Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is giving adventure seeking Australian travellers the chance to rediscover Europe aboard the much-loved National Geographic Orion, choosing from 11 one-week itineraries and 22 sailings as part of its inaugural 2016 European program.
After many successful seasons sailing across the seas of Indonesia, the South Pacific and Australia, the National Geographic Orion will embark on its maiden voyage of Portugal, Spain, France, England, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, the Baltic Republics and Scandinavia by land and sea.
As the pioneers of expedition travel, Lindblad Expeditions will build on Australian’s love of cruising combining this with more active, insightful and once-in-a-lifetime kind of experiences that provide travellers with a new way to explore this perennially popular destination.
Jeremy Lindblad, Business Development Director for Australia, said “National Geographic Orion holds many fond memories among Australian travellers, some of whom have travelled aboard the ship on repeat seasons.
“Our guests are particularly curious about the world around them and are eager to discover new waters. This appetite for travel combined with the popularity of Europe as a holiday destination, has given us the opportunity to create an unparalleled program to suit both first-time and seasoned travellers.”
Each itinerary will be highly curated to provide travellers with a more enriching and authentic European holiday, taking them beyond the usual tourist experience as led by a team with a diverse scope of expertise covering; ancient and modern history, political science, art, viniculture, photography and music. Along the way, encounters will be planned for guests to engage with insightful people sharing perspectives on contemporary issues and unique opportunities. Also woven throughout each itinerary will be active options such as hiking, biking and kayaking.
Immersive experiences include:
Ø Scandinavia by Sea: Denmark, Sweden and Norway – Kayak through the Weather Islands off the west coast of Sweden and get up close to the Scandinavian colony of seals.
Ø Best of the Baltics: Cities and Islands from Tallinn to Copenhagen – Discover the Latvian town of Riga by bicycle, crossing the mighty Daugava River to the Island of Kpsala known for its unique wooden houses.
Ø Wild and Windswept: Exploring the Coasts of England and Wales – On the island of Sark, join a local astronomer from the Astronomical Society for a night of stargazing.
Ø Norway and Scotland: Fjordlands to the Inner Hebrides – Hike to the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head, and get the chance to dive the historic wrecks of Scapa Flow.
Authentic food experiences form an integral part of the 2016 program, with cuisines influenced by the flavours of each region. Follow the food trails of Europe when on the:
Ø Culture and Cuisine from Oporto to Basque Country – Spend the day discovering Galicia, collect mussels with local fisherman and listen to traditional music.
Ø Bordeaux to London: The French Atlantic Coast – Explore the history and culinary traditions of St. Malo visiting a local oyster farm where guests will gather oysters for the National Geographic Orion’s chefs.
Ø The North Sea: London to Copenhagen – Work alongside local culinary artisans to make Belgian chocolates in Brugge and sculpt marzipan in Lubeck.
Ø Hidden Ireland: Loughs and Isles off the Beaten Path – Experience the true Irish culture of Aran Island discovering how to make goat cheese on a working goat farm.
While on board, degustation and fine dining menus will be specially prepared by international chef, Serge Dansereau – principal of Sydney’s The Bathers’ Pavilion. Catering for 102 guests, the National Geographic Orion’s smaller size vessel is ideally suited to navigate European waters, with the ship boasting state-of-the-art interiors, spacious suites and premium entertaining areas.
The first European deployment commences with the Portugal and Spain: From the Algarve to Catalonia expedition departing 24 April 2016, with the program concluding with Culture and Cuisine from Oporto to Basque Country departing 18 September 2016. The lead-in price for all 22 voyages is $9,990 per person - category one, and includes the bar tab and staff gratuities.
The itineraries have been designed for guests to have the option to “hop on-hop off.” Guests that book more than one voyage will receive a savings of 10% off each trip. They can take two or more back-to-back, or enjoy one journey, disembark and then rejoin Orion for a journey in a different region.
To receive further updates on the 2016 European program visit www.expeditions.com or register your interest via https://www.expeditions.com/destinations/europe-orion/, call 1300 361 012 or see your travel agent.
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About Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, pioneers in expedition travel, offers voyages in the Galápagos, Antarctica, the Arctic, Baja California, Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, the Amazon, Asia & Pacific, Africa, Europe and beyond. They work in alliance to inspire travellers to explore and care about the planet. Their collaboration in exploration, research, technology and conservation provides extraordinary travel experiences and disseminates geographic knowledge around the globe.