Life Aboard

Amenities, great food, camaraderie, comfort & wellness


It’s a privilege to visit the Arctic, one of the planet’s most pristine places. And to this privilege, our ships add the luxury of comfort—a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness designed to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit.

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Informal ambiance, relaxed attitude
There’s no need to dress up—ever. Life aboard our ships is casual all the way. There’s no assigned seating in the dining room—whether you choose the dining room or the bistro bar. In fact, many tables accommodate uneven numbers, making it easy to mingle or share breakfast, lunch, or dinner with different new friends, staff, or guest speakers. Independent travelers can count on a welcome wherever they turn. We invite you to freely roam the ship, discovering the nooks and crannies, even visiting the bridge whenever you’d like to watch the calm, serious business of navigation unfold.

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Excellent food
Whenever possible, our chefs use fresh, local, and indigenous products and ingredients, including sustainably caught fish. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style; dinner is plated and served. There are fish or meat choices at every meal, and our chefs will happily accommodate vegan or other special dietary requests.

The fleet’s hospitable hotel staff maintains an always-open station for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and soda in the chart room, and the bistro bar provides on-demand cappuccinos and lattes. Afternoon tea and cookies are served each day, and pre-dinner hors d’oeuvres and cocktails are served in the lounge at daily Recap. There are reusable water bottles in every cabin and chilled, freshwater stations in the hallways to make staying hydrated convenient and refreshing.

The personal ahhhhh factor
You’ll find much more information on each of our Arctic ships—National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Orion, and National Geographic Endurance—in Our Fleet section, but suffice it to say that your cabin, whether windowed or with a balcony, will be an inviting place to end your active day. You’ll find the bathroom stocked with organic botanical products, your bed cosseted in cotton sheeting and our signature feather duvet with an organic cotton cover, and a woven throw for a touch of extra warmth to your home in the Arctic.

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Sociable spaces, quiet corners 
The lounge is the heart of the expedition community—where we gather for talks and daily Recap, where the photographers aboard set up their laptops to organize photo files. On the bow, guests mingle with staff and, when the ship is underway, scan the sea for marine mammals. The chart room is another the place to duck into for hot beverages and convivial warmth. Each ship offers any number of places to pass time enjoyably alone or with a small group—from the quiet of the windowed library with its lode of books, to the adjacent observation lounge with its walls of glass, binoculars at the ready, plus cards and games. On warm days, visit the ship’s expansive decks—furnished with tables, chairs, and chaise lounges—that attract readers, watercolorists, journalers, and more. 

Rise, shine, and connect with wildness 
Greet the polar morning with a pre-breakfast stretching session led by your wellness specialist in the observation lounge. Another good option: Sleep in and take advantage of the ship’s fitness center—each one boasting million-dollar views, plus exercise bikes, treadmills, stretch bands, and yoga mats at your convenience. And count on walking and kayaking during the voyage for an even deeper connection to the wild world.

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Onboard spa treatments 
Massage therapy and body treatments, plus face, hand, foot treatments—inspired by the purity of the Arctic environment—are available by appointment in the wellness center. Choose to have a treatment instead of taking part in or at the end of an active day of exploring. On National Geographic Endurance, twin saunas—one at classic temperature; the other slightly cooler—boast glass walls for soaking up million-dollar views. Drop in anytime to relax and rejuvenate.

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