Venture deep into the far reaches of the Arctic, a land where polar bears roam, walruses loll, and hardy Inuit communities maintain their traditional way of life. Aboard the National Geographic Explorer, trace the rugged fjords of Greenland and navigate Canada’s legendary Northwest Passage. Spot polar bears on the pack ice, get up
close to massive glaciers, and hike the
myriad islands that dot Canada’s northern
Glide between soaring icebergs at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Observe polar bears, walruses, ringed seals, belugas, and narwhals in their natural habitat.
Spend a week discovering the incredible wildlife and landscapes of the fabled Northwest Passage.
Explore Ummannatsiaq, the site of an impressive mummy find featured in National Geographic magazine.
Itinerary - 17 Days
Day 1 — U.S./Ottawa, Canada
Arrive in Ottawa and check into the hotel in time for a welcome reception and dinner. Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel (D)
Day 2 — Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Fly by chartered aircraft to Greenland, the land of the midnight sun. Embark the National Geographic Explorer at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a scenic waterway that stretches 100 miles, and is aptly known as the “long fjord.” (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Greenland’s West Coast and Sisimiut
Dozens of deep fjords carve into Greenland’s west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers about 80 percent of the country. Discover this beautiful and ragged coastline in Zodiacs, searching for humpback and minke whales. At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander amid a picturesque jumble of 18th-century wooden buildings. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Disko Bay and Ilulissat Icefjord
Sail into Disko Bay to explore the World Heritage site of Ilulissat Icefjord, a tongue of the Greenland ice cap that extends to the bay. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs at the mouth of the fjord. Then walk alongside this immense, calving glacier to the Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Uummannatsiaq
Stop at Uummannatsiaq, where a collection of mummies dating back to 1475 was discovered in 1972 among the remains of an old Inuit settlement. The mummies were featured on the cover of the February 1985 issue of National Geographic magazine. (B,L,D)
Days 6 through 13 — At Sea/Exploring the Canadian High Arctic
A day at sea brings us across Baffin Bay—named
by explorer William Baffin when he ventured
here in the 17th century on his search for the
Northwest Passage—to Lancaster Sound, the eastern gateway to the Arctic Archipelago. The
sound has been a favorite Inuit hunting and
fishing location for thousands of years. Our days
here will be spent searching for ringed seals,
arctic foxes, walruses, and polar bears, as well as beluga, killer, and bowhead whales. We may even see the elusive narwhal, an Arctic whale known for the long, spiraling tooth that can project nearly ten feet from its upper jaw. Delve into the region’s
human history on visits to archaeological sites of the Thule people and vibrant Inuit villages sustained by fishing and artistic traditions. (B,L,D daily)
Day 14 — Hall Peninsula
We spend another day in true expedition style, exploring the wild Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island. Hike the tundra in search of caribou and arctic foxes, or follow our botanist to learn more about the hardy Arctic plants. The exposed rocky cliffs of Monumental and Lady Franklin Islands are used as haul-outs by walruses. We’ll cruise the coastline in search of these icons of the Canadian North. (B,L,D)
Day 15 — South Baffin Island/Frobisher Bay
The southeastern tip of Baffin Island forms the mouth of the Hudson Strait and is surrounded by tiny islands. Lower Savage and Resolution Islands are often a summer home to polar bears stranded by the retreating pack ice. Navigate the ice floes and rocks in a Zodiac, and spot harbor seals frolicking in the icy waters. Continue into Frobisher Bay—named for the English navigator who came across it on his quest for the Northwest Passage—and sail towards Iqaluit. (B,L,D)
Days 16 & 17 — Iqaluit, Nunavut/Ottawa/U.S.
Disembark in Iqaluit and fly to Ottawa by chartered aircraft. Fly home the next day. Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel (B,L,D)