In the pages that follow, we've compiled the essentials of what you need to know about the practical details of planning your trip -- airlines, a calendar of events, details on currency, and more.
In the United States, contact the Scandinavian Tourist Board, 655 Third Ave., Ste. 1810, New York, NY 10017 (tel. 212/885-9700; www.goscandinavia.com), at least 3 months in advance for maps, sightseeing pointers, ferry schedules, and other information.
In the United Kingdom, contact the Norwegian Tourist Board (a division of the Scandinavian Tourist Board), Charles House, 5 Lower Regent St., London SW1Y 4LR (tel. 0207/839-6255; cost 50p per min.). You might also try the tourist board's official website: www.visitnorway.com.
In Canada, Innovation Norway has replaced the Norwegian Tourist Board. You can reach Innovation Norway at 2 Bloor St. West, Ste. 504, Toronto, Ontario M4W 3E2, Canada (tel. 416/920-0434; www.emb-norway.ca).
If you get in touch with a travel agent, make sure the agent is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). If a problem arises, you can complain to the consumer affairs department of the Society at 1101 King St., Ste. 200, Alexandria, VA 22314 (tel. 703/739-2782; www.astanet.com).
Maps -- Many tourist offices supply free maps of their district. You can also contact the Norwegian Automobile Club, Storgata 2, N-0155 Oslo 1 (tel. 22-34-14-00), which offers free or inexpensive road maps. Some of Norway's most reliable maps are published by Cappelen.
Tracing Your Norwegian Roots
If you're of Norwegian ancestry, you can get information on how to trace your family history from the nearest Norwegian consulate. In Norway, contact the Norwegian Emigration Center, Strandkaien 31, N-4005 Stavanger (tel. 51-53-88-60; www.emigrationcenter.com), for a catalog of information about Norwegian families who emigrated to the United States.
In the United States, the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 35 N. West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84150 (tel. 801/240-2331; www.familysearch.org), has extensive records of Norwegian families that emigrated to the United States and Canada. The library is open to the public without charge for genealogical research. Mormon churches in other cities have listings of materials available in Salt Lake City; for a small fee, you can request pertinent microfilms, which you can view at a local church.
People to People: Reaching Out
Established in 1971, Friends Overseas matches American visitors and Norwegians with similar interests and backgrounds. For more information, write to Friends Overseas, 68-04 Dartmouth St., Forest Hills, NY 11375 (www.friendsoverseas.org). To enroll, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to Friends Overseas and include your age, occupation or occupational goals, approximate dates of your visit, and names of your traveling companions.