Cruise & Ferry Interiors 2022

8 7 Lindblad Expeditions’ Bruce Tschampel tells Alex Smith how the newly acquired National Geographic Islander II will offer guests a taste of the private yacht experience with year-round sailing in the Galapagos Islands When Lindblad Expeditions decided to invest in bringing the former Crystal Cruises expedition yacht Crystal Esprit into its National Geographic fleet, it was already impressed with the comfortable and luxurious design of the ship. The 280-foot-long vessel, now renamed National Geographic Islander II, was originally designed by UK-based firm AD Associates, and Lindblad chose to bring back the company to update the vessel for year-round sailing around the Galapagos Islands. “We decided to hire AD Associates to keep all our updates in line with the current style, which we liked so much about the vessel originally,” says Bruce Tschampel, vice president of operational and strategic services at Lindblad Expeditions. “Once the designs were made and agreed, we bid this out to four outfitters, and settled on using two, HF Interiors and Norisol, for the various projects. When the vessel got to Ecuador, we engaged some of our local contractors to put finishing touches to the vessel, including local textiles and artisans.” Lindblad aimed to create an exclusive, luxurious experience for guests onboard the renovated ship, which will have capacity for just 48 guests in all-suite accommodation. “This expedition ship has the spirit and soul of a private yacht,” says Tschampel. “There are so many features that I believe will make a big impression, as the ship has a high level of comfort and many outdoor locations to help guests enjoy the region. The outdoor spaces onboard will thrill our guests and be a real highlight, and our greater than 1:1 crew to guest ratio will help to deliver a very highquality experience.” Changes were aimed at adapting the ship to the varied guest experiences that Lindblad offers in the Galapagos. The main lounge, which could previously only accommodate up to 40 people, is to be updated with a new REV ITAL I SATION Exclusive expeditions The aft Patio Café onboard National Geographic Islander II has been converted into a more expansive open-air restaurant