Festive Holiday Winterland Escape To Norway Package

Introduced By The Nordic Company, Starting At $1,145 With Air
NEW YORK (November 14, 2003) – Lillehammer, Norway’s storybook alpine village, and Oslo, its dynamic capital, are ideal settings for Christmas and winter getaways. Lillehammer provides a picturesque backdrop of horse-drawn sleighs gliding along snow-carpeted streets, quaint shops decked in twinkling lights, and festive outdoor activities such as caroling and torchlight tours, while Oslo’s illuminated, open-air museums feature Christmas concerts and crafts. Introduced by the Nordic Company, a Discover Norway partner, the air-inclusive, seven-day/five-night “Winterland Escape to Norway” offers the best of the season in both cities. Rates range from $1,145 to $1,545 per person, double, through March 31, 2004.

The package covers roundtrip air to Oslo from New York/Newark, Boston or Baltimore on SAS or Icelandic; three nights in Oslo and two in Lillehammer; breakfast daily and three dinners; first-class rail tickets between the two cities; and a two-day Oslo Pass, providing free access to museums, attractions and public transport citywide. The superior first-class package, at $1,145 to $1,255, features the Bondeheimen Hotel in Oslo and the Comfort Hotel Hammer in Lillehammer; the deluxe version, at $1,435 to $1,545, the Grand Hotel in Oslo and Radisson SAS Lillehammer Hotel. Rates are highest December 15 to 24. Add-on airfares are available from hundreds of U.S. cities.

Three days are spent in Lillehammer, a winter sports resort and site of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games that inherently has a warm, Christmas Wonderland-like atmosphere. Hearty Julebords — holiday buffets presenting cured meats, fish, sausages, seafood and such Norwegian specialties as lutefish (boiled cod in butter sauce) and kransekake (cone-shaped macaroon cake) — are served at festively garlanded hotels on most evenings in November and December. Christmas Eve services are held at Nordseter Mountain Church and steeple-crowned 1882 Lillehammer Church.

In town, travelers can shop for holiday gifts, handicrafts and Norwegian sweaters on Storgata, a pedestrian shopping street whose charming wooden houses and shops are dressed in colorful lights for the holidays. Outdoor winter activities available in the Lillehammer area include downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, moose safaris, ice fishing, torchlight tours, and sleigh, toboggan and luge rides.

By contrast, cosmopolitan Oslo is a center of Viking culture and a haven for holiday shoppers. In addition to the major shopping centers and gallerias, smaller boutiques and trendy restaurants line Karl Johans Gate, Oslo’s main pedestrian street, and the harborside Aker Brygge, a former shipyard converted to entertainment.

The seasonally decorated, open-air Norwegian Folk Museum displays 140 restored Norwegian barns, churches and farmhouses. The Christmas Market on November 30, December 7 and 14 has children’s choir concerts, folk dancing and 100 stalls of traditional Christmas crafts and treats. Travelers can make tree ornaments from sheep’s wool, sample rice pudding or listen to Norwegian fairytales at Baerums Verk, a historical museum and shopping center. Christmas is also celebrated at Bogstad Farm and Gardens in November and December with traditional toys, candles, foods and crafts.

Winterland escape packages can be customized with car rentals instead of train transportation, additional sightseeing and trip extensions throughout Scandinavia, the Baltic region and parts of Russia.

The Discover Norway Marketing Alliance was founded by the Norwegian Tourist Board, Norwegian Coastal Voyage and Scandinavian Airlines in 2001 to create greater awareness of the country’s tourist attractions. The Nordic Company, Oslo, Norwegian State Railways and the Fjord Norway Region, including Bergen, are also members. Norway brochures can be obtained from Discover Norway at (866) 6-NORWAY; e-mail usa@ntr.no; www.visitnorway.com/us

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