Orion, Best of Chilean Patagonia ex Santiago Roundtrip – 08 Mar 2021

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For over 50 years, Lindblad Expeditions has been turning vacationers into informed and engaged explorers. Together with National Geographic we offer intimate small-ship expedition cruises that, unlike traditional cruises, are your opportunity to encounter the world’s most pristine and inspiring places up close with the seasoned experts who know them best.

Our expedition cruises provide the safest and most innovative ways to explore places already “discovered” and those that are still very, very wild. Whether you choose to go on a Galapagos cruise, an Alaska cruise, a cruise to Egypt, or any of our other cruise destinations, each expedition cruise features an unmatched combination of adventure travel technology as well as well-appointed cabins, regional and sustainable cuisine and friendly, personal service.

We believe the more closely our guests are able to connect with a destination, the more valuable an affect it will have on their lives and on the more they will come to care about and protect it for future exploration.

Cat 1 #316, 318-321. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door. Dinner is served in the dining room, located on this deck.

Cat 2 #302-312, 314, 315, 317. Cabins feature a luminous oval window and configurable beds: two single beds, two beds converted to a queen-size bed, or a queen size bed. An armchair, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized, and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door. Dinner is served in the dining room, located on this deck.

Cat 3 Suite with Window #401-412, 414-419. These suites feature a sitting area with a large window, a sofa–except slightly smaller #401 & #402–an armchair or two, writing/laptop desk, reading lamps, flat screen TV, & climate controls. Beds are configurable (call for details). Marble bathrooms include a spacious shower stall with a glass door. The main lounge is the social heart of the ship, on this deck, along with the outdoor café where breakfast & lunch are served.

Cat 4 Deluxe Suite with Window #511, 515. These two suites feature separate sleeping and sitting areas, with a chair and armchair and a two-cushion sofa facing an expansive window. Beds are configurable (call for details). Ample storage, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the amenities. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.

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Images are representative of the cabin category. Some aspects of individual cabins may vary.

Cat 5 Suite with French Balcony #501, 503-506, 508. These spacious suites feature open living areas and sliding glass doors opening to a shared French balcony. Beds are configurable (call for details.) A sitting area with arm chairs and a sofa, a writing/laptop desk, well-placed reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls complete the decor. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.

Cat 6 Owner’s Suite with French Balcony #502, 507, 509*, 510. These large, elegant suites feature a French balcony, with the exception of #509 which has double windows. Each provides a separate living area with a sofa and two arm chairs, except for #502, which uniquely offers a ‘soaking tub with a view’ in addition to a shower stall and expansive vanity. All cabins have reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls. Marble bathrooms are generously sized and include a spacious shower stall with a glass door.

Cat 3S Suite with Window #512. This solo suite features two beds and two large windows, plus two armchairs and small table, reading lamps, a flat screen TV, and climate controls. The marble bathroom is generously sized and includes a spacious shower stall with a glass door.

National Geographic Orion - Expedition Deck

National Geographic Orion - Main Deck

National Geographic Orion - Upper Deck

National Geographic Orion - Bridge Deck

National Geographic Orion - Oberservation Deck

National Geographic Orion - Top Deck

Designed and purpose built in Germany in 2003 specifically for expedition travel, National Geographic Orion was created from the outset to explore the far corners of the Earth in complete self-sufficiency.

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.

Ship Profile & Stats

  • Length: 103 mtrs
  • Tonnage: 4,000 tonnes
  • Maiden Voyage: 2003
  • Passenger Capacity (dbl): 100
  • Crew Nationality: Australian
  • Officer Nationality: European
  • Dining Staff Nationality: Phillipino
  • Ship Registration: Bahamas

Ship Facilities

  • Wireless Internet Connection
  • Boutique
  • Vega Health Spa
  • Leda Lounge & Cocktail Bar
  • Hair & Beauty Salon
  • Galaxy Lounge
  • Sun Deck
  • Cosmos Lecture Theatre
  • Library
  • Delphinius Outdoor Cafe
  • Constellation Restaurant
  • Hospital
  • Mud Room
  • Zodiac Embarkation Platform
  • Snorkelling Equipment
  • Gymnasium
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Lecture Theatre
  • Marina Platforms
  • Observation Lounge
  • Constellation Restaurant
  • Outdoor Bar
  • Sporting Facilities

Cruise Itinerary

08 Mar '21
Santiago, Chile
09 Mar '21
Santiago, Chile
Flight to Ushuaia
09 Mar '21
Ushuaia, Argentina
10 Mar '21
Isla de Los Estados, Argentina
11 Mar '21
Isla de Los Estados, Argentina
12 Mar '21
Cape Horn (Cruising)
13 Mar '21
Beagle Channel Chile
14 Mar '21
Tierra del Fuego, Chile & Argentina
15 Mar '21
Chilean Fjords
15 Mar '21
Puerto Natales, Chile
16 Mar '21
Puerto Natales, Chile
Disembark Transfer to Torres del Paine
16 Mar '21
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
17 Mar '21
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
18 Mar '21
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
19 Mar '21
Puerto Natales, Chile
20 Mar '21
Puerto Natales, Chile
Transfer to Punta Arenas
20 Mar '21
Punta Arenas, Chile
Flight to Santiago
20 Mar '21
Santiago, Chile

All itineraries and ports of call at the discretion of the cruise line subject to local weather conditions and may change without notice.

7 Night Cruise sailing from Ushuaia to Puerto Natales. Hotel stays pre-cruise in Santiago and post-cruise in Torres del Paine & Puerto Natales.

Optimize your Chilean Patagonia experience with a land and sea expedition. Spend three days at the superb Tierra Patagonia Hotel or Explora Patagonia to savor the grandeur of Torres del Paine’s sunrises and sunsets, its iconic landscapes, and profusion of wildlife. Then explore the fjords, glaciers, and panoramic vistas of Patagonia’s coast and waterways that are only accessible by expedition ship. Venturing out on Zodiac forays, kayaking pristine fjords, or hiking virgin trails, you’ll breathe the rarified air of a near-mythic region. Enjoy special access to Argentina’s Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island)—a seldom-seen island covered in wind-sculpted flora, with wildlife that includes South American fur seals and Magellanic penguins. Discover the vast parklands of Karukinka, and check viewing legendary Cape Horn off your life list as well.

Day by Day Itinerary:

DAY 1: Santiago, Chile
We check in to the Hotel Santiago by Mandarin (or similar), centrally located in Santiago, and have the morning to relax. Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to our afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. We explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city. In the early evening, we gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel. (Day 1: L)

DAY 2: Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark
Today we fly by private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Our flight will bring us over Patagonia before landing in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. If the weather is fine, you’ll have a chance to view the spectacular mountains rising out of the Beagle Channel as you enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise. Then, you’ll embark National Geographic Orion and set sail. (B,L,D)

DAY 3-4: Isla de Los Estados (Staten Island), Argentina
We have been given special permission to visit extraordinary Staten Island, and our ship will be one of the only expedition ships ever allowed here. It’s a place of superlatives, barely touched in recent decades and visited primarily by a few scientists and those who man the tiny naval observatory. The island was named by Dutch explorers in 1615. Its mountainous, forested landscapes and rugged fjords are beautiful, and we’ll find a great deal of interest here. Our exact schedule will remain flexible to take best advantage of conditions. We’ll see southern rockhopper and Magellanic penguins, many other water birds, and fur seals and sea lions. We’ll also look for otters on our landings ashore, and we’ll see the replica of the 1884 San Juan de Salvamento “lighthouse at the end of the world,” which inspired Jules Verne’s novel by the same name, perhaps along with the ruins of a penal colony. There will be chances to walk in the southern beech forests. These days are bound to stand out as a unique chance to explore a very remote place. Read Eric Guth’s account from our inaugural 2015 visit at www.expeditions.com/si_first. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: Cape Horn
Today we visit Cape Horn, near the southernmost tip of the South American continent, named in 1616 for the Dutch town of Hoorn. These waters are famously difficult to navigate, and over the centuries have been the graveyard of many ships-which before the opening of the Panama Canal had to round the Cape to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Of course, we’ll use our modern equipment to explore safely. Weather permitting, we’ll take our Zodiacs ashore and walk to the top of the hill for panoramic views and to see the memorial placed there in 1992, showing an albatross in silhouette. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: The Chilean Fjords, Beagle Channel & Exploring
We sail the Beagle Channel, exploring more stunning wilderness of glaciers and fjords by Zodiac, kayak, and on foot. Take Zodiacs out to explore these protected waters and rugged shores, the blue and white of ice contrasting with greens of the forest highlighted by splashes of late-season flowering plants. Look for the Andean condors, albatrosses, grebes, petrels, fulmars, shearwaters and many other birds that inhabit this otherworldly realm. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Tierra del Fuego, Chile: Karukinka Natural Park
Tierra del Fuego is one of Patagonia’s crown jewels. We visit its newest and largest protected area: Karukinka Natural Park. Established in 2004 through a gift from Goldman Sachs, Karukinka is one of the largest donations ever made for conservation. We’re thrilled to have special permission from the Wildlife Conservation Society to visit this private reserve, which spans 1,160 square miles and harbors endangered culpeo fox, Andean condors, albatross, grebes, petrels, fulmars, shearwaters and many other kinds of wildlife. We may explore Jackson Bay, backed by a skyline of rugged mountains and look or wildlife including black-browed albatross that nest on one of the nearby small islands. We may walk a trail to a lovely waterfall and look for elephant seals resting on not only the beach but also high in the grass meadows and even in the small river draining the valley inland. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Exploring the Chilean Fjords & Kirke or White Narrows/Puerto Natales
Today you will be treated to the spectacular features of an active glaciated landscape with hanging valleys and tributary glaciers. This region was navigated by Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition and it took most of November 1520 for his ships to find a way through the channels that lie between the continental mainland and Tierra del Fuego to the south. We’ll look to make a first stop in the extensive maze of channels and islands of the Chilean fjords, where we may go out by Zodiac and kayak. Our Captain and local pilots guide us through Kirke or White Narrows, accessible only to a small ship as National Geographic Orion—always a challenge to navigate because of the powerful currents that flow through the pinch point. Be on deck to look for condors and other wildlife as we make our way to Puerto Natales. (B,L,D)

DAY 9-11: Torres del Paine National Park
We disembark in Puerto Natales and drive to Torres del Paine National Park, stopping at Milodón Cave, where the remains of an extinct giant sloth were discovered. Illuminating displays show the history of human habitation and wildlife of the region.

We continue to monumental Torres del Paine, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve and a place of superlatives. The landscape is big, wide and sprawling, with razor-backed ridges, Andean condors, guanacos, foxes and rheas. Regardless of where you are, the Paine massif draws your eye with its jagged peaks, including the famous “Horns” and the three towers for which the park is named. These granite mountains are topped with a thick layer of dark slate. Chileans themselves dream of visiting this magnificent park, and it holds a special place in their hearts as a symbol of wildness. We spend three nights at the outstanding Explora Patagonia, located in the heart of the park, next to the Salto Chico waterfall and overlooking Lake Pehoé and the central mountain range. During our days here, we’ll discover one of the most spectacular and wildlife-rich areas in the Americas, covering 450,000 acres of glaciers, forests and grasslands, rivers and colorful lakes and lagoons. You’ll be able to choose among a variety of excursions each day, ranging from a challenging hike to the base of the towers, to a shorter walk among guanaco herds to the edge of a lake, to a scenic drive to a waterfall and the “Blue Lagoon”, with views of the towers. Or ride horseback if you wish, in this most inspiring of landscapes. You’ll leave here with the feeling you’ve really experienced an adventure. (B,L,D)

DAY 12: Torres del Paine/Puerto Natales
We spend a final morning exploring Torres del Paine. We then drive to the outpost of Puerto Natales and check in to our fine hotel, the Singular, located on Última Esperanza (Last Hope) Sound. The sound got its name when 16th-century explorers tried and failed to find a route to the Pacific here. This afternoon, we will enjoy a short exploration of the town, including a visit to the small but excellent Municipal Historical Museum, with exhibits on the region’s Native Americans and on its settler past. We have dinner at our hotel. (B,L,D)

DAY 13: Santiago, Chile/Home
Drive from Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas, take a flight to Santiago and connect to your flight home.

vid: 1832 | cfid: 70223-cruise

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