Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Maneuver between the soaring icebergs at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Join our naturalists to observe polar bears, arctic foxes, ringed seals, belugas, and with luck, narwhals in their natural habitat.
  • Explore Lancaster Sound, the gateway to the Northwest Passage, and hear from our experts and onboard cartographers about the legendary explorers who sought to make history here.
  • Discover Arctic-adapted flora and seek out caribou and arctic foxes while hiking the landscapes of Devon Island.



Venture deep into the far reaches of the Arctic, a land where polar bears roam and hardy Inuit communities maintain their traditional way of life. Aboard the National Geographic Explorer, trace the rugged fjords of Greenland and navigate the northern end of Canada’s legendary Baffin Island. Spot polar bears on the pack ice, get up close to massive glaciers, and hike the myriad islands that dot Canada’s northern shores.

This trip is operated in collaboration with Lindblad Expeditions.

Days 1-2: U.S./Reykjavík, Iceland

Take an overnight flight to Reykjavík. Upon arrival, choose to soak in the Blue Lagoon or another hot spring, tour a geothermal plant, or visit an Icelandic horse farm. After lunch, check in to our hotel, and gather for a welcome reception and dinner later this evening.

Meals Included:Day 2 (Lunch, Dinner)
Accommodations:Grand Hotel
Day 3: 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 120-mile-long waterway known as the “long fjord.”

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

National Geographic Explorer through Day 17

Day 4: 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 rugged 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 historic and modern wooden buildings.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: At Sea in Baffin Bay

Watch for wildlife, enjoy the ship’s amenities, and attend talks by our experts as we sail to Lancaster Sound, the eastern gateway to the Arctic Archipelago. We’ll travel by way of Baffin Bay, named by explorer William Baffin when he ventured here in the 17th century on his search for the Northwest Passage.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 6-13: Exploring the Canadian High Arctic

We begin our exploration of the Canadian High Arctic with a visit to the small Inuit community of Pond Inlet, Nunavut. Explore some of the beautiful bays and inlets along Baffin Island’s Lancaster Sound, a favorite Inuit hunting and fishing location for hundreds of years. Carved by Ice Age glaciers, Lancaster Sound is also the eastern gateway to the Arctic Archipelago, where European explorers like William Baffin first ventured in the 17th century to search for the Northwest Passage. Our days here will be spent searching for ringed seals, arctic foxes, walruses, and polar bears, as well as beluga and bowhead whales. We may even spot the elusive narwhal, an arctic whale known for its long, spiraled tooth. Visit Devon Island and take a walk with our ship’s archaeologist to learn about the Thule people—ancestors of the modern Inuit—that once inhabited this region. Then venture further north to the southern reaches of Ellesmere Island. Our flexible itinerary may include a stop at any number of inlets along the southeastern coastline, or perhaps a Zodiac cruise in Makinson Inlet, where tidewater glaciers tumble down to the sea.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Day 14: At Sea In Baffin Bay

As we make our way across Baffin Bay, enjoy talks given by our expedition team and search for wildlife from the bridge.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15: 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. Visit the town of Ilulissat and hike to an archaeological site in the Sermermiut Valley.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 16: Exploring West Greenland

Our final day of exploration will be spent in west Greenland’s beautiful fjord lands, exploring the picturesque waterways by Zodiac or kayak. Our undersea specialist may also launch our remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to view the marine life inhabiting the floors of the fjords.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 17-18: Kangerlussuaq/Reykjavík, Iceland/Keflavík/U.S.

Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and return to Reykjavík by charter flight. Our final morning here offers several options: a soak in the Blue Lagoon or enjoy a tour of the Reykjanes Peninsula. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals Included:Day 17 (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) / Day 18 (Breakfast, Lunch)

Optional Extensions

Optional Extensions

  • Reykjavik and Golden Circle Extension
    2 days from $1,350
Reykjavik and Golden Circle Extension


Explore Reykjavík and its wild surroundings on this extension. Discover quaint, colorful streets and sleek, modern landmarks; and savor unique cuisine with an Icelandic flair. Soak in the surreal Blue Lagoon and delve into Iceland’s extraordinary geology on a tour of the Golden Circle.

Days 1-2: U.S./Reykjavík, Iceland

After your overnight flight, arrive in Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital city. Experience a traditional welcome at the famed Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, and soak in their mineral-rich spring waters. Enjoy a gourmet lunch at our hotel, then explore the city on a guided tour. Learn about the Viking settlers, intrepid fishermen, and expressive poets of Icelandic history. Set out on your own to see the towering spire of Hallgrímskirkja, the largest church in Iceland, or wander the scenic waterfront. Gather for dinner at a stylish restaurant in downtown Reykjavík.

Meals Included:Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Hotel Borg or similar
Day 3: The Golden Circle

Discover some of Iceland’s most unique and impressive sites on a tour of the Golden Circle—a driving route that connects several of Iceland's stunning natural sites, leading through the wild landscapes of the country’s southwest. Begin with a visit to the Geysir geothermal area, site of the spouting hot spring that is the namesake of all the world’s geysers. While Geysir erupts infrequently, the neighboring Strokkur geyser sends spray high into the air several times per hour. Continue to the spectacular tiered cascade of Gullfoss Waterfall. After lunch, explore Thingvellir National Park, where a deep fissure in the earth marks the split between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. This stark landscape was also the first gathering place of Iceland’s Althing—the oldest democratic parliament still in existence today, having been founded by Norse settlers in the 10th century. Return to Reykjavík and embark your ship for the next stage of your adventure.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner