Sail from the historic waterfront town of Bergen, Norway, to seldom-explored islands in the Faroes and Scotland, and then explore all of Iceland’s coastal wonders on a near-circumnavigation. In Scotland you’ll encounter Shetland ponies roaming verdant landscapes. Then go back in time at Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old stone-slab village on Orkney, and see the mysterious standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar. Walk with a historian through Jarlshof archaeological site, a complex of ancient settlements spanning 4,000 years of human history. Meet the welcoming islanders who call the scenic Faroe Islands home. Observe incredible birdlife—massive puffin colonies in the Faroe Islands and Grimsey, and on the Cliffs of Noss, thousands of murres and kittiwakes.
• Go aboard National Geographic Explorer and sail in the wake of early Viking explorers, learning the region’s dramatic history
• Encounter the Bronze Age ruins and Viking longhouses of Jarlshof, a prehistoric settlement in the Shetland Islands
• Discover the unique culture of the Faroe Islands, where residents cling proudly to their Viking heritage
• Observe nesting seabirds in dramatic settings—on Iceland’s skyscraping Látrabjarg cliffs and amid Shetland's spectacular Cliffs of Noss
• Sail past the dramatic sea cliffs of the Faroe Islands to see cliff-nesting puffins, gannets, and northern fulmars
Bergen is one of the major cities of the powerful
Hanseatic League. Hansa merchants operated in
the historic Bryggens Wharf area, filled with
wooden buildings from the Middle Ages. (D)
Enjoy a morning at sea, then see the standing
stones at the Ring of Brodgar and the stoneslab
village of Skara Brae. Step into the past at the red
sandstone cathedral of St. Magnus, built in 1137.
Our ship glides past the towering bird cliffs of Noss
for views of murres and kittiwakes. Visit the
Jarlshof archaeological site, a prehistoric and
Norse settlement continuously inhabited for more
than 4,000 years, and see the famous Shetland
The rugged Faroese are proud of their Viking
ancestry, reflected in their ancient language and
love of the sea. We will explore the archipelago
with possible stops: in Tórshavn, wooden boats
bob at anchor in the harbor and harken back to
Viking times; visit the natural history museum and
the Kirkjubøur archaeological site, a medieval
farming and religious center; see the incredible
bird cliffs and scenic landscapes of northern
Streymoy, at the cliffs of Vestmanna. (B,L,D)
Dock in Djúpivogur and drive down the coast to
explore the vast Vatnajökull icecap and the deep
blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of
Jökulsárlón. Alternatively, go by 4x4 vehicle to visit
some of the secluded valleys and remote
waterfalls in the countryside around Djúpivogur or
visit a local farm to meet the families living in rural
Enjoy a morning at sea as we sail northward to the
land of the midnight sun, going ashore in the
evening at the tiny island of Grimsey. Home to
nesting sea birds, it lies exactly on the Arctic
Drive to Lake Mývatn, the most geologically active
area in Iceland. See the mud pools at Hverarond
and the unforgettable sight of Goðafoss, the
waterfall of the gods. Visit the explosion crater at
Viti. Drive to Akureyri with its beautiful period
houses, backed by snow-capped mountains.
Located in the Westfjords, Ísafjördur is surrounded
by water on three sides, sculpted by glaciers.
Explore the town and taste some Icelandic
culinary delicacies, or visit a center dedicated to
arctic foxes. Learn about the fishing industry that
was the mainstay of this town for generations.
Continue to charming Flatey Island, a trading post
for centuries, for walks around the 19th-century
hamlet and opportunities to see and photograph
numerous species of birds. Zodiac cruise the
coast and see where Erik the Red sailed from in
the year 982 A.D., bound for Greenland. (B,L,D)
The Westman Islands were formed by undersea
volcanoes and are among the youngest of the
world’s archipelagos. Surtsey, a UNESCO World
Heritage Site, was created in 1963 and 10 years
later, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that
nearly closed off its harbor. Visit the crater where
the earth is still hot and see areas that were
engulfed by lava. (B,L,D)
Today we disembark in Reykjavík with options to
visit either the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths
or the hot springs, geothermal power plant and a
horse farm, prior to our flight home. (B,L)
Itineraries are subject to change.
#301-308 — Cabins feature one or two portholes. Most cabins feature two single beds that can be converted to a queen. Cabins #301-306 feature one queen-sized bed. All cabins feature a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#317-320, 335-336 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), and one large window. They offer a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, sitting chair, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#313-316, 321-328, 337-350 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), one large window, and two sitting chairs and a small table and ample storage. They have a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV. Cabins 341 & 343 have a sofa bed for a triple.
#103-104, 107-108 — Cabins feature two single beds than can convert to a queen-sized bed, and at least one large window, climate controls, sitting chair, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228 — Cabins feature two single beds and at least one large window. All cabins can convert between two single beds to a queen, except Cabins 217, 226 & 228 that feature one queen-size bed only. All cabins feature climate controls, sitting chairs, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#309-311, 329-334 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV.
#105-106 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#203, 208 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224 — Cabins feature a balcony with sliding glass doors, feature one queen-sized bed, a writing desk and chairs, climate controls, a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall. (Cabin 221 has two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen.)
#101-102 — These spacious cabins can be converted into triples. They have two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, sofa-bed, chairs, two large windows, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#213 — This spacious cabin has a private balcony, two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, chairs, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#215, 219, 230 — These large cabins with private balconies have two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen. They have seating areas with a sofa-bed and can be converted to triples. Cabins also include a desk with chairs, coffee table with sitting chair, and a small table. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
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.
• BACK-TO-BACK SAVINGS. Save 10% on any consecutive journeys taken on board one of our expedition ships. This savings is applicable on voyage fares only, and are not valid on extensions or airfare.
• TRAVELING AS A GROUP. Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more people. Take advantage of these great savings, while enjoying traveling with your friends and family. This savings is applicable to voyage fares only, and is not valid on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies.
• COMBINING OFFERS. Certain offers may be combinable, up to two savings opportunities, except where noted otherwise. For example, travel with a group of 8 or more on back-to-back expeditions, and take advantage of both savings.
• FREE BAR TAB AND CREW TIPS INCLUDED. We will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew on all National Geographic Resolution, National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endurance, and National Geographic Orion voyages.
• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non alcoholic beverages
• Experienced expedition team and leader
• All excursions
• Zodiac and kayak exploration
• Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
• Lectures and presentations on board
• International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
• Travel insurance
• 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