Lindblad Expeditions has acquired Australian-based Orion Expeditions and its single cruise ship, Orion (2003/3,984gt). Sarina Bratton, who will step down as managing director and leave the company once the sale is completed, founded Orion Expeditions in 2003. Orion has been on long-term charter to the company since 2005, but previously operated for American-based Travel Dynamics.
Lindblad Expeditions, which has five owned ships, was established in 1979 by Sven-Olof Lindblad, although the family had been in the travel business for at least 20 years prior to that. In spring 2005 Lindblad teamed up with National Geographic, and the ships have all subsequently acquired the National Geographic prefix, as will Orion when she becomes National Geographic Orion in March 2014.
In one of several rock-striking incidents reported this month, National Geographic Sea Lion hit an uncharted rock in Panama’s Las Perlas islands on 4 March. The ship returned under her own power to Panama City for repairs to be carried out, and the cruise was curtailed.