Around the World by Private Jet: The Northern Route

May 30, 2019
Available: 75 seats
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22 Days
Max People : 75


Delve into diverse cultures, from the nomads of the Gobi desert to the Inuits of the Arctic, as you circumnavigate the northern hemisphere by private jet.
Travel with our host, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Lee Berger, whose two-million-year-old fossil finds have changed our understanding of human origins.
Cruise Lake Baikal, and see masterpieces at St. Petersburg’s Hermitage before doors open to the public.
Discover Norway’s dramatic fjords by ferry or kayak; witness waterfalls, volcanoes, and geysers in Iceland; and cruise amid the icebergs of Greenland’s spectacular Ilulissat Icefjord.

Delve into the worlds of emperors and exiles, Arctic explorers and fossil-finders, and nomads of the desert and the ice as you circumnavigate the northern hemisphere by private jet. Explore Japan’s exquisite spiritual architecture amid the gardens and shrines of Kyoto and Nara. Experience nomadic life in Mongolia’s Gobi and trace Russian history in St. Petersburg and Irkutsk. Then head further north to encounter Norway’s fjords, Iceland’s wondrous geology, and the glittering glaciers and icebergs of Greenland.

Meet experts, staff, and fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner at our hotel, located in the heart of downtown near Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Space Needle. The next day, depart for Japan, and lose a day crossing the international date line.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Fairmont Olympic Hotel or Four Seasons Hotel Seattle


Land in Osaka and travel to Kyoto, where we’ll visit UNESCO World Heritage-listed temples and gardens, including Kinkakuji, or the “Golden Pavilion,” and the wooden temple of Sanjusangendo. Walk beneath the striking torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine to participate in a blessing ceremony, and explore Nijo Castle. In ancient Nara, visit the Todaiji temple, the world’s largest wooden building, and the Kofukuji National Treasure Museum. Stroll among 3,000 stone and bronze lanterns at the Kasuga Grand Shrine.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Kyoto or Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Our next stop is the land of Genghis Khan, where one of the world’s last nomadic cultures lives amid the stark beauty of the steppe. Take a private local flight to the majestic Gobi, where we’ll spend three nights at a traditional ger (tent) camp, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection. In addition, visit with a nomad family and experience their way of life firsthand. At the fossil quarries of Bayanzag, also known as the Flaming Cliffs, hunt for dinosaur fossils with a local paleontologist. Or discover the stunning landscapes of Gorkhi-Terelj National Park.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Shangri-La Hotel, Ulaanbaatar and Terelj Hotel or Three Camel Lodge


After the Decembrist Revolt in 1825, exiled nobility settled in Siberia, bringing culture and infrastructure to cities like Irkutsk. Follow in their footsteps on a walk through the central square, where traditional wooden houses stand out in bright shades of blue and green—the colors of Siberia. Visit the Church of Our Saviour, the oldest stone structure in Irkutsk, and wander among the tombs of famous Siberians at the Znamenskaya cathedral. Delve into the city’s pivotal role in Russian history at the Monument to Russian Pioneers of Siberia. The next day, cruise Lake Baikal, a World Heritage site as well as the world’s oldest and deepest lake.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Courtyard by Marriott, Irkutsk City Center


Fly to St. Petersburg, designed by Peter the Great in the 18th century. At the Catherine Palace, marvel at the Amber Room, then step into the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum before opening hours, and admire the works of Fabergé at its Treasure Galleries. Stroll through the gardens of Peterhof, and tour Peter and Paul Fortress. Attend a performance at one of St. Petersburg’s grand theaters, or cruise the Neva River.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Hotel Astoria


An island city off Norway’s Atlantic coast, Ålesund is a charming hub of art nouveau architecture and the gateway to some of Norway’s most impressive fjords. Our group will split up to stay in three boutique hotels set in rural hamlets and alpine forests just outside the city. During our stay, you may explore the city, taking in the turrets and towers of its renowned early 20-century architecture, or go on a relaxed cruise through the fjords, past cascading waterfalls and twisting mountain roads. You may also opt to visit a local farm and sample Norwegian foods, or kayak through the fjords, stopping to explore nearby islands.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Sagafjord Hotel, Storfjord Hotel, or Hotel Union Øye

In Iceland’s vibrant capital of Reykjavík, explore the Old City and the traditional wooden houses of the Árbær Open Air Museum. Relax in the geothermic hot springs of the Blue Lagoon, whose warm, mineral-rich waters have long eased the muscles and raised the spirits of travelers. At Thingvellir, stand astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. See the geothermal fields of Geysir, home to hot springs, mud pots, and boiling pools; and feel the mist on your face at the majestic Gullfoss. You’ll also have time to choose your own adventure, including visiting a geothermal power plant, hiking through a nature reserve, or snowmobiling on a glacier.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Hotel Borg, Reykjavík

Our next stop is Kangerlussuaq, a town of about 500 residents in western Greenland founded as a military base during World War II and now a hub of scientific research. Continue by charter flight north to the remote town of Ilulissat, which abuts the massive Ilulissat Icefjord, the source of many of the icebergs in Greenlandic waters. Cruise through the mist among craggy icebergs at the mouth of the fjord, take an easy walk along the ice fjord, and meet a dogsled team. Or take a longer guided hike alongside the massive glacier to the Inuit village of Sermermiut, or visit the brightly colored houses and church of a tiny hunting and fishing settlement.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch Daily
Accommodations:Arctic Hotel, Ilulissat

Fly to Boston and celebrate with a festive farewell dinner. The next day, connect with your commercial flight home.

Meals Included:Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Mandarin Oriental, Boston

This trip has an activity rating of light/moderate; travelers should be in good health; comfortable climbing stairs and walking or standing for extended periods; and prepared for multiple hours of activity on some days. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to historic or cultural sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking. A signed medical form from your doctor will be required for participation in certain activities. Alternative destinations or activities can be arranged if necessary. Any physical condition requiring special attention, diet, or treatment should be reported when booking so accommodations can be made.Accommodations
We stay in world-class or best available hotels throughout the expedition.Expedition Team
An engaging team of experts will accompany each expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life.

Our specially outfitted Boeing 757 is ideally suited for this extraordinary expedition. Its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports afford us unmatched flexibility. We set our own schedules, flying direct and avoiding layovers, which allows us the freedom to make the most of our adventures on land. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s interior has been customized and refitted to accommodate just 75 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating.

Our VIP-configured Boeing 757 private jet offers:

• 75 passenger seats in a special 2×2 configuration, instead of the standard 233 seats.

• Beautiful VIP-style leather seating with adjustable leg and headrests and a 45-degree recline. The seats feature special ecomfort™ foam that reduces pressure and stress.

• One of the highest crew-to-traveler ratios in the industry — 1 to 5.

• Spacious cabin with plenty of storage for personal items.

• Spotless and plush interior details.

• Our specially-trained flight crew — including three pilots, expedition chef, catering officer, eight flight attendants, two engineers, and a dedicated luggage handler.

• A dedicated expedition physician who accompanies the group on the jet and on land.

• Operation and maintenance by the award-winning TUI Airways, based in England and winner of the World’s Best Leisure Airline at the 2010 World Airline Awards.

• Audio-visual capabilities with 24 flat-screen monitors for onboard seminars and destination-specific movies and documentaries.

• iPads loaded with trip-related content for use during flights.

• In-seat power outlets and storage space for laptops, digital cameras, and other personal devices.

On this expedition, we will stay in some of the world’s finest accommodations. Each one has been chosen for its fine amenities and prime location. In remote areas where choices are limited, we have selected the very best available accommodation to ensure your comfort. Below are several of the accommodations featured on this expedition.

Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
Transportation by private jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary
Deluxe or best available accommodations as indicated in the itinerary
All meals, from dinner on the first night to breakfast on the final morning
Daily activities, excursions, options, and special events as indicated in the itinerary; enrichment program, including lectures by a team of experts.
All beverages, including liquor, aboard the private jet and during special events and cocktail parties; house wine and beer at lunches and dinners
$100,000 medical evacuation insurance for covered reasons and services of an expedition physician

Commercial airfare to the departure city, and return from the final destination
Trip cancellation insurance or other travel insurance
Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone, and beverages not listed above

About Photographer

Jay Dickman

Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Jay Dickman has been a photojournalist for more than 40 years, covering topics as diverse as the war in El Salvador, the Olympics, national political conventions, six Super Bowls, and the 40th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. Among his more than 25 assignments for the National Geographic Society, Jay has lived for three months in a Stone Age village in Papua New Guinea and spent a week under the Arctic ice in a nuclear attack sub. A popular photography instructor, he has also published a best-selling guide called Perfect Digital Photography, as well as numerous articles for National Geographic, LIFE, Sports Illustrated, Time, and Forbes.