Orion to drop Orion II from fleet

ORION II, whose inaugural call into Singapore last August marked the start of Orion Expedition Cruises’ foray into South-east Asia, will no longer fly the Orion flag come this November.

Sarina Bratton, founder and managing director of Orion Expedition Cruises, explained in a press statement that the cruise line had not been satisfied with some performance aspects of the vessel.

Orion II’s upcoming scheduled sailings to Borneo, the Russian Far East, Japan, Vietnam and China will continue as planned, but the ship will be handed back to its owners, Travel Dynamics International, in November.

Orion Expedition Cruises’ other vessel, Orion, will be redeployed to operate the cruise line’s South-east Asia itineraries in 2013, while the hunt is on for a new ship to replace Orion II.

Bratton told TTG Asia e-Daily in an email interview that she anticipates having “to resize Orion Expedition Cruises’ shoreside operations in Sydney to an appropriate level” once Orion II stops sailing.

Despite the anticipated scaledown in operations, Bratton remains optimistic owing to a healthy level of forward bookings.

“I remain bullish about the Asia-Pacific region and the opportunity it offers. We have invested significant resources in the development of destinations, and I believe this will not be wasted,” she said.

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