Summary : See the majestic setting that the lordly polar bear freely roams as you explore the Svalbard archipelago, pulling the ship’s bow up to blue-veined glaciers, alighting on islands where caribou drift like smoke across the tundra. Experience a real sense of Viking heroism—follow in the wake of these, and other fearless explorers and colonists to discover the dramatic landscapes and rich traditions of Greenland and Iceland—in particular, Iceland’s untrammeled western coast—and visit Greenland's fascinating Viking sites and settlements, each set against breathtaking backdrops.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
New starting 2017: Most beverages and crew tips included
Free Chronicle: Receive a free video chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$14,950 to $27,280
Fly 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.
Depart Oslo on a charter flight, and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. Embark National Geographic Explorer.
Your 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. If the ice is unrelenting, head to Iceland.
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.
Your 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.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Travel with a National Geographic photographer and certified photo instructor—at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. And, take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the expert photographers and instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Pre-Trip Extension:
Norwegian Fjords: The rich landscapes of southern Norway, including Sognefjord—the longest and deepest fjord in Norway—are the ideal addition to your adventures. Thundering waterfalls and snowy peaks offer wonderful photo ops. From $4,390 per person. (5 Days)
Optional Post-Trip Extension:
Reykjavik's Golden Circle & Blue Lagoon: Extend your stay in Iceland's lively capital city, Reykjavik. Have a guided overview of the old town, and visit the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths, prior to your flight home. From $920 per person. (1 Day)
Optional Post-Trip Extension:
Iceland's Natural Wonders: Explore the geological wonders in the heart of the Icelandic wilderness: towering glaciers and gushing hot springs, boiling mud pools, lava fields and thundering waterfalls. From $3,760 per person. (4 Day)
Accommodations aboard ship or in hotels per itinerary; meals aboard ship (starting in 2017 most alcoholic beverages); shore excursions and sightseeing; entrance fees; special access permits; gratuities except to crew (crew gratuities included starting in 2017); transfers to and from group flights; use of kayaks; gratuities; taxes and service charges; services of your expedition staff. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; extensions; security fees; visa and immigration fees; meals in Oslo; travel insurance; visa and passport expenses; gratuities to ship's crew (included starting in 2017); items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages (most included starting in 2017), email, laundry; optional extensions; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Ralph Lee Hopkins (Puffin, Polar Bears, Zodiac, Bearded Seal); © Michael S. Nolan (Kayakers); © Stewart Cohen (Walrus)