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 offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Take an overnight flight to Reykjavík. Upon arrival, choose to either soak in the Blue Lagoon or visit a hot spring, geothermal plant, and horse farm. After lunch, check in to our hotel, and gather for a welcome reception and dinner later this evening.
Fly by chartered aircraft to Greenland, the land of the midnight sun. Embark the National Geographic Explorer at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a 100-mile-long waterway known as the “long fjord.”
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.
A relaxing day at sea allows for a number of options. Attend talks with our expedition team about the history of polar exploration, head to the bridge to watch for whales, or peruse the library’s extensive collection. Enjoy a soothing sauna or a workout in the fitness center, which offers panoramic views.
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.
As we make our way across Baffin Bay, enjoy talks given by our expedition team and search for wildlife from the bridge.
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 the archaeological site in the Sermermiut Valley.
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.
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.
- Iceland's Natural Wonders Extension4 days from $4,910
- Reykjavik and Golden Circle Extension1 days from $1,290
Discover some of Iceland's most geothermally active areas on a post-trip extension. Wander among twisted lava stacks and caves near Lake Mývatn, and stroll the black-sand shores of Kleifarvatn Lake. Explore historic landmarks in Reykjavík and set out into the surrounding countryside for a tour of the famed Golden Circle.
Depart from Oslo and arrive at the Reykjavík airport, then fly on to Akureyri, a port city on Iceland’s northern coast. Check in to our hotel and enjoy stunning views of snow-capped peaks that descend into the sea.
Today, head east to explore the Mývatn geothermal area, dominated by volcanic craters and natural lava sculptures. The mineral-rich waters of Lake Mývatn provide a sanctuary for flora and fauna, including colonies of unique algae balls called Marimo and more than 10 species of duck. Return to Akureyri to enjoy a gourmet dinner at a local restaurant.
Fly to Reykjavík this morning and explore the world’s northernmost capital. Visit the Parliament House of the Althing, the oldest parliament in the world. Gaze up at the impressive tower of the Hallgrímskirkja church, one of the city’s best known landmarks. In the afternoon, choose to soak in the geothermal waters of the famous Blue Lagoon.
Set out on a tour of Iceland’s famous Golden Circle to explore the dramatic landscapes that inspired the country’s nickname—“the land of fire and ice.” Stand in the spray of thundering Gullfoss Waterfall and walk between steaming fumaroles and bubbling mud pots in the Geysir geothermal area, namesake of all the world’s geysers. At Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, view the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and learn about the early democracy of Viking settlers in Iceland.
This morning, choose to relax in your hotel, or join an excursion to the wild Reykjanes Peninsula. Discover the vivid hot springs, deep craters, and bright red, green, and yellow soils of the Krýsuvík geothermal area. Stroll on the black-sand beach at the edge of Kleifarvatn, one of the country’s largest and deepest lakes. Visit the Kvikan House of Culture and Natural Resources in the fishing village of Grindavík to learn the surprising history of saltfish, once one of Iceland’s most vital economic exports. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight home.