Summary : Embark the new, state-of-the-art National Geographic Endurance for an epic journey from the remote reaches of Iceland to the rugged, ice-sculpted shores of Greenland and the spectacular fjords of Norway. Go ashore in the volcanic Westman Islands, then trace the route of legendary Viking explorer Erik the Red to Greenland’s ice-etched eastern coast, home to the world’s largest fjord system. Chart a course north, seeking out big ice and fascinating Arctic wildlife before cruising to Norway to explore the magical Lofoten islands and fjords that carve deeply into the country’s wild interior.
NOTE: This is ship is currently being built and all details are subject to change.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$17,160 to $33,900
Depart on an overnight flight to Reykjavik.
Arrive in Reykjavik and set out to explore the Old Town, including Hallgrímskirkja church. Delve into Norse culture at the National Museum, which features an array of Viking treasures. Later, embark the ship.
Spend the day in the Westman Islands, one of the world’s younger archipelagos, formed by undersea volcanoes some 11,000 years ago. In 1973, the isle of Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off the harbor. Visit the Eldfell volcanic crater, where the earth is still hot, and take in views over landscapes engulfed in lava rock. You’ll also spy Surtsey, one of the world’s youngest islands, which was formed by volcanic eruptions between 1963 and 1967.
Cruise to Flatey Island, a fishing and trading post for centuries, and walk around this charming 18th-century hamlet. Navigate the coast by Zodiac to see where Erik the Red is believed to have set sail around the year 982, bound for Greenland. Sail past the soaring Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to teeming populations of bird species, including razorbills and puffins.
Get immersed in the stunning scenery of the Westfjords region. Head out on a hike to a remote waterfall, or cruise a Zodiac beneath cliffs teeming with seabirds. Enter Ísafjarðardjúp and anchor at Vigur Island, where you’ll visit an eider farm and view how the down of these ducks is processed.
With roughly 80% of its surface covered in ice, Greenland is a living laboratory for geological forces. After a day at sea, we’ll reach the country’s fjord-laced eastern coast, where mountains rise straight from the sea and glistening glaciers calve massive chunks of off the Greenland ice cap. The region also harbors an array of wildlife, including polar bears, seals, whales, and rich birdlife.
In keeping with the nature of an expedition, chart a course based on the rhythms of our environment. The ship's state-of-the-art ship is equipped with the latest satellite imagery, and an ice-strengthened hull that enables us to navigate waters off-limits to other vessels. Set out by kayak or Zodiac to see spectacular iceberg-dotted seascapes from water level, and get a glimpse at the fascinating marine life and geology below the sea via the underwater cameras and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) deployed by the undersea specialist.
Today you’ll have the extremely rare opportunity to visit Jan Mayen, a remote Norwegian island with a small military and weather station that holds the settlement’s only residents. The seldom visited isle is presided over by the ice-capped crater of Beerenberg, the world’s northernmost active above ground volcano. Spend the next day at sea, enjoying the ship’s amenities as you cruise toward the Norwegian mainland. Listen to talks given by the naturalists, head to the bridge to watch for whales, or relax in the sauna or library.
The Lofoten archipelago boasts an enchanting landscape of picturesque villages ringed by jagged, granite peaks. Head ashore at Værøy, where fishing is still a major part of the economy; and search for Atlantic puffins, razorbills, and guillemots on a Zodiac cruise. Later, head to the ship deck as it glides through Trollfjorden, one of Norway’s most dramatic fjords.
Svartisen National Park consists of a large ice field of the central Norwegian coast. Enter the park on a beautiful fjord called Nordfjord. Cross the park boundary, the sheer walls of the fjord tower above the ship. The Captain may anchor the ship near the mouth of a glacier fed river flowing down from a hanging glacier off the main ice field of Svartisen. The morning will be spent gasping at the scenery, taking walks ashore in the birch meadows, and possibly kayaking in the protected waters. Zodiac cruising along the shores is always popular to view the numerous waterfalls cascading down the rock walls. Be on deck as you cruise into one of the most famous fjords in Norway, the short yet dramatic Trollfjord, and search the cliffs for Norway’s mythical beings.
This morning, enter the long fjord of Tysfjorden, where only a few small villages cling to the rocky shores. Glide beneath the fjord’s steep walls on Zodiac and kayak excursions; and explore a U-shaped valley whose fjord reaches far inland, ending just a few miles from the border of Sweden.
Disembark in Tromso, known as the “gateway to the Arctic” due to the large number of Arctic expeditions that originated here. Visit the Arctic Cathedral, where the unique architecture evokes icebergs; and peruse the Polar Museum, which showcases the ships, equipment, and seafaring traditions of early Arctic settlers. Later, fly by chartered air to Oslo (extra fee) and spend a night at the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.
This morning head to the airport for your flight home, or on to other adventures.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
NOTE: This is a NEW ship that is currently being built. All details are subject to change.
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the 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.
One post-cruise hotel night in Oslo; transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; parka; all meals onboard ship; alcoholic beverages (except premium brands) onboard ship; soft drinks onboard ship; crew gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; one-way charter flight Oslo/Tromso; premium alcoholic beverages; visa and passport expenses; baggage/accident/travel protection plan; items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa, and Internet.
Photos ©: Ralph Lee Hopkins, Michael S Nolan