New Lindblad Expeditions ship aims to enhance explorations by giving guests kayaks, skis and more (Image: Ulstein Group)
Norwegian shipbuilder and designer Ulstein Verft has signed an agreement to build Lindblad Expeditions’ fourth polar vessel, which will be delivered in late 2021.
Like sister ship National Geographic Endurance, the new vessel will be fully stabilised with the highest ice class (Polar Class 5 Category A) of any purpose-built passenger vessel, and will feature Ulstein’s signature X-BOW, for a smooth and comfortable voyage whatever the weather. The unique design provides greater fuel efficiency and fewer emissions for a reduced impact on the environment.
“We are extremely excited to announce this next phase in our growth strategy,” said Sven Lindblad, president and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. “National Geographic Endurance, and the unique itineraries that it is able to facilitate given its superlative capabilities, has been met with considerable excitement from both our existing guest community and those new to Lindblad-National Geographic, and we are confident that its sister ship will garner the same level of enthusiasm in the market.”
These two ships will represent a whole new level of capability in expedition cruising, in terms of the level of comfort they provide, the regions and itineraries they are able to travel to, and their ability to act as platforms for science in some of the most remote and pristine parts of the world.
The new vessel will accommodate 126 passengers in 69 cabins and suites, 75% of which will feature balconies. Multiple observation decks and ‘observation wings’ will also be available for passengers to view their surroundings. The Zodiac loading system aims to enhance off-ship exploring by ensuring passengers get ashore quickly and safely. The ship will also provide expedition tools such as kayaks, cross-country skis, remotely operated vehicle, hydrophones, a video microscope, underwater video cameras and more.
“We are very pleased that Lindblad, a global leader within expedition cruises, again has chosen Ulstein as designer and builder of their new expedition cruise vessel,” said Gunvor Ulstein, CEO at Ulstein Group. “We see this as a sign of confidence in all our employees. We have learned to know Lindblad as a highly competent and experienced customer and we look forward to continuing our good and constructive cooperation.”
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