Orion Expedition Cruises has announced their 2013 expedition voyage calendar. It contains an incredible assortment of cruises exploring from the polar reaches of the Antarctic Continent to the tropical climes of Borneo, including popular expeditions to the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, New Zealand and the sub Antarctic Islands. Noticeably absent from the calendar are expeditions aboard the Orion II.
The Orion II will return to its owners at the end of the current charter term in December of this year. In a statement released this week Sarina Bratton, Founder and Managing Director of Orion Expedition Cruises, cited performance aspects such as fuel efficiency as the reason for the change. 2012 cruises aboard Orion II will continue to operate as scheduled and currently booked guests will not be affected.
The Orion II joined the fleet in 2012 and is currently operating cruises focused on Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, the Russian Far East, Borneo, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia. Feedback from travelers who have taken the early expeditions has been outstanding with consistently high ratings for hotel services, crew, food and expedition experiences.
The company has accumulated a great deal of local knowledge and pioneered some remarkable remote destinations across Asia. “None of this will be wasted” says Bratton. “We will return as soon as possible and I hope to make an announcement regarding another vessel soon.” However it is unlikely a new ship will be in place for early 2013.