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The National Geographic Orion at sunset

National Geographic Orion

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The National Geographic Orion at sunset Keep in shape in the exercise room aboard the National Geographic Orion The National Geographic Orion is sleek and at your service The lovely National Geographic Orion Relax in the observation lounge and library. Fresh, local, and sustainably sourced meals aboard NatGeo Orion Relax in the National Geographic's hot tub See rockhopper penguins up close on a Falkland Islands tour
A natural arch of basalt in Iceland.

A Circumnavigation of Iceland

9 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Experience Iceland's unique geology
  • Meet Iceland’s people & culture
  • Actively explore Iceland's coasts
  • Travel with an expert team
Embark on a 9-day Iceland circumnavigation voyage aboard the National Geographic Orion. Experience glaciers, geysers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots, and rock- and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty in one irrestibile 360º expedition.
Activities: Adventure Options, Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise, Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Djupivogur, Heimaey Island, Husavik, Isafjordur, Latrabjarg, Reykjavik, Siglufjordur
Cruise Details
Does this penguin have an itch?

Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands

22 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • See beautiful Antarctic ice
  • Witness massive wildlife spectacles
  • Experience three distinct regions
  • Enjoy superlative photos ops
Sail for the Great White Continent of Antarctica on this 22-day Antarctic, South Georgia, and Falklands cruise! Encounter the rich wildlife of this region from zodiac or on shore. Antarctica promises to delight and entrance on this small ship expedition.
Activities: Adventure Options, Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise, Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Brown Bluff, Drake Passage, Port of Ushuaia, Santiago
Cruise Details
View the seal and cormorant colonies as you sail across the Beagle Channel

Best of Chilean Patagonia: From Torres del Paine to Cape Horn

14 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Explore Isla de los Estados
  • See storied Cape Horn
  • Discover Torres del Paine
  • Zodiac cruise and kayak
Discover the breadth of Patagonia’s wildness on a 14-day land-and-sea expedition on the NG Orion. Savor the grandeur of Torres del Paine’s iconic landscapes and profusion of wildlife. Then, explore the fjords, glaciers, and panoramic vistas of Patagonia’s coast and waterways, including Isla De Los Estados, Yendegaia and Karukinka, and Cape Horn.
Activities: Archaeological Sites, Kayaking, Land & Sea, Small Ship Cruise, Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Cape Horn, Isla de los Estados, Port of Ushuaia, Puerto Natales, Santiago, Torres del Paine, Yendegaia
Cruise Details
Sunrise on the cliffs

Bordeaux to London: The French Atlantic Coast

8 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Follow France’s wild western coast
  • Approach Mont-Saint-Michel
  • Walk the WWII beaches of Normandy
  • Explore the Crozon Peninsula
Explore the beautiful landscapes of Brittany and Normandy. Revisit history from Napoleon to the D-Day beaches. See iconic Mont-St.-Michel, the Bayeux Tapestry, Vauban Citadel, and charming Honfleur. Study cognac-making in La Rochelle, gather oysters on St. Malo, and feast on fabulous French regional specialties.
Activities: Biking, Small Ship Cruise
Places: Europe, France, United Kingdom, United Kingdom & Ireland, Western Europe, Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Bordeaux, Cherbourg, Honfleur, Ile d'Aix, La Rochelle, London, Saint Malo
Cruise Details
Colors of Copenhagen, Denmark

Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea

14 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Venture to medieval Riga & Tallinn
  • Kayak and walk tiny islands
  • Visit the Hermitage Museum
  • Experience fascinating history
Explore the cultures and histories of eight countries united by the Baltic Sea. Discover the hidden treasures and most charming places to explore. With the docent-quality guidance from your expedition leaders, see and learn more than you thought possible, all while traveling in comfort and style on this 14-day voyage.
Activities: Archaeological Sites, Biking, Kayaking, Urban Exploration
Places: Bornholm Island, Copenhagen, Gdansk, Helsinki, Klaipeda, Riga, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn, Visby
Cruise Details
Enjoy fine dining on a Culinary tour, food

Culture and Cuisine from Oporto to Basque Country

8 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Spend a day discovering Galicia
  • Discover iconic architecture
  • Sample world-renowned port wines
  • Experience Basque country
Celebrate the myriad cultures of Iberia and France’s Cote Basque. Enjoy stunning landscapes and unique Basque traditions on this 8-day expedition aboard the National Geographic Orion.
Activities: Cooking Class, Local Market, Small Ship Cruise, Wine Tasting
Places: Europe, France, Mediterranean, Portugal, Spain, Western Europe, Bayonne, Bilbao, La Coruna, Lisbon, Porto, Saint Jean-de-Luz, Villagarcia de Arousa
Cruise Details
The pristine and remote landscape of the Falkland Islands

Falklands 360°

12 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
Discover a profusion of life on the first-ever circumnavigation of the Falklands. Hike the landscape to view rockhopper, Magellanic & king penguins, and a massive breeding colony of over 150,000 breeding pairs of albatross. See 8,000-pound bull elephant seals in dramatic battles for territory and the world’s rarest—and some say …
Activities: Expedition Cruises, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Chile, Falkland Islands, Patagonia, South America, Barren Island, Carcass Island, Fox Bay, Isla de los Estados, New Island, Port of Ushuaia, Santiago, Stanley, Steeple Jason Island
Cruise Details
A mother gentoo penguin and her chick

Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent

12 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • See legendary landscapes & habitats
  • Encounter iconic wildlife
  • Kayak, Zodiac cruise, and hike
  • Experience the Antarctic undersea
This 12-day classic Antarctica itinerary delivers huge tabular icebergs, sculptural bergs floating in pools of turquoise blue melt water, mountains rising some 9,000 feet straight up from the sea, penguins galore, abundant marine mammals and experiences like cruising through the solemn majesty of the Lemaire Channel, among many more.
Activities: Adventure Options, Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise, Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Antarctica Peninsula, Drake Passage, Port of Ushuaia, Santiago
Cruise Details
Ring of Brodgar is a unique stone circle in Scotland.

Nordic Passages: Shetlands, Orkney, Faroes, and Iceland

13 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • See Iceland’s Vatnajökull icecap
  • Sail under the bird cliffs of Noss
  • Discover living geology
  • Meet welcoming locals
  • See dramatic cliffs and sea stacks
Explore Stone Age sites, rugged & tranquil islands, geothermal wonders & charming villages on this 13-day cruise on the National Geographic Orion. Sail beneath the midnight sun, over seas steeped in Norse mythology, and along the route of the boldest Vikings who ventured west. Meet the welcoming islanders who call these scenic islands home.
Activities: Archaeological Sites, Small Ship Cruise, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Bergen, Djupivogur, Grimsey Island, Husavik, Isafjordur, Latrabjarg, Mykines, Orkney Islands, Reykjavik, Shetland Islands, Surtsey Island, Torshavn, Vestmanna
Cruise Details
Isle of Iona, Scotland

Norway and Scotland: Fjordlands and the Inner Hebrides

8 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Kayak and Zodiac cruise inlets
  • See ancient dwellings
  • View spectacular wildlife
  • Hike to Sumburgh Head lighthouse
Voyage from the vibrant cultural center of Dublin to the stunning landscapes and ancient ruins of Scotland and beyond. Visit a Shetland pony farm, a Fair Isle seabird research station, the Stone Age megaliths of the Orkneys, and sacred Christian sites of Iona. Then sail through fjord country and hike and kayak the dramatic Sognefjorden.
Activities: Archaeological Sites, Hiking, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Small Ship Cruise
Places: Bergen, Dublin, Fair Isle, Isle of Iona, Kirkwall, Shetland Islands, Staffa, Stornoway
Cruise Details
Guanacos in Torres del Paine Park

Patagonia: Chilean Fjords and Argentina’s Staten Island

9 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Explore Isla de los Estados
  • Venture into wildlife reserves
  • Take advantage of superb photo ops
  • Zodiac cruise, kayak, and hike
Experience the iconic wildness of Patagonia’s saw-toothed peaks, cerulean glaciers, and soaring fjords over 9 days of exploration. Discover Chilean Patagonia’s highlights including the stunning Beagle Channel and famous Cape Horn. Hike, kayak, and Zodiac cruise wild fjords, and explore wildlife reserves not easily accessible to the public.
Activities: Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise, Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Cape Horn, Isla de los Estados, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Santiago, Ushuaia, Yendegaia
Cruise Details
Unique houses designed by Gaudi

Portugal and Spain: From the Algarve to Catalonia

8 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Encounter architectural marvels
  • Explore the landscapes of Andalusia
  • Search for whales and dolphins
  • Sample local Iberian specialties
Trace the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula along the Mediterranean and through the Strait of Gibraltar. Thrill to the juxtaposition of Moorish fortresses and gothic cathedrals. From the tranquil Algarve village of Monchique to the splendors of Barcelona, old world Valencia, and Seville experience flamenco, Picasso, and the El Torcal fossils.
Activities: Biking, Small Ship Cruise, Whale Watching, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Europe, Mediterranean, Portugal, Spain, Western Europe, Barcelona, Cadiz, Cartagena, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Malaga, Motril, Portimao, Valencia
Cruise Details
The fertile farmland surrounding Hardangerfjord

Scandinavia by Sea: Denmark, Sweden, and Norway

8 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Explore regional historical sites
  • Bike along the beaches in Denmark
  • Kayak through Sweden's coves
  • Sample Norwegian fare in Oslo
Fjords, fortresses, and fabulous food; Scandinavia has it all! Explore from Norway’s fjord-laced western coast; hike, cycle, and kayak in Sweden’s enchanting Weather Islands; and delve into the history of the Skagen painters. Discover the delights of Scandinavia’s great cities: Bergen, Oslo, and Copenhagen.
Activities: Biking, Cooking Class, Hiking, Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise
Places: Bergen, Copenhagen, Hardangerfjorden, Hidra, Oslo, Risoer, Skagen
Cruise Details
Seal relaxing on shore

South Georgia and the Falklands

17 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Hike in the footsteps of Shackleton
  • Paddle a kayak amid seals, icebergs
  • Walk amid stately king penguins
  • Experience Buenos Aires
If the epic stories of discovery, endurance and polar explorers like Shackleton, or the sheer magnificence of ice-capped peaks don’t grab you, the wildlife certainly will: penguins (king, gentoo and macaroni), sea lions, fur seals and enormous elephant seals cozy up to these shores. This is the expedition for wildlife or photography enthusiasts.
Activities: Adventure Options, Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Buenos Aires, Port of Ushuaia
Cruise Details
Brightly colored houses decorate the pier.

The North Sea: Copenhagen to London

8 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Zodiac through the Harlingen canals
  • Make Belgian chocolates in Brugge
  • Bike across storybook landscapes
  • Visit many cultural attractions
Explore glorious medieval and Renaissance cities, and learn about their history, religion, culture, and art. Walk the cobbled streets of Brugge, Antwerp, Brussels, and Lubeck. Zodiac the picturesque canals of Harlingen & see Dutch masterpieces at Amsterdam’s recently refurbished Rijksmuseum. Discover North Germany’s exquisite storybook landscape.
Activities: Biking, Cooking Class, Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise
Places: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Harlingen, Kiel, London, Lubeck, Oostende
Cruise Details
Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Wild and Windswept: The Coasts of England and Wales

8 Day Itinerary aboard National Geographic Orion
  • Zodiac and kayak for scenic views
  • Visit historic Portsmouth dockyards
  • See Dartmouth Castle in Fishguard
  • Stargaze with a local astronomer
Sail from London to historic Portsmouth and the battlements of Dartmouth Castle. Zodiac, kayak, and hike with naturalists; see historic Alderney and Skomer Island’s wealth of seabirds, and the Isles of Scilly or Tresco. Hike the rugged Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. On Sark Island, visit La Seigneurie Gardens or hike to the Gouliot Caves.
Activities: Biking, Kayaking, Small Ship Cruise, Wildlife Viewing
Places: Europe, Ireland, United Kingdom, United Kingdom & Ireland, Western Europe, Dartmouth, Dublin, Fishgard, Holyhead, Isles of Scilly, London, Portsmouth, Sark, Tresco
Cruise Details
Passengers: 102
Ship Type: Luxury Expedition Ship

Technically and aesthetically, National Geographic Orion is arguably the most sophisticated vessel in its class. The Berlitz Ocean Cruising and Cruise Ships guide describes her as "the latest in the quest to build the ideal expedition cruise ship." Constructed by the world-leading Cassens Shipyard in Emden, and launched in November 2003, she boasts a host of advanced design features including technology that sets new standards in sustainable marine environmental practices.

Although custom-made for expedition cruising, National Geographic Orion is the epitome of elegance. No expense has been spared when it comes to the quality of fittings and furnishings, and the range and caliber of onboard recreational facilities are nothing short of five-star. National Geographic Orion's luxurious appointments means she is more mega-yacht than cruise ship and her passengers are few; 102, all cared for in 5-star comfort by an expert staff of 12 expedition team members plus 65 officers and crew.


Open daily when the ship is at sea, the Boutique offers a wide range of gifts ranging from signature clothing to the most beautiful pearls in the world from Paspaley. A limited supply of sundry items is available.

Orion has a glass elevator, centrally located in the atrium for ease of access. It services all stateroom decks and Deck 6, where you will find the Galaxy Observation Lounge and Cosmos Lecture Theatre.

Located on Deck 6 with sweeping ocean views, the gymnasium is equipped with the following LifeFitness equipment: a step machine, a treadmill, a cross trainer, 2 bicycles, free weights and exercise mats.

Hair and Beauty Salon
Our hair stylist is available by appointment, offering a range of services from a simple shampoo and blow dry to a complete make-over including manicure and pedicure.

Hospital & Infirmary
Orion has a doctor on board at all times and consultations should be arranged through the Reception Desk. A very limited range of pharmaceuticals is maintained on board so please be sure to pack sufficient quantities of medicines for your journey. Please note the Australian Medicare system does not extend to Orion and consultation fees will be charged to your stateroom account.

A laptop is available in the Library with internet connection. Internet access is also available in your stateroom using your own laptop. If your laptop is wireless enabled you may use it anywhere in the Galaxy Observation Lounge or the Leda Lounge. Two laptops are available for loan from the Reception Desk. Passengers can purchase the following internet cards: Internet Gold Card, 250 minutes, $100.00; Internet Silver Card, 100 minutes, $55.00; Internet White Card, 50 minutes, $22.50

A Jacuzzi spa is located on the Sun Deck, Deck 6. In warmer climes you'll find the spa affords a cool dip, doubling as a plunge pool.

Lecture Theatre
Our state-of-the-art lecture theatre with surround-sound is the scene for themed presentations by our Expedition team and Guest Speakers. All passengers are comfortably accommodated in arm-chair style seating.

Leda Lounge and Cocktail Bar
Centrally located on Deck 4, the Leda Lounge and Cocktail Bar is the hub of social life aboard Orion, comfortably seating all passengers at once. Tour briefings are held here before dinner and a duo plays for your entertainment later in the evening.

Our library is well-stocked with a wide variety of informative books and journals on our destinations, and both novels and games are also available. You'll also find a laptop here for internet access.

Marina Platforms
You'll embark the Zodiacs from either the Stern Marina Platform (accessed by the rear stairs from the Outdoor Café) or the Portside Embarkation Platform (accessed via the Mud Room on Deck 2). Cruise staff will direct you to the platform in use each day.

Mud Room
Located on Deck 2, this is a "wet area" allowing you to wash down boots after returning to the ship, thereby minimizing the risk of cross-contamination between pristine locations ashore, such as those found in Antarctica. You may also use this room to store your snorkel and flippers in designated lockers.

Observation Lounge
Located high atop Orion on Deck 6, the intimate Galaxy Observation Lounge affords stunning 270º views. Early Riser breakfast and Afternoon Tea are both served here.

Outdoor Café
The Delphinus Outdoor Café, located aft on Deck 4, offers al fresco dining for buffet breakfast and lunch. On balmy evenings you may book a table outdoors for dinner enjoying the same menu and service as presented in the restaurant.

Outdoor Bar
Located high on the ship adjacent to the Sun Deck Jacuzzi spa on Deck 6.

Reception Desk
Manned 24 hours a day, the Reception Desk is your 'first port of call' for all administrative matters.

The Constellation Restaurant offers passengers a relaxed yet sophisticated environment for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dining aboard Orion is a leisurely experience with a single, open sitting allowing you to choose when and with whom you dine. Special signature menus designed for us by Sydney's Serge Danserau of 'The Bathers' Pavilion' fame complement our other alternatives.

Expedition Equipment
Zodiac landing craft, a hydrophone, an underwater video camera, a video microscope, and a crow's nest camera on Kimberley voyages. Plus kayaks, snorkeling gear for all guests, scuba gear for 24 guests, a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) capable of 1,000-foot-depth, and a glass-bottom boat on all South Pacific and the Kimberley with Spice voyages.

Sun Deck
You'll find padded teak steamer chairs on Deck 6 beside the Jacuzzi spa affording you a relaxing spot to read a book or simply doze in the sun. You'll find an ample supply of large blue beach towels close by.

Vega Health Spa
The Vega Spa offers a uni-sex dry sauna, the gymnasium is equipped with cardio vascular exercise machines and a range of massage/spa treatments are available.

Technical Information
Length: 103 metres
Beam: 14.25 metres
Draft: 3.82 metres
Hull: Ice-reinforced for voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic
Ice Class: E3 (Germanischer Lloyd)
Gross Tonnage: 4,000
Engines: Mak; 8M25; 3,265HP
Speed: 12.5 knots
Stabilisers: Blohm & Voss, retractable fin stabilisers
Manoeuvrability: Bow and stern thrusters
Built: 2003
Delivery Date: November 2003
Builder: Cassens Shipyard-Emden, Germany
Staterooms and Suites: 53
Passenger Capacity: 102 (twin occupancy).
Elevator: Yes
Classification: Germanischer Lloyd
100 A5 E3 Passenger Ship MC E3 AUT
Regulations: Orion is built according to the latest international safety regulations, including those of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health, Canadian Arctic Shipping, and St. Lawrence Seaway.
Additional Craft: 14 Zodiacs and 24 double kayaks.
Communications: Direct-dial satellite telephones; fax; e-mail; Internet access; internal telephone system
Registry: Bahamas
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
Category 1
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
Category 1 Single
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 2 Cabin.
Category 2
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
Category 3
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
Category 3 Single
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
Category 4
Upper and veranda decks with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
Category 5
Upper deck with balcony
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
Category 6
Veranda deck - suite
Deck plan for the National Geographic Orion
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Jessica L

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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