Scandinavia Adventure Trip Overview
We start in Norway, where we’ll marvel at the Norwegian countryside from the top of a glacier. Explore the photogenic cities of Bergen, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki. We continue the adventure in Sweden, where you discover charming towns and beautiful countryside, learn why Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world, and adventure around beautiful Finland!
In addition to these iconic cities we will also visit some lesser-known gems of this region including charming local towns that are off the typical tourist track. If three countries aren’t enough to satisfy your travel bug, teens can venture to Estonia for an exciting day-trip.* This itinerary highlights the awe-inspiring nature and stunning cities Scandinavia is famous for and is the perfect balance of adventure and cultural immersion designed specifically for teens!
*This is an optional excursion.
During this program, you will…
- Step back in time and walk through the centuries-old UNESCO listed Bryggen Wharf in Bergen
- Marvel at the Norwegian countryside from the top of a glacier
- Tackle class 3 to 4 rapids as you head down the Stranda River
- Discover the nordic seafaring spirit that originated with the Vikings
- Take in the beauty of nature from the comfort of the wood-fired sauna or one of three jacuzzis all at the river’s edge*
- Bike through the coolest parts of Copenhagen with our local guide
- Feel the fairytale magic that inspired Walt Disney and Hans Christian Andersen at Tivoli gardens
- Relax at a traditional Swedish sauna
- Sample incredible Norwegian seafood, Danish smørrebrød, and Swedish meatballs
- Cruise to Estonia and explore the picturesque cobblestone streets and 13th-century Gothic structures*
- Wander the cobblestoned streets of Medieval Gamla Stan, one of the largest and most well-preserved city centers in Europe
*This is an optional excursion.
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-4: BERGEN > JUKLAVASS GLACIER
Start your journey on the rugged West coast of Norway in beautiful Bergen, one of the most important old ports in Europe. Experience the history of UNESCO Heritage Listed Bryggen Wharf, eat the freshest seafood at the central Fish Market and hunt for trolls as you hike to the top of Mt. Floyen. To round out our time on the west coast, we’ll go for an epic adventure and get geared up to hike the Juklavass glacier, a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
DAYS 5: VOSS
Catch the train inland to tiny Voss, home of extreme sports, where you’ll tackle a high ropes course and whitewater raft down the mighty Stranda River. After our adventure-packed day, we’ll spend the evening stargazing at our lakeside accommodation on beautiful Lake Vangsvatnet.
DAYS 6-8: OSLO
Then it’s time to check out the urban capital of Norway: Oslo. Explore this harborside city while checking out the trendy neighborhoods of Grünerløkka and Aker Brygge. Learn the fascinating history of Nordic sea and polar exploration at some of Oslo’s world-famous museums. We’ll cruise around the Oslo fjord, stopping at different islands along the way to picnic lunch, climb a 12th century tower, and relax in the summer villages. Finally, after taking in all Oslo has to offer, we’ll continue our journey to Denmark!
DAYS 9-10: COPENHAGEN
With more than half the population commuting by bicycle, Copenhagen is on track to become one of the ‘greenest’ cities on earth. Feel like a local as you cycle through the best parts of the city led by our Copenhagen native guide. Take a refreshing dip or hang out with the locals by the river at Islands Brygge, and enjoy delicious Smørrebrød – open sandwiches – at one of the city’s famed food halls. Spend a magical evening at Tivoli gardens, the second oldest operating amusement park in the world, where the likes of Walt Disney and Hans Christian Andersen drew inspiration for their timeless classics.
DAYS 11-12: STOCKHOLM
Watch the countryside change as you speed over to our last stop, Stockholm, possibly Europe’s most beautiful city. Shop to your heart’s content as you meander through the winding cobblestone streets and vibrant public squares of charming Gamla Stan, one of the best-preserved Medieval cities in Europe. Check out the wonders of Skansen, the oldest open-air museum in the world; learn about the mighty Vasa – the world’s only preserved 17th-century warship; witness famous Scandinavian design in the hip neighborhood of Södermalm and find the best Swedish meatballs in town.
DAYS 13-14: HELSINKI
After a quick flight over the Baltic Sea, we will head out to discover the world’s most livable city: Helsinki! Teens are given options to explore their favorite areas of downtown, whether it’s the Helsinki cathedral, art and history museums, or perhaps a little shopping. We finish the night by diving into Finnish urban legends during our TFT classic ghost tour.
If your travel bug isn’t satisfied by 3 countries, choose an optional day excursion to Estonia*! We’ll travel by ferry to our 4th Scandinavian country where we’ll shop, eat, and stroll through the cobblestoned Old Town and explore defensive towers and Gothic structures from the 13th and 15th centuries.
We spend the final day of our Scandinavian adventure in Helsinki. Catch spectacular views of the city from the SkyWheel ferris wheel, relax in a traditional Finnish sauna, and finish off your incredible adventure with a fancy final dinner with your newfound best friends.
DAY 15: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. Eat, stay, and travel like a local.
Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we are consistently awarded “Top Youth Travel Organization” year after year.
"Thank you again for all the wonderful pictures. I love seeing all your adventures!"
"Thank you for the updates and pictures. I very much appreciate the information. Looks as though the group has integrated well and the adventures are quite awesome. Hope you are all having a great time."
"Thanks so much. Our daughter has had such an amazing trip—the time of her life:) so happy!!!!"
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in grades 9th through 12th and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are chosen specifically in safe areas and are well suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. We do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities; we prefer to select smaller, family-run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Bergen, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki we stay in modern, convenient hotels right in the city center, in proximity to all the attractions and transit networks. For example, our Stockholm hotel is a 5-minute walk from Gamla Stan. In Voss, we stay right on Lake Vangsvatnet.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for the program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students like the most about this program?
Students love that they are able to explore picturesque cities alongside breathtaking nature in one of the most beautiful regions of Europe. This trip perfectly blends nature, adventure, history, and culture to give them an incredible overview of Scandinavia.
What is unique about this program?
This action-packed itinerary presents a fantastic way to experience all that this unique region has to offer, including everything from the glaciers and fjords of Norway through to UNESCO Heritage-listed cities. A carefully crafted itinerary coupled with over a decade of TFT expertise in leading trips through Europe means this program provides unique insider access to the best of Scandinavia.
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts and dinners.
Not included (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; visas and visa application fees; lunches, personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is usually chaperoned by a TFT staff member, and it also offers an opportunity for the students to get to know one another prior to the start of the program. Parents are responsible for coordinating transport to the departure airport – however, the logistics team will send out instructions detailing the exact meeting spot and airport point person. For additional information about flights, visit our dedicated flight page.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food is an integral aspect of the travel experience, and we make an effort to eat at authentic establishments whenever possible. There is no better way to immerse ourselves in the culture of a place then through sampling the local delicacies. We stray away from westernized restaurants and chains that cater to tourists, because every true traveler knows the best food is found where the locals are eating!
Norwegian cuisine offers some of the freshest seafood in the world. For the adventurous, try a delicious reindeer hot dog! Have the best smoked salmon of your life with a delicious Smørrebrød (open sandwich) in Denmark and sample the world-famous Swedish meatballs. These are just some of the delights on offer, and with New Nordic cuisine becoming so popular, you will have no shortage of delicious meals to try and enjoy.
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!