Technically and aesthetically, the National Geographic Orion is among the most sophisticated vessels in its class. Constructed by one of the world's leading shipbuilders, Cassens Shipyard in Emden, Germany, and launched in November 2003, Orion boasts a host of advanced design features including technology that sets new standards in sustainable marine environmental practices. Although custom-made for expedition cruising, Orion is the epitome of elegance. No expense has been spared when it comes to the quality of fittings and furnishings, and the range and caliber of onboard recreational facilities are nothing short of five-star. Orion's luxurious appointments means she is more mega-yacht than cruise ship. Guest capacity numbers approximately 100 guests, all cared for in intimate, 5-star comfort by a crew of 75.