According to legend, Oslo was founded in 1049 by King Harald Hardråde (Harald the Hard Ruler), though archeological evidence points to an earlier settlement in the area dating from before 1000, giving Oslo an excuse to have celebrated its millennium in 2000. It has been the capital of Norway since 1299, but under Danish rule from the 14th century to 1814, its role in governing the country was minimal.
Today the city is home to just over 600,000 residents. It is full of museums, top-notch art galleries and its new Opera House, which opened in 2008. The bars and cafes along Karl Johan, which runs from downtown to the Royal Palace, all spill over onto the sidewalk. The proximity of the city to the pristine Oslofjord makes a brief morning escape to its small islands simple. During your time in Oslo there will be time to stop to take photographs of some of the city’s most well-known landmarks.
We will begin our morning with a visit Oslo Opera House where we will enjoy a private tour, lasting 50 minutes. This iconic building is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. The building was completed in 2008 and is covered in white granite and Italian marble, and its angular exterior gives the appearance of rising from the sea. This magnificent building was designed by the Norwegian award-winning architectural firm “Snøhetta”, who also designed the Ground Zero Memorial & Museum in New York. The Opera House has a huge inner space, with spectacular designs. In order to create the unusual surfaces, the architects at Snøhetta worked together with a range of artists.
From the Opera House, we will continue to the Vigeland Sculpture Park. The Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist, and is one of Norway's most popular tourist attractions. The unique sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland's lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron. Vigeland was also in charge of the design and architectural layout of the park. The Vigeland Park was mainly completed between 1939 and 1949. Most of the sculptures are placed in five units along an 850-meter-long axis: The Main gate, the Bridge with the Children's playground, the Fountain, the Monolith plateau and the Wheel of Life.
After exploring the park with our guide, we will be brought over to the Emmanuel Vigeland Mausoleum. The mausoleum is located in a delightful residential area of Oslo, where the historic and modern homes dot the landscape.
The younger brother of Gustav Vigeland, Emmanuel was also an artist, but spent most of his life in the shadow of his more successful brother. His crowning glory, however, was his mausoleum. The walls and roof of the ornately decorated chamber are covered with a fresco depicting human life, love and death. The lighting is dim, and the acoustics are overwhelming. Here, we will enjoy a magical private concert, together with sparkling wine and canapes inspired by Norwegian delicacies, before heading back to your ship.
Suggested Attire/Walking Notes: Casual attire with comfortable walking shoes. Moderate walking.
This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to local conditions or other considerations. This Virtuoso Voyages Event is not transferable and cannot be used in conjunction with another sailing. This Virtuoso Voyages Event has no cash value, cannot be redeemed or refunded for cash. Credit will not be issued for unused services. Ground operators and other suppliers are independently owned and operated and are not controlled by Virtuoso. Your participation in this event served as your acknowledgement that Virtuoso is not responsible for the acts or omissions of these third parties.