Adventure and fables go hand in hand, and nowhere is that more evident than among the ice fields, legendary whale-rich seas, ancient Viking sites and Inuit communities of the north. National Geographic Explorer navigates the deep fjords and glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers most of Greenland and the rugged coastlines of Baffin Island and Newfoundland. Search for arctic wildlife: whales, walruses and polar bears. Explore historic whaling villages, ancient Viking sites and remote communities that thrive in these northern lands.
Earth’s smallest and least explored ocean is in the geopolitical and media spotlights. “Satellites Show Sea Ice in Arctic is at a Record Low,” trumpets The New York Times (August 28, 2012.) “Iceberg Twice the Size of Manhattan Breaks off Glacier in Greenland,” proclaims an NPR blog post (July 18, 2012) among other media. On this see-for-yourself expedition, we begin within the icy confines of the Arctic Circle, ranging along Greenland’s western coast south to the whale-rich waters of Baffin island, and on to Newfoundland and Labrador, navigating through calved bergs—the sign of summer in these waters—and what National Geographic Adventure writer, Byron Ricks, called “the biggest, bluest, baddest bergs this side of Antarctica.” We slip into deep fjords, past towering glaciers and through infamous straits. We feast our eyes and lenses on a glory of Arctic wildlife, creatures of all kinds—including the humans who have chosen to live, and manage to thrive here. On this unique itinerary you will:
- Discover archeological sites dating back to the Thule period when Inuit first settled here
- See the famous iceberg-choked Ilussat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Be on the lookout for rare species and behaviors: sperm whales, the world’s deepest divers; northern bottlenose whales; hunting killer whales, and more
- Meet Inuk (the people) living on ancestral sites; visit Viking sites settled 500 years before Columbus
- Search for polar bears stalking the ice, and find yourself using the Inuit word—Nanook
- Visit L’Anse aux Meadows, the site seductive enough to lure Vikings to forsake the sea—and call this idyllic spot home.
A 360º northlands view: marine and terrestrial wildlife, plus ancient human history
View the legendary Greenland ice cap. Scan the whale-rich waters of Baffin Bay and Davis Strait—the figurative ‘north” on the compass of 18th- and 19th-century New England whalers—looking for an array of whale species. See polar bears and myriad other arctic wildlife. Be astounded by rocky islets filled with huge walrus, gathering as they do in summer. Trace the route of ancient people as they migrated south. Kayak as they did and imagine their endurance. See sites testifying to man’s presence here for some 8,000 years — remains of Paleo-Eskimo, Dorset and Thule people have been found in Labrador. And glimpse the enduring Viking stamp on present-day people, as we follow in the wakes of Erik the Red and Leif Erikkson.
Every day is active and engaging
You’ll get out on adventures every day—to Zodiac cruise, hike and walk, or kayak for personal encounters with beauty and wildness. You’ll have a choice of activities, plus your choice of naturalists to join—for a moveable feast of personalities, insights, and interests. Choice also includes opting to relax, too. Enjoy the view from behind Explorer’s panoramic glass windows. Or visit the fitness center with its generous views of the ice vistas, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the wellness Center.
Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists/historians, a National Geographic photographer, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, a Global Perspectives guest speaker, an undersea specialist, a wellness specialist and a video chronicler. Their knowledge and passion for the fascinating arctic region is the key to your extraordinary experience.
|Day 1||U.S./Ottawa, Canada|
|Day 2||Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq, Greenland /Embark|
|Day 3||Greenland’s West Coast & Sisimiut|
|Day 4||Ilulissat, Disko Bay|
|Day 5||Davis Strait|
|Day 6||Cumberland Peninsula, Baffin Island|
|Day 7||Hall Peninsula, Baffin Island|
|Day 8||South Baffin Island|
|Day 9||Button Islands, Nunavut|
|Day 10-12||Exploring The Labrador Coast|
|Day 13||L’anse Aux Meadows |
|Day 14||Exploring Northern Newfoundland|
|Day 15||St. John’s, Newfoundland/ U.S.|