Pursuing the path of the Vikings on a tour through Eastern Europe

By Denzil & Jennie Verardo
This article appears on page 20 of the February 2020 issue.
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We have had a long-term passion for history and decided to act on it once again by booking a cruise titled “In the Wake of the Vikings,” with who else but Viking Ocean Cruises (Woodland Hills, CA; 866/984-5464, www.vikingcruises.com/oceans)! It sailed a portion of the world we had not experienced and was rich in Norse history.

Beginning in Bergen, Norway, our September 2018 cruise crossed the North Atlantic, stopping in the Shetland Islands; the Faroe Islands; Iceland; Greenland, and the Canadian ports of L’Anse aux Meadows, Saguenay and Québec before concluding in Montréal.

Since the cruise was only two weeks in length, we decided to book a land tour to precede it that included parts of Europe the Vikings had fought or settled in, enabling us to travel to several more countries we had not yet visited.

The land tour was arranged for us by Bestway Tours & Safaris (Burnaby, BC, Canada; 800/663-0844, bestway.com), with whom we had previously traveled. This trip began in Russia and went on to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the Czech Republic (Czechia). It was 17 days in length, and while it was not a history tour per se, it allowed us to experience the vastness of the Viking conquests and trade routes as well as appreciate the landscape and cultures of the people who call these lands home today.

Moscow sites

The Cathedral of the Assumption in Sergiev Posad, Russia.

Our trip began with an Aeroflot flight from Los Angeles to Moscow. After an efficient clearance through Customs and Immigration, we were met by a tour representative for our transfer to the Moscow Marriott Grand Hotel for a welcome drink and dinner. The hotel is located near Red Square and was a perfect location for walking around downtown.

Our room looked out on a famous architectural feature of Moscow — one of the Seven Sisters — a Stalinist-era, Gothic-style skyscraper. Lighted at night, it was a spectacular sight.


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