The 100-guest National Geographic Venture will launch in June 2018 and will feature 50 cabins, 22 with step-out balconies, and six sets of connecting cabins for families and groups; all category 5 cabins can accommodate a third guest. The ship will be outfitted with a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment, and Zodiacs, all of which are geared to get guests out and into the wild, remote places being explored; state-of-the-art expedition technology, including a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), video microscope, a hydrophone and underwater cameras.
Her inaugural voyage will be on the June 24, 2018 departure of “Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia.” This 14-day expedition will give the ship a day in the San Juan Islands and a day in the Gulf Islands before heading north through BC and Alaska. She will then do the 8-day “Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness” for 8 departures; another “Treasures of the Inside Passage” in September, followed by six 8-day “San Juan Islands & British Columbia” departures.
The design of the two new builds incorporates all that Lindblad has learned in 30+ years of operating between Alaska and Central America into every aspect of their construction. This includes larger cabins, many with balconies or the ability to connect, and beautiful public spaces. But it goes way beyond that. Here are a few improved aspects of the ships and enhanced expedition experience:
- A Better View – A common constraint with wildlife viewing on a ship's bow is that the anchoring gear takes up space and a single level allows only one row of guests to enjoy clean sightlines. To provide a superior viewing experience, the bow on the National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture have been designed with the anchoring gear separated from guest space by a tiered viewing system. This enables multiple rows of guests to line the bow with an unobstructed view. Also, two stairways on either side of the bow lead to an expansive observation deck one level up, for a unique perspective. All of these exterior viewing levels are accessible from the lounge, making for a seamless viewing experience.
- Mark V Zodiacs – Inflatable expedition landing craft enable our naturalists to take guests to places otherwise inaccessible. To outfit the National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture, we have worked hand in hand with the team at Zodiac Milpro to deliver the first and only Mark V Zodiacs built entirely in the USA. These boats are superior, military grade construction, but customized with features like extra holds for passenger stability and topside treads to improve footing for stepping on and off. Both ships will be outfitted with 8 Mark V Zodiacs and guests will embark and disembark via custom-designed ladders to improve safety and ease of movement.
- A Clearer View – Both ships feature a dining room with floor-to-ceiling wraparound windows and a lounge with wraparound windows as well. (Not to mention the many cabins with portholes, large view windows or sliding glass doors.) That's a lot of glass. But what kind? We have painstakingly researched and tested many types of glass, ultimately selecting a premium glass with a straight tint. This will offer the clearest, most natural view possible.
- A Better Bridge –The bridges on these vessels have been uniquely designed with the guest in mind, and feature designated forward standing areas with clear views and settees set around the room's state of the art equipment to ensure a comfort for longer stays. All Lindblad Expeditions' vessels have an open invitation to the bridge, so that guests can learn about navigation and enjoy the vantage point that a ship's bridge provides.
- Environmentally Friendlier – The internal systems aboard the National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture are the best available in the market today. Advanced waste management and treatment systems exceed international standards. To lessen the need for fuel, both ships feature a streamlined hull design, added a bulbous bow and have scoured the market for the most suitable propulsion systems available. Everything from the propellers to the engines have been specifically chosen to minimize vibration and improve fuel efficiency. Working in concert, these systems will enable the vessels to use less fuel than many ships far smaller.
- The Mudroom Keeps Cabins Cleaner – Taking our cue from the globetrotting National Geographic Explorer and Orion, the new builds will be the only ships in their regions of exploration to feature a mudroom for the storage of guest expedition gear. The room and rows of lockers will enable guests to store boots, snorkeling equipment and other gear, making excursion preparation more efficient and leaving cabins cleaner and more comfortable.
- A Shared Legacy of Innovation - When we wanted to build the perfect ships to explore from Alaska to Central America, we turned to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders on Whidbey Island, Washington, the same company that built the very vessels we've used for the last 36 years. Nichols Brothers Boat Builders completed the National Geographic Sea Bird in 1981 (then known as the Majestic Alaska Explorer) and the National Geographic Sea Lion in 1982 (then known as the Great Rivers Explorer). Lindblad's work with Nichols Brothers will result in the only expedition ships of their kind built entirely in the United States–an endeavor that both companies could not be more proud of.
For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.