With sights set for 80º North, board the National Geographic Explorer and venture to places rarely visited in the far reaches of the Arctic. Trace the virtual terra incognita of northwest Greenland and discover its tidewater glaciers and deep fjords. Explore the Canadian High Arctic, from legendary Baffin Island and Lancaster Sound to wild Ellesmere Island. Spot polar bears and narwhals, hike on the tundra, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ilulissat Icefjord, and soak in the geothermal waters of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart for your overnight flight to Reykjavík. Upon arrival, take a guided tour of the old town, including Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral; or choose to soak in the Blue Lagoon's geothermal waters.
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.
At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander amid 18th-century wooden buildings. In the afternoon, we'll trace the ragged coastline, carved by dozens of deep fjords, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers much of Greenland. Watch for humpback and minke whales as we sail towards Canada.
Our exploration of the Canadian High Arctic begins with a visit to the small Inuit community of Pond Inlet in Nunavut. Venture into some of the beautiful bays and inlets along Baffin Island's northern coast and Lancaster Sound, and search for ringed seals, arctic foxes, and polar bears, as well as beluga whales. We may even see the elusive narwhal, an arctic whale known for its long, spiraled tooth. Possible stops include Beechey Island and the remains of the winter quarters from Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition. We may also spot polar bears on the ice on Lancaster Sound. In the waters of the entrance to the Northwest Passage, visit Devon Island, setting out with our ship’s archaeologist to learn about the Thule people, the ancestors of the modern Inuit that once inhabited this region. At Dundas Harbor, hike the tundra in search of wildlife such as arctic foxes and musk oxen.
Today 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. Our flexible itinerary might include a stop at Skraeling Island, where archaeological evidence shows that the Norse once traded with the native Inuit. Alternatively, go for a Zodiac cruise in Makinson Inlet, where tidewater glaciers calve into the sea.
Spend two days exploring the 80th parallel north—and beyond if the ice allows. Encounter sparkling icebergs and experience the sense of adventure that comes with venturing into places few have explored. Enjoy the ship’s amenities, with a stop at the spa or a chance to read in the observation lounge, and listen to talks by our naturalists and National Geographic photographer.
Our next destination is the remote coast of northwest Greenland, a land of pristine inlets, glaciers, and windswept islands. We will be in true exploration mode during our time here, taking our cues from nature as we discover this spectacular and rugged land. Glide through fjords among dazzling icebergs, explore vast colonies of sea birds, and hike onshore with our naturalists, perhaps stopping at Cape York to see its pink feldspar hills and view at a distance the granite monument memorializing Robert Peary.
Today we are back in familiar waters, stopping at Qilakitsoq, 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.
Sail into Disko Bay to explore a tongue of the Greenland ice cap, setting off on an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs of the World Heritage-designated Ilulissat Icefjord. Visit the town of Ilulissat and walk to the archaeological site in the Sermermiut Valley.
Spend a final day exploring the beautiful fjords along the western coast. Ride a Zodiac or kayak into unexplored inlets, or go hiking across the tundra. Our undersea specialist may launch the ROV to capture footage of the marine life in the ocean depths.
After breakfast, disembark in Kangerlussuaq. Fly by private charter to Reykjavík, where we check in to the Grand Hotel.
Explore Iceland’s lively capital city and enjoy a guided tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.