Sail through the heart of fjord country and experience the unforgettable beauty of western Norway’s stark cliffs and the windswept isles of Scotland. You’ll kayak below emerald mountains in the dramatic Sognefjorden, and step ashore at Undredal to explore its 12th Century stave church. You’ll cross the North Sea to encounter rich marine life, as well as the fascinating intermingling of Nordic and Celtic cultures. Visit a Shetland pony farm, a Fair Isle seabird research station, the marvelous Stone Age megaliths of the Orkneys, the sacred Christian sites of Iona. Perhaps you’ll dive the historic wrecks of Sapa Flow or hike to the lighthouse on Sumburgh Head, and you’ll discover the unique heritage of the Inner Hebrides archipelago on our way to cosmopolitan Glasgow.
• Kayak the mirror-like waters of Norway’s Sognefjorden, and discover hidden inlets by Zodiac.
• Discover Viking longhouses, Stone Age megaliths, a Norwegian stave church, and Iron Age fortifications.
• Get up close to spectacular wildlife—puffins, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars, and Shetland Ponies, to name a few.
• Hike to the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head, explore splendid gardens at Loch Ewe, and dive the historic wrecks of Scapa Flow
Arrive in Dublin and enjoy lunch on board before setting sail for the British Isles. After an overview of this beautiful city, we embark National Geographic Orion(L,D)
Sail through the Sea of the Hebrides to the isle of Iona, the site of Scotland's first Christian settlement. Venture into an ancient nunnery and a 13th-century abbey. Explore St. Oran's Chapel and its royal burial grounds, where Celtic high crosses mark the graves of generations of Scottish kings. Then dock at Staffa, famed for its geometric basalt columns and deep-sea caves. (B,L,D)
A special treat will be a Zodiac ride to the awe-inspiring Fingal's Cave for a close-up look at the place that inspired Felix Mendelssohn to write his "Hebrides Overture."
Along the wild, western coast of Scotland lies the Isle of Lewis, steeped in history and legend. We'll visit to marvel at the massive neolithic Standing Stones of Callanish, which rival Stonehenge in the majesty of their setting. (B,L,D)
"There’s a saying in these isles that if you scratch the surface, it bleeds archaeology."
The Vikings held a strategic foothold in the Orkney Islands for hundreds of years, and their Norse heritage is apparent in local legends and traditions that endure today. Explore a treasure trove of Stone Age sites, including the megaliths of the Ring of Brodgar and the 5,000-year-old stone-slab village of Skara Brae. Step inside the medieval St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, which took nearly 300 years to complete. This evening our musical event will feature Julie Fowlis, whose Gaelic voice is recognizable from the soundtrack of Disney Pixar's "Brave." (B,L,D)
For experienced scuba divers, we have planned a fantastic dive in Scapa Flow (an added cost).
Zodiac in to the uninhabited isle of Mousa, a UNESCO World Heritage candidate and the third element in "The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland." Hike to an Iron Age broch, or stone tower, built circa 100 BC, looking for storm petrels along the way. Our next landing is tiny and remote Fair Isle, situated between the Shetland and Orkney Islands. Visit the island's bird research station, and spot some of the roughly 250 species of flowering plants that grow here. Browse local handicrafts including intricately patterned Fair Isle knitwear, which is renowned worldwide. (B,L,D)
Learn Shetland dancing, or watch your fellow guests learn! A local dance troupe performs for us in Lerwick.
Sail to Scotland's Shetland Islands, a rugged archipelago of about 100 islands and islets. Explore Lerwick, a town where Norse and Gaelic cultures intermingle, and see the countryside dotted with Shetland ponies. Then examine Bronze Age ruins and Viking longhouses at the extraordinary prehistoric settlements of Jarlshof and nearby Old Scatness—UNESCO candidates which are part of "The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland." Later, take in a cacophony of puffins, guillemots, and razorbills as we walk to the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head. Glide past the cliffs of Noss to view nesting seabirds before setting sail across the North Sea toward Bergen.(B,L,D)
Norway's glacier-carved western coast boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. Cruise deep into the sublime Sognefjorden, the third longest in the world, and launch kayaks and Zodiacs to explore its mirror-like waterways. In the picturesque village of Undredal, take a hike up the mountain for an amazing fjord view, see the town's 12th-century stave church and sample its famous brown goat cheese, Brunost. (B,L,D)
Our final port of call is the lovely city of Bergen, perched on a fjord and ringed by seven hills. Disembark after breakfast, and have an overview of this beautiful city before heading to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay in Bergen.(B)
All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
These cabins feature an oval window and two single beds, two beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed (call for details). You'll find an armchair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
These roomy cabins feature an oval window and two single beds, two beds that can be converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed (call for details). You'll find an armchair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall.
Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419 These suites have a comfortable sofa in the sitting area with a large window and plenty of storage. They have a variety of bed configurations (call for details) plus a writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. Modern bathrooms are generously sized with roomy glass-walled shower stall.
These solo cabins feature a window or two portholes, a queen-size bed, writing desk and chair, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV.
Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall
Cat 4 Deluxe suite with Window #511, 515 - These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a two-seater sofa that looks out a large rectangular window. Beds are configurable. You'll find storage, climate controls, reading lamps, a TV. Modern bathrooms are generously sized with roomy glass-walled shower stall.
Cat 5 Suite with Balcony #501, 503-506, 508 - These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors that open to a private French balcony. Beds are configurable, and you'll find sitting chairs or a couch, a writing desk, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. The bathroom is spacious and has a glass-walled shower.
Cat 3S Suite with Window #512 - This solo suite features two beds and a large window, plus a bucket chair and small table, climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV. The bathroom is spacious and has a glass-walled shower.
Cat 6 Owner’s suite with Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510 - These large, owner's suites feature a balcony (Cabin 509 does not have a balcony), a spacious bathroom with a large shower and separate soaking tub with a window, and a large separate living area with a couch and two bucket chairs, plus climate controls, reading lamps, and a TV.
National Geographic Orion
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 103 metres
Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins)
Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014
Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to maneuver close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration.
National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices.
National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment.
Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck.
While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area wifi.
Free Bar and Crew Tips Included on Voyages aboard National Geographic Orion
Expeditions aboard National Geographic Orion - Arctic, Antarctica and Europe.
Select Voyages 2017 - 2018.
Voyage Rates: AU$9 990 - AU$57 350
Special Offer: FREE BAR AND CREW TIPS INCLUDED
Beginning in April 2017, we will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew on all National Geographic Orion voyages. Promotion subject to availability, contact us for further details.
Save 10% on 2 or More Voyages aboard NG Orion
Fall in love with Europe all over again, or for the first time, on one- or two-week voyages aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, the most intimate luxury ship in Europe.
Aboard National Geographic Orion.
Book two or more Europe voyages aboard National Geographic Orion and take 10% off each voyage. Savings is applicable to back-to-back or non-consecutive voyages. This savings is available on voyage fare only, and is not valid on airfares or extensions. Please contact us for more details.