Arrive 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.
National 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.
Follow the wake of Eric the Red and Brendan the Navigator as you cross to Greenland. Watch for blue whales.
Prins 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.
Spend a day at sea enjoying the ship's spa, library, and observation deck.
Nuuk 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.
Dozens of deep fjords carve into Greenland’s west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers 80% of the country. Trace this ragged coastline, and search for humpback and minke whales. At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander amid a jumble of wooden 18th-century buildings.
Sail into Disko Bay and set out to explore the Ilulissat Glacier, a tongue of the Greenland ice cap and a UNESCO site. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs. Explore the historic Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut, and view the Ilulissat Icefjord and its immense, calving glacier.
Head up to the Bridge to keep watch for marine life.
Working with the most up-to-date ice charts and knowledge of the wildlife, travel north along this wild coast, ever on the look out for Polar Bears, Bowhead Whales, and the elusive Narwhal. Your ship also visits the small Inuit community of Clyde River as you officially enter into Canada.
Your ultimate ice ship, National Geographic Explorer, navigates through the quintessential Northwest Passage—following nature’s path, dependent on ice and weather conditions. Explore the ice-choked channels and glacier-carved islands that stretch for hundreds of miles—a stunning display of raw geology.
Take your cues from nature: following wildlife, stopping for hikes on the tundra, and dropping anchor in a beautiful fjord or an iceberg-strewn bay to kayak or explore by Zodiac. You may encounter ringed seals, arctic foxes, musk oxen, walruses and polar bears, as well as beluga and bowhead whales, and perhaps even the rare narwhal. Learn about the Inuit peoples who have hunted and fished here for thousands of years and hear heroic stories of the early explorers: Roald Amundsen, John Ross, William Edward Parry, and James Clark Ross among others.
After breakfast, disembark in Kugluktuk and fly to Edmonton to overnight at an included hotel.
This morning after breakfast transfer to the airport for your independent flights home.