Thursday 20 March 2014

National Geographic Orion Sets Sail on Inaugural Voyage

This Friday 21 March 2014 marks an exciting new chapter for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic as the National Geographic Orion, formally the Orion, will be christened under its new name, before embarking on its inaugural voyage from Auckland to Cairns.

Lindblad Expeditions, the pioneering expedition travel company which partners with the National Geographic Society for expedition cruising, acquired Orion Expedition Cruises in March 2013. The name change comes with new ship enhancements that include a full roster of exploration tools, including kayaks, a state of the art remote operated vehicle (ROV) that reaches depths of up to 300 metres, full snorkelling gear for all, a SCUBA program that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time with a dive master, a glass bottom boat and additional Zodiacs,to name a few.

Tomorrow's inaugural activities commence with a champagne ceremony with Valerie Taylor - the celebrated dive legend, shark chronicler, undersea photographer and filmmaker - while guests sail out in Zodiacs to watch the proceedings.  Valerie, and her husband Ron Taylor, gained fame in the early days of scuba diving for their breathtaking live footage of sharks, particularly Great Whites.  Following the ceremony Valerie will join the inaugural voyage as a Global Perspectives guest speaker, adding layers of knowledge and connection to the geographies explored for the guests on board.

The expanded expedition team will feature a National Geographic photographer, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and a video chronicler on all departures; an undersea specialist/dive master on many voyages, plus Global Perspectives guest speakers on select voyages.  

Jeremy Lindblad, Australian Business Development Director of Lindblad Expeditions says: "These enhancements will only heighten the already exceptional standards of accommodation, service and cuisine on this incredible ship. The additional expedition tools ensure the National Geographic Orion is fully equipped for its 2014/15 itineraries that take the ship beyond Australian waters, allowing guests to explore the undersea like never before.

"The addition of National Geographic Orion to our fleet will increase passenger capacity by 18 per cent. These itineraries are selling fast with these enhancements, highlighting the ever-increasing support from the Australian and New Zealand market.

The National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins. The interior is spacious and offers a range of modern public rooms with panoramic views. Her public rooms include a window-lined main lounge and library, as well as an observation lounge at the very top of the ship. In addition, a dedicated theatre provides a unique setting for specialist presentations, films or slideshows.

Designed and purpose built in Germany in 2003 specifically for expedition travel, National Geographic Orion was created from the outset to explore the far corners of the Earth in self-sufficiency.

For more information on Lindblad Expeditions visit

Contact Lindblad Expeditions on T: 1800 EXPEDITION (1800 397 3348)

 E: or see your travel agent

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