- MV Orion
The "MV Orion" (also known as MS Orion and MY Orion) is currently based in
Australiaand operated by Orion Expedition Cruises. The ship has been described by the Berlitz Guide to Cruising as "the latest in the quest to build the perfect expedition vessel".
Built by Cassens shipyard in
Germanyand owned by the Marshall Islandsregistered company Explorer Maritime with technical management by Greek based company Helios Shipping, the Orion is leased under a long term agreement to Orion Expedition Cruises of Australia. The vessel was originally operated, albeit for a short time, by US based cruise operator Travel Dynamics International(TDI). TDI had operated the vessel in the Antarcticand the Arcticand many points in between, including the Great Lakesand the Amazon River, before handing the vessel over to OEC in the Tahitianport of Papeetein March 2005 where she made here way to her new home of Australiawhere she has operated from ever since.
MV Orion is currently based in Australia operating expedition style cruises in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, the solomon Islands, Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef amongst other destinations.
Further Vessel Specifications
Hull: Ice-reinforced for voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic
Ice Class: E3 (Germanischer Lloyd)
Engines: Mak; 8M25; 3,265HP
Stabilisers: Blohm & Voss, retractable fin stabilisers
Classification: Germanischer Lloyd; 100 A5 E3 Passenger Ship; MC E3 AUT
Regulations: Orion is built according to the latest international safety regulations, including those of the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health, Canadian Arctic Shipping, and St. Lawrence Seaway. Additional Craft: 10 Zodiac Heavy Duty MK5 Inflatables, 10 Sea Kayaks, 2 Jet Boats and a Fishing Boat
While she is essentially a unique ship, she was preceded by two slightly smaller but very similar vessels built at the Cassens Emden shipyard in Germany.
* Sun Bay The 88.5 m, 96 passenger Sun Bay was launched in 2001 and was originally operated by Sun Bay Cruises in the Bahamas before being transferred to
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.and is currently operated by their Celebrity Cruisesdivision as Celebrity Xpeditionin the Galapagos Islands
*Sun Bay IIThe 88.5m, 96 passenger Sun Bay II was launched in 2002 and as with the Sun Bay was originally operated by Sun Bay Cruises in the Bahamas. By 2002 the Sun Bay II had been renamed Corinthian and was operated by American cruise company
Travel Dynamics International. By 2004 the vessel had passed to private ownership and is now known as the Constellation.
* [http://www.orioncruises.com.au/ Orion Expedition Cruises homepage]
* [http://www.cassens-werft.de/index.php?action=3&language=2 Cassens-Werft Shipyard homepage]
* [http://www.cassens-werft.de/pdf/datenblatt_mv_orion.pdf Downloadable PDF specifications for MV Orion]
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