The southernmost realms of the planet are places of unimaginable beauty: Patagonia and Antarctica. Humpback whales breach and penguins gather by the thousands. Icebergs shimmer and sapphire-hued fjords harbor snowcapped peaks and virgin forests. Join us on an odyssey aboard the National Geographic Orion that combines the celebrated wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula, southern Patagonia, and the Chilean fjords—all in a single epic voyage. Follow in the wake of legendary explorers like Ernest Shackleton and Ferdinand Magellan to encounter otherworldly icescapes and calving glaciers, remote reserves and pristine parks, and the incredible creatures that thrive at the edge of the world.
• Seek out Antarctica’s iconic wildlife—including penguins, seals, and killer whales—and marvel at incandescent icebergs using our fleet of kayaks and Zodiacs
• Navigate Chile’s coastal fjords and explore spectacular Glacier Alley, where monumental glaciers calve into the sea
• Hike among the snowcapped “horns” of Torres del Paine National Park and enjoy special access to Karukinka Natural Park, the largest protected land area in Tierra del Fuego
• Cruise the waters of Francisco Coloane Marine Park, searching for the humpback whales and dolphins that inhabit this vast marine reserve
Arrive in Santiago and settle into the Mandarin
Oriental (or similar) before a guided overview of
the vibrant Chilean capital backed by the Andes.
Today we fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas,
Chile’s southern gateway to Patagonia. Embark
National Geographic Explorer or National
Geographic Resolution. (B,L,D)
Cruise to Tierra del Fuego and venture into the
archipelago’s largest protected land area:
Karukinka Natural Park. Visit this private reserve
by special permission, searching for Andean
foxes, guanacos, black-browed albatross, and
more. Then sail to Ainsworth Bay, a stunning fjord
surrounded by subpolar forest, keeping an eye out
for elephant seals. (B,L,D)
Today, we enter the Strait of Magellan to explore
Francisco Coloane Marine Park. The park covers
more than 165,000 acres of land and sea and is
home to an abundance of wildlife, including
humpback whales, two species of sea lions, and
Magellanic penguins. Cruise along the coastline
by Zodiac and kayak to spot black-and-white
Peale’s dolphins, the endangered Chilean dolphin,
and Andean condors. (B,L,D)
Early this morning we dock in picturesque Puerto
Natales before heading out to explore majestic
Torres del Paine National Park, a UNESCO
Biosphere Reserve. Set out by foot or by vehicle
across the windswept, rugged landscape, which
spans more than 550,000 acres and harbors an
astounding variety of geological forms, from the
soaring granite pillars of the “horns” to windswept
grasslands to rivers, glaciers, and gem-colored
lagoons. Keep an eye out for guanacos, rheas,
foxes, and armadillos. (B,L,D)
Local pilots will join our Captain on the Bridge to
guide us through the winding Kirke Narrows,
accessible only to small expedition ships. We then
continue our discovery of the Chilean fjords where
we may explore by ship or take a forest walk.
Sail into southern Patagonia’s vast wilderness of
forested isles, mirror-like lakes, and snowcapped
peaks. Myriad fjords cut between soaring granite
walls and waterfalls tumble from high above.
Explore the region known as Chile’s “Glacier
Alley,” part of the UNESCO- recognized Cape
Horn Biosphere Reserve. Cruise into the secluded
Pia Fjord, admiring views of its massive glacier;
and glide into Garibaldi Fjord in Alberto de
Agostini National Park, where the Andes meet the
sea. Get up close to the monumental wall of ice
that marks the edge of Garibaldi Glacier, exploring
by Zodiac or kayak. Continue to Agostini Fjord,
where numerous glaciers originate from the
nearby mountains, for a chance to witness
thunderous glacial calving. (B,L,D Daily)
Sail to Antarctica via the Drake Passage, named
after 16th-century English admiral Sir Francis
Drake. Watch for dozens of species of seabirds
gliding alongside our ship—including the
albatross, which boasts the longest wingspan of
any extant bird—and enjoy talks from our onboard
naturalists about the wildlife and geology that
await us on the Antarctic Peninsula. (B,L,D)
With long hours of daylight at this time of year, we
have ample opportunities to explore. Our schedule
is flexible, allowing us to take advantage of the
unexpected, whether we’re watching whales at
play off the bow of our ship or enjoying an evening
Zodiac cruise amid glittering icebergs. One day,
we might set out by kayak to encounter towering
icebergs at water level; embark on a Zodiac
excursion in search of seals and blue-eyed shags;
or walk on a beach amid thousands of Adélie and
gentoo penguins. The next, we might experience
the thrill of the ship crunching through pack ice.
Our expert expedition team will enrich our
experiences. (B,L,D Daily)
Relax onboard and enjoy the ship’s amenities as
the coast of Antarctica disappears from view.
Round the southernmost tip of South America at
Cape Horn and witness the dramatic meeting of
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans en route to
Ushuaia, Argentina. (B,L,D Daily)
Disembark in Ushuaia and board our flight to
Buenos Aires or Santiago to connect with your
overnight flight home. (B,L)
Itineraries are subject to change.
27 February, 2025 to 16 March, 2025
#301-308 — Cabins feature one or two portholes. Most cabins feature two single beds that can be converted to a queen. Cabins #301-306 feature one queen-sized bed. All cabins feature a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#317-320, 335-336 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), and one large window. They offer a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, sitting chair, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV.
#313-316, 321-328, 337-350 — Cabins feature two single beds (some can convert to a queen-sized bed), one large window, and two sitting chairs and a small table and ample storage. They have a writing desk, floor length mirror, reading lamps, well-appointed bathrooms with a roomy glass-wall shower, and a TV. Cabins 341 & 343 have a sofa bed for a triple.
#103-104, 107-108 — Cabins feature two single beds than can convert to a queen-sized bed, and at least one large window, climate controls, sitting chair, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228 — Cabins feature two single beds and at least one large window. All cabins can convert between two single beds to a queen, except Cabins 217, 226 & 228 that feature one queen-size bed only. All cabins feature climate controls, sitting chairs, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
#309-311, 329-334 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-wall shower stall, and a TV.
#105-106 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#203, 208 — These cabins feature one single bed and a large window, a writing desk, reading lamp, bathroom with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and a TV.
#209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224 — Cabins feature a balcony with sliding glass doors, feature one queen-sized bed, a writing desk and chairs, climate controls, a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall. (Cabin 221 has two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen.)
#101-102 — These spacious cabins can be converted into triples. They have two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, sofa-bed, chairs, two large windows, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#213 — This spacious cabin has a private balcony, two single beds that can be converted into a queen, a writing desk, double closet, bookcase, chairs, and a TV. The sleeping area can be closed off with the glass partition. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
#215, 219, 230 — These large cabins with private balconies have two single beds that can convert to an Olympic-sized queen. They have seating areas with a sofa-bed and can be converted to triples. Cabins also include a desk with chairs, coffee table with sitting chair, and a small table. Bathrooms are generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall and twin sinks.
National Geographic Explorer
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 108 meters
Passenger Capacity: 148 (single & twin cabins)
Built / Refurbished: 1982 / 2008
National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship. It is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing exceptional comfort. It carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. An Undersea Specialist operates a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sophisticated video equipment, extending access to the underwater world.
Public areas: Bistro Bar; Chart Room; Restaurant; Global Gallery; Library, Lounge with full service bar and state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; Mud Room with lockers for expedition gear, and Observation Lounge. Our “Open Bridge” provides guests an opportunity to meet our Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.
Meals: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Menu is international with local flair.
Cabins: All cabins face outside with windows or portholes, private facilities and climate controls.
Expedition Equipment: Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, SplashCam, underwater video camera, Crow’s Nest remote controlled camera, video microscope, snorkeling gear.
Special Features: A full-time doctor, Undersea Specialist, LEX Photo Specialist and Video Chronicler, Internet Cafe and laundry.
Wellness: The vessel is staffed by two Wellness Specialists and features a glass enclosed Fitness Center, outdoor stretching area, two LEXspa treatment rooms and Sauna.
• BACK-TO-BACK SAVINGS. Save 10% on any consecutive journeys taken on board one of our expedition ships. This savings is applicable on voyage fares only, and are not valid on extensions or airfare.
• TRAVELING AS A GROUP. Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more people. Take advantage of these great savings, while enjoying traveling with your friends and family. This savings is applicable to voyage fares only, and is not valid on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from our regular policies.
• COMBINING OFFERS. Certain offers may be combinable, up to two savings opportunities, except where noted otherwise. For example, travel with a group of 8 or more on back-to-back expeditions, and take advantage of both savings.
• 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