Day Ten – LoNational Geographic Orion is different from other expedition ships because it’s also quite luxurious.”

As the ship continued its inaugural voyage, I took the morning to chat to the woman in charge of accommodation and cabin satisfaction, Tracy Greiner.

Tracy says the ship still retains luxury features, including five-star cuisine; an outdoor whirlpool hot tub; eco-sensitive bathroom amenities; mini refrigerators; a glass elevator; sauna; and luxury spa service.

As part of recent renovations, the ship received a new glass bottom and dive facility, which she said has been a major hit amongst cruisers on the inaugural voyage because it gives guests a unique view of the ocean.

And I’d have to agree.

She told me recent renovations also included room enhancements and further adventure sources for guests.

“There’s a high quality Atlas for personal use in each cabin,” she said.

“There’s also a larger expedition team and world class speakers.”

“The new glass bottom and dive facility has been a major hit amongst cruisers.”

Before heading off to start her shift for the day, she said she has love for Lindblad because her job allows her to create memorable experiences for guests and for crew.

It was also time for me to make the most of our last day in Vanuatu.

Our destination for the day the tiny island of Lo in the Torres group, an island which only rarely receives visitors. The Zodiac landing was a small cove with the softest white sand beach, fringed by coconut palms beneath a tropical blue sky. Behind which was a small village which had made extensive preparations for our arrival.

The first event of the day was a chance to attend the village church service, which provided a fine opportunity to see another side of life in Vanuatu.

Then the music and dancing began in earnest, first from the Lo Islanders and then a special performance by a group of musicians from the nearby island of Gaua. These women have developed a unique style of water music, standing waste deep in the ocean and using their hands, mouths to create an amazing percussive performance.

The entire village turned out to see the performance, clearly as excited as we were by the opportunity.

After our morning ashore we moved on towards our next stop and a new country – Santa Ana in the Solomon Islands. At some levels it seems unimportant that one group of islands is in Vanuatu and another in the Solomon Islands. It would be easy to believe that these people know or care little of nothing of life in Port Vila or Honiara. Whatever their nationality, it is a pleasure to travel and meet these open and friendly people.

Click back onto Cruise Passenger tomorrow as the ship continues her inaugural voyage.

Or catch up on my daily blogs by clicking the links below.

Day Nine – Espirito Santo
Day Eight – Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Day Seven – Ifira Island and Lelepa Island
Day Six – Tanna Island
Day Five – Experiencing National Geographic Orion’s delicacies

Day Four – Norfolk Island
Day Three – Captain Mike Taylor shares love of cruising
Day Two – Bay of Islands
Day One – The Christening

WORDS: Jeremy Lindblad