Itinerary Overview

Venture to the remote, seldom-seen extreme High Arctic

Canada’s Ellesmere Island stretches farther north than any other land in the world, save for Greenland—explore both on this epic Arctic expedition. This is a region of ancient ice, where tidewater glaciers of exceptional beauty dominate the landscape. Few humans have ever been here. It is home to hunting polar bears, muskox, and extremely rare wildlife, including narwhal. Rely on our expedition team’s experience in Baffin Island and Lancaster Sound at the entrance to the Northwest Passage to ensure peak exploration and wildlife encounters; and then strike as far north at the ice allows, tracing the rarely visited coast of northwest Greenland and Ellesmere Islands into parts largely unknown, where the only assurance is great wonder, beauty, and genuine exploration. The High Arctic in its full glory is a lifetime experience. This Greenland cruise expedition will enable you to: 

  • 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.
  • Trace the rugged fjords of rarely explored northwest Greenland to the massive ice cap, spotting arctic wildlife and marveling at hardy Inuit communities. Glide between soaring icebergs at the mouth of Greenland’s Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Follow in the wake of legendary explorers and hear their dramatic stories as we explore Lancaster Sound, the gateway to the Northwest Passage, and then venture even farther north. 
  • Observe polar bears, arctic foxes and caribou, ringed seals, humpback, minke, and beluga whales, and perhaps elusive narwhals.
  • Discover the incredible landscapes and wildlife of legendary Baffin Island on hikes and excursions by Zodiac. 
  • Encounter the legacy of the ancient Inuit, Thule, Dorset. Archaeological sites abound in the areas we visit, some unexcavated but marvelously preserved by the temperatures of the Far North. 
  • Explore the geologic phenomena of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík

Explore regions covered in ancient glaciers, seldom seen by humans

Ellesmere Island’s remoteness and short window of accommodating conditions has long isolated it from exploration and study. It’s amazing to realize with all the exploration that has been done in the Arctic, Ellesmere Island was circumnavigated for the first time only in 2011.

See iconic High Arctic wildlife
We’ve been sharing the wonder of the High Arctic with guests for decades. Rely on our experience in finding polar bears, ringed seals, arctic foxes, plus beluga and bowhead whales. Weather permitting, we’ll sail into Milne Bay, a place we’ve seen narwhal, the rare arctic whale known for its long, spiraling tooth that projects up to ten feet from its jaw.

Meet the welcoming people and explore abandoned settlements
Hike the scenic outlying trails of the town Qikiqtarjuak, an Inuit name meaning “Big Island”.  Meet the welcoming people who make their lives in the remote north. Venture to Niaqurnak Point, a former Inuit camp where glacial tongues extend to the water’s edge. Visit the Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut. In Coronation Fiord walk among the graveyard and remains of an 1800s whaling community, the only residents now king eiders, long-tailed ducks, dovekies, and fulmars.  And in the extreme northwest Greenland, visit the small, occasionally inhabited community of Etah. It was once the northernmost continuously inhabited settlement in West Greenland, the huts stand as they did when the last failed settlement was abandoned in the 1980s—we’ll see if anyone’s home. 

Every day is active and engaging 
You’ll get out on adventures every day—to Zodiac cruise, hike and walk, or kayak in spectacular fjords and crystalline waters like Lancaster Sound, a vital Inuit hunting ground for centuries. 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. See what it's like.

Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, an undersea specialist, a Global Perspectives guest speaker, a wellness specialist and a video chronicler. Their knowledge and passion for the fascinating Arctic region is the key to your extraordinary experience. Meet the team.

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