Orion Expedition Cruises launch Orion II

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Orion Expedition Cruises launch Orion II

Sarina Bratton, founder and managing director of Orion Expedition Cruises invited an audience of the UK’s top cruise specialists to annouce Orion’s plans for 2011 - including the addition of a new ship for the company, and of course The Luxury Cruise Company were there.

Joining Sarina was Captain Mike Taylor, Orion’s Senior Captain with over 9 year experience in expedition cruises, and accompanying him was Mick Fogg, Orion’s expedition leader and marine biologist.

Orion Expedition Cruises launched in April 2004 after a 2 year search to find the perfect ship - MV Orion - and after a very successful start with the original vessel, the company now has such a high repeat ratio that they need to look for new destinations and a new vessel to meet the demand from their regular guests and new clients. MV Orion currently sails to and around Papa New Guinea, the Kimberley area of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand, Sub-Antarctica, and Antarctica including expeditions to Scott and Shakleton’s huts.

Orion are focused on sustainability, and according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, they have set the benchmark in this area. The ship has 10 zodiacs on board so they can land anywhere, even where there is no infrastructure as they can land on ice, beaches, up rivers etc- the whole Orion experience is learning about where you are going, the sharing in the knowledge, the history, the flora & fauna and culture of the areas you are visiting.

Your fellow guests will be well-travelled people; who enjoy connectivity with the destinations they are visiting, enjoying the onboard lectures in the dedicated lecture theatre. Orion Expedition Cruises have won awards for the food onboard and have designed the menus to differ from standard cruise ship fare. The Restaurant can accommodate all the guests in one sitting, and also offers dining out on deck.

In April 2011, they will be taking delivery of MV Orion II. Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s father bought the ship for Stelios’ sister for her 30 birthday - it was a private home for a number of years in Monte Carlo and around the Med operating as private yacht. Orion Expedition Cruises have invested 20 million dollars on updating the systems onboard, adding new satellite communications, storage areas, and of course the zodiacs. The new MV Orion II will feature 285 sq foot staterooms, along with 2 lounges - a main lounge and Nautica lounge for recaps and destination information. The food onboard will be an Asia fusion, and Orion have been working with leading Australian chefs in creating a unique menu, often relating to the local area the ship is cruising in.

Based on thorough research, MV Orion II will be based in South East Asia offering a wide range of expeditions that will include Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, the Indonesian archipelago, Japan, Russia and Borneo.

Focusing their sales efforts in the UK, Orion Expedition Cruises will now offer brochures in sterling and live reservations in the UK. Contact The Luxury Cruise Company for further information or to order a brochure.

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