Asset 5 arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up articleAsset 31 Asset 2 Asset 7 Asset 6 Asset 7 Asset 15 Asset 16 cartAsset 51 cart-filledAsset 52 checkAsset 50 Asset 3 chevron-up chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close comment-new comment-filledAsset 11 double-caret-down double-chevron-downAsset 55 double-chevron-upAsset 56 email-new email-filledAsset 14 Asset 2 fullscreen-close fullscreen-open gallery gallery-filledAsset 15 Globe gridAsset 17 grid-filledAsset 18 headphones-new headphones-filledAsset 19 heart-filled heart-open interactiveAsset 73 linkAsset 48 loadingAsset 45 Artboard 1 minus mutedAsset 29 muted-filledAsset 30 ng-border Asset 8 pauseAsset 40 pause-filledAsset 39 Asset 12 Asset 13 playAsset 33 play-filledAsset 32 plus NG_AD_Iconography_111317_JY_v2 Asset 3 replay Asset 11 Asset 10 Asset 4 SearchIcon shareAsset 34
Around the World by Private Jet: The Northern Route
tripDetail_slider_img1 MOBILE

22 days

from $135,566 AUD trip_detail hint icon

($92,595 USD)

Prices are per person, based on twin share occupancy. The AUD prices are based on USD and calculated at today’s rate of exchange. The expedition price will be finalised at time of booking.

trip_detail module icon Private Jet

trip_detail module Light icon Light-Moderate trip_detail hint icon

Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include walking tours, visits to sites, safari drives, and easy hikes; and some days will have more physical activities such as longer hikes, kayaking, snorkeling, or biking.

Ultimate trip_detail hint icon

Ultimate expeditions feature sweeping, themed itineraries that cover great distances using a specially configured private jet. These itineraries are fully planned and comprise private performances, special access to sites, and visits with local experts. Services include travel by private jet, a team of National Geographic experts, local guides, a dedicated flight staff and expedition manager, world-class meals and accommodations, and ground transportation.

Enquire Now

Expedition Overview

trip_detail expedition map image
  • Marvel at world-famous landmarks, from the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg to the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto, as you circumnavigate the Northern Hemisphere by private jet.
  • Learn about the vital relationships between northern cultures and their environments, meeting with Mongolia’s nomads, Norwegian farmers, and Japanese artisans.
  • Hike through deep desert canyons and descend into a dormant volcano to gain new perspectives on the wonders of the northern wilds.
  • Gain unique insights into history, culture, ecology, and geology while traveling with a team of world-renowned National Geographic experts.

A top-notch team of experts will accompany each expedition to share their knowledge and insights with you and bring each destination to life.


Explore vestiges of ancient empires, fathomless lakes and fjords, and spectacular accomplishments of art and architecture as you circumnavigate the Northern Hemisphere by private jet. Revitalize your spirit in the tranquil gardens and exquisite temples of the one-time imperial Japanese capitals of Kyoto and Nara. Learn nomadic traditions in Mongolia, and delve into the rich history of Russia’s rulers and revolutionaries in Irkutsk and St. Petersburg. Venture further north to discover Norway’s pristine fjords, the remarkable geology of Iceland, and the otherworldly realm of Greenland’s vast glaciers.


Arrive in Seattle and transfer to our hotel for a welcome reception and dinner, where you will meet your fellow travelers and accompanying National Geographic experts. The next morning, fly by private jet to Japan, setting clocks ahead a day as we cross the International Date Line.


Days 3-5: Kyoto and Nara, Japan

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Arrive in Kyoto, a former capital of imperial Japan. The next day, explore historic Kyoto, where the ancient wooden temples and exquisite gardens have collectively been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the iconic Kinkakuji, or Golden Pavilion, and gaze at its gleaming reflection in the Mirror Pond as you wander the surrounding garden. Tread carefully across the famed nightingale floors of Nijo Castle, designed to give away intruding enemies. This impressive castle complex is one of the best surviving examples of palace architecture from Japan’s feudal era. This afternoon, share tea with a local family; learn about traditional Noh theater; visit the Tenryuji temple for a private Zen meditation lesson; or stroll through the Sagano Bamboo Forest, listening to iconic sound of the stalks creaking in the wind. Enjoy a dinner featuring world-class Japanese cuisine accompanied by a traditional maiko, or apprentice geisha, performance.

The next day, visit the ancient capital of Nara, famous for its many Buddhist temples and monuments. Marvel at the 50-foot-tall Buddha statue in the soaring main hall of Todaiji temple, one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. Alternatively, explore Kyoto further, visiting the centuries-old Nishiki Market to sample fresh seafood and Japanese sweets, then learning techniques of Japanese cooking from a local chef.

Days 6-8: Ulaanbaatar and Gobi, Mongolia

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Situated on the banks of the Tuul River amid rolling steppe, Ulaanbaatar was founded centuries ago as a transportable gathering place for nomadic Mongolian princes. Take a private charter flight to the Gobi and arrive at Three Camel Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, where we’ll settle into traditional ger tents set amid sweeping plains.

Hike into the desert to enjoy dramatic vistas and spot black-tailed gazelles and wild Bactrian camels. Follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan on a walk along the mesmerizing Moltsog Els sand dune, then meet for tea with a nomadic family to learn about their close relationship with this extreme environment. The following morning, venture between the towering canyon walls of Yol Valley, ride horseback across the steppe, or learn how to construct a ger. Visit the Flaming Cliffs, a spectacular sandstone escarpment that harbors a treasure trove of dinosaur fossils. Then participate in a demonstration of the traditional sports of the Naadam festival. Join our National Geographic photographer on a sunset photo shoot to document this fantastic landscape ablaze in fiery shades of orange.

Alternative: You may choose to remain in Ulaanbaatar and attend a special dinner with a government minister and a distinguished community leader. We’ll also visit the Gandantegchinlen Monastery, where monks live in accordance with the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism, and delve into history at the National Museum of Mongolia. Venture outside the city to Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and experience a traditional shaman ceremony to learn about the role of Buddhism in Mongolian life. We’ll also visit the Genghis Khan Statue Complex, meet with a local family to hear tales of nomadic life, and enjoy a traditional Mongolian musical performance over dinner.


trip_detail Itinerary image 1

At the confluence of the Angara and Irkut Rivers lies the city of Irkutsk, the administrative and cultural center of Siberia’s Irkutsk region. Founded as a winter camp for fur traders and miners in the 17th century, the city grew in importance after the construction of the Tran-Siberian Railroad and today is one of eastern Russia’s major economic centers. A tour takes us to the baroque-style Church of the Savior and the World War II Memorial of the Eternal Flame. Then we’ll step back in time at the Decembrist Museum, featuring two manor houses meticulously restored to the period following the 1825 Decembrist Revolt, when Russian artists, military officers, and aristocrats were exiled to Siberia and initiated Irkutsk’s artistic and intellectual renaissance.

The following day, travel to Listvyanka and embark on a private cruise across the glassy waters of Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world. At over a mile deep, the lake holds about one fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water—more than the North American Great Lakes combined. Baikal is also home to many species of flora and fauna that exist nowhere else in the world, including the Baikal seal, or nerpa—the only species of freshwater seal. Savor a hearty barbeque lunch on shore accompanied by a folklore performance. Return to Irkutsk by way of a historic Trans-Siberian steam train, followed by a private hydrofoil trip up the Angara River.

Days 11-13: St. Petersburg, Russia

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Since its founding in 1703 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg has held a place as one of the world’s great cities—an epicenter of imperial splendor, revolutionary fervor, and artistic innovation. Begin your exploration at the magnificent Catherine Palace, commissioned by Peter the Great for his wife, Catherine. Tour the spectacular Amber Room, and ramble through the vast formal gardens of Catherine Park, dotted with sculptures and historic monuments.

Travel by private hydrofoil to Peterhof, a series of seafront palaces and gardens known as the Russian Versailles. Tour the red-roofed Monplaisir Palace, a favorite residence of Peter the Great. See the iconic Grand Cascade, a magnificent series of gilded fountains, and enjoy a special opportunity to step inside the heart of the structure to view its complex mechanics. Discover treasures of Russian fine art at the State Russian Museum, or explore the world’s largest collection of Carl Fabergé works at the Fabergé Museum. Choose to tour the city’s magnificent cathedrals, including the Church of our Savior on the Spilled Blood, the gold-domed St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the imposing Kazan Cathedral. Dine at the traditional dacha—or rural cottage—of a St. Petersburg family, or choose a curated literary- or Soviet-themed experience.

On our final day in St. Petersburg, enjoy early entrance to the State Hermitage Museum, housed in the spectacular Winter Palace. Highlights include the grand Twenty-Column Hall, the famous Venus of Tauride, and countless works by European masters. Enjoy more time to explore St. Petersburg on your own before gathering for a private ballet performance and a gala dinner in the lavish Yusupov Palace.

Days 14-15: Ålesund, Norway

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Our next stop is the Norwegian port city of Ålesund, spread over several small islands at the mouth of the mountainous Storfjorden. After a devastating fire in 1904, the city was almost entirely rebuilt in the art nouveau style. Visitors come from all over the world to marvel at the elaborate ornamentation, gentle curved lines, picturesque turrets, and bright colors of the buildings lining Ålesund’s canals. The city’s proximity to the stunning landscape of Norway’s inland fjords provides numerous opportunities for adventure in the pristine backcountry.

Over two days, choose between several ways to explore the city and surrounding fjords. Pedal through Ålesund’s historic center on a bike tour, and visit the Norwegian Aquarium, offering up-close encounters with otters, penguins, and other sea life. Set out to explore by kayak, paddling from the winding canals of the city to the steep shores of the fjord, where seals play amid forests of kelp and sea eagles soar overhead. Gather on our final morning for a cruise up the Hjørundfjorden from Ålesund to Sæbø, a village nestled near the base of the soaring Skårasalen mountain. Here, we’ll enjoy lunch at a traditional Norwegian farm complete with spectacular views.

Days 16-18: Reykjavík, Iceland

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Founded by Viking settlers in the ninth century, Reykjavík is the world’s northernmost capital. Tour the historic district, characterized by colorful timber houses and overlooked by the distinctive Hallgrímskirkja Church, visible from almost every part of the city. Meet performers for a behind-the-scenes tour at the waterfront Harpa concert hall, then enjoy a private welcome dinner.

On a daylong tour of the celebrated Golden Circle, visit the Geysir geothermal area to glimpse signs of the volatile activity occurring deep underneath the island. Hear the roar of the Gullfoss waterfall, then explore Thingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet at the deep fissure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Thingvellir is also the ancient gathering place of the Althing, the oldest democratically elected parliament still in operation today. Instead of the Golden Circle tour, you may choose to soak in the mineral-rich, geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon.

The next day, opt in to experiencing Iceland's natural wonders from a new perspective, via snowmobile, across Langjökull, Iceland’s second largest glacier. Choose to venture into the mouth of the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano and descend alongside expert guides to the floor of the vast magma chamber. Alternatively, visit an Icelandic horse farm and learn training techniques before heading out on a trail ride over the vast rolling hills outside of Reykjavík. Afterward, join the farmers for lunch and share stories over home-cooked Icelandic fare.

Days 19-20: Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat, Greenland

trip_detail Itinerary image 1

Our next stop is Kangerlussuaq in western Greenland, a small village founded in 1941 as a U.S. Air Force base and designated as part of the early warning network to detect incoming Soviet bombers during the Cold War. Continue by private charter flight to Ilulissat, where the population of sled dogs is near equal to that of humans. Houses painted in every color of the rainbow cluster around the base of soaring gray mountains at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a World Heritage site.

Cruise among fantastically sculpted icebergs in Disko Bay, and go flightseeing over the Jakobshavn Glacier to witness the precipitous calving front of one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world. Follow a wooden boardwalk over the heath to a viewpoint situated directly north of the glacier, offering spectacular views of the icy expanse. Explore the site where the ancient settlement of Sermermiut once stood.

Days 21-22: Boston, Massachusetts

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

What to Expect

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, or nature walks, with options for more physical activities such as hiking 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.

This expedition features some of the world's finest accommodations. These hotels and lodges have been selected for their exceptional guest service, splendid amenities, and convenient access to the places we explore. In more off-the-beaten path locations, we have selected the best available accommodations to ensure your comfort. In many destinations, we have also arranged special dining experiences with traditional entertainment, providing a window into local cultures.

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.


Well suited for this incredible journey, a Boeing 757 provides unparalleled flexibility with its long-range capabilities and ability to land in smaller airports. Flying direct and avoiding layovers, we are able to maximize our time in each destination while delivering a superior travel experience. Instead of the standard 233 seats, the jet’s interior has been customized to accommodate just 75 passengers in two-by-two, VIP-style leather seating. You’ll enjoy excellent access to experts and staff, who provide informative briefings and lectures throughout the expedition.

1 /5
2 /5
3 /5
4 /5
5 /5

  • date Jun 9-30, 2020
  • double occupancy
    $135,566 AUD Per Person
  • single occupancy
    $149,109 AUD Per Person

2020 departure: The expedition cost includes transportation by private Boeing 757 jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary. Airfare to Seattle, Washington and return from Boston, Massachusetts is not included in the expedition cost. For your protection, all payments are protected by a surety bond. Please click here to view the Operator-Participant Contract and Terms and Conditions for this departure.

2019 departure: The expedition cost includes transportation by private Boeing 757 jet and other conveyance, as noted in the itinerary. Airfare to Seattle, Washington and return from Boston, Massachusetts is not included in the expedition cost. For your protection, all payments are protected in an escrow account. Please click here to view the Operator-Participant Contract and Terms and Conditions for this departure.

  • 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
  • $50,000 medical evacuation insurance for covered reasons and services of an expedition physician
  • Gratuities

What's Not Included

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

Please Note

Except where specifically indicated, the information shown on this page pertains to the 2020 departure of Around the World by Private Jet: The Northern Route. The 2020 departure will be operated by National Geographic Partners Chicago, the tour operations branch of National Geographic, on flights operated by Icelandair.

To see our 2019 itinerary, click on the trip date above, or call 1-888-227-7265 for more information relating to this departure. The 2019 departure will be operated by TCS & Starquest Expeditions, Inc., on flights operated by Titan Airways.

Stephen Cunha
Author Educator Geographer

Geographer, educator, and author Stephen F. Cunha spent ten years as a national park ranger in Yosemite and Alaska. Recently retired as a geography professor at California's Humboldt State University, he studies diverse landscapes around the world. He is the author of National Geographic's Our Fifty States and How to Ace the National Geographic Bee: The Official Study Guide. For more than a decade, he directed the California Geographic Alliance, which promotes geographic education and literacy among California teachers, students, and the public. Stephen often travels to and lectures on U.S. and Canadian national parks with National Geographic Expeditions travelers, and on private-jet expeditions that circumnavigate the globe. He spent four years developing the Pamir National Park in eastern Tajikistan, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. He received the California State University system’s highest award for exemplary contributions and achievements in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Service.

  • Jun 9-30, 2020
Jan Nijman

A longtime professor of geography at the University of Amsterdam, Jan Nijman is both Distinguished University Professor in Geosciences and Director of the Urban Studies Institute at Georgia State University. Jan has been affiliated with National Geographic for more than 15 years, as a member of the Society’s Committee for Research & Exploration and Chair of its Global Exploration Fund in Northern Europe. He has traveled the globe in support of Society-funded projects in research, conservation, and exploration. The author of five books and more than a hundred other publications, his expertise is in urban and regional development and the history of world cities. A Dutch native, Jan speaks five languages and has received numerous awards including the Nystrom Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Jan lives in Atlanta and Amsterdam.

  • Jun 9-30, 2020
Nevada Wier

Nevada Wier is a multiple award-winning photographer specializing in documenting the remote corners and cultures of the world. Nevada’s journeys have taken her to many of the planet’s deserts, mountains, and urban jungles, and more than 100 countries across the globe, from Colombia to Mongolia and Iceland to India. Her work has appeared in National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines, as well as Geo, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Smithsonian, and numerous other publications. Nevada is a well-known keynote speaker and workshop instructor, and her images are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. She has also been featured in television productions such as National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Through the Lens. Wier is a Fellow of the Explorers Club and a member of the Society of Women Geographers.

  • Jun 9-30, 2020