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June 15, 2011

Asia Pacific: Orion II Makes Its Inaugural Voyage

By Charlotte Wilder | Travel


It may be too hot to stick to dry land this summer. Fortunately, Orion Expedition Cruises added a second yacht to its fleet on June 10. Previously privately owned, the 50-suite Orion II has been refitted (thanks to a $19 million renovation) as a sturdy, elegant cruiser, with retractable fin stabilizers for extra-smooth sailing. Its rooms are surprisingly spacious and comfortable, each with a sitting area or a separate living room, air-conditioning, a flat-screen TV and DVD player, and ocean views. And service certainly doesn't suffer; there is a staff of 70 to look after the 100 guests, a 24-hour concierge, wireless Internet throughout the ship, a gym, library, spa and Jacuzzi. The expeditions are designed to explore—but not disrupt—places at the exotic edges of the world, including the Russian Far East, Antarctica, the Inland Sea of Japan and Papua New Guinea. Zodiacs provide shore access to places travelers can't get to any other way and allow guests to take in the ecosystems of little-visited spots. The inaugural voyages are already sold out, so make reservations sooner rather than later. 877-674-6687; orionexpeditions.com.

Photo Courtesy of Orion Expedition Cruises