Highlands, Islands, and Fjords: Scotland, Orkney Islands, and Norway

Aboard Exploris One
With AHS Hosts Holly and Osamu Shimizu
May 29 to June 8, 2025
Optional Pre-Trip Extension: Scottish Highlands: May 26-30, 2025
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Oslo: June 8-11, 2025


Flowers of Norway

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Embark on an in-depth exploration of the magnificent landscapes, remote islands, blooming gardens, ancient settlements, and idyllic villages of Scotland and Norway. Discover the charm of Inverness, the heart of the Scottish Highlands, where you can wander through its picturesque Old Town and peruse the Victorian market filled with local specialties and crafts. Experience a variety of gardens, from the historic grounds of Cawdor Castle to an award-winning coastal garden, a garden steeped in mythology, an herb garden, and a bio-dynamic farm, each offering unique and enriching visits. Explore the Orkney Islands, where you can uncover the enduring Viking influence that shaped centuries of strategic presence. Delight in exploring remarkable Stone Age landmarks such as the Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae, an ancient village of stone slabs dating back 5,000 years, both honored as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cruise along Norway’s iconic fjords, discovering UNESCO World Heritage sites and unique cultural experiences. For those seeking to extend their journey, enjoy enriching optional pre-trip and post-trip extensions to explore the captivating Scottish Highlands and the cultural and garden delights of Oslo.

Trip Highlights:

  • Delight in cruising Norway during the height of spring when temperatures are mild and flowers carpet the countryside.
  • Explore Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, including its beautiful Old Town and indoor Victorian market selling local specialties and handicrafts.
  • Enjoy in-depth garden visits, including to Cawdor Castle and Gardens, an award-winning coastal garden, a mythological garden, an herb garden, and a bio-dynamic farm.
  • Discover how the Vikings held a strategic foothold in the Orkney Islands for centuries and marvel at fascinating Stone Age sites, including the Ring of Brodgar and the 5,000-year-old stoneslab village of Skara Brae, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Linger in the dramatic and beautiful landscapes of the Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord, including its most dramatic and narrow arm, UNESCO-listed Naeroyfjord.
  • Step ashore at peaceful, picturesque fjord-side towns and fishing villages off the beaten track— splendid Art Nouveau Ålesund, set on myriad islands stretching out into the ocean; and tiny villages in the Lofotens—such as Å and Reine— which have inspired artists and photographers for over a century.
  • Travel back in time at the Lofotr Viking Museum, boasting the largest Viking longhouse ever excavated.
  • Look for wildlife along the cliffs of Runde, one of the largest nesting cliffs in Norway and in the Lofotens, a prime location in June for orcas, porpoises, and the mighty sperm whale.