Our itinerary & experience make the most of your time & curiosity

Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and often the day-by-day itinerary will change as we take advantage of rare wildlife sightings or photographers linger ashore through the golden hour of light. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.  


  • DAY 1: U.S./Keflavík, Iceland

    Depart U.S. for an overnight flight Keflavík.

  • DAY 2: Keflavík/ Reykjavík

    Transfer from Keflavík to Reykjavík, located just south of the Arctic Circle. Check-in to the Grand Hotel. Take a guided overview of the old town, including Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral. Or choose to explore the Blue Lagoon and soak in the geothermal waters. (L,D)

  • DAY 3: Reykjavík/Kangerlussuaq, Greenland/Embark

    Fly by chartered aircraft to Greenland. Embark National Geographic Explorer at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a picturesque waterway that stretches 100 miles. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Greenland’s West Coast & Sisimuit

    Dozens of deep fjords carve into Greenland’s west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers 80% of the country. In the morning, we trace this ragged coastline, and search for humpback and minke whales. Later, at Sisimiut, a former whaling port, we visit the museum and wander amid a jumble of wooden 18th-century buildings.(B,L,D)

  • DAY 5-11: 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.  We will explore some of the beautiful bays and inlets along Baffin Island's northern coast and Lancaster Sound. We search for ringed seals, arctic foxes, and polar bears, as well as beluga whales. Perhaps even see the elusive narwhal, known for the long, spiraling tooth that projects up to ten feet. Possible stops to explore Beechey Island and the remains of the Franklin expedition’s winter quarters and Lancaster Sound for polar bears on ice. At the entrance to the Northwest Passage, we encounter Devon Island.  Walk with our ship's archaeologist to learn about the Thule people that once inhabited this region and were the ancestors of all modern Inuit. At Dundas Harbor, we hike the tundra and search for wildlife, perhaps including musk oxen. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 12-13: Ellesmere Island

    Heading ever northward, we make our way up the beautiful and remote east coast of Ellesmere Island, where the Explorer first ventured a few seasons ago. Cruise along scenic Smith Bay (a.k.a. Skog Inlet) bordered by a steep wall of mountains, with a glacial ice tongue which pours down the mountains on either side. Be up on the bridge as we search for a patch of "polar bear ice," the mixture of first-year and multi-year sea ice that is the preferred habitat of the ice bears. Our binoculars seek out any small ivory-colored dot on an otherwise white ice surface. We strain to see the dot move. Yes, it is a bear, spotted at a considerable distance. We approach, ever so slowly, stalking the polar bear much as the bear stalks seals on the ice. At the end of the bay we go ashore to hike or kayak in picturesque surroundings. Ice is always present here.

    Our flexible itinerary stops may include a stop at any number of inlets along the southeastern coastline, or we might go for a Zodiac cruise in Makinson Inlet, where tidewater glaciers tumble down to the sea. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 14-15: Farther North

    On these two days we explore to 80ºN and hopefully beyond, if the ice allows. We take full advantage of our “human resources”—our experienced captain, expedition leader and naturalists—as well as our technological resources. We chart where the ice is impenetrable and where there are leads guiding us to exciting discoveries. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 16-19: Exploring Northwest Greenland

    Explorer will be in true expedition mode every turn of the way. Take a Zodiac cruise among grounded icebergs, explore vast colonies of sea birds and walk ashore, perhaps stopping at Cape York to see beautiful, pink feldspar hills and the distant, granite monument memorializing Robert Peary. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 20: Qilakitsoq

    Today we are back in familiar waters, stopping at Qilakitsoq, where a collection of mummies dating to 1475 was discovered in 1972 and featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine’s February 1985 issue. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 21: Disko Bay & Ilulissat

    Sail into Disko Bay and set out to explore a tongue of the Greenland ice cap. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Ilulissat Icefjord. Visit the town of Ilulissat and walk to the archaeological site in the Sermermiut Valley. (B,L,D)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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