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10 Iconic Experiences Every Traveler Should Have

The most memorable travel experiences make you feel utterly alive and immersed in our fascinating planet. Whether it’s spotting a polar bear in the wild or witnessing the ethereal northern lights from the sea, our expertly crafted itineraries are built around world wonders that belong on every traveler’s bucket list. Which of these spectacular moments will you choose to check off with us in 2024?

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Kayak Among Icebergs in Antarctica

Paddle beneath soaring, iridescent icebergs in a soul-stirring experience that could bring you within sight of penguins and seals using the floes as fishing platforms, or humpbacks feeding on krill.

See Antarctica Itineraries >

Photo: Ralph Lee Hopkins

Witness the Blue-Footed Booby Mating Dance

Observe male boobies in the Galápagos lifting their blue feet in a charming display of courtship—then watch as females mirror their partner’s dance performance.

See Galápagos Itineraries >

Photo: Ralph Lee Hopkins 

Spot a Polar Bear in the Wild

Feel the thrill of hearing a spotter call out “Polar bear, starboard aft!” and stand in hushed awe as you watch this majestic creature interact with its natural habitat.

See Arctic Itineraries >

Photo: Ralph Lee Hopkins 

View the Northern Lights at Sea

Venture to a northerly place like Greenland, Iceland, or Alaska for a chance to see the dancing neon waves of the aurora borealis light up the night sky at sea far from any light pollution.

See Greenland Itineraries >     

See Iceland Itineraries >
See Alaska Itineraries >

Photo: Ralph Lee Hopkins 

Feel the Thunder of Alaska’s Calving Glaciers

Sail among blue-tinged tidewater glaciers and watch in awe as great blocks of ice—sometimes reaching 200 feet high—break off and crash in the surrounding sea water.

See Alaska Itineraries >

Photo: Flip Nicklin 

Take the Polar Plunge

Shed your parka and achieve an invigorating polar rite of passage, jumping into chilly waters as cameras snap and other travelers cheer you on.

See Antarctica Itineraries >
See Arctic Itineraries >

Photo: Ralph Lee Hopkins 


Sleep Under the Stars in a Glass Igloo

Mark your next milestone with a night under the polar stars in a geodesic glass igloo, found onboard our state-of-the-art sister ships, National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution.

Photo: Oivind Haug 


Meet the Local Tribes of Indonesia & Papua New Guinea

Representing a diverse mix of ethnicities, religions, and languages, the tribes we encounter invite us to witness whatever is happening that day, whether it is a wedding, fire dance, or pole-climbing competition.

See Indonesia and Papua New Guinea Itineraries >

Photo: John Borthwick 

Snorkel a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Swim alongside whale sharks and manatees in the beguiling blue holes and lagoons of the Belize Barrier Reef, or do the world-famous drift dive in French Polynesia’s Fakarava atoll.

See Belize Itineraries >
See French Polynesia Itineraries >

Photo: David Vargas 

Meet the Whales of Baja California

Board local pangas and glide into the nursery lagoons of Baja California to watch mother gray whales and their curious calves at water level.

See Baja California Itineraries >

Photo: Michael S. Nolan

Main image, glass igloo at night: Sven Lindblad