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Navigating the Atlantic Coast: Brittany, Wales & England’s Channel Islands

Navigating the Atlantic Coast: Brittany, Wales & England’s Channel Islands

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Description

Travel along the spectacularly scenic coastlines of France and Britain, each with their own unique essence, yet intertwined throughout history by geography. Castle-guarded ports and picturesque fishing harbors reveal a reliance on the sea for protection, trade, and sustenance. Explore the cultural connections of Brittany and Cornwall and the pastoral landscapes of Wales while sampling regional culinary specialties and renowned wines and spirits. In locations known for cliffs that drop to expansive seas, enjoy coastal walks in Finistère, Land’s End, and Anglesley. Magnificent castles, gardens, and seaside villages will be highlights as we voyage from Bordeaux to Dublin.

Trip Name
Navigating the Atlantic Coast: Brittany, Wales & England’s Channel Islands
Days
9
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship Passenger Capacity: 126 Built: 2020 A next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. National Geographic Resolution is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A twin to National Geographic Endurance, she is a fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Class 5 (PC5) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore uncharted waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities. The luxury of comfort on expedition. National Geographic Resolution comfortably accommodates 126 guests in 69 outside-facing cabins. Cabins are efficiently designed, with sizes range from the 140-square-foot solo cabin to the 430-square-foot category 7 suite. Fifty-three of the 69 cabins, including all 12 of the solo cabins, will feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light.  Comfort & convenience in every room. Every cabin has two portholes, a large window or balcony, and temperature controls. Bathrooms are modern and stocked with botanically inspired hair products, soap, and shower gel, plus a hairdryer. Cabins are equipped with expedition command centers with tablets and USB/mobile device docking, TVs, Wi-Fi connections, and hair dryers. Dining. Food served aboard is fresh, local, and delicious, and sourced from suppliers who share our values of sustainable use whenever possible. Meals aboard are almost always served in the dining room, located aft of the lounge deck. When weather conditions allow, lighter fare may be served on the observation deck. There is no assigned seating and our dining room accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. During meals your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers aboard will join you. Public Areas: Two restaurants, a Chef’s Table for small group dining, Observation Lounge with bar, gym, Wellness area, infinity-style outdoor hot tubs, library, main lounge with full service bar, 24-hour beverage, state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations, and a photo workshop area; plus, an expedition base with lockers for expedition gear, and an “open bridge” for access to our captain, officers and the art of navigation. Meals: Two restaurants, featuring local, sustainable choices and unassigned seating for flexible, inclusive dining; plus a Chef’s table for intimate, small group dining. Main restaurant has 270º views, and the Observation deck restaurant features lighter, made-to-order fare.  Special Features: A full-time doctor, undersea specialist, National Geographic photographer, Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and video chronicler, an internet cafe and laundry. Wellness: The vessel is staffed by our wellness specialists and features a glass-enclosed yoga studio, gym, treatment rooms and spa relax area, and high- and low-heat saunas with ocean views. Expedition Landing Craft. Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 14 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. Remotely Operated Vehicle. Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colorful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean. Kayaks. National Geographic Resolution will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity. Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch. Underwater camera. Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in polar regions, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colorful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment. Video microscope. Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail, and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures. Hydrophone. This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system. Electronic charts. An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge. Open bridge. You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. National Geographic Resolution's open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers. Snorkeling gear & wetsuits. On warm weather itineraries where there will be snorkeling, you’ll select a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1: Bordeaux, France / Embark
Arrive in Bordeaux. From the stunning symmetricalarchitecture of Place de la Bourse to charmingside streets brimming with cafés, Bordeaux has noshortage of nooks and crannies to discover. Aftera morning exploring this riverside city and lunch intown, embark National Geographic Resolution.Settle into life on board as we get underway on theRiver Garonne en route to Royan. (L,D)
Day 2 - DAY 2: Royan / Cognac / La Rochelle
Today, there’s an option to taste the famous foodand drink produced along the banks of two rivers.Along the Charente River in Cognac, sample theregion’s best eau de vie, known the world over,and walk cobblestone streets that pre-date theHundred Years’ War. Alternatively, stay on thecoast and visit a tidal oyster farm on the SeudreRiver. Learn how these delicate mollusks arecultivated, and then after a tutorial, you can shuckand eat your own oysters. Sail out of the rampartsin La Rochelle as we make our way towards theBrittany coast. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - DAY 3: Brest
Surrounded by water, the Finistère region ofBrittany is known for its naval history and naturalattractions as well as picturesque ports,lighthouses, and sheltered beaches. In the IroiseMarine Park, which covers half of Finistère,pelagic birds and seals thrive in protected waters.Other habitats ranging from dunes to cliffs offer anabundance of biodiversity, trails, and culturalheritage. Known as the “force of France” for itsmilitary port that has been fortified since the 3rdcentury, Brest has played a role in many conflictsover the centuries. The imposing castle andTanguy Tower protect the entrance to the PenfeldRiver and have many stories to tell. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - DAY 4: Saint-Malo / Dinan / Mont-Saint-Michel
Wake up in charming Saint-Malo and take awalking tour of this fortified city, known for its 12thcentury ramparts and 15th-century privateerhistory. In the afternoon, visit an oyster farm orventure into the heart of Brittany to practice yourphotography skills in Dinan, known for its halftimbered houses and cobblestone streets. Anexcursion to the iconic abbey of Mont-SaintMichel, a UNESCO World Heritage site poiseddramatically on a rocky tidal island, is a thirdoption. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - DAY 5: Jersey & Guernsey, Channel Island, England
The Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey may beCrown Dependencies of the United Kingdom, butthey have their own unique history, culture, andlaws. Experience life on the Channel Islands, bothpast and present with a walk through the JerseyWar Tunnels Complex used in World War II; or seea more serene side of the islands, admiring lushbotanical gardens and breathing fresh salt air on acliffside path. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - DAY 6: Penzance
Awake to a view of Land’s End, England’s mostwesterly point, renowned for its breathtakingpanoramic vistas. Part of Cornwall and steeped inlegend, this is a region of dramatic cliffs, rockycoves, heather-carpeted moors, and ocean as faras the eye can see. Associated with King Arthurand smugglers who inspired Gilbert and Sullivan’sThe Pirates of Penzance, its real-life historic sitesinclude remnants of early Christian and BronzeAge settlements and St. Michael’s Mount, acenturies-old island castle still inhabited today.Cornwall shares cultural, natural, and industrialheritage with Brittany and is enjoying a culturalrenaissance, drawing artists inspired by itscoastlines, harbors, and quiet garden retreats.(B,L,D)
Day 7 - DAY 7: Tresco, Isles of Scilly
According to Arthurian legend, the Isles of Scillyare all that remain of Lyonnesse, a lost land saidto have vanished into the Atlantic. Join a naturalistto explore the flora and fauna of these mythicalislands and discover the surprising variety oftropical plants that flourish at the world-classTresco Abbey Gardens. (B,L,D)
Day 8 - DAY 8: Holyhead, Wales
Arrive in Wales, which has more castles persquare mile than any other country in the world,and choose to tour some that are part of the IronRing of Castles, built by King Edward.Alternatively, stay on the Isle of Anglesey and walkthe Coast Path, designated An Area ofOutstanding Natural Beauty, alongside a memberof the local mountain rescue team. Spot falcons,seals, and springtime wildflowers along the way.Finally, the Welsh were known for slate mining andthe remnants of that era can still be experiencedtoday. Tour the manor house of a slate baron anddescend into a former mine to learn about thetechnical achievements and grueling work of thisimportant contribution to the Industrial Revolution.(B,L,D)
Day 9 - DAY 9: Dublin, Ireland / Disembark
After breakfast, disembark and depart to theairport for flights home.
Day 10 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

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Inclusions

    • With the luxurious National Geographic Resolution—sister ship to the National Geographic Endurance—as your base camp, sail along the picturesque and culturally rich coasts of Brittany, Cornwall, and Wales.
    • Sample culinary specialties including freshly harvested oysters, Bordeaux’s world-famous wines, and Cognac’s renowned eau de vie.
    • In Brittany, experience the historic harbor of Brest, and with a National Geographic Photography Expert by your side, explore charming Dinan, known for its medieval ramparts and half-timbered houses.
    • Discover Land’s End, Cornwall’s peninsula known for its scenic headlands, artists’ community, and intriguing history.
    • Delve into Welsh history at castles built by King Edward or take in the country’s spectacular natural beauty with a coastal walk on the Isle of Anglesey.

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