SAA Scandinavian Summer Tour: Visby, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen

      Stockholm, Sweden

      Aug 9 - 19, 2024
      Group size: 16 - 20
      SAA Scandinavian Summer Tour: Visby, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen
      Stockholm, Sweden

      Aug 9 - 19, 2024
      Group size: 16 - 20

      About this trip

      Scandinavia – often associated with Viking legends and modern design - seems an improbable destination for the pursuit of great collections of ancient Asian art. Yet countless Swedish and Danish archaeologists, missionaries, diplomats and private individuals have donated objects to collections in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Copenhagen, where this tour will take members of the Society for Asian Art in August. Expect an eye-opening, edifying and entertaining experience! 


      · Our tour kicks off with an entertaining weekend in the Hanseatic city of Visby, on the island of Gotland, where we will partake in the largest medieval festival in Europe.

      · In Stockholm, we will have a curator-led visit at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities - whose collections from China, Korea, Japan, India and Southeast Asia are nearly unmatched in Europe – and have a rare opportunity to see archaeological finds from northern Vietnam made by archaeologist Olov Janse in the 1930s. Important finds from Tibet, Mongolia and Xinjiang made by Sven Hedin in the early 20th century will be shared at the nearby Museum of Ethnography. 

      · Onwards to Gothenburg, on what is often referred to as Sweden’s “Left Bank,” where our VIP tour at the Rőhsskamuseet will mine one of Europe’s oldest collections of Chinese costumes, textiles and other crafted objects, as well as vessels from the Banshan tombs from 2500 BC - many of which have inspired contemporary designers and artists! 

      · In Copenhagen, we will take a guided tour of the exquisite Islamic collection at The David -- by far the largest of its kind in Scandinavia and among the most important in the Western world -- hosted by the Museum Director and curators. The collection covers virtually the entire classical Islamic world, from Spain in the west to India in the east, and spans the period from the 7th to the 19th century, with all artistic media represented. There is much to see of Asian art as well on a curator-led visit at the National Museum of Denmark and at the Ny CArlsberg Glyptotek with its Egyptian collection and 19th-century French masterpieces.

      · Last but not least, visits to the ABBA Museum in Stockholm and Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen for some fun; an afternoon at Drottingholm Slott, the private residence of the Swedish royal family and a UNESCO World Heritage site, for tours of the palace, its exotic Chinese Pavilion, and remarkable Court Theatre, with the option to stay for an evening performance of the grand French baroque opera, Armide.

      · We will end with a farewell dinner in Copenhagen spotlighting the best of Danish cuisine – and the satisfaction of knowing we made the most of our long summer days in Scandinavia!

      · Throughout we will stay in four-star hotels selected for their location and atmosphere.

      The trip is limited to 20 SAA members. Registrations accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.  

      A final, updated Itinerary will be sent to you two weeks prior to the tour. 

      What’s included

      • Accommodations
        Ten nights total: 2 at Clarion Hotel Wisby (Visby), 4 at Radisson Collection Strand (Stockholm), 1 at Radisson Blu (Gothenburg), and 3 at Hotel Sankt Petri (Copenhagen), including taxes
      • Meals
        Breakfast daily, one welcome reception with two glasses of wine or beer per person and a cheese-and-charcuterie platter, and one farewell dinner including wine
      • Transportation
        Ferry and shuttlebus from Visby to Stockholm (Aft Lounge seating); and high-speed train tickets for Stockholm to Gothenburg and from Gothenburg to Copenhagen (Business Class seating)
      • Curator and Docent Tours
        As indicated in the itinerary
      • Entrance Fees to Museums
        As indicated in the itinerary
      • Other Entrance Fees
        2 day passes to Medieval Week, 1 day pass to Tivoli Gardens (Friday after 6 p.m. or any other day)
      • Other Tickets
        Walking tour of Stockholm's Gamla Stan (Old Town)
      • WiFi
        Complimentary WiFi internet access at the hotels

      What’s not included

      • Travel Expenses
        To Visby and from Copenhagen
      • Airport transfers
        To and from the hotels
      • Transportation
        From and between sites by taxi or ride-share services, as indicated in the itinerary. Note: Uber and Lyft are banned in Denmark; Viggo and Taxa 4x35 are the available ride-hailing taxi services.
      • Meals
        Meals and beverages not otherwise included
      • Gratuities
        Tipping is not expected in Scandinavia. Service is included in restaurant bills; at most, round up or leave change. Hotel employees do not expect tips, but a small tip for extra help is appreciated.
      • Items for personal use
        Including phone and fax charges, minibar, and laundry services
      • Non-group tickets
        Event and performance tickets arranged on your own
      • Travel Insurance
        Information will be provided upon sign-up

      Available Packages

      Per person, based on double occupancy
      9 left
      Deposit: $1,500
      Per person, based on single occupancy
      9 left
      Deposit: $1,500

      Available options

      Drottningholm Evening at the Opera

       Best-available opera ticket, interval snack box, and return transfer to Stockholm by bus.   


      Friday, August 9th

      Arrive independently to Visby , a Swedish fairytale town on the island of Gotland.  The city of Visby is a UNESCO World Heritage site, awarded one of the best preserved, amongst the medieval Hanseatic towns. 

      The best connections by air are via Copenhagen (CPH) and Stockholm (ARN). Scandinavian, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Air Canada all provide good connections.

      Check-in to the Clarion Hotel Wisby, situated inside the city wall, for two nights.

      Clarion Hotel Wisby is conveniently located in the old town, just a short walk from the marina. The hotel is imbued with atmosphere, featuring modern elements carefully mixed with historical details, including a medieval alley and pillars from the 13th century that have been carefully restored and preserved. 

      Visby Airport is a 15-minute drive from the hotel, and the ferry terminal (Hamnterminalen) and Wisby Strand are both just a 10-minute walk from the hotel.

      RESERVED: Superior Doubles for singles, Deluxe Doubles for two people sharing.


      Welcome Reception and Orientation at the hotel in the privately reserved Kopparsalen.

      MEAL INCLUDED:  Wine-and-beer reception with cheese and charcuterie

      IMAGE:  Aerial view of Visby

      Your Organizer

      Tour Advisor Meg MacDonald at Travel Muse
      Mūse, n. [L. musa; Gr. mousa] 1. In Greek mythology, any of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne who presided over the fine arts and science. 2. The spirit regarded as inspiring a poet or other artist; source of genius or inspiration. Travel Muse has 30+ years' experience creating tours to inspire, including Director’s and President’s Circle Tours; Connoisseur Tours; and Study Tours. Tours of the highest standard are designed for fine and decorative art organizations, botanic gardens, historic societies, & culinary groups.