Set sail on a brand-new itinerary, specifically designed for Le Commandant Charcot, the first hybrid electric polar exploration ship. This 13-day expedition cruise will offer you the unique opportunity to discover the north-east coast of Greenland, one of the most difficult regions to access in the Far North.

Le Commandant Charcot’s cutting-edge technology, including its hybrid propulsion combining liquefied natural gas (LNG) and electric generators, goes above and beyond sustainability regulations to minimise our impact in the regions we visit. Aboard this new vessel and in the company of a National Geographic Expert and a National Geographic photographer, you will experience nature in its truest and purest form as we sail along the north-east coast of Greenland, where ice floe waters and dramatic landscapes await.

Begin your journey in Reykjavík, the capital city of Iceland, and head towards the eastern Greenland region of Ittoqqortoormiit, the remotest inhabited community in the western hemisphere.

Continue your journey and venture into Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest national park in the world and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve which is completely uninhabited. Take in the spectacular scenery as we cruise past impressive glaciers and arctic wildlife on the shores.

We will attempt to reach the site of the fated Île de France, which was discovered by the Duke of Orleans in 1905. This particularly remote region is protected by thick pack ice, brought directly from the North Pole by the transpolar current.

At the end of your trip, sit down with your National Geographic Expert and photographer and reflect on the experiences you have shared on your voyage and how they have changed you upon your return. At National Geographic Expeditions we believe that when people understand the world, they care more deeply and are inspired to act to protect it.

This Expedition Cruise is onboard Ponant’s Le Commandant Charcot ship.

We are privileged guests in these remote lands, and we are at the mercy of the weather and ice conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. This makes each National Geographic cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will ensure an enriching experience, while respecting the safety instructions and regulations imposed by AECO.

Trip highlights

Travel with a renowned National Geographic photographer that will help you capture the pristine landscapes of Greenland, whether you are a seasoned photographer or using your phone.

Sail with a National Geographic Expert, a leader in their field who will bring to life the insights and stories of their work, and will guide you to experience Greenland through the lens of National Geographic.

Explore Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest National Park in the world and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

Witness magnificent wildlife such as polar bears, narwhals, seals, musk oxen, Arctic foxes and hares, walruses, orcas and sea birds.

Visit Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the remotest inhabited places in the world where you can observe the traditional ancestral way of life.

Enjoy the additional range of activities included in your expedition onboard Le Commandant Charcot: kayaking, Zodiac® cruising, hovercraft, hiking, snowshoeing, ice fishing, polar plunge, participative science, etc.

By travelling with National Geographic to Greenland, you will also be doing your part to protect it, as part of the proceeds of your trip are returned to the National Geographic Society, who works to further the understanding and protection of our planet.

Itinerary - 12 Days

1 Reykjavík, Iceland

Our voyage starts in Iceland’s capital, home to more than 130,000 people. Believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, it is thought the community was established in AD 874. Today, the highlights of the city are the historical centre and the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two characterful streets with small shops, as well as the famous thermal pools at the Blue Lagoon, located just outside the city. An iconic Viking settlement, it is a fitting place to start our voyage that follows in the footsteps of the exploration of the Vikings to the West.

2-3 At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of your time onboard Le Commandant Charcot. Meet your onboard National Geographic Expert to get greater insight into Greenland via lectures and discussions over coffee in the bar. Meanwhile your National Geographic photographer will give initial talks and workshops to help you capture the story of your adventure with your camera, whether you are a seasoned photographer, or using your phone. Le Commandant Charcot is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment, and a team of scientists might be conducting scientific research during the voyage. Take the opportunity to learn more about science and the conservation of the poles, and let us discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal to us.

4-5 Ittoqqortoormiit region, Greenland

Located between the largest national park and the longest system of fjords in the world, the town of Ittoqqortoormiit is an iconic place in Greenland. Ittoqqortoormiit is the epitome of the “edge of the world”, one of the most remote inhabited places in the world, and is instantly recognisable by the colourful buildings that look out to sea. Covered with ice and snow for nine months of the year, you will be able to discover the ancestral way of life of the last hunters of the polar region. As soon as the thickness of the ice floe allows, they set out on the trail of walruses, seals, narwhals, musk ox and polar bears, travelling by traditional dog sleds.

6 Dodmansbugten, Greenland

In Dodmansbugten, or “dead man’s bay”, is where the last Inuit settlement of Northeast Greenland was discovered around 1823. Danish explorer and writer Jørn Riel describes the typical trapper cabins in his stories about the arctic, which can still be found today in Dodmansbugten. Further west, you will be able to discover the vestiges of the former Eskimonaes radio and weather station, captured by German troops during World War II to get control of the meteorological intelligence of the region.

7 Danmarkshavn, Greenland

Sailing through the fascinating landscapes of the Northeast Greenland National Park, you will make your way to the meteorological station of Danmarkshavn, on the southern coast of Germania Land. Built in 1948, Danmarkshavn remains to this day a station of prime importance for determining meteorological conditions in Europe and North America. Despite the difficulty of accessing this coast, often covered by ice, the spot was chosen during the wintering of the Danmark in 1906 as the base for an important dog sledding scientific expedition through the region. The north of this bay can only be reached by ships built to sail through ice.

8 Northeast Greenland National Park, Greenland

Greenland’s National Park is the world’s largest covering 972,000 square kilometres and a popular destination amongst researchers. Stretching from the topmost ice-capped regions of the northern hemisphere to the northernmost part at the end of the world, this is a park of epic proportions. This Arctic paradise is home to an incredible range of flora and fauna as well as some of the world’s most spectacular scenery including magnificent fjords, imposing glaciers, snow-swept peaks and stunning coastlines. The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a particularly isolated region that is cut off for many months of the year by the ice floe. We will venture into these remote lands possibly coming across arctic wildlife that live within the pristine yet isolated wilderness.

9 Île de France, Greenland

In the Northeast Greenland National Park, we are privileged guests, humbled by the changing ice conditions. Our aim is to go far north immersing our guests into the most remote polar regions, and to land on the coast of the famous Île de France, a legendary site of French polar exploration, discovered in 1905 by Philippe of Orléans, Duke of Orléans.

10 Myggbukta, Greenland

To the south of the Northeast Greenland National Park, you will visit Myggbukta, a former Norwegian whaling, meteorological and radio station established in 1922 by Johan A. Olsen. It was him who gave this site its name meaning “mosquito bay” in Norwegian. This large bay situated at more than 73° latitude north is covered in superb arctic tundra extending as far as the eye can see. This rich vegetation cover allows a large population of musk oxen to thrive. If you are lucky, you may get to spot a few.

11-12 At Sea

During your time at sea, make the most of your time to get some final tips from your National Geographic photographer, maybe on how to choose between your many photos, or to sit down with your National Geographic Expert and reflect on the experiences you have shared on your voyage and how they have changed you upon your return. At National Geographic Expeditions we believe that when people understand the world, they care more deeply and are inspired to act to protect it.

13 Reykjavík, Iceland

Disembark from where you started in Reykjavik, Iceland's capital. Take the opportunity to explore the city some more, before starting your journey home. As the plane climbs away from the tarmac, take a last look at the dramatic landscapes you leave behind as you return from one of the most remote regions on Earth.

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