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5 Reasons to Explore the Mediterranean Aboard the National Geographic Orion

When you think of the Mediterranean, certain images likely spring right to mind: white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, whitewashed villages and red-tiled rooftops, or rocky cliffs and ancient ruins. Maybe you’ve even traveled to this storied region before, to Athens or Dubrovnik, Taormina or Corfu, and experienced some of these iconic sights firsthand. 

But beginning in 2025, you’ll have a chance to discover–or perhaps, rediscover–the Mediterranean from a whole new perspective aboard the National Geographic Orion. Next year, this elegant vessel will chart a new course with five new itineraries that sail to Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Sardinia, and beyond.

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From your home base in one of 53 well-appointed cabins, you’ll venture to out-of-the-way isles (like remote Serifos, where you’ll encounter surprisingly few crowds despite the number of stunning beaches), experience singular traditions (like witnessing whirling dervishes in Ephesus, a once-in-a-lifetime moment), and—in classic Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fashion—delve deep into the history and wild spaces of these seaside getaway spots. 

You may well have seen the Mediterranean, but you’ve almost certainly never seen it like this. Here are five compelling reasons to join us aboard next year. 

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Seasoned travelers and first-time guests alike will enjoy exhilarating exploration and premier amenities aboard National Geographic Orion. Photo: Michael S. Nolan

Marry Action-Packed Adventure with Creature Comforts 

For the traveler who’s equally passionate about fine dining and exploring rocky coves by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, these expeditions aboard the National Geographic Orion are the ideal way to experience this dynamic region with both luxury and adventure to spare. 

You may find yourself swirling glasses of Malvasija or learning a local silk embroidery tradition one day, hiking through waterfall-laced landscapes with a naturalist the next—for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, that marriage of opposites is integral to the Mediterranean experience.  

After each day’s activities, you’ll return to the gracious and intimate atmosphere of the National Geographic Orion where you’ll never be left with a wine glass unfilled or a history question unanswered. Both the hotel team and the expedition team go above and beyond to meet every one of your needs and desires.  

Exploring this romantic region by expedition ship means you won’t be mired in the logistics or booking activities that come with overland journeys. Everything is taken care of so all you need to do is step aboard, unpack just once, and experience the pleasures and delights of multiple countries in one unforgettable, stress-free voyage.

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A voyage aboard the National Geographic Orion delivers the best of both worlds: active adventures by day in places like Croatia's Krka National Park, and cocktails and camaraderie by night.

Enjoy Incredible Open Deck Vantage Points

An expansive open deck aboard the National Geographic Orion provides a prime spot for taking in the iconic coastlines and cityscapes of the Mediterranean. Venture up top to watch the cerulean domes of Oia’s Orthodox churches emerge into view, or to capture a stunning panorama of Dubrovnik’s walled Old City, a UNESCO-listed historic site.  

Compact and nimble, National Geographic Orion can thread into places like the Corinth Canal, a steep-walled 19th-century canal that’s impassible for larger ships—and a seat on the deck offers you a fantastic front-row view of this marvel of infrastructure.  

In fair weather, breakfast and lunch are served al fresco so you can gather on the deck each morning and afternoon, because in this corner of the world, you’ll want to spend every spare moment possible luxuriating in the warm sun beams and delightful sea breezes.  

Learn from National Geographic Experts, Your Traveling Companions 

On 2025 departures, multiple National Geographic Experts will travel with guests aboard the
National Geographic Orion. A National Geographic Photography Expert will offer technical and creative advice to ensure every vacation snapshot is frameworthy, while a National Geographic Destination Expert with in-depth knowledge about the region will give travelers a level of historical and cultural insight that brings the Mediterranean’s storied past to life.  

With these onboard pros, plus a team of dedicated historians, naturalists, and certified photography instructors at your disposal, you’ll discover a richer, more nuanced portrait of the places you’ll see along your voyage, whether it’s the tumbled ruins of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, Turkey—one of the seven wonders of the ancient world—or the trails and waterfalls of Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park. 

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On Papafragas Beach in Greece, you can wade in turqoise waters and swim through its white-walled arches and caves.

Make a Splash in the Med 

National Geographic Orion is equipped with a roster of exploration tools designed to get you swiftly in or on the water. Nowhere is that more crucial than in the Mediterranean, where panoramic views of clear blue seas and the gentle lapping of waves beckon you in at every turn.  

Guests aboard can disembark quickly, and seamlessly go from kayaking or paddleboarding to swimming in azure waters. Frequent Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic travelers will find a familiar sight in the fleet of Zodiacs made for zipping into craggy inlets and exploring remote sea caves nestled along the coastlines.

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Travelers can discover tranquil ponds and calming waterfalls along the boardwalks of Plitvice National Park, Croatia.

Explore the Mediterranean’s Natural Wonders

The Mediterranean is famed for its cultural treasures, which are myriad and vital. Few travelers would want to leave Montenegro without wandering the famously picturesque streets of Kotor, or stop on the Greek isle of Delos without visiting the exquisite Temple of Apollo or the Terrace of the Lions. While a voyage aboard
National Geographic Orion includes plenty of historic sites and quaint seaside destinations, it will also go far beyond the ancient Greeks and Romans to acquaint you with the unique natural history of these places.  

In Albania, for example, you might head to Divjakë-Karavasta National Park for the chance to see over 200 avian species, including flamingos and Dalmatian pelicans. In Croatia, travelers itching for the backcountry can accompany a mountain guide to Paklenica National Park, where you’ll hike along plunging canyons and UNESCO-listed ancient beech forests, or explore Krka National Park, where tiers of waterfalls stack up like wedding cake above the clear green-blue Krka River. 

The National Geographic Orion has sailed the High Seas from the Arctic to Antarctica and French Polynesia to Indonesia. Her arrival into Mediterranean waters marks an exciting new chapter in her travels and we look forward to bringing guests to places both storied and secret on these immersive itineraries.