Aboard the National Geographic Explorer, set out on an incredible voyage that combines two expeditions in one. In the Svalbard archipelago, explore an Arctic wilderness of snow capped mountains, dazzling icebergs, and majestic polar bears. Then sail to Norway’s spectacular northern coast. Kayak through steep-walled fjords, hike among emerald green valleys, and encounter a profusion of birds, wildflowers, and reindeer.
Explore the icy isles of Svalbard, and spot polar bears, walruses, seals, and arctic foxes in their natural habitat.
Go on naturalist-led shore walks on the tundra, and glide among icebergs in a Zodiac or kayak.
Discover mountainous islands, cascading waterfalls, and tiny hamlets while kayaking in Norway’s magnificent fjord lands.
Learn about the Sami people of the Arctic region, and discover their unique traditions and reindeer herding culture.
Itinerary - 13 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Oslo, Norway
Depart on an overnight flight to Oslo, situated at the head of a 60-mile fjord. On an afternoon tour, stroll amid the city’s famed Vigeland sculptures—hundreds of life-size human figures set in terraced parkland. Visit the Fram Museum, showcasing the polar ship Fram and dedicated to the explorers and wooden vessels that navigated the Arctic Sea in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The evening is free to explore Oslo on your own. Hotel Continental
Day 3 — Oslo/Longyearbyen
Depart Oslo on a private charter flight, and enjoy breathtaking views en route to Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest settlement. Amid colorful Scandinavian-style architecture, visit the Svalbard Museum and the Svalbard Art Gallery, which features artwork inspired by the nature, light, and landscapes of the Arctic. Later, embark the National Geographic Explorer, your home for our extraordinary voyage. (B,L,D)
Days 4 through 7 — Exploring Svalbard
Only 600 miles from the North Pole, Svalbard is a high Arctic archipelago of deep fjords, snowy peaks, and massive ice sheets. In keeping with the spirit of an expedition, we let nature dictate our day-to-day itinerary. Aboard our fully stabilized ice-class expedition ship, we are able to probe the ice in search of walruses, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes, and the very symbol of the Arctic—the polar bear. Take naturalist-guided walks on the tundra, venture to the foot of spectacular glaciers, and Zodiac and kayak among beautiful icebergs. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
Today, we set a southern course for Norway’s fjord-carved coast, taking advantage of exploration opportunities at Bear Island, which lies about halfway between Svalbard and the North Cape. In earlier times, Bear Island served as a whaling station, but today little evidence of humankind’s presence remains. Weather permitting, take a Zodiac into the coves and inlets of this mist-shrouded island, populated by thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, and guillemots. (B,L,D)
Days 9 & 10 — Exploring Nordland
Carved by glaciers over millions of years, Norway’s northern coast is laced with steep-walled fjords, mountainous islands, and chiseled peaks. Cruise in a Zodiac along vertical rock faces, kayak through serene fjords, or hike amid verdant valleys and birch forests. Enter the long fjord of Tysfjorden, where the Stetind mountain rises over 4,000 feet, and explore the numerous side channels of the Hellemobotn area. At the small town of Drag, visit a museum dedicated to the indigenous Sami people, and learn about the daily lives of this traditional reindeer herding culture. (B,L,D)
Day 11 — Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten archipelago boasts an enchanting landscape of picturesque villages ringed by jagged, granite peaks. Explore the many islets, including Reine, a tiny village of stilt houses perched above the sea. Head ashore at Vaerøy to hike and kayak, and keep an eye out for Atlantic puffins, razorbills, and guillemots. Later, make sure you’re on deck as we glide into Trollfjorden, one of Norway’s most dramatic fjords. (B,L,D)
Day 12 — Tromsø/Oslo
Disembark in Tromsø, known as the “gateway to the Arctic” because so many Arctic expeditions originated here. Visit the Arctic Cathedral, where the unique architecture evokes snow and icebergs, and the Polar Museum, which showcases the ships, equipment, and seafaring traditions of early Arctic settlers. Then board our charter flight to Oslo. Radisson Blu Hotel (B,L)
Day 13 — Oslo/U.S.
This morning, transfer to the airport for your return flight home.