Join us along the wildlife-rich coast and islands of Southeast, Southcentral, and Western Alaska. Begin on Alaska’s Panhandle, exploring the fjords, villages, and wildlife of the Inside Passage. Enter the Gulf of Alaska where you’ll gaze up at the face of the towering, six-mile-wide Hubbard Glacier. Spend two days within Prince William Sound, known for its spectacular mountains and massive tidewater glaciers. In Katmai National Park, spot the region’s legendary coastal brown bears foraging for clams or salmon. Cruise along the Aleutian Islands and up to the Pribilofs—a place renowned for its thriving seabird and marine mammal populations, as well as its rich Aleut culture. Encounter Provideniya, “The Gateway to the Arctic,” and its Yupik cultural traditions. Then end this incredible exploration with a crossing of the Bering Strait, one of the planet’s most iconic bodies of water.
• Visit the town of Wrangell and learn about the rich indigenous Tlingit culture along the Alaska coast.
• Cruise past St. Lazaria Island by Zodiac and see the nesting area of thousands of storm petrels and rhinoceros auklets.
• Visit rugged Kayak Island and go ashore where Vitus Bering’s expedition of 1741 made landfall.
On Unga Island hike among the fascinating petrified remains of a sequoia forest buried in a mudslide 25 million years ago.
• In Prince William Sound, explore among the ice of dozens of tidewater glaciers that empty out into the sea, rich with Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and humpback and killer whales.
• Hike or Zodiac at St. Matthew and Hall Islands, one of the few breeding colonies of the rare McKay’s Bunting and visit the Pribilofs—home to the largest northern fur seal rookery in the world.
• Call on Dutch Harbor, the site of a fierce World War II battle, and one of the world’s largest and most important fishing ports.
Arrive in Ketchikan and view the priceless collection of 19th-century Tlingit totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center. Embark National Geographic Orion. (D)
Wake up this morning to catch the sunrise over the stunning cliffs of Misty Fiords National Monument, rising more than 2,000 feet above the deep blue waters of the fjord. Watch wisps of cloud drift down the winding waterway and drape over green peaks as we cruise through the mists that give this extraordinary landscape its name. Set out by Zodiac and kayak to get close to the forested banks and the many dramatic waterfalls cascading down the cliffs. Continue up the Behm Canal, which separates Revillagegido Island from the Alaskan mainland, and cruise through the Behm Narrows en route to the town of Wrangell. (B,L,D)
Visit the remote town of Wrangell, situated on the northern tip of Wrangell Island. The indigenous Tlingit people have made their home on this island for thousands of years. Spend the morning exploring the town, including a visit to a tribal house and a beach famous for native petroglyphs, or set out on an optional jet boat excursion up the Stikine River.
Set sail on the Sumner Strait, keeping watch for humpback whales and pods of killer whales gliding through the clear water around our ship. Fix your binoculars on the banks of Kuiu Island to spot Sitka black-tailed deer and moose, as well as black bears, wolves, and bald eagles that frequent the shoreline in search of plentiful salmon. (B,L,D)
Today we will explore the fantastically sculpted, remote outer coast of Baranof Island, the smallest island of Alaska’s ABC Islands (along with Admiralty and Chichagof). It was named in 1805 by a captain of the Imperial Russian Navy to honor Alexander Andreyevich Baranov, senior manager of the Russian-America Company that controlled the region's fur trade. (B,L,D)
This morning step ashore in Sitka, Southeast Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Visit the Raptor Rehabilitation Center and stroll the forested trails of the Sitka National Historical Park. The 113-acre park is rich in history and features roughly 20 majestic Haida and Tlingit totems scattered along the scenic coastal trail. This afternoon, we will launch our Zodiacs to tour the shoreline of 65-acre St. Lazaria Island where more than 500,000 seabirds nest. We will be searching for albatross, shearwaters, burrow-nesting storm petrels, rhinoceros auklets and ancient murrelets, pelagic cormorants, and common and thick-billed murres. (B,L,D)
Spend the morning in the Gulf of Alaska, transiting up the coast to Yakutat Bay. The scenery is rugged and beautiful, and we’ll be on the lookout for a glimpse of Mt. Fairweather (over 15,000 ft.). Late this afternoon, we’ll enter the Bay and head toward the face of Hubbard Glacier. This mammoth sheet of ice is more than six miles wide at its face and is contained within the boundaries of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. Depending on ice and conditions, we may deploy our Zodiacs to explore. (B,L,D)
Uninhabited Kayak Island is best known as the location where Bering’s Great Northern Expedition of 1741 set foot in Alaska. Here, naturalist Georg Steller found a jay now named for him and recorded over 150 plants new to science. Conditions permitting, we hope to make a landing to explore this small, jagged island and to cruise by Zodiac near Cape St. Elias and its lighthouse. (B,L,D)
We will spend the next two days exploring majestic Prince William Sound. We’ll arrange our experiences to take advantage of the best conditions and opportunities that arise each day. Perhaps we’ll visit a small community or deploy our kayaks, and we’ll take every opportunity to explore the incredible beauty of the Sound, filled with glaciers and ringed by the Chugach Mountains. (B,L,D)
On our second day in Prince William Sound we wake up in College Fjord, one of the most iconic locations in the region. We’ll drop our Zodiacs and cruise around the ice generated by no less than five tidewater glaciers. The afternoon will be spent exploring by ship and Zodiac. Throughout the day, we’ll be on the lookout for Steller sea lions, harbor seals, and the humpback and killer whales who make their summer home in the Sound. (B,L,D)
Enter Resurrection Bay on the southern coast of Kenai Peninsula. At the terminus of the fjord and at the base of Mt. Marathon sits charming Seward. Begun as a fur-trading port, Seward was also strategically important during WWII. Visit the Alaska Sealife Center, an important research and rehabilitation facility for marine mammals and seabirds. Hike to the base of Exit Glacier, an arm of the Harding Ice Field. (B,L,D)
Nearly 40 glaciers flow out of the Kenai's Harding Icefield, so the opportunities for exploration abound. Cruise one of the ice-scoured fjords to the face of a tidewater glacier, while searching for mountain goats and other wildlife along the way. (B,L,D)
The second largest island in the U.S., Kodiak is best known for its brown bears and its fishing industry. Less well known is its unique mix of Native Alutiiq and Russian-American history. Join your Undersea Specialist for a “dock walk” among the commercial fishing boats in Kodiak’s inner harbor. Photograph the beautiful Holy Resurrection Church on a photo walk or peruse native art and artifacts at the Alutiiq Museum. (B,L,D)
Spend today exploring the shorelines and waters of coastal Katmai National Park & Preserve. Known for its abundant brown bear population, this area provides countless opportunities to watch and photograph bears digging for clams at low tide, or fishing for salmon in the creeks. (B,L,D)
Explore along the eastern shore of the Alaska Peninsula, with time for exploration and wildlife watching. Go ashore on Unga Island to explore incredible tundra and scattered remnants of a unique petrified forest of sequoia trees that were buried in a volcanic mudslide nearly 25 million years ago. (B,L,D)
The next morning, arrive to the Baby Islands just east of Unalaska, where dynamic tides offer exciting potential to spot whales and bald eagles, as well as rare seabirds, both from the ship’s deck and from Zodiacs. Arrive at Dutch Harbor on Unalaska Island, site of a fierce WWII battle and now one of the world’s most important fishing ports. (B,L,D)
A naturalist’s paradise, the Pribilof Islands welcome three million seabirds and a million marine mammals each summer as they arrive to breed. At St. George, go by Zodiac to view puffins, kittiwakes and red-faced cormorants, as well as a northern fur seal rookery. Go ashore at St. Paul to explore on land. Zodiac cruise or land at uninhabited St. Matthew and Hall Islands, places of incredible bird habitat. (B,L,D)
At the western limit of the rich transboundary area known as Beringia, Provideniya is often called “The Gateway to the Arctic”. It’s also the administrative center where we will conduct our clearance into and out of Russia. Visit the excellent museum and witness a traditional Yupik dance performance. (B,L,D)
Spend the last day at sea, crossing one of the most iconic bodies of water on the planet. (B,L,D)
Arrive in Nome, Alaska and fly to Anchorage for flights home or onward. (B)
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
These cabins feature an oval window and two single beds, two beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed (call for details). You'll find an armchair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
These roomy cabins feature an oval window and two single beds, two beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed (call for details). You'll find an armchair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419 These suites have a comfortable sofa in the sitting area with a large window and plenty of storage. They have a variety of bed configurations (call for details) plus a writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Modern bathrooms are generously sized with roomy glass-walled shower stall.
Cat 4 Deluxe suite with Window #511, 515 - These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a two-seater sofa that looks out a large rectangular window. Beds are configurable. You'll find storage, climate controls, reading lamps, a TV. Modern bathrooms are generously sized with roomy glass-walled shower stall.
These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV.
Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall
Cat 5 Suite with Balcony #501, 503-506, 508 - These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors that open to a private French balcony. Beds are configurable, and you'll find sitting chairs or a couch, a writing desk, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. The bathroom is spacious and has a glass-walled shower.
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512 - This solo suite features two beds and a large window, plus a bucket chair and small table, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. The bathroom is spacious and has a glass-walled shower.
Cat 6 Owner’s suite with Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510 - These large, owner's suites feature a balcony (Cabin 509 does not have a balcony), a spacious bathroom with a large shower and separate soaking tub with a window, and a large separate living area with a couch and two bucket chairs, plus climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV.
National Geographic Orion
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 103 metres
Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins)
Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014
Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration.
National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices.
National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment.
Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck.
While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.
Special Offers on Alaska End to End
FREE BAR TAB & CREW TIPS INCLUDED
Travel aboard any National Geographic Orion departure and we will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew.
BE OUR GUEST: COMPLIMENTARY POST-VOYAGE HOTEL NIGHT
Complimentary post-voyage hotel night at Hilton Downtown Anchorage. Valid on new bookings only, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers.
Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.
• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• All meals while on board
• Non alcoholic beverages
• Experienced expedition team and leader
• All excursions
• Zodiac and kayak exploration
• Snorkeling, including wetsuits, masks, fins & snorkel where relevant
• Lectures and presentations on board
• International and domestic flights unless otherwise stated
• Travel insurance
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Alcoholic beverages on board unless otherwise stated
• Gratuities unless otherwise stated
• Wifi on board
• Any items of a personal nature including laundry