Monday, 3 June 2013

National Geographic Orion's 2014 Inaugural Voyages




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Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic will begin a new chapter in exploration that opens up the vast geography of the South Pacific when the 102-guest Orion is officially renamed National Geographic Orion in March 2014. An inaugural series of three remarkable voyages has been created that will explore unusual cultures, beautiful islands and some of the world's finest diving and snorkelling.

As the newest addition to the Lindblad fleet, National Geographic Orion will be newly equipped with a full roster of exploration tools including kayaks, a state-of the-art ROV (remote operated vehicle reaching depths over 300 metres), full snorkelling gear for all, and a SCUBA program that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time. The expanded expedition team will feature a National Geographic photographer on most departures.

The three special inaugural sailings include:

Papua New Guinea & the Islands of Vanuatu & the Solomons:

Embark in Auckland, New Zealand, and set off on an epic voyage in the wake of Captain Cook. Delve into a fascinating history of intrepid explorers, convicts, head-hunters and traders as you explore Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait. In Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, don scuba and snorkel gear to discover incredible coral reefs and lagoons, revisit World War II history and get to know vibrant island cultures. Cap off the journey snorkelling or diving Australia's own Great Barrier Reef. The voyage departs March 21, 2014 for 21 nights. Rates begin at AU$24,045 per person based on double occupancy in an ocean view B Stateroom – Category 1.

Great Barrier Reef, Papua New Guinea & Micronesia:
UNESCO listed Palau

Immerse yourself in some of the most pristine marine habitats on the planet. Experience the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef, discover World War II cave systems, torpedoes and shipwrecks in the tropical paradise of Chuuk and snorkel among thousands of surreal, stingless jellyfish in Palau. Encounter the vestiges of World War II battles in Papua New Guinea and Micronesia, and get acquainted with the rich and diverse cultures of the South Pacific. The voyage departs 11 April, 2014 for 19 nights. Rates begin at AU$19,390 per person based on double occupancy in an ocean view B Stateroom – Category 1.

Spice Islands & the Coral Triangle:
Dive WWII relics

Scattered across the tropical seas like gems, the islands of eastern Indonesia are fringed with white‐sand beaches, karst pinnacles and some of the most pristine coral reef systems in the world. Sail south from Palau to the Moluccas archipelago—once known as the Spice Islands. Witness the world's richest marine biodiversity in Raja Ampat, discover the legacy of the Dutch East India Company in the Banda Islands and experience island cultures from West Papua to Timor. The expedition departs April 28, 2014 for 14 nights. Rates begin at AU$14,290 per person based on double occupancy in an ocean view B Stateroom – Category 1.

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

About Lindblad Expeditions‐National Geographic
Lindblad Expeditions‐National Geographic, pioneers in expedition travel, offers voyages in the Gal├ípagos, Antarctica, the Arctic, Baja California, Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, the Amazon, Asia & Pacific, Africa, Europe and beyond. The companies work in alliance to inspire travellers to explore and care about the planet. Their collaboration in exploration, research, technology and conservation provides extraordinary travel experiences and disseminates geographic knowledge around the globe. Lindblad Expeditions‐National Geographic has won numerous awards and accolades, most recently in 2012: "#1 Small Ship Cruise Line (Travel + Leisure's World's Best Family Awards); Top Small Ship Cruise Lines (Travel & Leisure World's Best Awards); Top Small Ship Lines (Conde Nast Traveler's Best in the World Cruise Lines); Top 20 Small Ships: National Geographic Endeavour and National Geographic Explorer (Conde Nast Traveler Reader's Poll); "Best for Adventure" (Cruise Critic Editors' Pick Awards), and "#1 Best Expedition Cruise Line (Porthole Cruise Magazine Readers' Choice Awards