Two new brand new coastal exploration vessels catering to 100 passengers each will be added to the Lindblad Expeditions fleet in the coming few years, the company announced, to be ready to set sail in early 2017 and 2018. The total value of the order is just short of US$100 million dollars.
To be built by the Washington-based Nichols Brothers, the pair of new ships will each offer 50 cabins, 22 of which with balconies. Eight cabin pairs will offer the ability to be interconnected for families keen to travel together. The same company was responsible for the construction of two ships already in service for Lindblad – the National Geographic Sea Bird and the National Geographic Sea Lion.
Public facilities will include an outdoor walkway encircling the ship’s sun deck and offering an al fresco bar and grill. All indoor areas have been specifically designed to offer quick access to the deck in the event of a major sighting relayed from the ships’ bridge.
“These new ships mark an exciting step in the long-term growth of the company, and enables us to capitalize on the substantial demand for our expeditions,” said company President and CEO Sven Lindblad.
Other facilities will include a restaurant, lounge bar with room for presentations, fitness centre and wellness spa.
A fleet of sea kayaks will be carried onboard both ships, along with paddle boards and landing craft such as zodiacs to ensure guests have the opportunity to land on remote islands and explore deserted bays and inlets during their voyage. Additional equipment will include warm and cold water diving gear, video microscope and remotely-operated vehicle with hydrophone to allow guests to hear humpback whale calls among other sounds of the sea.