What It's Like/What You'll Do

How you’ll you spend your time and reward your curiosity

National Geographic Explorer is the world’s ultimate Arctic travel expedition ship. Launched in 2008, Explorer was designed to embody the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic alliance and its mission is to inspire people to travel and care about the planet. Representing 175 years of collective expedition experience, Explorer is your home for the duration of your Arctic travel. And she is your bulwark in the wild Arctic north: a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel with a DNV Ice-1A Super rating on her forward hull. Her construction and the caliber of her Icemaster Captain and veteran expedition team are your assurances of safety. Plus, she is equipped with a roster of cool tools for exploration—enabling you to see, do, and experience more on your cruise to the Arctic region.

 Watch and see what's in store for our Arctic 2018 season

Actively explore every day
Zodiac cruise, kayak, hike, and walk daily: there’s nothing passive about our expedition style. Our captains’ dexterity and the logistical savvy of our expedition leaders allow us to get you out daily, often twice a day on forays. When the ship is in the land of the ice bears, join our ace spotters on deck to look for polar bears, then enjoy the thrill as the ship stills, allowing the curious bears to approach us for unprecedented close observations and photo ops. Head off in a Zodiac to view icebergs, or land on a beach for a tundra walk through blooming wildflowers, or to visit an Inuit village to meet welcoming locals. Kayak in the silence along the blue-veined faces of gargantuan glaciers, or in the slender fingers of deep fjords. Linger with your Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor to shoot walrus portraits or scenic panoramas, or go on assignment to capture the Viking traces in present-day towns.

Window on the wildness
And when you’re back aboard: catching the day’s Recap, reading, writing, organizing photos on your laptop, hanging out or socializing over drinks and dinner are highly gratifying activities, too. Explorer’s acres of panoramic windows and balconies bring the ever-present, jaw-dropping scenery inside.

See the rare Arctic undersea
We are the only expedition company in the Arctic with an undersea specialist, qualified to dive in polar waters, as part of the expedition team. The undersea specialist suits up and dives, or mans an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) able to descend to 1,000 feet—and brings back footage of the life beneath the surface for you to enjoy on plasma screens in the lounge. We guarantee you will be astonished by the fascinating life forms of the polar deep.

Share the adventure
Whether they’re fellow guests, members of the expedition team, a National Geographic photographer, or a Global Perspectives guest speaker, you’re sure to find the company of the like-minded others onboard interesting. You may even be accompanied by a scientist or two conducting research. Our alliance with National Geographic creates unparalleled opportunities. And you’ll benefit from those who know: the on-board talks, slideshows and presentations will take you ever deeper into the richness and wonder of the Arctic.

Enjoy the daily ritual
Each evening at cocktail hour the expedition community gathers in the lounge for a ritual called Recap. As you enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, various naturalists give talks, the undersea specialist may show video, and your expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule. Guests often tell us in comment cards that daily Recaps are among their fondest memories from the Arctic.

Savor time aboard ship 
Arctic wildlife, polar history and talks by the expedition team will be offered at various times throughout the voyage, as well. And when the ship is underway, it’s a wonderful time to stand on the bow with a naturalist, National Geographic photographer or photo instructor. And visit the bridge, where you are always welcome to watch the calm, serious business of ice navigation unfold. 


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

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