Orion doubles fleet with new vessel

Orion doubles fleet with new vessel

Australia cruise company Orion Expeditions is doubling capacity in 2011 when it takes delivery of a second ship that will operate in the Far East.

The 100-passenger vessel is being chartered from New York-based Travel Dynamics International, a US expedition cruise company.

The ship is a sister ship to the former Hebridean Spirit. It is currently called Clelia II, but will be renamed Orion II when it joins the Orion fleet in May 2011.

The ship has recently had a €13 million refurbishment but will undergo further cosmetic enhancements to bring it into the Orion style prior to sailing.

Orion II will be based in Southeast Asia and sail a range of expedition cruises that visit Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan and Indonesian.

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The vessel also has an ice-strengthened hull for sailing in Antarctica.

Orion currently has one ship, the 106-passenger Orion, which sails in the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and Antarctica.