Michael S. Nolan: King penguins on beach
Ralph Lee Hopkins: Wandering albatross; king penguin/zodiac landing; king penguin crowd; king penguin photographers; Gold Harbor zodiac landing; black-browed albatross; southern elephant seals
Stewart Cohan: Flying albatross
Among the most sophisticated ships in its class, with the highest sustainable marine environmental practices, Orion's luxurious accommodations and recreational tools treat 100 guests to 5-star comfort.
National Geographic Orion
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.
The newly renovated ice-class polar expedition vessel accommodates 148 guests in 81 outside cabins, all with private facilities, plus the most innovative tools for exploration above and below the sea.
National Geographic Explorer
The newly renovated National Geographic Explorer is an ice-class polar expedition vessel accommodating 148 guests in 81 outside cabins, all with private facilities, climate controls, and windows or portholes. It is fully stabilized, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing comfort. It has been freshly redesigned to provide travelers with the most innovative tools for exploring the undersea, the polar regions and key destinations around the globe. The ship houses technology for sea exploration, such as Zodiacs, kayaks, hydro-phones, underwater HD cameras and a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV).
Public areas include two restaurants, a lounge and bar, library, observation lounge, spa, fitness center, and sauna. A mud room with lockers provides storage for guests’ expedition gear. Meals are served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Menu is international with local flair.