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Sarina Bratton, founder of Orion Expedition Cruises, will leave the company that  pioneered small ship expedition cruising in Australia at the completion of her contract on 19 April.

The move comes at an opportune time with Lindblad Expeditions announcing that Orion Expedition Cruises will become part of their existing fleet from March 2014.

The U.S.-based small ship expedition company partners with the National Geographic Society and owns the National Georgraphic Explorer, the National Geographic Endeavour, the National Geographic Sea Bird, the National Geographic Sea Lion and the National Geographic Islander.

Lindblad also charters the Delfin II, the Lord of the Glens, the Oceanic Discoverer, the Jahan and the Sea Cloudseasonally.

“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to offer global expedition cruising to Australians and we intend to bring the full weight of our experience and that of National Geographic to the Orion organisation and the ship,” Lindblad Expeditions president and founder Sven Lindblad said.

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Words: Natalie Aroyan

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