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National Geographic Orion

Former name: MS Orion

National Geographic Orion Review and Specifications

Specifications of National Geographic Orion

Year built2003  /  Age : 17
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderCassens Werft (Emden, Germany)
OwnerLindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc
OperatorLindblad National Geographic Cruises
Speed15 kn / 28 kph / 17 mph
Length (LOA)102 m / 335 ft
Beam (width)14 m / 46 ft
Gross Tonnage3984 gt
Passengers102 - 106
Passengers-to-space ratio38
Decks with cabins5
Last Refurbishment2014
Former namesMS Orion

Current position of National Geographic Orion

Review of National Geographic Orion

National Geographic Orion cruise ship was built in 2003  for Explorer Maritime and operated by the US-based Travel Dynamics International. After the March 2014 drydock refurbishment, the boat joined Lindblad's fleet and received its current Nat Geo name.

History - construction & ownership

The 3,984-ton, 106-passenger MS Orion is the newest addition to Nat Geo fleet. It’s a luxurious base camp for trips to the most remote corners of the planet. Fully stabilized and ice-class, the Orion navigates polar ice as well the smallest harbors of South Pacific.

Lindblad National Geographic Orion cruise ship

The National Geographic Orion cruise ship is owned and operated by Lindblad Expeditions in cooperation with the National Geographic Society (aka NatGeo - a US non-profit institution for science and education).

The partnership that Nat Geo has with the Lindblad Expeditions line enables passengers to enjoy an expedition style small ship cruise vacation as active explorers. Lindblad cruise ships sail unique destinations to explore out-of-the-way inlets, making Zodiac landings and looking for wildlife.

Cruise itinerary program

National Geographic Orion itinerary program is based on Antarctica expedition voyages in the Southern Ocean, together with adventure travel cruises in the South Pacific and Indian oceans.

Lindblad Cruises 2019 program included one of the world's most wildlife-rich travel destinations - Russia's Arctic territories. The itineraries included:

  • The "Across the Bering Sea" (Katmai to Kamchatka, around 4400 ml / 7000 km) nearly circumnavigated the Bering Sea, The 22-days itinerary (leaving June 18 and July 21, 2019) had fares starting at USD 25,850 pp (double occupancy Category 1 cabin).
  • The "Life and Legend on the Bering Sea" cruise (13 days, departures July 9 and September 4, 2019) had fares from USD 16230 pp.
  • The "Exploring Russia's Far East and Wrangel Island" cruise (along Siberia's coastline) was a 13-days itinerary (departures August 11 and 23, 2019) with fares from USD 16230 pp.  


National Geographic Orion has 6 passenger decks and 53 cabins, all of which Outside with portholes or windows. The cabin grades number is 8.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Nat Geo Orion has one Main Dining Room with unassigned tables. The restaurant offers international cuisine inspired by ports of call. All meals are served single seating.

Lindblad National Geographic Orion cruise ship

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

National Geographic Orion carries a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks, as well as video equipment allowing to access the underwater world. Orion is also equipped with diving and snorkeling gear. Nat Geo “open bridge” policy offers the opportunity to meet officers and captain and learn about navigation. A video chronicler, undersea specialist, photography instructor, and full-time doctor, are part of the expedition team.

Lindblad National Geographic Orion cruise ship

Public areas include the Outdoor Bar and Café, an Observation Lounge with full-service bar, sun deck, lecture theater, facilities for films and presentations, library and Global Gallery (gift shop). Onboard, guests can also find a LEX Spa, mud room, sauna, spa treatment rooms, a hot tub/plunge pool, and a fitness room.

National Geographic Orion - user reviews and comments

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National Geographic Orion Wiki

Lindblad Orion ship was originally built for Explorer Maritime, and operated by the US-based company Travel Dynamics International. In March 2014, mv Orion received its current name. The other Nat Geo ("National Geographic") named Lindblad ships are EndeavourEndeavour 2ExplorerIslanderSea BirdSea Lion.

As a true expedition cruise ship, National Geographic Orion has staffed a full-time doctor, wellness specialist, photo instructor, video chronicler, undersea specialist. Another feature is the specific expedition equipment on the ship, including kayaks, Zodiacs, wet suits, snorkeling gear, glass-bottom boat, and underwater remotely operated vehicle. National Geographic Orion ship's hull is ice-reinforced for cruises in polar regions (Arctic and Antarctica). The ship's ROV (remotely operated vehicle) can dive to 1000 ft / 305 m sea depth. The "Open Bridge” policy of Lindblad Expeditions allows the crew to welcome guests to the navigation bridge.

NAT GEO Orion has installed Fleet Xpress - fast Internet connectivity provided by Inmarsat (owner and operator of a global satellite network). Fleet Xpress is fully integrated with the boat's phone system (PABX) and comm platforms.

Ship's namesake is the Viking Ocean-owned liner Viking Orion (launched 2018).

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