Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland / 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. Take 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.
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.
Crossing the Denmark StraitFollow the wake of Eric the Red and Brendan the Navigator as you cross to Greenland. Watch for blue whales.
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. Use your ship's tools for exploration to the fullest, taking Zodiac or kayak forays among the icebergs and deploying the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
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.
Qaqortukulooq (Hvalsey Ruins) / QaqortoqExplore a remarkable site on the Viking Trail. Qaqortukulooq was settled by one of Erik the Red’s cousins in 986 AD. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the most extensive Norse site in Greenland. The ship then continues to Qaqortoq. Inhabited 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.
Brattahlid / EriksfjordEriksfjord is the area that 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.
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.
Exploring Greenland’s West CoastToday is left open for exploration of this rugged coastline. Possibly 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.
Disembark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland / Fly to Ottawa, CanadaDisembark in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Ottawa via privately chartered aircraft (not included in cruise fare). Overnight at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, or similar, and continue on your independent flight home.