Put cranberries in a medium bowl and pour in enough hot tap water to cover. Set aside while you make the rice.
In a medium pot over medium-high heat, add the water, orange juice, and butter, and bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, and the included contents of the seasoning packet, and return to a boil. Turn the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the cranberries and add them to the rice along with the orange zest, and almonds. Gently stir them in, fluffing the rice. Transfer the rice to a serving bowl, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.