Uncover the tropical beauty and important cultural history of the South Seas.

This 17-Night /18-Day departing on February 25, 2023, follows in the wake of Captain Cook, and journeys from New Zealand’s North Island to the Solomon Sea. Delve into a fascinating history of intrepid explorers, convicts, and traders.

  • Encounter an impressive diversity of cultures from the Maori of the Bay of Islands to the spear dancers of the Solomons, and delve into their artistic and spiritual traditions
  • Venture to the former penal colony of Norfolk Island, now a UNESCO World Heritage site boasting the unusual trees called Norfolk Island pines
  • See the stunning limestone geology of New Caledonia at Isle of Pines and visit a cave filled with primitive tree ferns
  • Visit important World War II sites, including the wreck of the S. President Coolidgeand the Battle of Guadalcanal
  • Come ashore at Tikopia. Meet the local chiefs of the traditional villages and learn about the cyclone that almost devastated the island in 2002—without any loss of life
  • See the fantastic fishing canoes of the people of Utupua and take a Zodiac ride along their mangrove-studded lagoon


Featuring 53 cabins, the gracious and intimate National Geographic Orion takes travelers to little-known waters and isles in the South Pacific, Australia, and Indonesia to experience each location’s natural and cultural wonders up close.

At the helm of National Geographic Orion is an expert crew, capable of handling intricate operations that large cruise ships could never attempt. The ship features modern navigational equipment and technological abilities that allow her to navigate safely, even in uncharted waters​. She currently holds the distinction of having sailed further south than any other vessel in the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet.

National Geographic Orion offers guests a spirited, almost clubby environment onboard. Of her many amenities and features, the most appealing is her outdoor deck space, that beckons in the balmy air of the South Pacific and offers panoramic views of the region’s rich avian and marine life.


  • Prize valid for one category 1 cabin for two persons on Under the Southern Cross: New Zealand to Melanesia aboard the National Geographic Orion for a fixed departure date of 2/25/23
  • Departure date is based on availability by Lindblad Expeditions and subject to holiday and other blackouts. 
  • Cabin booking and confirmation cannot be made until 90 days prior to sailing.
  • If guest is unable to travel on specified date, the fixed date departure will be convertible to a standard Galapagos trip on any available departure pending cabin availability.
  • Does not include air transportation; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance; items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, gift shop, etc.; passport expenses; extension; and gratuities to ship’s crew at traveler’s discretion.
  • It is agreed that all donated items are the property of Oceana. Should a travel or experience donation be canceled, postponed, delayed, or rescheduled due to force majeure (i.e., weather, act of God, state of war, terrorism, strike, pandemic, etc.) or any other condition beyond reasonable control, the purchase will be honored, per the experience provider, at the experience provider’s discretion, and the winner will be expected to either attend or transfer the purchase accordingly. No cash refunds.

Generously donated by Lindblad Expeditions