National Geographic Orion Ship Overview

Cruise Line:  Lindblad Expeditions

Tools for Exploration


Orion carries Zodiac landing crafts, allowing the entire expedition community to get out, and engage in activities quickly, comfortably, and safely. Widely regarded as the most robust watercraft available, they can run up on sandy shores and push through pack ice.


Orion is equipped with a fleet of kayaks, and prior kayaking experience isn't necessary. Many guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch.

Underwater Camera

The undersea specialist will dive many days of your expedition, even in Antarctica, with almost 200 pounds of gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colorful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment.

Remotely Operated Vehicle

Capable of reaching 1,000-feet, far beyond the range of any SCUBA diver, the ROV allows guests to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. By sharing videos of potentially new species with scientists, such as a large worm captured in the Weddell Sea by their specialist, Lindblad actively contributes to science. Chances are you will be struck by how surprisingly colorful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean.

Video Microscope

Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building blocks of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding images of a krill's body, at 80x magnification, fills the plasma screens in the lounge with vivid detail, and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of an otherwise unobservable creature.

Crow's Nest Camera

Perched high atop the vessel on the ship’s mast, this camera provides a continual view on the outside world that can be seen on your cabin TV. You’ll get a unique perspective on your surroundings.


These underwater microphones are deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback.

Electronic Charts

An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is always on display on a dedicated channel on your cabin TV.

Snorkeling Equipment

On warm weather itineraries where there will be snorkeling, you’ll select a mask, snorkel, and fins that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to are welcome to bring their own.

Expedition Photography

There will be a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor on every departure, a key benefit in Lindblad's alliance with National Geographic, and their exclusive Expedition Photography program. Each photo instructor is a veteran naturalist who has been specially selected and trained by Lindblad and National Geographic photographers to assist you with camera settings, the basic elements of framing and composition, and to provide shooting tips in the field.

Ship Overview
Explore the Ship