Days 1 - 2: U.S. Fly Overnight to Oslo, NorwayFly overnight to Oslo. On arrival, check into your hotel and explore this charming city. Stroll amid Oslo’s famed Vigeland sculptures—hundreds of life-size human figures set in parkland. Visit the Fram Museum, dedicated to the wooden ship sailed by Norwegian polar explorers Nansen and Amundsen. The evening is at leisure.
Day 3: Oslo / Longyearbyen / EmbarkDepart Oslo on a charter flight, and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. Embark National Geographic Explorer.
Days 4 - 16: Exploring Svalbard, Greenland & IcelandYour day-by-day itinerary, in keeping with the nature of an expedition, will be a thoughtfully considered framework based on National Geographic Explorer's long experience in this dynamic arctic region. Take full advantage of your ‘human resources’—your experienced Captain, expedition leader and naturalists—as well as technological resources. Armed with the latest satellite imagery, chart the ice and where there are leads guiding you to exciting discoveries. An ice-strengthened hull and forward-searching sonar, plus agile Zodiacs and kayaks, allow for forays among the icebergs. The Undersea Specialist will deploy the ROV, bringing back imagery few, if any, have ever seen. And with unforgettable days in the ice and two photographers on board, you’ll have assistance to get your best photos ever.
Begin in Svalbard, Norway—a place of deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, and massive ice sheets. Nowhere can the polar bear be seen more reliably in its natural environment than here. Venture to the foot of vast tidewater glaciers, kayak among sparkling icebergs, hike the tundra, and explore fjords that split the coastline.
Svalbard’s wonders are a prelude to the days ahead, full of discoveries on unknown shores, following the ice’s edge. Enjoy a quest to discover the Arctic’s grand wilderness. Be on deck as your captain navigates between icebergs that drift from the calving glaciers. And if the ice yields, aim for Scoresbysund, on the east coast of Greenland, still awakening from winter’s long icy grip. Or explore a bit further south where there are spectacular fjords, as well as intriguing native villages such as Tasiilaq that has long appealed to intrepid travelers.
Enjoy the finale of your journey on the west coast of Iceland: the immense Latrabjarg cliffs, home to a huge population of razorbills, Flatey Island, a former trading post, and Isafjordur, a picture postcard of Icelandic life.
Day 17: Reykjavik / Disembark / HomeYour grand adventure takes you to Iceland’s lively capital city, Reykjavik. Enjoy a guided overview of the old town, and visit the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths, prior to flights home.
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.
Ship accommodations; one night in Oslo hotel; 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; fuel surcharge may apply.
© Ralph Lee Hopkins - Polar Bears; Puffin; Zodiac; Bearded Seal
© Stewart Cohen - Walrus