Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic reports that it is in the “home stretch” of construction for its newest expedition ship, the National Geographic Quest. The new ship is scheduled to launch June 26, and to drum up excitement the cruise line has launched a countdown on its blog with behind-the-scenes footage from the shipyard, time-lapse videos of the construction process, interviews with the team behind the ship, and more.
Billed as the first expedition ship build entirely in the United States, the 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. 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.
A sibling ship, the National Geographic Venture, will join the fleet in June 2018.