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Arctic

The thrill of the ice, plus the mystery of human history

Arctic Itineraries

Discover the far north aboard National Geographic Explorer

The Arctic is, as we all know by now, a bellwether geography. The Arctic’s vulnerability, evidenced in changes we've witnessed in our decades of exploring, and documented by the scientific community, in addition to the region’s allures, has inspired us to deepen our commitment to exploring there.

We offer multiple expeditions to various sectors of the vast Arctic geography. Our season is a unique opportunity for travelers to delve into the natural and human history of one of the planet’s most inspiring places.

Norway's Fjords and Arctic Svalbard

Follow Norway’s fjord-carved coast, from the charming town of Bergen, past the North Cape to the ice and wildness of the Svalbard archipelago, for a perfect balance between the charmingly scenic and the spectacularly wild. Explore Tromso and Bear Island on the way to Svalbard in the high Arctic, where polar bears prowl and walruses haul out on rocky shores.

Land Of The Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration Of Arctic Svalbard

A high Arctic archipelago situated beyond Norway’s fjord-fretted coast, a mere 600 miles from the North Pole, Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, snowcapped mountains, and massive sheets of ice––glowing under the midnight sun during our season there. It’s a magnificent polar bear habitat that provides opportunities for thrilling up-close observations of polar bears and other Arctic wildlife. It’s Arctic nature in its purest form.

Svalbard, Iceland & Greenland's East Coast

See the majestic setting that the lordly polar bear freely roams as we explore the Svalbard archipelago, pulling the ship’s bow up to blue-veined glaciers, alighting on islands where caribou drift like smoke across the tundra.

A Circumnavigation of Iceland

Iceland’s geology in all its manifestations––glaciers, geysers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots, and rock and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty––is world-class. It alone makes a circumnavigation a very compelling idea. And when you add in the other itinerary components––Iceland’s people, their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character, the island’s geography and birdlife––seeing it all in one 360º expedition is irresistible.

Epic 80°N: Exploring Greenland, Baffin & Ellesmere Islands

See the iconic wildlife—whales, bears and eagles—amid secluded coves and Experience unbridled 21st-century exploration, as we venture to new frontiers deep into the far reaches of the ice to Zodiac cruise, kayak, and hike the tundra. Follow in the wake of legendary explorers and hear their dramatic stories as we explore Lancaster Sound, the gateway to the Northwest Passage.

Exploring Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic

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. National Geographic Explorer traces Greenland’s rugged fjords and navigates the entrance to Canada’s legendary Northwest Passage. Spot polar bears on the pack ice, a wide variety of whales––­­from bowhead and beluga whales to the rare narwhal––amid massive glaciers.

Iceland & Greenland: Viking Legends and Wild Fjords

How heroic were the earlier transatlantic voyages by Columbus’ predecessors: the Viking explorers? We follow in the wake of these fearless explorers and colonists to discover the dramatic landscapes and rich traditions of Greenland and Iceland––in particular, Iceland’s untrammeled western coast––and visit fascinating Viking sites and settlements, each set against edenic backdrops.

Iceland's Wild West Coast to East Greenland

Sail the route of early Viking explorers and discover a region of epic ice home to the Arctic’s iconic creatures: polar bears, whales, and vast seabird colonies. Actively explore Iceland’s Westfjord region: hike through valleys awash in wild orchids, mountain aven, wild thyme, and woolly willow. Follow in the wake of the 10th-century Viking explorers learning of their bold, history-making expeditions.
  • 10 days

Nordic Passages: Shetlands, Orkney, Faroes, and Iceland

Sail the route of legendary Vikings on a voyage to explore Stone Age sites, a vast icecap, and dynamic coastal Iceland. You’ll discover the seldom-visited Orkney and Faroes and walk through a 500-year-old village and the mysterious standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar. See towering cliffs alive with vast bird colonies, search for whales, and see charismatic puffins. And all along your journey meet the welcoming people of the north and learn their ways of life.

Hot Springs and Icebergs: Iceland to West Greenland

Go by land, sea, and air to discover the thrilling nature of two geologically extraordinary countries! Start by exploring the cuisine and music of metropolitan Reykjavík, soak in Iceland’s thermal baths, and hike to its thunderous waterfalls. Travel to Greenland via charter air, and enjoy a stunning flight-see of the massive ice cap. In Greenland, embark ship to trace the ragged edge of the ice cap through fjords to archaeological sites while spotting whales along the way.

Guest comments

"The cultural activities were wonderful and it seemed like we were warmly welcomed each time we stopped."

-Bonnie R.

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