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Arctic Birds

Exploring Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Explorer
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Explore the coastal waters of Greenland and Canada's high Arctic on this 17-day small ship cruise. Venture deep into the far northern reaches of the Arctic on a quest for wildlife and the magisterial scenery of the ice––occurring at an epic scale in Greenland. Share the experience of explorers from ancient to modern, goaded by the desire to discover the Northwest Passage. Spot polar bears on the pack ice, a wide variety of whales––­­from bowhead and beluga whales to the rare narwhal––amid massive glaciers. ​Ideal for those seeking to experience the wilds of the Arctic, this cruise is sure to delight.
Polar Bears standing on a melting icebergBundle up for the weatherColin and Eugene Hiking in GreenlandMy daughter finds a caribou antler as we hike the terrain Arctic Birds
  • Navigate the eastern entrance of Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage
  • Explore Greenland’s fjords and the Ilulissat Glacier, a UNESCO site
  • Spend a week observing polar bears and other denizens of the ice
  • Visit a historic Inuit fishing village and former whaling ports
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Reykjavík

Arrive in Reykjavík and take a guided overview of the old town, including Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral. Following lunch, check into the Grand Hotel.  

Day 2: Reykjavík | Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fly by chartered aircraft to Greenland. Embark your cruise on the National Geographic Explorer

Day 3: Greenland's West Coast | Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise the length of Kangerlussuaq Fjord en route to Sisimiut. Pass dozens of deep fjords carved into Greenland's west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers 80% of the country. At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander through the wooden 18th-century buildings in town.  There are several walking options to explore in and around town.

Day 4: At Sea in Baffin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A relaxing day at sea allows for time to hear talks from the ship's staff about the fascinating history of polar exploration. Go up to the bridge to watch for whales, catch up on some reading in the library, enjoy a sauna, or take advantage of the ship's fitness center. Or simply relax in the Observation Lounge.

Day 5-12: Exploring the Canadian High Arctic

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
Carved by Ice Age glaciers, Lancaster Sound is the eastern gateway to the Arctic Archipelago. European explorers like William Baffin first ventured here in the 15th century to search for the Northwest Passage. The sound has been a favorite Inuit hunting and fishing location for hundreds of years. Spend your days searching for ringed seals, arctic foxes, walruses, and polar bears, as well as beluga and bowhead whales. If you are lucky, spot the elusive narwhal, an arctic whale known for the long, spiraling tooth that projects up to ten feet from its upper jaw.

Day 13: At Sea in Baffin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your ship makes the way across Baffin Bay with a relaxing day at sea.  Look for wildlife from the bridge and enjoy talks from the ship staff.

Day 14: Disko Bay & Ilulissat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail into Disko Bay to explore a tongue of the Greenland ice cap. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs of the UNESCO World Heritage-designated Ilulissat Icefjord. Visit the town of Ilulissat and take a hike to the archaeological site in the Sermermiut Valley. 

Day 15: Exploring West Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your final day exploring will be spent in Greenland's beautiful, scenic fjords. Take a Zodiac cruise or kayak some of the picturesque waterways. Our undersea specialist may launch the ROV to see the marine life inhabiting the fjord floor.

Day 16: Kangerlussuaq | Disembark | Reykjavík

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and take a charter flight to Reykjavík where you will stay in the Grand Hotel. The next day features either a full day tour of the Golden Circle or choose a walking or city-by-bike tour of Reykjavík. 

Day 17: Reykjavík | Keflavík

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
On your final day in Reykjavík, you have your choice of options: a soak in the Blue Lagoon; a tour of Reykjanes Peninsula; or a visit to hot springs, geothermal power plant and horse farm. After lunch, transfer to the airport in Keflavík for flights home. 


National Geographic Explorer

The National Geographic Explorer

Reykjavik - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
National Geographic Explorer's Category 1 Cabin.
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Cat 1
Main Deck with one or two portholes. #301-308
National Geographic Explorer's Category 2 Cabin.
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Cat 2
Main Deck with window. #317-320, 335-336.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 3 Cabin.
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Cat 3
Main Deck with Window #313-316, 321-328, 337-340,342, 344, 346, 348, 350.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 4 Cabin.
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Cat 4
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window. # 103-104, 107-108, 201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 5 Upper Deck Cabin.
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Cat 5
Upper Deck with Balcony. #209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 6 Cabin.
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Cat 6
Veranda Deck Suite #101-102; Upper Deck Suite with Balcony #213.
Luxurious Catagory 8 Suite
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Cat 7
Upper Deck Suite with Balcony. #215, 219, 230.
National Geographic Explorer's Category SA and SB.
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Cat SA
C Deck Solo - Cabins 309-312, 329-334. Single cabins with window.
National Geographic Explorer's Category SA and SB.
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Cat SB
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window. #105-106, 203, 208.


Cost Includes:
  • Two hotel nights in Reykjavík
  • Accommodations
  • Meals indicated
  • Alcoholic beverages (excluding premium brands)
  • Excursions
  • Services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff, and expert guides
  • Use of kayaks
  • All port charges and service taxes
  • Your bar tab and all crew gratuities are included in the voyage price on all National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution, and National Geographic Orion voyages. Please call for details.
Not Included:
  • Air transportation
  • Personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD etc.

Rates are capacity-controlled and are subject to change without notice.



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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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