Cruise News – Nov. 8, 2017
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. has announced that it has signed an agreement with Norwegian shipbuilder and ship designer Ulstein to build a new expedition ship scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2020, with an option for two additional ships to be delivered in subsequent years.
The state-of-the-art polar vessel has been designed as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on safety and comfort, as well as innovative sustainability solutions to reduce its environmental impact. For example, a core feature is Ulstein’s signature X-BOW®, a distinctive bow that provides fuel efficiency while significantly improving comfort in rough seas; and a very high ice class for access deep into polar regions. The ship’s expanded fuel and water tanks provide for extended operations in remote areas; while the zero-speed stabilizers will ensure stability underway, whether at zero speed when stopped for wildlife observation, or embarking/disembarking the ship.
“The launch of this ship will mark the 50th anniversary year of the first-ever purpose-built expedition ship, Lindblad Explorer, which was built by my father, Lars-Eric Lindblad,” said Sven Lindblad, president and CEO of Lindblad. “It will set another important milestone in the company’s commitment to deliver expedition travel at its best.”
In keeping with the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic ethos to connect guests with the environment being explored, the ship will be designed to access the outside environment from anywhere on the ship. With 75 percent of the cabins featuring balconies for private viewing; multiple observation decks inside and outside; and new “observation wings,” the surrounding environs will always be accessible. Off-ship exploring will be greatly enhanced as well with an innovative Zodiac loading system that will ensure quick access to every destination. The ship’s expedition tools for exploration will include kayaks, cross-country skis, a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), hydrophones, a video microscope, underwater video cameras, a helicopter landing platform, and more to be announced in the coming months.
Other ship details include 69 spacious guest cabins and suites, including 12 cabins for solo travelers; a spa and fitness area that includes treatment rooms, saunas, a fitness room, a relaxation area, and yoga room; two infinity Jacuzzis; and dining offerings that include a main restaurant with outstanding views and an outdoor barbeque and bistro area.
Photo: Lindblad Expeditions