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Wild and Windswept: Coasts of England & Wales

British Isles Cruise

  • National Geographic Orion
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 102 Capacity
  • 8 Days
  • View Departure>
  • Price from
  • $7,990

Summary : The windswept shores of England and Wales showcase stunning and rugged landscapes teeming with diverse wildlife and scattered with charming villages. Journey aboard the National Geographic Orion from Portsmouth—once one of the world’s most important seaports—to the nearly forgotten isles of the English Channel and the Celtic Sea. Explore remote waters and coastlines by kayak and Zodiac, immersing yourself in a world of marine animals and migratory seabirds. In the seaside towns of Dartmouth and Fishguard, experience maritime culture amid festive marinas.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography


Free Chronicle: Receive a free video chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!

Prices from
$7,990 to $16,610

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Day 1
London, England / Embark

Arrive in London, and embark National Geographic Orion, docked on the Thames. Set 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

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, 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. Or, learn more about Portsmouth’s famous son, Charles Dickens, guided by one of his direct descendants.

Day 3
Alderney / Sark, Channel Islands

Dock at Alderney and take a walking tour of the island to learn about its important role in World War II 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, you may wish to explore the blooming headland of the Gouliot Caves.

Day 4

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.

Contrary to popular belief, the U.K. does make wine, and it is quite good. Opt to visit a winery and vineyard, and sample the wines and local cheeses. Or, 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

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 your naturalists for a nature walk, spotting the flora and fauna of these mythical islands.

Day 6
Skomer Island, Wales / Fishguard

Beautiful Skomer Island overflows with wildlife. Hop on a Zodiac to spot whales, dolphins, seals, and nesting seabirds. This afternoon stretch your legs along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, which winds along the cliffs and pristine beaches surrounding Fishguard. Or, discover 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. Welsh woolens are world renowned, and your guides have arranged a visit to a woolen mill.

Day 7
Snowdonia / Angelsey Island

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 Wales’ famed Bodnant Gardens, backed by the Snowdonia range. Continue to 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

Wake up in Dublin, disembark and head to the airport for your flight home, or remain in Dublin for an added stay.


This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Expedition Photography:
The photo team, a National Geographic Photographer and a Photo Specialist, will enhance your voyage by working with you on photo composition and exposure; helping you develop your own unique vision; showing you how professionals edit and store images while on the go; and sharing the stories behind some of their greatest images. Whether expert or interested beginner, you'll find added benefits such as walks ashore and Zodiac cruises dedicated to photography, presentations on the creative and technical aspects of photography, and one-on-one mentoring and coaching in the field.

All accommodations aboard ship; all meals aboard ship; alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship; excursions; sightseeing and entrance fees; special access permits; transfers to and from group flights; use of kayaks and snorkeling equipment; services of expedition leader, National Geographic photographer, naturalist staff and expert guide; services of a ship physician; all gratuities; all port charges and service taxes. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Air transportation; passport; visa; immigration fees; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature including internet, laundry, etc.