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; 53, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Located high on the ship adjacent to the Sun Deck Jacuzzi spa on Deck 6.
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.
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.
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.
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
Delivery Date: November 2003
Builder: Cassens Shipyard-Emden, Germany
Staterooms and Suites: 53
Passenger Capacity: 102 (twin occupancy).
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