Antarctica expedition cruises

National Geographic Orion

Designed and built in Germany in 2003 specifically for expedition travel, National Geographic Orion is a state-of-the-art expedition ship created from the outset to explore the far corners of the Earth in complete self-sufficiency.

Class: Antarctic Category 1
Style: Luxury polar expedition
Passengers: 102 maximum
Length: 337 ft
Cruising speed: 15 knots

Cabin prices: £££, ££££

Introducing 'National Geographic Orion'

National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, equipped with the latest technology, and engineered for maximum comfort and safety. She offers a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape, including an observation lounge at the very top of the ship and plentiful outside decks.

The atmosphere on board is friendly and informal, with the focus on the exceptional experiences she brings to her guests.The roomy lounge is the heart of Orion's community of expeditioners, suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and the nightly tradition of 'Recap'. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, the dining room menu is also available on the outside deck.

While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you'll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi make packing and travelling more convenient.

Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters enable the ship to manoeuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation for up-close exploration. There is also a glass-bottom Zodiac enabling clear viewing for those who prefer to stay dry.

The ship meets strict specifications for environmental protection, and the on board waste management systems meet stringent Antarctic operational standards.


On board 'National Geographic Orion'


National Geographic Orion cabin Category 6 Suite

Category 6 Suite

Number of cabins of this type: 4

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

National Geographic Orion cabin Category 5 Suite

Category 5 Suite

Number of cabins of this type: 6

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

National Geographic Orion cabin Category 4 Suite

Category 4 Suite

Number of cabins of this type: 2

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

National Geographic Orion cabin Category 3 Suite

Category 3 Suite

Number of cabins of this type: 19

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

National Geographic Orion cabin Category 2 Cabin

Category 2 Cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 14

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

National Geographic Orion cabin Category 1 Cabin

Category 1 Cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 5

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

National Geographic Orion cabin Solo Suite 3S

Solo Suite 3S

Number of cabins of this type: 1

Bed configuration: twin beds only

National Geographic Orion cabin Solo Cabin 1S

Solo Cabin 1S

Number of cabins of this type: 3

Bed configuration: queen bed


National Geographic Orion deck Expedition Deck

Expedition Deck

(Deck level: 6)

National Geographic Orion deck Main Deck

Main Deck

(Deck level: 5)

National Geographic Orion deck Upper Deck

Upper Deck

(Deck level: 4)

National Geographic Orion deck Bridge Deck

Bridge Deck

(Deck level: 3)

National Geographic Orion deck Observation Deck

Observation Deck

(Deck level: 2)

National Geographic Orion deck Top Deck

Top Deck

(Deck level: 1)

Voyages in detail


Everyone visiting Antarctica and the South Atlantic must recognise the obvious: that conditions can intervene at short notice and a voyage's planned itinerary must be altered. Make sure you read 'A very important note on published itineraries' in 'How to choose an Antarctic cruise'.

Select a voyage

Some of the sites that may be visited

Falklands Museum

(planned for Day 18)

The main aim of the Falkland Islands Museum is to promote awareness and appreciation of the history and heritage of the Falkland Islands and to protect this for future generations.

The museum has a lot to offer. There are galleries covering the islands' natural history, social aspects and communications (such as radio and telephone), the maritime history (Stanley was a ships’ graveyard as well as a refuge for intrepid explorers and engineers), and the islands' role in Antarctic exploration. There is a moving display covering the 1982 war.

The museum is run by the Falklands National Trust and is located on the site of the historical dockyard at Stanley.

  • Fitness room
  • Spa and sauna area
  • Observation lounge and library
  • Sun deck with hot tub
  • Theater space showing films
  • Lounge area
  • Dining room (where dinner is served)
  • Outdoor cafe (where breakfast and lunch is usually served)
  • Internet access available (for an additional charge)
  • Doctor and medical room open 24 hours a day
  • Reception desk staffed 24 hours a day
  • Laundry service (for an additional charge)
  • Category 5 and 6 suites feature a 'French balcony'
  • Skiing on frozen ice (only on early season trips)
  • Snowshoeing (only on early season trips)
  • Land excursions
  • Kayaks
  • Zodiacs
  • Presentations by different specialists onboard (e.g. the undersea specialist)
  • Snorkelling and scuba diving (only on warm weather itineraries and for a limited number of guests)

Maximum number of passengers


Naturalist guides


Crew members


Overall length (ft)


Cruising speed


Gross tonnage




Other technical information

14 Zodiacs

This information has been provided by the boat operator and is subject to alteration

Customer reviews for National Geographic Orion

Sailings for 'National Geographic Orion'

Our prices

Prices are per person. The prices shown here are the current prices charged locally by each boat in their chosen currency. We charge our UK customers the equivalent price converted to British pounds at the current exchange rate. This helps keep prices low and protects you from currency fluctuations.

Our price promise

Our prices should be the best available anywhere. If you find a better price elsewhere please let us know: we will certainly try to match or beat it.

Complete trips

An expedition cruise is only part of your complete trip. Discuss your ideas with us. Our well-travelled experts can arrange your international flights from the UK, and design all the other parts of your trip in Argentina, Chile or elsewhere to fit the exact dates of your cruise and the things you want to do, and to make the best use of your time and budget. There is no obligation until you are ready to go ahead.

Your financial protection

By booking your trip with us you also benefit from our 100% financial protection and the knowledge that if anything goes wrong, or your plans change, our friendly experienced and resourceful travel specialists are here to help you.

Special offers

Special offers are often available (some are very generous) but they may only be open for short periods. Contact us to find out which offers are available now.

Cruise Starts Ends Nights Category 6 Suite Category 5 Suite Category 4 Suite Category 3 Suite Category 1 Cabin Category 2 Cabin Solo Cabin 1S