Tuesday, 23 April 2013

National Geographic Orion 2014 Calendar of Sailings Released


Orion Expedition Cruises has released its Calendar of Sailings for 2014 when, as part of the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, Orion will be renamed National Geographic Orion.

All new Voyages of Discovery

National Geographic Orion will venture further afield in 2014 with new itineraries that include destinations in Micronesia and the Islands of Moluccas - a heady mix of island cultures, World War II naval and military sites and brilliant snorkelling and diving. All new South Pacific island voyages include the Loyalty Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Millennium Atoll, Tahiti, Pitcairn, Easter Island, while voyages to Antarctica will for the first time focus on the Antarctic Peninsula and the wildlife sanctuaries of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

Popular favourite, Borneo, will again include visits to Camp Leakey for exclusive orangutan and wildlife experiences, and hallmark National Geographic Orion voyages to Australia’s Kimberley coastline remain - one with a variation that includes Rowley Shoals. Additionally, there are expeditions that include Komodo, Flores, Asmat, the Spice Islands, Torres Strait and the Great Barrier Reef.

The itineraries are a carefully constructed blend of undersea (for snorkelers and divers) and terrestrial natural history highlights, along with diverse and fascinating culture, history and anthropology.

In announcing the new itineraries, Sven Lindblad, Founder and President of Lindblad Expeditions, expanded on the new expeditions, “In March 2014 we will begin a new chapter in exploration with three remarkable inaugural voyages into unusual cultures, beautiful islands and some of the world’s finest diving and snorkelling. The National Geographic Orion will be equipped with a full roster of exploration tools, including kayaks and a state-of-the art ROV (remote operated vehicle reaching depths of up to 1,000 ft.), full snorkeling gear for all, and a SCUBA program that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time.”

The first expedition sails from Auckland to Cairns, through Melanesia (Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea) with time on the Great Barrier Reef. The second voyage includes the Great Barrier Reef before heading up through Melanesia (Papua New Guinea) to Micronesia, visiting Chuuk Lagoon, Yap and many other spectacular islands en-route to Palau. The last week of this voyage presents some of the more spectacular undersea opportunities available on the planet. Here our newly installed onboard scuba facilities will come into their own. But there are also plenty of options for dry-landers, too. The third voyage runs from Palau down through Raja Ampat and the Spice Islands of Indonesia, ending in Darwin. Like the previous two, the undersea is a highlight, but the culture and diversity of options on land is also extraordinary. Put simply: you will see many things on any one of these voyages you cannot find elsewhere on earth; they embody the word ‘exotic’.

Following the Kimberley season, between May and August 2014, National Geographic Orion will undertake two expeditions to Borneo voyaging between Bali and Singapore, both including visits to the orangutan sanctuary Camp Leakey.

It will then take an eastward journey with four voyages starting from Bali travelling all the way across to Easter Island - from the Spice Islands and Great Barrier Reef to New Caledonia, Fiji; then up to Samoa and across to Kiribati and French Polynesia, and the fourth itinerary departs Tahiti to visit Ducie, Henderson, Pitcairn and other very hard-to-reach islands, ending in Easter Island.

National Geographic Orion then positions to Ushuaia for expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

Full details are available at www.orionexpeditions.com or a convenient 2014 Calendar of Sailings is available through Orion Expedition Cruises. This is to be followed by the release of our full 2014 brochure featuring details of all itineraries, inclusions and pricing.

Combination Savings

Following high demand in 2013 for back-to-back expeditions there are again a number of voyages created especially to appeal to those seeking longer expeditions.

Plus from the 2014 calendar Orion is doubling the back-to-back savings to 10%.

Solo Travellers

Recognising the growing solo traveller market Orion will be offering dedicated staterooms for solo travellers on each voyage with solo pricing.

Pricing for 2014 (examples)
  • All pricing per person twin share:
  • 10 night Kimberley Expedition: Cat 1/B Stateroom $7,965, through to Owners Suite/Category 6 $16,675
  • 10 night Camp Leakey: Cat 1/B Stateroom $8,420, through to Owners Suite/Category 6 $17,635
  • 16 night Mysteries of Polynesia: Cat 1/B Stateroom $17,410, through to Owners Suite/Category 6 $35,910
  • 18 night South Pacific Adventure: Cat 1/B Stateroom $18,420, through to Owners Suite/Category 6 $38,065
Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email: info@orionexpeditions.com