|Photo by Freeimages.com/Anna Tatti|
Lindblad Expeditions has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the purchase of the Via Australis to be used for Galapagos Islands cruises. The company expects to take possession of the ship in the second quarter of 2016 and following a significant renovation will deploy the ship during the third quarter of 2016.
The purchase price for the ship is $18 million and Lindblad plans to spend up to $10 million to refurbish and outfit the ship immediately after closing.
The Via Australis will be renamed bearing the National Geographic name. After refurbishment, some key features of the ship will be:
- 50 cabins: 46 double cabins and 4 single cabins. Maximum capacity of 96 guests.
- Public spaces designed for wide views and easy deck access for wildlife sightings.
- A large open top deck for gathering, dining, relaxing and stargazing.
- A spacious main lounge and a forward-viewing additional lounge with large windows and immediate access to the outer decks.
- A fleet of Zodiacs and sea kayaks. The efficient Zodiac loading platform can deploy two landing crafts at the same time.
- A fully equipped fitness room and a wellness spa.
- State-of-the-art A/V system for presentations, including National Geographic photography instruction.
- Well-appointed and improved crew quarters.