The Northwest Passage, Iceland, and Greenland

  • 25 days aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Follow the footsteps of historic explorers from Iceland to the legendary Northwest Passage.

Expedition Details


For centuries the search for the Northwest Passage lured the most intrepid explorers, but it wasn’t until 1906 that Roald Amundsen finally completed the first sea voyage across the Arctic Archipelago. Aboard the ice-class National Geographic Explorer, discover the otherworldly icescapes of the Northwest Passage that so confounded generations of adventurers. Explore dramatic coasts of Iceland and Greenland and then spend ten days encountering rare wildlife, hardy cultures, and glorious creations of ice and rock at the end of the Earth.

Trip Highlights

    • Venture into Canada's fabled Northwest Passage, and hear dramatic stories of explorers and adventurers who sought this magnificent and icy frontier.
    • Glide between soaring icebergs at the mouth of Greenland’s Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    • Observe polar bears, walruses, ringed seals, belugas, and narwhals in their natural habitat.
    • Visit the National Museum in Nuuk to see 15th-century Qilakitsoq mummies featured in National Geographic Magazine.

Itinerary - 25 Days

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive in Reykjavík, located just south of the Arctic Circle. On a walking tour of the old town, visit Hallgrímskirkja cathedral and delve into Viking history at the National Museum. This afternoon, embark the National Geographic Explorer.

Day 3 — Iceland’s West Coast

Sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, home to a huge population of razorbills. On Flatey Island, walk around the age-old trading post and explore the coast by Zodiac.

Days 4 & 5 — The Denmark Strait/Nanortalik, Greenland

Follow the wake of Erik the Red as we cross the Denmark Strait. Sail into Prins Christian Sund, which cuts far into the southern tip of Greenland, passing between towering pinnacles and glaciers. Anchor off Nanortalik, the “place of polar bears,” and go ashore to explore Greenland’s most southerly town.

Days 6 & 7 — At Sea/Nuuk

After a day at sea, visit Nuuk, one of the world’s smallest capital cities by population, and tour the National Museum to examine 15th-century Qilakitsoq mummies found near Uummannaq and featured on the cover of National Geographic Magazine's February 1985 issue.

Day 8 — Greenland’s West Coast & Sisimiut

Explore the fjords and glaciers of the dramatic western coast, on the lookout for humpback or minke whales. Then visit the museum and 18th-century town center of the former whaling port of Sisimiut.

Days 9 & 10 — At Sea/Disko Bay

Spend a day at sea enjoying the ship's spa, library, and observation deck. Then sail into Disko Bay to explore the World Heritage site of Ilulissat Icefjord. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs and visit the Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut.

Days 11, 12, & 13 — Exploring East Baffin Island

We travel north along the wild coast, on the look-out for polar bears, bowhead whales, and the elusive narwhal. We will also visit the small Inuit community of Clyde River as we officially enter into Canada.

Days 14 through 23 — The Northwest Passage

Approach the legendary Northwest Passage from the Lancaster Sound, its rich waters having drawn Inuit hunters and fishermen for thousands of years. Our route is completely ice and weather dependent. The ice-choked channels and glacier-carved islands of the Arctic Archipelago stretch for hundreds of miles, a stunning display of raw geology that we’ll explore in depth. Kayak beneath massive ice sculptures and soaring cliffs, and venture into canyons and fjords. As we make our way to Amundsen Gulf, look for walruses, polar bears, beluga and bowhead whales, and maybe an elusive narwhal.

Days 24 & 25 — Kugluktuk, Canada/Edmonton/U.S.

After breakfast, disembark in Kugluktuk and fly to Edmonton where we overnight at our hotel. The next morning transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


This expedition is not currently being offered.

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