Set sail aboard the National Geographic Explorer to experience the natural beauty and delightful cultures of Europe’s Nordic nations. Discover some of Scandinavia’s most remote and spectacular coastal scenery, from the picturesque fishing village of Skagen in Denmark to Sweden’s enchanting Weather Islands and Norway’s fjord-laced western coast. Stroll past brightly-colored fishing huts clinging to rocky outcrops, kayak amid tiny islets and vast fjords, and explore vibrant cities where contemporary life gracefully mingles with centuries of history.
• Step back in time while exploring centuries-old fishing villages and World War II fortresses.
• Walk the windswept beaches of Skagen, Denmark, and discover the island’s artistic traditions.
• Kayak into the sheltered coves of Sweden’s Weather Islands to seek out seals, seabirds, and other marine life.
• Glide along the waters of Norway’s magnificent, mountain-framed Hardangerfjord, and opt to sample Norwegian culinary specialties in Oslo.
Arrive on an overnight flight to Copenhagen. Enjoy a boat tour of the city’s canals and see its historic waterfront before embarking the National Geographic Explorer. Cast off this afternoon, sailing north toward the Kattegat strait. (L,D)
Dotted with yellow and red clapboard houses, Skagen is perched along windswept dunes at the northern tip of Denmark. Explore this charming fishing village, discover rich birdlife with our naturalists, and delve into the history of the Skagen Painters—a community of Scandinavian artists who settled here beginning in the late 19th century, drawn by the town’s magnificent landscapes and remarkable light. Cap off the day with a taste of the famous “Skagen sild,” a local herring dish best enjoyed with a cold Danish beer. (B,L,D)
Today, journey across the Skagerrak Strait to Sweden’s westernmost archipelago: the Väderöarna, or Weather Islands. This seascape of rugged islets, skerries, and picture-perfect villages boasts some of the most stunning scenery in Scandinavia. Set out by kayak or Zodiac to encounter seal colonies and an array of seabirds, and explore the islands’ stunning vistas on foot. (B,L,D)
Sail up the epic Oslofjorden to discover the delights of Norway’s cosmopolitan capital. Visit the Fram Museum and learn about the early Norwegian polar expeditions, or spend time with our National Geographic photographer at Vigeland Park, training your lens on more than two hundred life-size human figures by native sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Alternatively, tour a gourmet food market to learn about—and taste—Norwegian culinary specialties. (B,L,D)
Sail back down the Oslofjorden and anchor outside the coastal town of Risǿr, adorned with white wooden houses. Enjoy a walk through the quaint center, viewing historic 17th-century buildings that were once home to merchants and sailors. Later, take a short Zodiac ride to nearby Stangholmen skerry for a walk to its lighthouse. Conditions permitting, perhaps go kayaking near one of the island’s ancient “potholes”—small lagoons formed over the centuries by waves. (B,L,D)
Arrive early this morning on the shores of Flekkefjorden and join our naturalists for a hike on Hidra—a lush island steeped in a rich maritime history dating back to before the Vikings. Visit the World War II-era Hågasån Fort, stroll past quaint wooden houses, and cruise in a Zodiac through the scenic channel that splits the island in two. (B,L,D)
Spend two days exploring Norway’s stunning fjords, considered one of Europe’s greatest natural attractions. Our explorations may take us deep in the Hardangerfjorden—the fourth-longest fjord in the world—where we’ll cruise beneath staggering cliffs, snow-dusted mountains, and rolling valleys dotted with tiny settlements. From our quiet anchorage, head out with naturalists to explore the area on a variety of Zodiac, kayak, and hiking excursions. (B,L,D)
Arrive in beautiful Bergen, perched on a fjord and ringed by seven hills. After breakfast, disembark our ship and transfer to the airport for your flight home. (B,L,D)
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
Main Deck with one or two Portholes #301-308
Main Deck with Window #317-320, 335-336
Main Deck with Window #313-316, 321-328, 337-340, 342, 344, 346, 348, 350 Triples: Main Deck with WIndow #341, 343
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window #103-104, 107-108, 201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228
Solo A Main Deck with Window #309-312, 329-334
Upper Deck with Balcony #209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224
Solo B Upper and Veranda Decks with Window #105-106, 203, 208
Veranda Deck–Suite #101-102; Upper Deck-Suite with Balcony #213 Triples: #101-102
Upper Deck–Suite with Balcony #215, 219, 230 All cabins are available as triples.
National Geographic Explorer
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 108 meters
Passenger Capacity: 148 (single & twin cabins)
Built / Refurbished: 1982 / 2008
National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship. It is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing exceptional comfort. It carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. An Undersea Specialist operates a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sophisticated video equipment, extending access to the underwater world.
Public areas: Bistro Bar; Chart Room; Restaurant; Global Gallery; Library, Lounge with full service bar and state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; Mud Room with lockers for expedition gear, and Observation Lounge. Our “Open Bridge” provides guests an opportunity to meet our Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.
Meals: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Menu is international with local flair.
Cabins: All cabins face outside with windows or portholes, private facilities and climate controls.
Expedition Equipment: Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, SplashCam, underwater video camera, Crow’s Nest remote controlled camera, video microscope, snorkeling gear.
Special Features: A full-time doctor, Undersea Specialist, LEX Photo Specialist and Video Chronicler, Internet Cafe and laundry.
Wellness: The vessel is staffed by two Wellness Specialists and features a glass enclosed Fitness Center, outdoor stretching area, two LEXspa treatment rooms and Sauna.
Voyage on board in selected cabin category
All meals while on board
Non alcoholic beverages
Experienced expedition team and leader
Zodiac and kayak exploration
Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
Lectures and presentations on board
International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
Passport and visa costs if applicable
Alcoholic beverages on board unless otherwise stated
Gratuities unless otherwise stated
Wifi on board
Any items of a personal nature including laundry