Friday 6 April 2012

Typhoon threat creates an opportunity for Orion passengers

Closure of the port at Ho Chi Minh City due to severe bad weather kept Orion II in harbour and delayed departure twice. Highlights of the city and nearby had already been part of the scheduled voyage with a complimentary Mekong Delta excursion and the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels added at the last minute as a result of the delay, so further extra time in port called for something spontaneous and unusual.

The ship's Hotel Manager and Expedition Leader quickly researched options and organized interesting excursions that would appeal to the guests onboard and stimulate their appetite for local culture.

The most popular excursion with guests involved the ships chefs and dining room team on a "foodies" walk around the bustling local market where locals come to buy fresh produce as well as everything from bolts of cloth and home wares to jewelry.

Executive Chef Frederic and two Chefs led the guests and explained the exotic selections on display. Of course with Orion there is invariably something unexpected and Orion II guests wandering the markets were delighted to see familiar faces from the ship - Maitre'd Clinton and his team (all dressed in uniform) standing randomly around the market with taster platters!!

Guest (photography) lecturers Sue Flood and Nick Rains led a separate photo group through the market as well, capturing the activities and preparing for the onboard lectures and instruction on better photography.

Typical Orion points of difference, where attention to detail is paramount.

Back onboard, the port re-opened, Orion II has now departed and is making for Haiphong (Hanoi).

For reservations or to obtain a brochure of 2012 or 2013 expeditions call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email:

Pics: Orion II Wait Staff and general market scenes. Images by Nick Rains. 

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