With sights set for 80º North aboard the National Geographic Explorer, channel legendary explorers and venture to places rarely visited in the far reaches of the Arctic. Trace the virtual terra incognita of northwest Greenland and discover its tidewater glaciers and deep fjords. Explore the Canadian High Arctic, from legendary Baffin Island and Lancaster Sound to wild Ellesmere Island. Spot polar bears and narwhals, hike on the tundra, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ilulissat Icefjord, and soak in the geothermal waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.
Aboard the National Geographic Explorer, venture to 80˚ North latitude,
and discover the virtual terra incognita at the northernmost reaches of
Visit ancient sites with an archaeologist, and learn about the Thule
people, the ancestors of the Inuit.
Trace the rugged and remote coast of northwest Greenland, on the
lookout for minke, humpback, and beluga whales.
Hone your photography skills while framing incredible Arctic landscapes
with a National Geographic photographer.
Itinerary - 24 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Keflavík, Iceland/Reykjavík
Depart for your overnight flight to Keflavík and upon arrival transfer to our hotel in Reykjavík. Take a guided overview of the old town, including Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral. Or choose to explore the Blue Lagoon and soak in the geothermal waters.
Grand Hotel (Day 2: L,D)
Day 3 — Reykjavík/Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Fly by chartered aircraft to Greenland and embark the National Geographic Explorer at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a picturesque waterway that stretches 100 miles. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Greenland's West Coast and Sisimuit/At Sea
Dozens of deep fjords carve into Greenland’s west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers much of the country. At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander amid wooden 18th-century buildings. In the afternoon, we trace this ragged coastline, and search for humpback and minke whales. (B,L,D)
Days 5 through 11 — Exploring the Canadian High Arctic
Our exploration of the Canadian High Arctic begins with a visit to the small Inuit community of Pond Inlet, Nunavut. We'll venture into some of the beautiful bays and inlets along Baffin Island's northern coast and Lancaster Sound, and search for ringed seals, arctic foxes, and polar bears, as well as beluga whales. We may even see the elusive narwhal, an arctic whale known for the long, spiraling tooth that projects up to ten feet from its upper jaw. Possible stops to explore Beechey Island and the remains of the winter quarters from Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition, and we may spot polar bears on the ice on Lancaster Sound. In the waters of the entrance to the Northwest Passage, we encounter Devon Island. Walk with our ship’s archaeologist to learn about the Thule people that once inhabited this region and were ancestors of all modern Inuit. At Dundas Harbor, we hike the tundra and search for wildlife, perhaps including musk oxen. (B,L,D daily)
Days 12 & 13 — Ellesmere Island
We make our way up the beautiful and remote east coast of Ellesmere Island. Cruise along scenic Smith Bay bordered by a steep wall of mountains and tumbling glacial ice. Search for polar bears on the ice from the ship’s deck and go ashore to hike or kayak in picturesque surroundings. Our flexible itinerary Skraeling Island, an archaeological find that shows the Norse once traded with the native Inuit here at Ellesmere, or we might go for a Zodiac cruise in Makinson Inlet, where tidewater glaciers tumble down to the sea. (B,L,D daily)
Days 14 & 15 — Farther North
On these two days we explore to 80ºN and hopefully beyond if the ice allows, encountering sparkling icebergs and experiencing the sense of adventure that comes with venturing into rarely explored waters. Enjoy the ship’s amenities including the spa and observation deck, and listen to talks from our experts and National Geographic photographer. (B,L,D daily)
Days 16 through 19 — Exploring Northwest Greenland
The remote coast of Northwest Greenland is our next destination. Visit the small community of Etah and encounter glaciers, fjords, inlets and island. (B,L,D daily)
Day 20 — Qilakitsoq
Today we are back in familiar waters, stopping at Qilakitsoq, where a collection of mummies dating back to 1475 was discovered in 1972 and featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine’s February 1985 issue. (B,L,D)
Day 21 — Disko Bay & Ilulissat
Sail into Disko Bay and explore a tongue of the Greenland ice cap. Set off on an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Ilulissat Icefjord. Visit the town of Ilulissat and walk to the archaeological site in the Sermermiut Valley. (B,L,D)
Day 22 — Greenland's West Coast
Our final day aboard the National Geographic Explorer will be spent in the scenic fjords. Take a Zodiac cruise or kayak the picturesque waterways. (B,L,D)
Day 23 — Kangerlussuaq/Reykjavík, Iceland
After breakfast, disembark in Kangerlussuaq. Fly by private charter to Reykjavík, where we check in to the Grand Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 24 — Reykjavík/U.S.
Explore Iceland’s lively capital city, with a guided tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Transfer to Keflavík for flights home. (B,L)
Accompanying each expedition is a diverse team of experts--from naturalists to regional specialists — who will share their knowledge and insights on the wildlife, landscapes and local culture. The expert featured below will be part of the expedition team on the date noted.
David Doubilet and Jen Hayes
Underwater photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes are married partners who work together as a team to produce National Geographic stories from equatorial coral reefs to beneath the polar ice. David estimates he has spent nearly half his life in the sea since taking his first underwater photograph at the age of 12 with a Brownie Hawkeye camera sealed in a bag. Between them, Jennifer and David have photographed and explored the ocean depths in such places as New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Tasmania, Scotland, and Antarctica. David has photographed stingrays, sponges, and sleeping sharks in the Caribbean, as well as shipwrecks in the South Pacific, the Atlantic, and at Pearl Harbor. He has produced more than 70 stories for National Geographic magazine and several books, and has received the Explorers Club’s prestigious Lowell Thomas Award and the Lennart Nilsson Award in Photography.
If departing from outside the U.S., plan to arrive on the morning of Day 2.
Category A Solo
Category B Solo
Prices are per person, double occupancy, except those marked solo, which are based on single occupancy.
Airfare to/from Reykjavik and round-trip charter airfare between Reykjavik and Kangerlussuaq is not included in the expedition cost. The group flights between Kangerlussuaq and Reykjavik are $1,520 (subject to change).
Travelers can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.