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Iceland & Greenland: Viking Legends and Wild Fjords

Iceland and Greenland Cruise

  • National Geographic Explorer
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 148 Capacity
  • 16 Days
  • 2016 View Departure>
    • 2016
    • Aug 1 Mon Offer
  • Price from
  • $14,950

Summary : How heroic were the earlier transatlantic voyages by Columbus’ predecessors: the Viking explorers? Follow in the wake of these 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 edenic backdrops. The history of Greenland is the history of life under extreme arctic conditions: an ice cap currently covers about 80 percent of the island, largely restricting human activity to the coasts. And, the fact that there is a human history makes this polar region extra-fascinating from an expedition perspective. And then, of course, there is the extraordinary beauty of the landscape. Discover wild coasts, remote villages & intriguing Nordic history.

All departures are photo expeditions, see end of page for details.

Activities : Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography


Just-Released Offer Receive complimentary charter air (value up $1,225 per person).

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Free Chronicle: Receive a free video chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!

Prices from
$14,950 to $27,650

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Day 1
U.S. / Fly Overnight to Reykjavik, Iceland

Depart home and board flights for Reykjavik, Iceland.

Day 2
Reykjavik / Embark

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.

Day 3
Explore the West Coast of Iceland

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.

Day 4
Scoresbysund, Greenland

Cross the Denmark Strait and arrive at the mouth of Scoresbysund (the planet’s largest fjord system) in the afternoon. This area is marked by mountains that rise straight out of the sea, glistening tidewater glaciers and is also a major area to capture the ice calving off from the east side of the Greenland ice cap and depending on ice conditions you’ll explore the area by hiking, Zodiac and will keep an eye out for whales and other marine life.

Day 5 – 6
King Oscarfjord

Explore north over the next two days using your tools for exploration to the fullest, taking Zodiac or kayak forays among the icebergs, deploying the ROV and setting out on foot to hike. Your ace spotters will help search for polar bears. If ice conditions are unrelenting, explore a bit further south, where there are spectacular fjords that are generally ice-free at this time of year.

Day 7 – 8
At Sea

National Geographic Explorer heads south to follow in the wake of Eric the Red and Brendan the Navigator. Watch for whales and bird life.

Day 9
Skoldungen Fjord

The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic ice sheet, roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland. The high arctic-like climate is dominated by ice floes. Among the options for exploration are landings at Skoldungen fjord.

Day 10
Prins Christian Sund & Nanortalik

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.

Day 11
Hvalsey Ruins (Qaqortukulooq) & Qaqortoq

Today you’ll explore 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.

Day 12
Brattahlid / Eriksfjord

Eriksfjord is the area that Erik the Red chose for his farm when he settled here in 982 AD. You’ll 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.

Day 13

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.

Day 14
Exploring Greenland’s West Coast

Today is left open for exploration of this rugged coastline. We may take a Zodiac cruise, kayak, or hike across the tundra. Our Undersea Specialist may launch the Remotely Operated Vehicle to see the marine life inhabiting the fjord floor.

Day 15 – 16
Kangerlussuaq / Disembark / Fly to Reykjavík / Home

Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and after a guided overview of the city, fly to Reykjavík via privately chartered aircraft. Overnight at either the Natura Hotel or the Hilton Nordica. The next day have a guided overview of Reykjanes Peninsula and transfer to Keflavik Airport for flights home.


This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

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.

Optional Pre-Trip Extension:
Iceland's Wonders: (3 Days) 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 $2,950 per person.

Optional Pre-Trip or Post-Trip Extension:
Reykjavik’s Golden Circle & Blue Lagoon: (1 Day) Extend your stay in Reykjavik, the world's northernmost capital. Enjoy the surreal Blue Lagoon, and have a guided in-depth experience along the famed Golden Circle. From $920 per person.


One hotel night in Ottawa; ship accommodations; meals onboard; excursions; services of expedition staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; all port charges and service taxes.

Not Included:
Air transportation; visa/immigration fees; personal items such as alcoholic beverages, emails, laundry, etc.; discretionary tips to ship’s crew, optional extensions.