Why cruise on this ship?
Expedition ship National Geographic Orion boasts a wide range of explorations tools so passengers can learn about the world they live in by discovering the world's most remote sites.
With degustation menus created by one of Australia's renowned international chefs, Serge Dansereau, Orion's dining is influenced by the regions the ship visits.
All meals are served in a single seating with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. The cuisine is international with local flair, featuring tastes of the regions we explore.
Seating is open, allowing you to choose where to dine, and table sizes range from two to 12. And our style is relaxed and casual—there’s never a need to dress up. More than opportunities to eat well, mealtimes are also opportunities to engage in the diversity of the expedition community—to join or be joined by naturalists, guest speakers, ship’s officers, and fellow guests for stimulating and entertaining conversation.
- Experience: Complimentary
- Food type: Regional
Outdoor Café and Bar
The outdoor café is the choice for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner on selected evenings. The café offers alfresco dining for buffet breakfast and lunch. On warm evenings you may enjoy the same menu and service as presented in the restaurant. Weather permitting, every expedition features Lindblad signature dinner buffet or themed barbecue on selected nights.
- Experience: Complimentary
- Food type: Varies
Orion is small enough to feel warm and intimate, yet still offer a variety of public spaces and entertainment facilities. Wether you're looking to spend some time socialising or relax with a book or a drink, Orion has what you're looking for.
Located high atop Orion, the intimate observation lounge affords stunning 270º views. Early riser breakfast and afternoon tea are both served here. With panoramic windows running the entire length of this lounge, you’ll feel as if you’re almost floating above the ship while spectacular scenery dramatically unfolds outside.
You’ll find commanding views and comfortable leather armchairs in the library. A wide range of books from fiction to regional guides, and reference books on the wildlife and region you’re exploring, as well as board games and cards. A laptop with internet access is available for those who haven’t brought their own.
You'll find padded teak steamer chairs 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 beach towels close by.
State-of-the-art theatre with surround-sound is the scene for themed presentations by the expedition team. All guests are comfortably accommodated in armchair-style seating.
Centrally located, the lounge and cocktail bar is the hub of social life aboard Orion, comfortably seating all guests at once. Lounge seating is arranged to provide good views of the centre podium; and multiple, large monitors on the surrounding walls ensure optimal views of presentations, slideshows, and videos. Large windows line two sides of the room, so guests who gravitate to the lounge to read or use their laptops during the day won’t miss the dramatic views. The bar is inviting and casual, a perfect spot to have a cappuccino before or after activities. A variety of beverages are available for purchase including beer, cocktails, spirits, and wines by the glass or bottle.
As an expedition ship, Orion boast an expansive range of exploration equipment, including: zodiac landing craft, kayaks, snorkel gear for all guests and scuba gear for 24 guests, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), glass-bottom boat, hydrophone, underwater video cameras, Splash-Cam, video microscope, and crow's nest camera. These allow guests to discover the destinations visited in more depth and in unusual ways. (Please note: exploration tools available vary depending on the destination)
Whilst onboard, experts on destinations and naturalists are available to talk to and also give lectures on a wide range of topics associated with the destinations visited.
Taking place in the Lounge, Recap is when naturalists share stories and answer questions about the day’s events, and the expedition leader presents the plan for the following day—as guests enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Orion carries Zodiac landing craft—a full fleet—allowing the crew to get the entire expedition community out, engaged in activities quickly, comfortably, and safely. Widely regarded as the most robust watercraft available, they can run up on sandy shores and push through pack ice. While Zodiacs can carry 15 people, the crew usually limits capacity to 12 or less to ensure everyone has plenty of room, and an opportunity to get that perfect shot.
Orion is equipped with a fleet of kayaks. Prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of the guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch.
Undersea specialist will dive many days of your expedition, even in Antarctica, with almost 200 pounds of gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colourful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment.
Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. In polar waters, for example, the fleet's specialists may be the first ever to explore and record in vast areas. By sharing videos of potentially new species with scientists, such as a large worm one of the fleet's specialist captured in the Weddell Sea, Lindblad actively contribute to science. Chances are you, like many guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colourful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean.
Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building blocks of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding images of a krill’s body, at 80x magnification, fills the plasma screens in the lounge with vivid detail, and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of an otherwise unobservable creature.
Perched high atop the vessel on the ship’s mast, this camera provides a continual view on the outside world that can be seen on your cabin TV. You’ll get a unique perspective on your surroundings.
The underwater microphones are deployed to listen to the vocalisations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback.
On warm weather itineraries where there will be snorkelling, you’ll select a mask, snorkel, fins that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own.
Orion offers scuba diving for up to 24 guests on warm weather itineraries where scuba diving is available. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own. There is a surcharge for scuba diving which includes equipment and the services of a certified divemaster.
*Scuba diving requirements: Scuba divers must be certified by an internationally recognised dive association prior to the voyage, and certification cards and logbooks must be shown on board. Divers must have logged 25 dives in total and made a dive within the 12 months preceding the voyage.
Health and fitness
Orion features a range of traditional health & fitness amenities, including a Gym and a Spa. A Wellness program is also available onboard.
Everyone who travels with Lindblad discovers what Henry David Thoreau named “the tonic of wildness.” And to complement the inspiring destinations visited, Lindblad has designed a Wellness program. From early morning yoga or stretching on deck or in the lounge to massages and face, handy or body treatments inspired by the location, the wellness specialist will help you achieve a more relaxed and revitalised state of being.
With sweeping ocean views, the gymnasium is equipped with the following LifeFitness equipment: a step machine, a treadmill, a cross trainer, two bicycles, free weights, and exercise mats.
The Health Spa offers a unisex dry sauna, the gymnasium is equipped with cardio vascular exercise machines and a range of massage/spa treatments are available.
Whirlpool Hot Tub
A whirlpool hot pub is located on the sundeck. In warmer climates you'll find the hot tub affords a cool dip, doubling as a plunge pool.
Kids and teens
Though National Geographic Orion does not have any facilities specially catered to children, she offers a range of daily activities and enrichment programs bounds to interest under-18s.
Daily Kids Activities include snorkelling and swimming with playful sea lions, hiking among colonies of birds, and sitting together as the community collectively recounts the day at Recap. These are the things you’ll remember together. Aboard ship, kids can never get too far away, but they’re also able to exercise their own independence. Often “kids’ tables” spontaneously form, giving kids the chance to create their own friendships. In other cases, families allow kids to freely join different activities groups by day, then enjoy dinner together every night.
Photo workshops with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor using smart phones or point-and-shoots. Hands-on science using the video microscope and learning about conservation projects, plus hands-on nature lessons with our naturalists who are trained to work with kids and are excellent role models. Journals and journaling time. Scavenger hunts. And “certificates of achievement” for various accomplishments. The kids’ program is learning disguised as fun. You’ll see kids discover hidden talents and gain confidence while having the time of their lives. Kid-friendly menus and movie night with pizza are always a hit, too.
All accommodation onboard Orion is located outside. Designed with expeditions in mind, each cabin has ample room to hang parkas, as well as plenty of drawers and hooks for the amount of clothing guests might bring on their journey.
Owner's Suites are spacious, with open living areas and sliding glass doors that open to a French balcony allowing you to take in the sea breeze. There is a living room-style area appointed with a couch that converts to accommodate a third person. All staterooms feature individual climate control, flat-panel TV, private bathroom with glass-walled shower stall, ample storage space, personal safe, hairdryer, mini refrigerator, and Ethernet jacks.
*Please note that Stateroom 509 does not have a balcony.
Balcony suites are spacious, with open living areas and sliding glass doors that open to a French balcony allowing you to take in the sea breeze. There is a living room-style area appointed with a couch that converts to accommodate a third person. All staterooms feature individual climate control, flat-panel TV, private bathroom with glass-walled shower stall, ample storage space, personal safe, hairdryer, mini refrigerator, and Ethernet jack.
Oceanview Staterooms Cat 4
Oceanview staterooms have separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a two-seater sofa that looks out a large rectangular window. All staterooms feature individual climate control, flat-panel TV, private bathroom with glass-walled shower stall, ample storage space, personal safe, hairdryer, mini refrigerator, and Ethernet jacks.
Oceanview Staterooms Cat 3
Oceanview staterooms feature plenty of storage and most have a comfortable sofa in the sitting area with a large window. All staterooms feature individual climate control, flat-panel TV, private bathroom with glass-walled shower stall, ample storage space, personal safe, hairdryer, mini refrigerator, and Ethernet jacks
Oceanview Stateroom Cat 1 & 2
Oceanview staterooms are nicely appointed cabins and have a large oval window, a comfortable sitting area with a tub chair, and a writing desk with drawer space. All staterooms feature individual climate control, flat-panel TV, private bathroom with glass-walled shower stall, ample storage space, personal safe, hairdryer, mini refrigerator, and Ethernet jacks
Oceanview Single Stateroom
Oceanview Single staterooms feature a sitting area, writing desk, and a window or twin portholes. All staterooms feature individual climate control, flat-panel TV, private bathroom with glass-walled shower stall, ample storage space, personal safe, hairdryer, mini refrigerator, and Ethernet jacks
- Whirlpool Hot tub
- Fitness Centre
- Lexspa Treatment Room
- Observation Lounge
- Category 6 Suites
- Category 5 Suites
- Category 4 Suites
- Category 3 Solo Suite
- Outdoor Cafe
- Category 3 Suites
- Zodiac Boarding
- Category 4 Suites
- Category 1 Suites
- Category 1 Solo Suites
- Mud Room
- Medical Centre
- Zodiac Boarding