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Around the World by Private Jet: The Northern Route

  • Trip Type: Private Jet
  • 22 Days | Seattle to Boston
  • Group Size: Max 75

Expedition Details


Delve into the worlds of emperors and exiles, Arctic explorers and fossil-finders, and nomads of the desert and the ice as you circumnavigate the northern hemisphere by private jet. Explore Japan’s exquisite spiritual architecture amid the gardens and shrines of Kyoto and Nara. Experience nomadic life in Mongolia’s Gobi and trace Russian history in St. Petersburg and Irkutsk. Then head further north to encounter Norway’s fjords, Iceland’s wondrous geology, and the glittering glaciers and icebergs of Greenland.

Trip Highlights

  • Examine fossils with a paleontologist at Mongolia's Flaming Cliffs, and experience nomadic life in the Gobi from a stunning ger camp that is part of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection.
  • Cruise Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and attend a private concert at a historic manor house in Irkutsk, Siberia.
  • Discover Norway's dramatic fjords by boat and by cable car and witness waterfalls, volcanoes, and geysers in Iceland.
  • Meet Greenland's Inuits, take walks along the glacier at Ilulissat Icefjord, and peer at iridescent icebergs on a cruise.

Itinerary - 22 Days

Days 1 & 2 — Home City/Seattle, Washington

Meet experts, staff, and fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner at our hotel, located in the heart of downtown near Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Space Needle. The next day, depart for Japan, and lose a day crossing the international date line.
Fairmont Olympic Hotel or Four Seasons Hotel Seattle (B, L, D daily)

Days 3, 4, & 5 — Kyoto and Nara, Japan

After landing in Osaka, travel to Kyoto, home to UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples, shrines, and gardens that vividly recall the glory of Old Japan. Visit Kinkaku-ji golden pavilion, the wooden temple of Sanjusangendo, the striking torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine, and the palaces and gardens of Nijō Castle. In ancient Nara, an imperial capital of Japan, see the Tōdai-ji Temple, the world’s largest wooden building, and peruse an outstanding collection of sacred Buddhist art at Kōhfukuji National Treasure Museum. Stroll along an enchanting path to the Kasuga Grand Shrine, passing by 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Kyoto (B, L, D daily)

Days 6, 7, & 8 — Ulaanbaatar and the Gobi, Mongolia

Our next stop is the land of Genghis Khan, where one of the world’s last nomadic cultures lives amid the stark beauty of the steppe. In Ulaanbaatar, explore the Gandan Monastery, one of the few monasteries to survive the communist religious purges in the 1930s. Then take a private local flight to the majestic Gobi, where we’ll spend two nights at a traditional ger (tent) camp, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. In addition, visit with a nomad family and experience their way of life firsthand. At the fossil quarries of Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs, hunt for dinosaur fossils with a local paleontologist. Or discover the stunning landscapes of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.
Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar; Terelj Hotel or Three Camel Lodge (B, L, D daily)

Days 9 & 10 — Irkutsk and Lake Baikal, Russia

After the Decembrist Revolt in 1825, exiled nobility settled in Siberia, bringing culture and infrastructure to cities like Irkutsk. Follow in their footsteps on a walk through the central square, where traditional wooden houses stand out in bright shades of blue and green—the colors of Siberia. Visit the Church of Our Saviour, the oldest stone structure in Irkutsk, and wander among the tombs of famous Siberians at the Znamenskaya cathedral. Delve into the city’s pivotal role in Russian history at the Monument to Russian Pioneers of Siberia. The next day, cruise Lake Baikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site as well as the world’s oldest and deepest lake. In the evening, enjoy a classical concert at the Volkonsky Manor, once the center of social life for the exiled Decembrists.
Courtyard by Marriott, Irkutsk City Center (B, L, D daily)

Days 11, 12, & 13 — St. Petersburg, Russia

Designed by Peter the Great in the 18th century to rival the cities of Europe, elegant St. Petersburg still entices travelers with its magnificent palaces, superb art collections, and riveting history. At the lavishly restored Catherine Palace, marvel at the magnificent Amber Room, then delve into the world-renowned art collection at the State Hermitage Museum and examine jewels and the works of Fabergé at its Treasure Galleries. Stroll through the gardens of Peterhof, the tsar’s homage to Versailles. Tour Peter and Paul Fortress, the city’s oldest structure, to see the stunning grounds and historic cathedral, topped with a needle-thin spire. Attend a performance at one of St. Petersburg’s grand theaters, or discover the Neva and its tributary canals during an evening boat cruise before a gala dinner.
Hotel Astoria (B, L, D daily)

Days 14 & 15 — Bergen, Norway

Founded by the 12th century as a trading outpost, the coastal city of Bergen is our base for exploring the craggy fjords and verdant valleys of western Norway. After a walking tour of the colorful harbor district on World Heritage-listed Bryggen, choose from several options. Embark on a cruise of extraordinary Nærøyfjord and a thrilling ride on the Flåm Railway, one of the most dramatic train journeys in Europe. Take a guided excursion through historic Bergen, followed by a breathtaking funicular ascent to the summit of Mount Fløyen. Or hike through the gorgeous countryside and enjoy lunch. Alternatively, opt to spend your days immersed in the fjords of western Norway, discovering waterfalls, exploring the scenic Mabo Valley, visiting a local family, or paddling serene waterways.
Clarion Collection Hotel Havnekontoret or Hotel Ullensvang (B, L, D daily)

Days 16, 17, & 18 — Reykjavík, Iceland

In Iceland’s vibrant capital of Reykjavík, explore the Old City and the traditional wooden houses of the Árbær Open Air Museum. Relax in the geothermic hot springs of the Blue Lagoon, whose warm, mineral-rich waters have long eased the muscles and raised the spirits of travelers. At Thingvellir, stand astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. See the geothermal fields of Geysir, home to hot springs, mud pots, and boiling pools; and feel the mist on your face at the majestic Gullfoss. You’ll also have time to choose your own adventure, including visiting a geothermal power plant, hiking through a nature reserve, or snowmobiling on a glacier.
Hotel Borg, Reykjavík (B, L, D daily)

Days 19 & 20 — Ilulissat, Greenland

Our next stop is Kangerlussuaq, a town of about 500 residents in western Greenland founded as a military base during World War II and now a hub of scientific research. Continue by charter flight north to the remote town of Ilulissat, which abuts the massive Ilulissat Icefjord, the source of many of the icebergs in Greenlandic waters. Cruise through the mist among craggy icebergs at the mouth of the fjord, take an easy walk along the ice fjord, and meet a dogsled team. Or take a longer guided hike alongside the massive glacier to the Inuit village of Sermermiut, or visit the brightly colored houses and church of a tiny hunting and fishing settlement.
Arctic Hotel, Ilulissat (B, L, D daily)

Days 21 & 22 — Greenland/Boston, Massachusetts/Home City

Fly to Boston and celebrate with a festive farewell dinner. The next day, connect with your commercial flight home.
Mandarin Oriental, Boston (D)

Expedition Team

A world-class team of experts will accompany this expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life. The expert featured below will be part of the expedition team on this trip.

Wade Davis

Wade  DavisNational Geographic Explorer Wade Davis is an anthropologist, writer, photographer, and filmmaker whose work has taken him to remote places from the Amazon to the Arctic to learn about and record complex cultures. Wade is the author of 17 books, including One River, The Wayfinders, The Sacred Headwaters, and Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest, which won the prestigious 2012 Samuel Johnson Prize. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, a documentary series produced for the National Geographic Channel. An Honorary Member of the Explorers Club, Wade received their highest award, the Explorers Medal, in 2011. He was also awarded the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2009 and, in 2012, the David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration.

Wade will join the following departure:

Jun 01 - 22, 2017



  • Jun 01 - 22, 2017 (waitlist only)
  • Jul 12 - Aug 02, 2018

Expedition Cost





Price is per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $7,950. Transportation by private Boeing 757 jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary, is included in the expedition cost. Airfare to Seattle and from Boston is not included.

Our specially outfitted Boeing 757 is ideally suited for this extraordinary expedition. Its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports afford us unmatched flexibility. We set our own schedules, flying direct and avoiding layovers, which allows us the freedom to make the most of our adventures on land. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s interior has been customized and refitted to accommodate just 75 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating.

For your protection, all payments are secured in a bank escrow account. See special terms and conditions for this expedition.