12 Nights | NORTHERN FRONTIERS
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You will visit the following 12 places:
Norway is the westernmost, northernmost—and in fact the easternmost—of the three Scandinavian countries. Best known for the complex and deep fjords along its west coast which stretches from the North Sea near Denmark and Scotland into the Arctic Ocean and has borders with Finland, Sweden and the northwestern tip of Russia. Norway may have a clutch of attractive, cosmopolitan cities, appealing destinations in their own right, but where the country really shines is not in its urban culture, but rather in the low-key, amiable small-town feel that pervades throughout its settlements.
Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England, and is situated 120 kilometres (75 mi) south-west of London and 30 kilometres (19 mi) north-west of Portsmouth. Southampton is a major port and the closest city to the New Forest. It lies at the northernmost point of Southampton Water at the confluence of the River Test and River Itchen, with the River Hamble joining to the south of the urban area. The local authority is Southampton City Council, which is a unitary authority. Just over a quarter of the jobs available in the city are in the health and education sector. A further 19 per cent are property and other business and the third largest sector is wholesale and retail, which accounts for 16.2 percent. Between 1995 and 2004, the number of jobs in Southampton has increased by 18.5 per cent. Southampton has always been a port, and the docks have long been a major employer in the city. In particular, it is a port for cruise ships; its heyday was the first half of the 20th century, and in particular the inter-war years, when it handled almost half the passenger traffic of the UK. Today it remains home to luxury cruise ships, as well as being the largest freight port on the Channel coast and fourth largest UK port by tonnage, with several container terminals. Unlike some other ports, such as Liverpool, London, and Bristol, where industry and docks have largely moved out of the city centres leaving room for redevelopment, Southampton retains much of its inner-city industry.
Oslo is a county and municipality, as well as the capital and largest city in Norway. Oslo was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III "Hardraade" of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The Danish–Norwegian king Christian IV moved the city, rebuilding it closer to Akershus fortress, as Christiania (briefly also spelt Kristiania). In 1925, the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of 261,600 as of April 31, 2011. Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of 386,900 as of April 31, 2011. Bergen is located in the county of Hordaland on the south-western coast of Norway. It is an important cultural hub in its region, recognized as the unofficial capital of Western Norway and sometimes also referred to as the Atlantic coast capital of Norway. The city was one of nine European cities honoured with the title of European Capital of Culture in the Millennium year.
Haugesund is a town and municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The majority of the population of Haugesund lives in the main urban area surrounding the city centre, with the northwestern part of the municipality being fairly rural. The town also offers a much wider range of goods and services than might be expected from a city of its size (approx. 32,000 inhabitants; 42,000 including all suburbs), due to its position as the definite center of its relatively populous region.
Kristiansand, historically Christiansand, is a city and municipality in Norway. It is the fifth largest city in Norway and the municipality is the sixth largest in Norway. Tourism is important in Kristiansand, and the summer season is the most popular for tourists. Kristiansand Zoo and Amusement park is the largest zoo in Norway. It receives over 900,000 visitors every year. Markens Street is the main pedestrian street in downtown Kristiansand. Bystranda is a city beach located in Kvadraturen; in addition, Hamresanden beach is the longest beach in Kristiansand. Hamresanden Camping is a popular family camp during the summer season. The city hosts a free concert in downtown Kristiansand once every week in the summer. Outside the city is the industry park Sørlandsparken, which has Sørlandssenteret, the largest mall in Norway.