Launched in 2003 by Orion Expeditions, Orion was purchased by Lindblad Expeditions in 2013 and renamed National Geographic Orion. The 4,050 tonne Orion is a fully stabilised, ice-class vessel with an ice-reinforced hull, enabling it to navigate polar ice as well as small harbours. It has five passenger decks and carries up to 102 passengers and 75 crew as well as kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac motorised landing craft.
There are 53 cabins, all with portholes or windows. Each cabin has ocean views, private facilities, climate controls, internet access and a flat-screen television with DVD/CD player. Some cabins have balconies and there are a few single cabins available.
The restaurant serves international cuisine inspired by the ports of call and all meals are served in a single seating with unassigned tables. There is also an Outdoor Cafe for casual breakfast, lunch and the occasional barbecue dinner.
The LEXspa has one room and offers massages and treatments. There is a small fitness area with a stair stepper, treadmill, cycle and weights. Daily yoga sessions are offered, and a dry sauna is available. The ship is equipped with snorkeling and diving gear and there is a photography instructor on board to offer advice and tips. An open-bridge policy gives guests the opportunity to meet the captain and officers and learn about navigation.
Special activities are organised for children, such as movie nights. The Junior Ranger program gives kids an opportunity to learn about science and nature conservation.
– Cruise Passenger
“…The ship offers the cruise equivalent of glamping: top-level accommodation and dining on board. Hiking, birding and cultural encounters ashore, snorkelling and diving in the surrounding seas with some of the worlds richest underwater flora and fauna, and all supported by knowledgeable lecturers, guides – and on this trip only, one of National Geographics most famous photographers…”
– Cruise Critic
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