Hot Springs and Icebergs: Iceland to West Greenland August 22-30, 2017

After last summer's inaugural trip to Iceland, we're ready to return, but this time with the addition of Greenland, one of our most exotic destinations ever. During this compact, immersive land, sea, and air adventure, we'll get an exhilarating introduction to both of these geologically active islands. We'll begin in Reykjavík, the world's northernmost capital, to discover its culture, cuisine, and character. We'll then venture more deeply into the wild, first on a charter flight over Greenland's massive ice cap, and then aboard the world's finest expedition ship, National Geographic Explorer, in an exploration of Greenland's western coast.

In Reykjavík, we'll get a taste of the city's Nordic heritage on a guided tour, then go beyond the metropolis to explore the beauty of Iceland's myriad waterfalls, hot springs, and spouting geysers. Our program offers a choice between a more active itinerary of hiking, biking, and horseback riding through lava fields or the more relaxed option of a full-day excursion of the renowned Golden Circle. Two special features, both appealing for foodies, include a cooking class at Salt Kitchen using local ingredients and an exclusive private dinner on lovely Videy Island curated by one of Iceland's top chefs. Also included are performances by local musicians arranged by ethnomusicologist Jacob Edgar.

Beyond Iceland, we'll encounter some of the largest icebergs on Earth while sailing along Greenland's ice edge and into its deep fjords. Our charter flights to and from Greenland will offer spectacular views, weather permitting, of the Greenland ice cap, which covers about 80 percent of the country. Here, we'll meet the hardy and welcoming inhabitants who call the Arctic home. Rounding out these remarkable experiences is the possibility of witnessing the dazzling spectacle of the Northern Lights.

We'll travel with a team of experts: expedition naturalists, several with geological expertise; cultural specialists; an undersea specialist, and a global perspectives guest speaker. We'll not lack for information. For a natural history adventure in one of the world's most remote-and yet most civilized places-Iceland is an exquisite summer destination. Greenland moves the prospect into the realm of the sublime.