The National Geographic Orion, the newest ship in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, was formally inaugurated in Auckland, New Zealand on March 21, 2014. It marked the culmination of a year-long transition from Orion Expedition Cruises to Lindblad Expeditions.
The inauguration ceremony was held alongside the dock at Queens Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand. Jeremy Lindblad, Business Development Manager Australia for Lindblad Expeditions, Captain Mike Taylor, and celebrated diver and underwater filmmaking legend Valerie Taylor shared a few words from the bow of the ship, as guests watched with champagne in hand on the quayside. As Valerie tossed the champagne bottle, everyone raised their glasses for a toast to the National Geographic Orion and all who sail on her.
Immediately following the ceremony, the 102-guest National Geographic Orion embarked on her inaugural voyage to the South Pacific, following in the wake of Captain Cook from New Zealand's North Island to the Solomon Sea.
Valerie Taylor joined the expedition as the Global Perspectives guest speaker adding layers of knowledge and connection to the geographies to be explored for the guests on board.
For more information on the National Geographic Orion and her voyages, contact the small ship cruise experts at AdventureSmith or view our National Geographic Orion page.