It took more than 50 hours for the cruise ship to reach the solo yachtsman who was stranded on a life raft in remote waters southwest of Tasmania.
The location was too distant for a helicopter rescue.
The French sailor, who set off at the beginning of October, abandoned his yacht after it was severely damaged in rough weather.
The Orion, which was carrying 100 passengers and 80 crew, was returning from Antarctica when it responded to a call for help.
"I would put this around about an eight out of 10 for difficulty," John Young with the Maritime Safety Authortiy said. "Very complex, very challenging in terms of stitching all the threads together."
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