- Emily Goldfischer
Inspiring Look at the Super Women of Norway Through Travel
"Can full equality ever be achieved?" Setting out to answer this question through an exploration of one of the most gender-equal countries in the world, Up Norway, a luxury travel operator has launched "Tracing Norway's Super Women," a new 10-day journey dedicated to the groundbreaking female stories of Norway's past and present.
Up Norway's Founder & CEO, Torunn Tronsvang, created the itinerary with her team to build awareness around United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #5, 'Gender Equality.' She tells us, "As travel curators, we are constantly striving to ensure that equality remains clearly visible on the map," emphasizing that she adds "sustainability is about more than our carbon footprint, it is about empowering girls and women and promoting the right to self-determination." Creating an educational and entertaining tour is certainly one way to turn intent into impact!
The ethos of Up Norway is to showcase each destination through the lens of locals, who share remarkable stories in Norway's rugged landscapes and cosmopolitan cities, and in the case of the "Super Women" itinerary offering a laser focus on the accomplishments and actions of women throughout the country. The journey begins in Oslo where gender equality is woven into the tapestry of this vibrant city through art and design, and more importantly, politics, travelers will learn about Oslo’s ‘Proud and Free Action Plan’, instigated to increase recognition of gender and sexual diversity and to boost equality and inclusivity. From the capital, the tour continues on a geographical passage from East to North and West; from 17th-century witch trials in wild Varanger to female empowerment through whisky production on Fedje island.
Scandinavia’s only Women’s Museum for an introduction to Norway’s equality journey from an international perspective.
A visit to Feddie Ocean Distillery, to hear the empowering story of the women who have created Norway’s first organic certified distillery
Guided tour of Ekeberg Sculpture Park, one of the world’s top five sculpture parks, featuring works by pioneering female artists such as Niki de Saint Phalle & Sarah Lucas
Staying in luxury accommodation that celebrates the country’s leading ladies – including the exquisitely restored Camilla’s House, originally the private residence of Camilla Collett, one of Norway’s most significant novelists & women’s rights activists–– or the female-run and owned Hotel Continental in Oslo.
To learn more about the inspiration for the "Super Women" tour, we chatted with Up Norway CEO and Founder, Torunn Tronsvang.
What inspired this package?
We want to highlight that sustainability has more aspects than carbon reduction. We want to showcase stories where we know Norway is in the lead, such as when it comes to gender equality, and inspire travelers to positive change.
Who is your target market?
Women and men traveling in small groups of 6-8 guests, from all countries of the world, who are ready to be edutained by some of our favorite locals and struck by some truly remarkable places.
Do you think men will also try it?
We surely hope so!! This journey is about women's journey to equality, but not for female travelers only. What you will experience is diverse; the landscapes, the people, the activities, the stories ––and the destinations in Norway are put together in a creative and unconventional way
Have you booked any "Super Women" tours yet?
We released it Friday the week before last, so we have not yet had anyone book the full trip, but have a group of ladies from New Zealand on parts of it in February.
What do you think will be the biggest takeaway or learning for participants of the trip?
That even one single person can make a big positive difference - in various aspects of life. That being rich in perspectives is the best way to be rich. That there are fun people all over who follow dreams, take risks, achieve remarkable things and inspire others to do the same.
Are most of the hotels/attractions run or owned by women?
The Hotel Continental in Oslo is female-owned and female-run. In Fedje, the distillery and accommodation are owned by a group of female investors. In Bergen and Varanger, the accommodations are run by couples.
Before founding Up Norway in 2016, Torunn Tronsvang worked for more than a decade in the luxury hotel space with brands such as Anantara, Jumeirah, and Aman in locations around the world from Dubai, Switzerland, and Bhutan to Thailand and the Maldives. She recognized an opportunity to "fulfill the most thoughtful travelers’ interest in experiences off the beaten path––and closer to heart in terms of authenticity, involvement, and connection."
In her quest to create better practices in ecotourism and responsible social impact, Torunn realized that the clients she hoped to serve were already passionate about being part of a culture of global solutions. "And to my delight, many of those answers could be found and exemplified in our own Norwegian lifestyle."
For more information on Torunn and Up Norway, click here.