Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic announced their 2014 itineraries on the new 102-guest National Geographic Orion. The expeditions have been developed to feature a blend of undersea (for snorkelers and divers) and terrestrial natural history highlights, along with diverse and fascinating culture, history and anthropology.
The latest addition to the Lindblad fleet, National Geographic Orion will be equipped with exploration tools including kayaks, a state-of the-art ROV (remote operated vehicle reaching depths up to 1,000 feet), snorkeling gear for all and scuba gear that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time. There will be a National Geographic photographer on all departures.
Following are the 2014 itineraries. Rates are per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Pacific Islands and Australia
· Exploring Papua New Guinea & the Islands of Vanuatu & the Solomons - Embark in Auckland, New Zealand and set off on a voyage in the wake of Captain Cook. Explore Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait. In Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, scuba and snorkel in coral reefs and lagoons, revisit World War II history and get to know island cultures. Also available is a snorkel expedition to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The 25-day voyage departs March 19, 2014. Rates begin at $25,390.
· The Great Barrier Reef, Papua New Guinea & Micronesia - Visit the Great Barrier Reef and snorkel in Palau. Visit World War II battlefield in Papua New Guinea and Micronesia, and become introduced to the cultures of the South Pacific. The 22-day voyage departs April 9, 2014. Rates begin at $19,990.
· Voyage to the Spice Islands & the Coral Triangle - Sail south from Palau to the Moluccas archipelago— once known as the Spice Islands. Visit Raja Ampat, discover the legacy of the Dutch East India Company in the Banda Islands, and experience island cultures from West Papua to Timor. The 17-day voyage departs April 27, 2014. Rates begin at $14,730.
· Kimberley Expedition: Australia’s Wild Northwest - Explore the landscape of Western Australia, including gorges, waterfalls, caves, rainforests and wildlife. See signs of the geological forces that over the course of eons have buckled the earth’s crust leaving contorted folds of ancient rock. The 14-day voyages depart May 10, May 20, May 30, June 9, June 19, June 29, July 9, July 19, July 29, 2014. Rates begin at $8,210.
· Kimberley Expedition with the Spice Islands - Sail from Broome to Rowley Shoals for snorkeling and diving. Explore Kimberley including the King George Falls, then voyage to the Spice Islands. The 17-day voyage departs Aug. 8, 2014. Rates begin at $11,490.
· The Great Barrier Reef to Fiji - Voyage to the islands of Melanesia and explore the Great Barrier Reef before sailing east through the Coral Sea. The 16-day voyage departs Nov. 3, 2014. Rates begin at $12,940.
· Reefs, Lagoons and Volcanic Isles: Fiji to Tahiti - Sail from Fiji to Tahiti to dive or snorkel among underwater canyons and tunnels formed from lava. Meet island communities and explore the reefs of Kiribati, chosen as part of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas exploration, research and media project. The 20-day voyage departs Nov. 16, 2014. Rates begin at $18,990.
· Legends of the South Pacific: Tahiti to Easter Island – Visit Bora Bora and the atolls of Makatea and Henderson Island. Sail to Easter Island - the giant, prehistoric carved stones dotting the slopes of the famous Rano Raraki volcano. The 20-day voyage departs Dec. 3, 2014. Rates begin at $17,930.
Borneo & Indonesia
· Wild Encounters from Borneo to Bali - Visit Camp Leakey, a recovery center for orphaned orangutans. Meet and travel with National Geographic grantee Dr. Biruté Galdikas who founded and runs the camp. Visit Borneo’s protected parklands, home to several ecosystems, and search for wildlife, plus swim and snorkel reefs and undersea sites (diving not available on this itinerary). The 13-day voyages depart Sept 16 and Sept. 26, 2014. Rates begin at $8,680.
· Indonesian Odyssey: Bali to the Great Barrier Reef - The voyage presents guests with sightings of Komodo dragons, white parrots and white-breasted eagles, plus numerous species of dolphins and whales. Voyages can also swim with the large, curious potato cod and many multi-colored fish. The 20-day voyage departs Oct. 18, 2014. Rates begin at $16,620.
· Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands - Ths expedition visits a king penguin colony of over 200,000 individuals. Other sightings include albatross colonies and herds of elephant seals. The 24-day voyages depart Dec. 26, 2014, Jan. 25, 2015 & Feb. 14, 2015. Rates begin at $21,360.
For more information, visit www.expeditions.com.