|Photo by Michael S. Nolan/Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic|
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has released an in-depth preview of its 2017 cruise season.
New Cruise Ships National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Endeavour ll
On June 26, 2017 Lindblad Expeditions will be launching its first ever new build, National Geographic Quest, currently being built in Seattle. The 100-guest coastal ship will have public spaces designed for maximum viewing with easy, quick access to decks for wildlife sightings. An outdoor walkway around the entire sun deck will have an al fresco bar and grill, in addition to the restaurant and a lounge with bar and facilities for presentations. The ship will have 50 cabins, 22 with balconies, 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 -- 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, 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 ship’s inaugural voyage will be on the June 26, 2017, departure of “Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia.” This 13-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. Rates begin at $9,390 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
In the Galapagos, the newly renovated Via Australis, renamed the National Geographic Endeavour ll, will make its debut in January 2017. The newest addition to the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet, the ship will accommodate 96 guests in 52 outside cabins. Designed to be family-friendly, Endeavour ll will have seven sets of cabins with a connecting door, and six triples, with nine solo cabins for singles.
The cabins, forward lounge and bar, restaurant, large library with Mac kiosks, open-air observation deck, underwater gear area and dual Zodiac boarding platform have all been redesigned. The ship is designed to be nimble and maneuverable, with great viewing from all public spaces, large windows in cabins and suites, state-of-the-art tools for exploration, and a fast, seamless twin Zodiac loading platform.
Expedition equipment includes nine Zodiacs, including one with a glass bottom, kayaks and paddle boards, snorkel gear and wet suits for both adults and children, video microscope and underwater video camera. The ship will also have a new LEXSpa and fitness center, exercise classes and wellness specialist.
Cuba by Land and Sea: Cultural Heritage and Natural Wonders: An 11-day people-to-people program aboard the 44-guest Panorama ll that combines exchanges with Cubans today with exploring Cuba’s natural history and marine habitats. The program begins with a three-night stay at the historic Hotel Nacional before embarking on a seven-night cruise along Cuba’s southern coast. Guests will explore the Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen) Marine Park; visit the Bay of Pigs; explore colonial Trinidad and Cienfuegos; and experience the country’s music and cuisine.
The visits to the Jardines de la Reina and the Bay of Pigs are pending permission from Cuban officials and subject to change. The first program departs December 7, 2016, with 16 consecutive departures through March 2017. Rates begin at $9,550 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Wild Alaska Escape: Six days aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird. The most active adventure offered by Lindblad, this expedition was designed for those with limited time. On this itinerary 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 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. Additionally, guests can head out in expedition landing craft to zip around sculpted icebergs, or to land on remote beaches for hikes in dense and dramatic 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 aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird 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 Misty 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 National Geographic photographers and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors. Rates begin at $8,990 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin. Four departures beginning June 16 through August 5, 2017.
Exploring British Columbia & The San Juan Islands: Eight days aboard the new 100-guest National Geographic Quest. Guests will explore places like the Strait of Georgia’s archipelago, the San Juan Islands and the channels of British Columbia. Travelers will also have a chance to enjoy cuisine that mirrors the region, and discover charming towns and First Nations heritage sites. This one-way voyage between Seattle and Vancouver allows time to strike deep into Alert Bay. Rates begin at $4,990. Four departures on September 14, 21, 28; October 5, 2017.
England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales: A Circumnavigation: 19 days aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer. This circumnavigation will visit the seldom-seen islands of the west, as well as Edinburgh, Portsmouth and Lindisfarne, and Iona and Staffa. Travelers will have the chance to walk through Stone Age village ruins, examine the history of WWII up close, Zodiac cruise beneath the towering Cliffs of Moher, and hoist a pint or two with locals in pubs throughout the land. Departs April 29, 2017. Rates begin at $18,380 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Circumnavigating the Baltic Sea: 14 days aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion exploring eight countries united by the Baltic Sea. Stops include the medieval walled city of Visby and St. Petersburg (two days). Travelers will dine on local specialties and enjoy private musical performances, or have a deck party in the tranquil Swedish Archipelago. The itinerary will sail routes of the old Hanseatic League, in the paths of early traders and nobles. Departs May 21 and June 3, 2017. Rates begin at $14,840 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Hot Springs and Icebergs: Iceland to West Greenland: Nine days aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer. Over nine days guests will soak in the heat of Iceland’s thermal baths, choose to take a cooking class or try horseback riding on an Icelandic horse, and explore the cool urban capital of Reykjavík. There will also be a chance to see Greenland’s ice cap that covers 80 percent of the country by air, then sail along its ice edge with glaciers that can stretch over 100 miles and calve some of the largest icebergs on Earth, as well as to venture into Greenland’s long fjords choked with massive bergs and call at small communities to meet the locals. There could also be a chance to see the Northern Lights. Departs August 22 & August 26, 2017. Rates begin at $6,990 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Nordic Passages: Shetlands, Orkney, Faroes, and Iceland: 14 days aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion. On Scotland’s outlying isles travelers will discover a 5,000-year-old village and see the standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar. In the west, the ship will sail on a near circumnavigation of Iceland. Departs June 22 and August 13, 2017. Rates begin at $13,690 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Iceland's Wild West Coast to East Greenland: 10 days aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion. This voyage sails the route of early Viking explorers home to the Arctic’s iconic creatures: polar bears, whales, and vast seabird colonies. Travelers will explore Iceland’s Westfjord region: hike through valleys awash in wild orchids, wild thyme, and woolly willow; and make their way over layers of basalt visibly cracked and carved in the last ice age. Ice permitting, the ship will venture into the largest fjord system in the world to cruise among magnificent icebergs and visit local communities. Departs August 5, 2017. Rates begin at $9,130 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Photo Expeditions on the Upper Amazon: 10 days aboard the 28-guest Delphin ll. This itinerary travels to the headwaters of the Amazon in the heart of Peru’s rainforest on a photo expedition with National Geographic photographer Jonathan Irish and Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors. Jonathan launched and directed the National Geographic Adventures program, and specializes in documenting adventure lifestyles, landscapes, and cultures abroad. He has photographed on all seven continents. Departs March 18 and March 25, 2017. Rates begin at $6,690 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
Finally, new for 2018, Belize to Tikal: Reefs, Rivers and Ruins of the Maya World will spend 8 days aboard the 100-guest National Geographic Quest. on a land-and-sea expedition to discover Mayan ruins and seldom-seen reefs. Travelers will have the chance to snorkel among some of the 65 species of stony coral and 500 species of fish on the Belize Barrier Reef, and then venture to the ancient Maya ruins of Tikal to explore the stories and archaeological sites of these stone temples swathed in rain forest and teeming with wildlife. Departures February 8 through March 10, 2018. Rates begin at $5,490 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.