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Traveling aboard the state-of-the-art National Geographic Explorer, experience true 21st-century exploration and follow in the wake of legendary explorers as we venture to new frontiers deep into the far reaches of the arctic. Explore Baffin Island and Lancaster Sound, then make your way up the beautiful coast of Ellesmere Island. Trace the rarely explored coast of northwest Greenland, going places where the National Geographic Explorer has yet to visit and tidewater glaciers of extreme beauty dominate. Tour Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, and Greenland’s magnificent Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The high arctic in its full glory is a lifetime experience that you will never forget.
Follow in the wake of legendary explorers and hear their dramatic stories as we explore Lancaster Sound, the gateway to the Northwest Passage.
Trace the rugged fjords of northwest Greenland and glide between soaring icebergs at the mouth of Greenland’s Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Observe polar bears, walruses, arctic foxes, caribou, ringed seals, humpback, minke, and beluga whales, and perhaps the elusive narwhal.
Discover the incredible landscapes and wildlife of legendary Baffin Island on hikes and excursions by Zodiac.
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 or Island 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, 6, & 7 — Baffin Island
Over the next three days we will stretch our legs on hiking trails at Qikiqtarjuaq and head to Coronation Fjord where 5,000-foot cliffs soar near the Coronation Glacier. Stops include Niaqurnak Point, a former Inuit camp where glacial tongues extend to the water’s edge and walrus haul outs decorate the landscape, and Isabella Bay, an important marine habitat where deep troughs create ideal conditions for bowhead whales. (B,L,D daily)
Days 8, 9, & 10 — Exploring the Canadian High Arctic
Our days here will be spent searching for ringed seals, arctic foxes, walruses, and polar bears, as well as beluga and bowhead 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. We plan to explore Milne Bay for possible narwhal sightings and Prince Regent Inlet for polar bears on ice. (B,L,D daily)
Day 11 — Devon Island
In the waters of the entrance to the Northwest Passage, we encounter Devon Island’s Croker Bay and Philpots Island where we go ashore for a chance to hike on the tundra and search for various bird species, Arctic hares, and perhaps even musk oxen. Stand on deck as we then head out into the open waters offshore and spot towering icebergs.
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. The next day, enter Bachanan Bay, and turn into Alexandra Fjord to reach Skraeling Island with the hope of finding artifacts from Inuit cultures. (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 — Uummannaq
Today we are back in familiar waters, stopping at Uummannaq, 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 — Ilulissat
Sail into Disko Bay to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ilulissat Icefjord. Take an extraordinary cruise among the towering icebergs and visit the Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut. (B,L,D)
Day 22 — Greenland's West Coast
Our final day aboard the National Geographic Explorer will be spent in the scenic fjords north of Sondre Stromfjord. Take a Zodiac cruise, kayak, or hike across the tundra. Our undersea specialist may launch the ROV to see the marine life inhabiting the fjord floor. (B,L,D)
Day 23 — Kangerlussuaq/Reykjavík, Iceland
After breakfast, disembark in Kangerlussuaq. Fly by private charter to Reykjavík, where we check in to either the Grand Hotel or Island Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 24 — Reykjavík/U.S.
Explore Iceland’s lively capital city, Reykjavík with a guided tour. Visit the famous Blue Lagoon’s thermal baths and enjoy lunch prior to your flight home. (B,L,D)
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.
After starting out as a skateboard photographer in the 1990s, Keith Ladzinski began using the special lighting techniques he had learned from sports photography to shoot outdoor adventure stories. As a result, his unique photos have been featured in National Geographic magazine, Discover, Men’s Journal, Outside, Runner’s World, ESPN magazine, and the front page of the New York Times. His assignments for National Geographic have taken him to some of the most remote and untouched places of the world’s seven continents and have included a 45-day expedition to Antarctica’s Queen Maude Land, a climbing expedition on karst rock towers in Southern China, and a story about France’s Verdon Gorge. Also an accomplished filmmaker, Keith and his partners at 3 Strings Productions have produced more than 20 films around the world.
If departing from outside the U.S., plan to arrive on the morning of Day 2.
Solo Suite A
Solo Suite B
Prices are per person, double occupancy, in Categories 1 though 7.
Airfare to/from Keflavík and round-trip charter airfare between Reykjavik and Kangerlussuaq is not included in the expedition cost. The group flights between Kangerlussuaq and Reykjavik are $1,450 (subject to change).
Please note: The pricing above is valid for 2018 departures booked by June 1, 2017.