Ataneq Fjord, Greenland

Aug 28, 2017 - National Geographic Explorer


Today was a day of true exploration, as the National Geographic Explorer navigated its way through Ataneq Fjord, a place the ship had never been. Our fearless expedition leader scouted ahead of the ship looking for a suitable place to land while the sounding Zodiac scouted the waters to ensure the ship could safely navigate the fjord. 

In the morning we explored a place named Tunúngassoq. The glacially rounded metamorphic rocks at Tunúngassoq are covered in spongy tundra that made if feel as though we were walking on mattresses. We hiked around an abandoned village with a gravesite and enjoyed discovering some of the local flora. A few of us were fortunate to see an Arctic fox. While the guests were ashore, the undersea team did some exploring below the surface and found quite a few fascinating creatures lurking in the depths. 

During lunch we pushed further into the fjord and found a suitable place to launch the kayaks.  While some of us paddled the tranquil waters of the fjord, others went for a short hike or just enjoyed some quiet time on the ship. But before we pulled anchor, a select few decided to brave the frigid waters and go for a Polar Plunge.  Once back on board, the anchor was pulled and we headed back out of the fjord to our next destination.  And during the final recap we were reminded of all the captured memories in the guest slideshow.  

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About the Author

Robert Alexander

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Robert Alexander has quenched his thirst for exploring the world’s flora and fauna by captaining, interpreting natural history, and conducting research aboard ships.  He particularly developed a passion for the marine life below the water’s surface while attending the University of Oregon and becoming involved with their diving program.  The rich waters of the Pacific Northwest led Robert to change career paths, and locales, as a SCUBA Instructor based primarily out of Maui.  Utilizing any means of floating vessel, from kayaks and catamarans to small passenger boats and Zodiacs, Robert became a captain as he explored the behavioral patterns of the captivating marine megafauna throughout the world.  In between being a captain and naturalist, he strives to conserve and preserve all forms of life- be it our very own species as a firefighter and EMT, assisting in shark-tagging projects for NOAA, or researching hawksbill turtle populations with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund.

About the Photographer

Erika Skogg

National Geographic Photographer

Erika Skogg is a photographer, educator, and National Geographic Explorer with experience documenting cultural stories from the United States to Morocco, Greenland, Iceland, Colombia, and beyond. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Erika’s photographic research and storytelling ideas are driven by the desire to immerse, understand, and visually preserve the region’s local Nordic culture, and in 2018, Erika received a National Geographic Early Career Grant for her project “Scandinavian American.” Erika travels to Scandinavia regularly in search of the cultural connections to our emigrant history and promote an interest in one’s own genealogy to foster a respect for the continued immigration of today.

About the Videographer

James Napoli

Video Chronicler

Jim was born in rural New England where he quickly developed an appreciation for the outdoors and a love of exploration.  Four years with the U.S. Navy further enhanced his appetite for travel. Always interested in the visual arts, he studied Television at Boston University and Northeast College of Communications, landing his first job in the industry working as an editor at a Boston television station. His wanderlust drew him to a job with two major cruise lines; installing and managing broadcast centers onboard a total of over a dozen ships. He has since moved on to specialize in expedition travel and wildlife productions.  

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