Arctic Warriors – Surviving the Cold'
  • 20 May Mon Cruising – Kirkenes: Arrive in Kirkenes, which is farther east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul. Visit the Borderland Museum, Andersgrotta, a vast underground bunker built during World War II. Overnight and dinner   
  • 21 May Tues Kirkenes – Edinburgh: Fly to Edinburgh via Oslo and transfer to the hotel
  • 22 May Wed Edinburgh: Visit Edinburgh Castle. Take a historical tour of Edinburgh walking tour with specialist guide and visit the Royal College of Surgeons. Whisky tasting and dinner at the Scotch Whisky Society
  • 23 May Thurs Edinburgh – Orkney: Fly from Edinburgh to Orkney. Transfer to the hotel and hear a talk.
  • 24 May Fri Orkney:  Drive through to the West Mainland and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the heart of Neolithic Orkney. Visit the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe. Visit Skara Brae and Skall House. Return to Kirkwall to visit to St Magnus Cathedral. Dinner followed by music at the Orkney Folk Festival
  • 25 May Sat Orkney: A guided walk through Stromness and lunch at Stromness Hotel, the Army HQ during the war. Drive through Orphir and visit Scapa Flow and its museum. Visit the Italian Chapel and Churchill Barriers. Tea at Hoxa Tea Room and walk through the wartime remains at Hoxa Head. Option to enjoy live music at the Orkney Folk Festival
  • 26 May Sun Orkney – Edinburgh: Transfer to the airport for return flights or join extension to Iceland

Extension to Iceland

  • 27 May Mon Edinburgh – Reykjavik: Fly to Reyjkavik and transfer to the Fosshótel Barón. Visit Blue Lagoon for a relaxing soak in the hot springs. Continue onto Viking World. 
  • 28 May Tues Reykjavik: Visit the Golden Circle, stopping at Thingvallanvatn, Iceland's largest natural lake, Gullfoss waterfall and the geyser geothermal area where Strokkur spouts its hot water and steam 25 - 30m into the air. Continue to Hafnarfjörður and enjoy a Viking dinner
  • 29 May Wed Reykjavik: Visit the Settlement Center (Borganes) -and Reykholt - Settlement Exhibition. Visit Árbær (the open air museum). Farewell dinner 
  • 30 May Thurs Reykjavik: Transfer to the airport

Tour cost

Costs from US $6,286 pp sharing, depending on cabin grade, excluding international flights and transfers (all flights included within tour)

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