Head out on the glass-bottom Zodiac to observe the fascinating Antarctic marine life whilst staying dry!
Spacious and modern expedition vessel with panoramic windows from which to enjoy the scenery
Designed specifically to manoeuvre close to the icy shores of Antarctica
Accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins
Antarctic weather is a lesson in extremes. Antarctica is the world’s coldest, windiest and driest continent. During the summer months the winds abate considerably and the weather is surprisingly comfortable, averaging between 20 and 50F. Summertime also means 18-24 hours of sunlight which allows life to flourish for a brief summer period. Long days also allow extensive exploration by small ship cruise to Antarctica. Antarctic weather allows for a short season of cruising from November to March each year.
Explore the remote Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands from on board the National Geographic Orion, a comfortable expedition vessel, and experience Zodiac excursions and kayaking alongside spectacular Antarctic wildlife and scenery.
Designed specifically for expedition travel, the National Geographic Orion is a safe and comfortable choice when exploring the remote regions of the Antarctic Peninsula. Modern technology such as stabilisers, stern thrusters and an ice-strengthened hull allow the Orion to get closer to the shore and a fleet of 14 Zodiac boats and one glass-bottomed boat make it easy to disembark and come face to face with the Antarctic wildlife.
Extraordinary adventures are guaranteed on an expedition to Antarctica, and although itineraries are generally flexible, expect to observe large colonies of penguins, watch whales breaching in the choppy waters and adorable seals playing around on the shore. Nature and wildlife talks by National Geographic guides are to be enjoyed on board too, and the PA system in each cabin will alert you to any wildlife sightings or allow you to enjoy the talks from the comfort of your own cabin.
Cabins and suites are all outwards facing and most boast panoramic windows to maximise the views, whilst a lucky few have private balconies and sliding glass doors. They are all spacious which plenty of storage to accommodate enough clothing for longer expeditions and any specialist gear required. When not making the most of your personal space, there are plenty of communal areas on board to enjoy, including a library, observation lounge, cocktail lounge, fitness centre, spa and outside deck with hot tub.
National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, all of which are outwards facing. Most cabins have large windows so you can easily enjoy the landscapes of Antarctica as you pass by and some even have a private balcony. Individual climate control is available in every cabin, along with space to relax, reading lamps, flatscreen TVs showing a range of movies and documentaries, a PA system to keep you informed of the daily activities and wildlife sightings, a private ensuite bathroom with glass-walled shower and comfortable and cosy bed linens.
Storage space is generous to accommodate expedition gear and all the clothing required for a longer voyage.
A dining room serving dishes which utilise local flavours, a cocktail lounge, a bar, an outdoor cafe serving BBQs and the ship's signature buffet when the weather allows.
Public areas include an outdoor café, a lounge and bar, a sun deck, a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, a library, a boutique and a mud room with lockers for expedition gear.
On board you will find a sauna, a fitness room, spa treatment rooms and a hot tub/plunge pool.
Explore the remote Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands and experience Zodiac excursions and kayaking alongside spectacular wildlife and scenery. Head out on the glass-bottom boat to observe underwater marine life, watch footage which is being taken from various cameras both above and under the water and listen to the calls of whales and other creatures using the on board hydrophone.
Boasting some of the most spectacular mountain scenery and icebergs, the Lemaire Channel is a truly beautiful part of the Antarctic Peninsula to explore, both on your ship and on Zodiac excursions.
Longer Antarctic expeditions include time exploring South Georgia, arguably the highlight of your cruise. With breathtaking scenery, huge congregations of king and macaroni penguins and amazing birdlife, there is so much to discover here.
The stretch of sea between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica is the Drake Passage, an often turbulent stretch of sea that marks the beginning and end of your journey south. Take in the midnight sunset and watch albatrosses fly alongside you.
With clear skies, seamless horizons and large numbers of penguins and albatross to be found on white sand beaches and amongst tufts of vibrant tussock grass, The Falkland Islands are rich in natural beauty and a visit here is culturally fascinating too.
Port Lockroy is a British-built research station situated on Goudier Island and restored into a museum about the early explorers in 1996. A fascinating place to explore, and plenty of gentoo penguins outside to entertain you, too.
Whilst most visitors find the penguins the primary draw in terms of Antarctic wildlife, the marine life includes numerous species of seal and whale. Species include humpback whales, orcas, elephant and leopard seals, and Antarctic fur seals.
One of the real highlights of an Antarctic cruise is getting out on the water in small Zodiac vessels, the ideal way to get up close to the icebergs, wildlife and marine life.
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