The new vessel will be built in Ulsteinvik, Norway and is scheduled for delivery in 2020 (Image: Ulstein Verft)
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings has signed an agreement with Norwegian shipbuilder and designer Ulstein to build an expedition ship.
The polar vessel has been designed with a focus on safety and comfort, and incorporates sustainability solutions to reduce its environmental impact. A core feature is Ulstein’s X-Bow, which provides fuel efficiency and improved guest comfort in rough seas, and a very high ice class for deep access into polar regions. The ship’s expanded fuel and water tanks allow extended operations in remote areas, while the zero-speed stabilisers will ensure stability underway.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with Ulstein and their brilliant team of engineers and designers on this state-of-the-art vessel as we continue expansion of our fleet,” said Sven Lindblad, president and CEO of Lindblad. “It is the next step in the long-term growth of the company, and will be the most extraordinary global expedition ship in the world on a multitude of levels.”
The design of the ship allows guests to view the outside environment from anywhere on the ship. With 75% of the cabins featuring balconies for private viewing and multiple observation decks inside and out, the surrounding views will always be available.
The 69 cabins and suites will include 12 cabins for solo travellers. The spa and fitness area will include treatment rooms, saunas, a fitness room, a relaxation area and yoga room; and there will be two infinity Jacuzzis. Dining options include a main restaurant with views of the surroundings, and an outdoor barbeque and bistro area.
A Zodiac loading system will allow everyone to get ashore quickly and safely. The ship’s collection of expedition tools for exploration will include kayaks, cross-country skis, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), hydrophones, a video microscope, underwater video cameras and a helicopter landing platform.
"Our expedition cruises, operated through our alliance with Lindblad Expeditions, have delivered remarkable experiences to our guests for the past 13 years," said Nancy Schumacher, head of travel and tour operations for National Geographic. "The expansion of the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet is truly terrific news, as it allows us to offer these unforgettable trips to even more travellers in the future. We look forward to joining our partner Lindblad Expeditions in celebrating the launch of the latest addition to the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet."
“We are pleased to have been chosen as a partner for this exciting project, said Gunvor Ulstein, CEO of Ulstein Group. “Lindblad is an innovative company and a frontrunner in the exploration cruise industry. We look forward to turning this project into reality together with Lindblad and their partners.”
The new vessel will be built in Ulsteinvik, Norway and is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2020.