Natural Treasures of the Russian Far East
2012 Departures - 31st May & 10th June
As Orion II sails between Petropavlovsk and the Kuril Island chain, you will experience a unique environment. This is known as "The Northern Ring of Fire", an area dominated by the effects of volcanic activity. Thirty two volcanoes stretch across the Bering Sea between Russia and Japan. The sparsely inhabited Kuril Islands are home to people who derive their living from a sea which is a rich source of food and among the most productive in the world. Huge bird colonies dot the cliffs and large seal rookeries are scattered along the coast. Early in the expedition, we will cruise into a fjordland of granite cliffs and active volcanoes, a landscape created by glaciers thousands of years ago. Schools of orcas inhabit these rich hunting grounds, along with sea otters, seals and thousands of sea birds. The islanders share their landscape with bears and foxes. Fortunately, the Russian villagers have protected many of these islands and the creatures that occupy them. This journey will be a milestone, leaving you with unique memories.
Inland Sea of Japan - Discovery of an Ancient Culture
2012 Departures - 5th, 13th*, 21st May & 20th June
The Japanese talent for integrating the country's proud ancient culture with its equally proud embrace of the modern is captivating. With a coastline longer than the United States and 6,852 islands, with only 426 inhabited, you can appreciate the logistical complexities that are overcome through travelling by a ship such as Orion II. Your luxury hotel goes with you. Unique islands and cities become accessible overnight. The sea is Japan's life blood. The cultures, art and cuisine are the links you will come to appreciate on this remarkable itinerary.
Asian Odyssey - Voyage of Discovery
2012 Departure - 8th April
Sail this historic sea road from Vietnam to Korea and experience a kaleidoscope of Asian history, people and sights. The Parisian grace and Asian pace of Hanoi, the jade coloured waters of spectacular Ha Long Bay and the pristine beauty of Quan Lan Beach. In frenetic Macau, casino action meets picturesque 16th century Portuguese colony. Hong Kong and Taipei - exciting, sophisticated fusions of East and West. The resort island of Jeju, the perfect place to unwind and Jagalchi Market, Busan, a great place to haggle. The spirit of the colonial traders and fortune seekers is never far from this route.
Japanese Culinary Adventure - Voyage of Discovery
2012 Departure - 27th April
This is a remarkable journey of discovery using Japanese cuisine as a window into the culture, art and ritual of this ancient society. You will have the opportunity to discover Japan and its ancient culture through the amazing diversity of Japanese food. At each port of call, we will discover a different Japanese dish, learn its history and visit local markets to shop for ingredients. Our expert onboard chefs will teach you how to prepare and present the world's favourite Japanese dishes. And then of course, we'll come together on board Orion II to enjoy traditional Japanese dining. Our onshore explorations will include the markets where the locals shop, like the famous Jalgachi Fish Market in Busan. We'll explore the amazing variety of seafood, prepare mouth-watering Kobe beef, the most famous beef in the world, and learn why the notorious fugu puffer fish can be lethal and yet is sought by gourmet food lovers the world over. There can be no better way to experience Japan's culture than through the complexities and culture of the Japanese food experience. The ritual, history and philosophy of the Japanese all find expression at their table. Enjoy every taste on this unique voyage of discovery.
Japan Highlights and The Yangtze Delta - Voyage of Discovery
2012 Departure - 30th June
A fascinating journey into the heart of two towering ancient cultures, Orion II sails through centuries of history, religion and philosophy. An itinerary of natural wonders, island beach recreation and time to understand Asia's turbulent history. Share the memories of one of the few remaining Hiroshima Atom bomb survivors, hike through the forest to the shrine at Miyajima and meditate on the vision of the holy mountain of Misen San. Contemplate some of the most beautiful Chinese landscape from the deck of Orion II as we sail 200 nautical miles of the Yangzte to Shanghai, one of the world's most dynamic cities.
The Yangtze, Ryukyu & Philippines
2012 Departure - 11th July
This unique itinerary serves up a vibrant mixing pot of Asian cultures, history and highlights. Orion II sails from Shanghai where Western customs and Chinese traditions create an energetic, colourful culture. Along the way, we explore the artistic serenity of Kagoshima, memories of WWII on Okinowa, great snorkelling on the coral reefs of Ishigaki and the bustle of Taipei with the treasures of the National Palace museum and the riches of the performing arts in the National Theatre. The Spanish-American influence on Baguio in the Philippines leads us to the island of Coron, coral reefs and spectacular beaches.