Cruise Wonderland >> Ship Visits >> Orion II


Date: 2012/04/13
Port: Hong Kong
Berth: Ocean Terminal (south inner berth), Tsim Sha Tsui

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--- About Orion II
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Unless otherwise specified, information in this article was correct at the time of publishing in April 2012.

About Orion II

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About the Visit

In 2011 summer, when Orion II joined Orion Expedition Cruises as the second ship in the fleet, this cruise line was able to expand its expedition map with more exotic itineraries. Currently the original ship Orion offers adventurous voyages to Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Antarctica, whereas the newcomer Orion II sails to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, as well as China, Japan and Russian Far East.

Hong Kong was one of the stops of Orion II in her reposition cruise from Vietnam to Japan in spring. She was scheduled to stay for two overnights from 12th to 14th April at Ocean Terminal. However, the last port of call at Macau was cancelled at the last minute. Thus she directly sailed from Quan Lan of Vietnam to Hong Kong directly, arriving in "The Pearl of Orient" half day earlier at the night of 11th April.

The visit for me and two colleagues took place at 16:30 on 13th April, Friday. Thank Natalie Middleton for the arrangements. Since the terminal's telescopic gangways could not be employed to this boutique ship, we had to embark on the ground level. This was quite interesting, just like boarding a private yacht. After registering at the Reception, we were escorted to the Nautilus Club on Deck 4 and greeted by the Hotel Manager Tracey Greiner. She had also prepared some refreshments for us before the tour.

After that we went to different decks to see the onboard facilities, including the Sun Deck, Outdoor Café, Spa & Salon, Gym, Library, Main Lounge and Restaurant. We also had the opportunity to take a glance at a number of cabins, including one of the Penthouse Suites on Deck 6. Since Orion II has five passenger decks only, the tour lasted for just 30 minutes.

We appreciated the introduction given by Tracey and also Justin Friend, the Expedition Program Manager, on details about the ship, the cruise line as well as the shore excursions. Orion Expedition Cruises offers cruising experiences which are very different from those of other companies. One feature is that many ports of call are small towns inaccessible by large liners. Moreover, the unique shore programmes are led by experts and allow passengers to learn about the local history and culture. For example, the places that they visited in Hong Kong were not the attractions in the city centre. Instead they went to the rural area in New Territories and saw the temples and old villages to study about the past of Hong Kong.

Orion II departed from Hong Kong in the afternoon of 14th April and headed towards Keelung. However, as Orion Expedition Cruises recently announced that the charter of the vessel will be ended in late 2012, this was unfortunately her inaugural and only call to Hong Kong. We look forward to seeing another new vessel to join the fleet and come to our city soon.

Orion II at Ocean Terminal
Orion II at Ocean Terminal

Gangway Inaugural Voyage Plaque Souvenirs from Local Authorities
Deck Plan Refreshments in Nautilus Club Orion II at Ocean Terminal

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