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Rocky shores of the Atlantic

Wild and Windswept: The Coasts of England and Wales

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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With an active itinerary full of breathtaking natural beauty, sail from London’s iconic Tower Bridge to the historic port of Portsmouth and the battlements of Dartmouth Castle. Zodiac, kayak, and hike with naturalists, tour historic Alderney with its wealth of seabirds and wildlife, and the Isles of Scilly or Tresco where you can go freshwater fishing or horseback riding on the deserted beaches. Skomer and Ramsay Islands overflow with seabird colonies and colorful wildflowers. You may hike the rugged Pembrokeshire Coastal Path or visit St. David’s Cathedral in Fishguard. On Sark Island, visit whimsical La Seigneurie Gardens or hike to the Gouliot Caves. You can even go stargazing with a local astronomer.
Snowdonia National Park sheepPuffin Birds relaxing in the sunlightHa'penny Bridge in DublinTresco - part of the British Scilly IslesRocky shores of the Atlantic
Highlights
  • Zodiac around the Isles of Scilly and the Welsh isle of Ramsey
  • Visit the historic dockyards at Portsmouth and see the 18th-c. HMS Victory
  • See Dartmouth Castle and St. David’s Cathedral in Fishguard
  • Stargaze with a local astronomer from the island’s Astronomical Society
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: London, England | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in London, and embark National Geographic Orion, docked on the Thames. As the ship sets sail, take in views of the city's iconic landmarks and hear a presentation from a maritime expert on the importance of Portsmouth as a seaport.

Day 2: Portsmouth

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your first anchoring is England's maritime capital of Portsmouth. Delve into Great Britain's nautical history with a behind-the-scenes look at the perfectly preserved historic ships docked in the harbor, including the HMS Victory. Wander the city's atmospheric waterfront this afternoon, and perhaps stop for a pint at a traditional pub. Opt to venture through the English countryside to Southwick House, the Allied headquarters during the D-Day landings. You have exclusive permission to enter the fascinating D-Day Map room.

Day 3: Alderney | Sark, Channel Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dock at Alderney and take a walking tour of the island to learn about its important role in WWII under German occupation. Then, weather permitting, kayak across surrounding waters in search of migratory seabirds: puffins, gannets, and lesser black-backed gulls. After lunch, sail to nearby Sark. Take in the colorful sights and intoxicating scents of La Seigneurie Gardens. The coastal paths of Alderney are perfect for heading off on your own to cycle or hike with stops at must-see viewpoints. On Sark, explore the blooming headland of the Gouliot Caves.

Day 4: Dartmouth

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy breakfast on deck as your vessel navigates the River Dart en route to Dartmouth, a colorful town that cascades across a steep riverside hill. In small groups, discover the guardrooms, battlements, and winding passages of the 14th-century Dartmouth Castle. Spend the rest of the day exploring Dartmouth’s lively lanes on your own. If you’re a mystery book fan, don’t miss a visit to Greenway House for a curator-led look at Agatha Christie’s house and gardens.

Day 5: Isles of Scilly | Tresco

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
According to Arthurian legend, the Isles of Scilly are all that remain of Lyonnesse, a lost land off Cornwall's coast that is said to have vanished into the Atlantic. Discover Tresco Island and the world-class Tresco Abbey Gardens, where a surprising variety of tropical plants flourishes. Then stroll the village of Tresco, or join naturalists for a nature walk, spotting the flora and fauna of these mythical islands.

Day 6: Skomer Island, Wales | Fishguard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beautiful Skomer Island overflows with wildlife. Hop on a Zodiac to spot whales, dolphins, and seals. This afternoon stretch your legs along Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, which winds along the cliffs and pristine beaches surrounding Fishguard. Or, spend the afternoon discovering the prehistoric archaeology of Pembrokeshire, the area that yielded the stones for Stonehenge. Or, venture to St. David's Cathedral for a guided walk of the lovely little town, before dinner ashore in Fishguard. This evening enjoy a special dinner in a 13th-century castle in the incredible Pembrokeshire countryside, complete with a private musical performance.

Day 7: Snowdonia | Angelsey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dock at Holyhead and take a scenic drive to Snowdonia National Park. There are river gorges, waterfalls, lakes, and valleys to explore, whether you are coming for pulse-raising activities or for simply standing and admiring the Snowdonia Mountains. Or, visit Angelsey, a recognized GeoPark, to hike or cycle past intriguing rock formations. Enjoy a festive musical celebration before setting sail to Dublin. 

Day 8: Dublin, Ireland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Wake up in Dublin and disembark after breakfast on-board. Transfer to the airport for flights home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Orion

Keep in shape in the exercise room aboard the National Geographic Orion
The National Geographic Orion is sleek and at your service
The lovely National Geographic Orion

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Cat 1 #316, 318-321. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
Your  Category B Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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Category 1 Single
Cat 1S #301, 322, 323. These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, except for #301 which has a double bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a roomy shower stall with a glass door.
A Category A Stateroom on the National Geographic Orion
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Category 2
Cat 2 #302-312, 314, 315, 317. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized, and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
A lovely category 3 suite on the National Geographic Oion
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Category 3
Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419. These suites feature a sitting area with a large window, a sofa–except slightly smaller #401 & #402–an armchair or two, writing/laptop desk, reading lamps, flat screen TV, & climate controls. Beds are configurable (call for details). Marble bathrooms include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512. This solo suite features two beds and two large windows, plus two armchairs and small table, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls. The marble bathroom is generously sized and includes a spacious shower stall with a glass door.
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Cat 4 Deluxe Suite with Window #511, 515. These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a chair and armchair and a two-cushion sofa facing an expansive window. Beds are configurable (call for details). Ample storage, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities.
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Cat 5 Suite with French Balcony #501, 503-506, 508. These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors opening to a shared French balcony. Beds are configurable (call for details.) A sitting area with arm chairs and a sofa, a writing/laptop desk, well-placed reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the decor.
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Cat 6 Owner’s Suite with French Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510. These large, elegant suites feature a French balcony, with the exception of #509 which has double windows. Each provides a separate living area with a sofa and two arm chairs, except for #502, which uniquely offers a 'soaking tub with a view' in addition to a shower stall and expansive vanity.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available but is subject to availability.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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