Mawson's Antarctica-Commonwealth Bay: Hobart to Bluff« All Orion cruise options
|Dates||Deck + Cabin Type|
|Cat B - Oceanview Stateroom||Cat A - Oceanview Stateroom||Junior Suite||Deluxe Suite||French Balcony Suite||Owner|
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|40%||All Departure Dates|
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A passenger booking with two additional adults saves 50% off the fare, children aged 2-15 with two adults save 75%.
Day 1 Hobart, Tasmania
Set on the River Derwent, Hobart is very much a city of the sea with views of the Derwent estuary appearing around every corner. Historic 19th century waterfront warehouses remain, still bordering the commercial fishing harbour, though today it is easier to feast on seafood at one of the restaurants they now house. Hobart is the finishing line for the famed blue water Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and its deep harbour precinct once bustled with whalers, soldiers, petty bureaucrats and opportunistic businessmen. A walk through the town will reveal that the city has resisted the pressure to move with the times, having retained and preserved old buildings such as the Parliament built by convicts in the 1830's.
Days 2-6 At Sea
As you make your way through the Southern Ocean, Orion’s Expedition Team will be on hand to prepare you for your expedition experience giving you an overview of all aspects of Antarctic life, with lectures and presentations on wildlife, ice, environmental sustainability and the history of polar exploration. These are given by some of the foremost experts in their fields including botany, marine biology, anthropology and history.
You will cross the Antarctic Convergence Zone where warm currents meet cold which rise to the surface resulting in nutrient laden waters, a sudden and substantial drop in temperature and abundant marine life. A band of fog defines the convergence and the icebergs may be sighted in this region. Transit a vast wilderness in the company of sea birds (especially albatross and petrels), whales and dolphins. If the opportunity arises the Orion may try to cross directly over the South Magnetic Pole as you head south.
Days 7-11 Commonwealth Bay Region
On January 8 1912 Sir Douglas Mawson landed on the Antarctic continent after a journey from Hobart that took 36 days aboard the Aurora, a ship of just 612 tons. During these voyages to the Antarctic continent, Orion will be positioned in and around Commonwealth Bay on the Adelie coast of Antarctica. Your expedition team will lead a variety of opportunistic landings which may include sites at Cape Denison, Port Martin and Dumont d'Urville. In each instance landings ashore and Zodiac explorations are wholly subject to prevailing weather conditions, in an area Mawson described as "the home of the blizzard".
Cape Denison, Antarctica - Wet Landing
Your expedition leaders Don and Margie McIntyre have called Cape Denison home, having spent more time there than any other person alive today. It is the windiest place on the face of the earth and is surrounded by spectacular ice cliffs. The area is home to 60,000 Adelie Penguins, Snow Petrels, Giant Petrels, Wilsons Storm Petrels and Cape Pigeons. Weddell, Leopard and Elephant seals may be seen stretched out on the ice. Cape Denison is the site of Sir Douglas Mawson's hut from the historic 1911-13 expedition. This is one of the Antarctic's least visited sites and, as the first Australian scientific base on the Antarctic, is of great historical significance and the subject of an ongoing multi-million dollar preservation program. Apart from the main living hut and workshop, there is the absolute magnetic hut, the magnetograph house, the transit hut and the memorial cross erected in memory of Ninnis and Mertz who died tragically in 1913. The main hut is surrounded by historic debris and artifacts including clothing, shoes, food crates, sleds, ropes and kerosene tins. An Australian Antarctic Division guide will accompany guests to Mawson's Hut.
Port Martin, Antarctica – Wet landing
Enroute to Port Martin, Orion maneuvers through a large gallery of up to 100 grounded icebergs of various sizes, making it possible for close proximity views and photography. Port Martin is the former site of the French Antarctic base. Built in 1950 by the third French expedition to Terre Adelie, the region was so named by Dumont d'Urville for his wife. The area is in the small French Antarctic claim, sandwiched between the two Australian claims. The base was abandoned after it was partially destroyed by fire on the night of 24 January 1952. The site is scattered with artifacts and has an Adelie Penguin rookery, nesting McCormack Skuas, a spectacular backdrop of ice cliffs and a snow ramp to the Antarctic Plateau.
Dumont d'Úrville, Antarctica – Wet landing
The French scientific base at Dumont d'Úrville is on Petrels Island, located at the south-eastern end of the Geologie Archipelago. The base is named for French explorer Jules- Sebastien-Cesar Dumont d'Urville and was built in 1956 to replace the base at Port Martin some 100km to the east. The spectacular area is an important centre for the study of the rich local wildlife, including seals, petrels and penguins - the Adelie Penguin being named after Dumont d'Urville's wife. Emperor Penguins may be observed on some ice-floes behind the controversial and now unused airstrip (the French destroyed some Adelie Penguin rookeries to build it). Adelie Penguins abound around the base - in fact right up to the front door of most buildings!
Days 12-13 At Sea
Days 14-15 Macquarie Island
Often described as one of the "wonder spots" of the world, the sub-Antarctic island of Macquarie has been said to rival South Georgia in its magnificence, scenic diversity and prolific wildlife. Designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1933 and a World Heritage Site in 1977, Macquarie now operates a full-time manned station where biological and meteorological research is conducted. The station, located on the isthmus at Buckles Bay, is from where we will collect the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife rangers who will be our guides.
Sandy Bay, situated halfway down the island's eastern seaboard, is our planned landing site. The Zodiacs will traverse breakwaters of giant kelp before reaching rocky beaches where landing conditions can best be described as "wet and challenging". Once ashore you'll find the bay, with its rugged backdrop of mountains and tussockcovered headlands, is home to 20,000 breeding pair of royal penguins, king penguins, rock hopper penguins, gentoo penguins and elephant seals. This profusion of wildlife wasn't always so protected, the rusting remains of machinery used by whalers being stark reminders of the exploitation which took place on the island during its early history.
Day 16 At Sea
Day 17 Auckland Islands, New Zealand
Sites in Port Ross may be visited including an abandoned Maori settlement, a German expedition observation point at Terror Cove and a WWII coast watching station at Ranui Cove. In Carnley Harbour castaway depots at Camp Cove, are marked by an A frame building built in 1887 by the crew of the Awarua, inscribed with the names of people from the French Bark Angou wrecked in 1905. You may cruise to Victoria Passage, a dramatic opening at the end of Carnley Harbor. The birdlife of Auckland Island is profuse.
Day 18 Snares Islands, New Zealand
Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise The Snares, the closest sub-Antarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. Weather permitting you'll launch your Zodiacs for an exploration of the sheltered eastern coastline as the island's wildlife protection program precludes landings. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds, 99 recorded species including albatross, Antarctic Terns and Snares Crested Penguins.
Day 19 Bluff (Invercargill), New Zealand
The largest urban center in New Zealand's Southland is Invercargill, a city of 49,000 people. Visitors come to admire the elegant Victorian and Edwardian buildings, gardens and landscaped parks. The fishing port of Bluff is a half hour drive south from Invercargill and is home to the famous Bluff oyster and a lively annual seafood festival. From Bluff, visitors can catch a ferry to Stewart Island - a haven for native bird life and the only place in New Zealand where you can readily see kiwi in their natural habitat.
For guests disembarking in Bluff a complementary transfer from Orion to Invercargill on the day of arrival. The transfer is to the city centre, or to the Invercargill airport.
Itinerary NotesCRUISE FARE – WHAT'S INCLUDED: Included in your cruise fare are accommodations as booked, cruise transportation, all meals onboard, 24-hour room service, entertainment and educational programmes, use of ship's sporting equipment and facilities, port & handling charges, Zodiac excursions and tender transfers, access to the ship's library, Govt. Fees & Taxes. Fares also include the services of 75 experienced crew.
CRUISE FARE – WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED: Fares do not include airfare and items of a personal nature, including but not limited to: travel and medical insurance, laundry charges, shopping onboard, bar expenses, hair dressing and massage treatments, optional shore experiences, medical treatment, telephone and internet charges.
Deposit & Payment
Initial deposit is 30%, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. Alternatively, you can send a check to our Missoula, Montana, office or register online at: https://www.adventure-life.com/forms/fourways.php
Final payment is due 100 days prior to departure.
Final payment by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or AmEx.
Booking last minute? No problem! Please contact one of our trip planners, and we can get you on your way if booking less than 100 days prior to departure.
Click here to see a copy of our Terms and Conditions.
|Days Prior to departure||Fee|
|121 days or more||$1200 per person|
|90-0 days||100% trip cost|
|90-0 days||100% trip cost|
- Ship Highlights
- Passengers : 106
- Luxury Expedition Ship
Technically and aesthetically, 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, 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 calibre of onboard recreational facilities are nothing short of five-star. Orion's luxurious appointments means she is more mega-yacht than cruise ship and her guests are few; around just 50 couples, all cared for in 5-star comfort by a crew of 75. Chart your own path less travelled.
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. Internet access cards can be purchased for A$30.00 (60 minutes) or A$50.00 (125 minutes). Communications at sea are subject to satellite connections.
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 guests 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 guests 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 minimising 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 guests 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.
Orion is equipped with a fleet of 10 inflatable 2-man kayaks and when in warmer waters you are welcome to borrow goggles, snorkels and fins for the duration of your stay with us.
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
Guest Capacity: 106 (twin occupancy). 19 additional guests may be accommodated in convertible sofa or upper Pullman beds.
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: 10 Zodiac Heavy Duty MK5, 10 Kayaks
Communications: Direct-dial satellite telephones; fax; e-mail; Internet access; internal telephone system
|Cat B - Oceanview Stateroom|
Outside Staterooms with oval window and sitting area. Deck 3. 175 sq. ft. #301, 322, 323.
|Cat A - Oceanview Stateroom|
Outside Staterooms with oval window and sitting area. Deck 3. 180 sq. ft. #302-312, 314-321.
Outside Junior Suites with rectangular window and sitting area. Decks 4 & 5. 218 sq. ft. #401-412, 414-419, 512.
Outside Suites with large window and living room. Deck 5. 230 sq. ft. #511, 515.
|French Balcony Suite|
Outside Suites with French balcony and living room. Deck 5. 230 sq. ft. #501, 503-506, 508.
Outside Grand Suites with French balcony, separate bedroom and living room. Deck 5. 345 sq. ft. #502, 507, 509, 510.