Antarctica has been my dream for years. I researched every type of tour operator before deciding on National Geographic Orion. It is a small luxury ship, where they have the ability to get everyone off the ship for multiple daily excursions. There were a dozen naturalists aboard who gave daily lectures on everything from photography to killer whales. Every detail was thought out and implemented to create a truly one of a kind experience for every guest. For example, they had a hot beverage Zodiac cruising to serve guests while out on the water. Hot drinks awaited you when returning aboard. With a staff of over 60 for 102 guests, you never lacked for anything. I was amazed at how the staff remembered everyone’s names and preferences. The food was delicious and there was a vegetarian menu in addition to any special requests. The forward lounge for viewing was equipped with drinks, snacks, puzzles, books, binoculars, etc. Our guides had us spotting humpback whales, penguins, seals, killer whales, etc. We journeyed below the Antarctic Circle and visited bases. We cruised and kayaked through incredible ice. We really could not have imagined a better experience.
Category 5 cabin with French Balcony. We had a lovely seating area with a double door of glass windows for constant viewing. We felt the price difference was well worth it for the extraordinary views and extra space. Antonio looked after our cabin daily and every detail was attended to during our stay. The bedding was comfortable and bathroom had ample storage and counter space. We had a desk and enough closet space as well. This was located on the Bridge level.