|Photo by Sven Olof-Lindblad|
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has named its newest addition to the fleet, National Geographic Quest, which is currently being built in Seattle and will make its inaugural voyage on June 26, 2017.
National Geographic Quest will have 50 cabins, 22 with balconies, and eight that can be configured into four adjoining cabins for families. 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. Other expedition technology will include a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), video microscope, and a hydrophone and bow-cam designed for immediate bow deployment to hear and film, for instance, humpback whale vocalizations and see bow-riding dolphins.
The new ship’s first voyage will be the 13-day “Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia.” This expedition will give the ship a day in the San Juan Islands and a day in the Gulf Islands before heading north through British Columbia and Alaska. Rates begin at $9,390 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
The National Geographic Quest will then operate the “Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness” voyage on a Saturday to Saturday schedule July 8 through August 26, 2017. Rates begin at $6,590 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin. The ship will then finish off the Alaska season with a “Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska and British Columbia” departure on September 2, 2017.
Following the Alaska season, the ship will remain in the Pacific Northwest for a series of new voyages between Seattle and Vancouver, with stops in the San Juan Islands, Victoria, Alert Bay, and more far reaching stops in British Columbia’s channels and fjords. Beginning in December 2017, National Geographic Quest will reposition and operate voyages in Costa Rica and Panama before kicking off a series of new voyages in Belize and Guatemala starting in February, 2018.
With the addition of the ship to the fleet, Lindblad has created a series of new programming opportunities for its ship, the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird.
“Wild Alaska Escape”: This six-day adventure in Alaska was designed for those with limited time. On this expedition guests will explore the region’s wildlife and landscapes, and call at the Chilkat Tlingit village of Klukwan. In Haines activities include a three hour bicycling trip around a glacial lake; half day hikes up a few of the region’s most dramatic mountains or, for the most fit, a trek up Mt. Riley. Others may choose to float down the Chilkat River, through an area rich with native tradition as well as the largest congregation of bald eagles in the world. In the more remote stretches of the voyage, travelers will enjoy guided, point-to-point kayak trips with the ship as a moving basecamp. Or, guests can head out in expedition landing craft to zip around sculpted icebergs, or to land on remote beaches for hikes in Tongass National Forest. Rates begin at $4,290 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin, with 12 departures beginning May 27 through August 30, 2017.
“Big Picture Alaska”: An 11-day expedition spanning the full north-south expanse of Alaska’s Inside Passage, with a special focus on photography. The photo expedition takes Lindblad’s week-long expedition and expands it, adding in the Mistry Fiords at the lowest reaches of Alaska’s Inside Passage and Haines in the northernmost corner. Guests will raft though the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve; explore Glacier Bay National Park; search for humpback whales with time in Clarence Strait, a popular feeding area; kayak amid glacial ice; hike the Tongass National Forest; and learn about the region’s rich Tlingit heritage – while shooting with the expertise of an expedition photography team of Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors and National Geographic photographers. Rates begin at $8,990 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin, with four departures beginning June 16 through August 5, 2017.