ORION II, the newest acquisition for Australia-based Orion Expedition Cruises, made its inaugural call into Singapore earlier today, marking the start of the cruise line’s foray into South-east Asia.
Orion II is a luxury ship that can accommodate 100 guests in 50 suites, each featuring ocean views, and a sitting area or separate living room. Onboard facilities include a library with Internet access, a gym, a beauty salon, a boutique, a medical centre, a dining room, two sun decks, a Jacuzzi and a swimming platform.
Sarina Bratton, founder and managing director of Orion Expedition Cruises, said the cruise line would be using Singapore as a hub for its upcoming programmes, including a range of five- to 20-night itineraries to Antarctica, North-west Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, the Russian Far East and South-east Asia.
Describing Orion as “Abercrombie and Kent on the water”, Bratton said Australia was the cruise line’s top source market, followed by the US and Japan.
Bratton said she was keen to grow Orion’s business in Asia, and that she would be tapping Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and China as part of immediate expansion plans. “Over time, once we can gauge response levels, we will allocate more (time and resources) accordingly,” she said.
Agents TTG Asia e-Daily spoke to said it was still too early to judge if Orion would succeed in attracting an Asian clientele.
Gina Teo, managing director of Stamford Discovery Cruise Centre, said: “Orion probably appeals to a very small base of Asian travellers. Generally, most Asians are only familiar with mainstream cruise brands.”