Day 1: U.S. / Fly Overnight to Reykjavik, IcelandDepart home and board flights for Reykjavik, Iceland.
Day 2: Reykjavik / EmbarkArrive in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, which lies only a fraction below the Arctic Circle and receives just four hours of sunlight in winter and 22 in summer. Have a guided overview of the Old Town, including Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral with its 210-foot tower, and shed some light on Nordic culture at the National Museum, with its Viking treasures and artifacts. Embark National Geographic Explorer.
Day 3: Explore the West Coast of IcelandNational Geographic Explorer navigates Iceland’s wild western frontier, sailing past the immense Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a huge population of razorbills. The cliffs are an area once famous for egg collecting; the men were tied to ropes and lowered like spiders down onto the ledges. Continue to Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries, for walks around the charming little hamlet that grew here.
Day 4: Crossing the Denmark StraitFollow the wake of Eric the Red and Brendan the Navigator as you cross to Greenland. Watch for blue whales.
Day 5: Exploring East GreenlandThe Greenland Ice Sheet, roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland, is the second largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The high arctic-like climate is dominated by ice floes. Among the options for exploration are landings at Skjoldungen fjord or Napasorsuaq fjord. Tools for exploration will be used to the fullest, taking Zodiac or kayak forays among the icebergs and deploying an ROV.
Day 6: Prins Christian Sund / NanortalikPrins Christian Sund is a major fjord on the southern coast of Greenland. Surrounded by mountain pinnacles and glaciers, the decks are perfect for viewing this landscape. Anchor off Nanortalik, Greenland’s most southerly town. Go ashore to the picturesque little town by the water’s edge.
Day 7: Qaqortukulooq (Hvalsey Ruins) / Qassiarsuk / BrattahlidExplore two remarkable sites on the Viking Trail. Qaqortukulooq was settled by one of Erik the Red’s cousins in 986 AD. A World Heritage Site, it is the most extensive Norse site in Greenland. Your ship continues to Eriksfjord, the area Erik the Red chose for his farm when he settled here in 982 AD. Explore Brattahlid, site of the first Christian church in the western hemisphere, built by Erik’s wife, Tjodhilde. This region is also the starting point of the first voyages to North America by his son Leif Eriksson 500 years before Columbus.
Day 8: QaqortoqInhabited since Norse times, the Scandinavian influence is still apparent in the colorful wooden buildings and town museum, displaying Greenlandic kayaks, hunting equipment, art and crafts.
Day 9: NuukNuuk is the world’s smallest capital city with 15,000 inhabitants. Visit the National Museum with its famous 15th-century Qilakitsoq mummies, found near Uummannaq, and the subject of a National Geographic cover story.
Day 10: Greenland’s West CoastToday is left open for exploration of this rugged coastline. Take a Zodiac cruise, kayak, or hike across the tundra. Your Undersea Specialist may launch the ROV to see the marine life inhabiting the fjord floor.
Days 11 - 12: Kangerlussuaq / Disembark / Fly to Ottawa / HomeDisembark in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Ottawa via privately chartered aircraft. Overnight at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, or similar, and fly home from Ottawa.
Photo Expeditions: All departures
The photo team, a National Geographic Photographer and a Photo Specialist, will enhance your voyage by working with you on photo composition and exposure; helping you develop your own unique vision; showing you how professionals edit and store images while on the go; and sharing the stories behind some of their greatest images. Whether expert or interested beginner, you'll find added benefits such as walks ashore and Zodiac cruises dedicated to photography, presentations on the creative and technical aspects of photography, and one-on-one mentoring and coaching in the field.
One hotel night in Ottawa; ship accommodations; meals onboard; excursions; services of expedition staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; all port charges and service taxes.
Air transportation; visa/immigration fees; personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, laundry, etc.; discretionary tips to ship’s crew.