Auckland: Day One – Today marks an exciting new chapter for one of Australia’s favourite adventure ships. The Orion becomes the National Geographic Orion, and embarks on its inaugural voyage from Auckland to The Solomon Islands under its new livery, sporting a proud new heritage with Lindblad Expeditions.

Hi, I’m Jeremy Lindblad, and over the next 11 nights, I will be onboard the inaugural sailing and exclusively reporting for Cruise Passenger. I’ll take you to the remote islands of Vanuatu and the Solomons, and give you special insights into the life onboard an expedition vessel.

You’ll get to meet our naturalists, chefs and even the captain. And, of course, our guest speakers, who love to share their knowledge. It will be like having your own daily dose of adventure delivered to your screen!

But first, we’ll be celebrating today’s inaugural with a champagne ceremony as we head out to sea. Valerie Taylor – the dive legend, shark chronicler, undersea photographer and filmmaker – will perform the honours while guests watch from our fleet of Zodiacs.

I’ll also introduce you to the work we’ve been doing to improve the Orion – new kayaks, a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that takes you to depths of up to 300 metres so you can explore the ocean, our glass-bottomed boat and other cool tools. Click back onto Cruise Passenger tomorrow at lunch time for day two of the National Geographic Orion‘s inaugural voyage –  and join in the fun!

WORDS: Jeremy Lindblad