Explore the dramatic coastlines of Iceland and Greenland on an expedition by land and sea. Encounter modern Icelandic culture in quirky Reykjavík, and travel outside the city to experience the country’s geothermal landscapes—from lava fields to the famed Blue Lagoon. Then fly to Greenland and embark the National Geographic Explorer to trace the fjord-laced landscapes of the country’s rugged western coast, getting an up-close look at glaciers and icebergs on kayaking and Zodiac excursions.
The National Geographic Explorer is equipped with a fleet of kayaks and Zodiacs that allow for up-close views of glacier-draped fjords and massive icebergs.
Take a private cooking class in Reykjavík, and savor an exclusive dinner accompanied by acclaimed local musicians.
Ride horseback across lava fields and marvel at steaming hot springs in the company of our naturalists.
Watch for the magnificent northern lights—we’ll have a chance to see them in the skies over Iceland and Greenland.
Itinerary - 9 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Reykjavík, Iceland
Fly overnight to Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital. On a walking tour of the old town, visit Hallgrímskirkja cathedral and delve into Viking history at the National Museum. Check in to our hotel in downtown Reykjavík, our home for the next two nights. Grand Hotel (Day 2: L, D)
Day 3 — Reykjavík
Today you may choose from several active options. Choose to go hiking across the rolling scrublands just outside the city, ride an Icelandic horse through the Hafnarfjörður lava field, or go kayaking along the coast. Or you may wish to visit the famed Blue Lagoon for a soak in its soothing geothermal waters. Tonight, gather for an exclusive dinner with live music. (B,L,D)
Days 4 & 5 — Kangerlussuaq, Greenland/Sisimiut
Fly to Greenland, taking in stunning aerial views
over the ice cap that covers most of the country.
Embark the National Geographic Explorer for our journey along Greenland’s western coast, laced by
fjords harboring glaciers and icebergs. As we cruise
this rugged coastline, keep an eye out for humpback
and minke whales. The next day, disembark
at Sisimiut, a former whaling port. Visit the town
museum, wander amid its colorful 18th-century
buildings, and welcome aboard students of the
National School for Greenlandic Clothing to learn
how traditional clothing is crafted. (B,L,D)
Days 6 & 7 — Disko Bay/Ilulissat/Western Coast
Sail into Disko Bay and set out to explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, a tongue of the Greenland ice cap and designated World Heritage site. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs at the mouth of the fjord, and see calving glacial ice. Then visit the archaeological site at Sermermiut, an abandoned pre-colonial settlement. The next day, we’ll have options to explore the fjords by kayak or Zodiac, or hike inland across the tundra. (B,L,D, daily) (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Kangerlussuaq/Reykjavík, Iceland
Disembark the National Geographic Explorer in Kangerlussuaq, and return to Reykjavík by charter flight. Grand Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 9 — Reykjavík/Keflavík/U.S.
Head out on a scenic drive amid the volcanic landscapes and natural hot springs of the Reykjanes peninsula to the tiny fishing village of Grindavík. Or opt for a soak in the Blue Lagoon. Transfer to the airport in Keflavík for your flight home. (B,L)
Travel and conservation photographer Jonathan Irish specializes in documenting adventure lifestyles, landscapes, and cultures with a keen eye on highlighting important conservation issues. He spent eight years on the National Geographic staff, where he launched and directed the National Geographic Adventures program, bringing travelers and photographers around the world on active adventure trips. As a freelance photographer, Jonathan’s work has appeared in publications in print and online, including National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Smithsonian Magazine, Travel + Leisure, The Telegraph, BBC, and CNN. For the 2016 centennial of the U.S. National Park Service, Irish went on assignment for National Geographic Traveler on a year-long road trip visiting and photographing all 59 of America’s national parks. From this project, he published a U.S. National Parks book, and was featured on Good Morning America. Jonathan is also a skilled Virtual Reality shooter, having shot assignments with 360-degree cameras on six different continents for Discovery Communications and Google. Through his photographic work, Jonathan seeks to share the beauty of the natural world while highlighting important conservation stories and the need for continued and increased protection, so that future generations may enjoy the same beautiful natural world in which we live today. He also enjoys traveling with National Geographic Expeditions teaching photography around the world–from Antarctica to the Arctic and Africa to the Amazon. Jonathan’s images are represented by National Geographic Creative and National Geographic Fine Art Galleries, and have appeared in National Geographic books.
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.