Adventurers eager to explore the hidden inner bays and coves inaccessible by larger ships in Alaska with Lindblad Expeditions are in luck – the growing line’s brand new vessel, the newly named National Geographic Quest will begin life by being sent to explore the region upon its launch in June next year.
The ship is one of two new vessels under construction for Lindblad Expeditions, the first of which will set sail on its maiden voyage – the 13-day ‘Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia’ itinerary, on 26 June 2017. In addition, National Geographic Quest will alternate onto the eight-day ‘Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness’ adventure to round-out a tri-weekly rotation.
Capacity of the new ship will be 100 passengers across 50 cabins, of which 22 will feature a balcony. Many cabins will comfortably be able to house a third passenger if required. In a new direction for the line, families will be better accommodated with eight of these able to be converted into four interconnecting cabins.
Onboard features are being designed to maximise viewing opportunities of local wildlife and the natural landscape, with quick access opportunities to the deck also being factored in whenever a message from the Captain is announced advising of a particularly special sight.
A Sun Deck encircling the ship will feature an outdoor walkway with al fresco bar and grill for guests to dine in the open air. This will be in addition to a full restaurant, lounge and bar on a lower deck.
Keeping to its nature of sharing its view of the world with fellow intrepid explorers, Lindblad Expeditions’ newest ship will house a fleet of 24 sea kayaks for guests to use to paddle around the vessel and find their own highlights. Paddle boards will also be available for use, as will a boat specially designed to motor directly onshore. Back onboard, guests will also have access to a fitness centre and wellness spa.
While at sea or cruising, guests will be able to enjoy footage captured by a Remotely Operated Vehicle connected to a number of underwater cameras. A hydrophone will help bring the sounds of the underwater world directly into the ship, while a video microscope will be able to zoom right in to capture all sorts of underwater marvels which would normally go unseen to many guests unaware of their existence.
Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia will take travellers deep into the Glacier Bay National Park, the San Juan Islands among many other places. Unlike their ocean-going counterparts, Lindblad ships generally hug the coastline as they travel, cruising through inlets and rivers rather than being forced to head out to sea.
After sailing its initial season in Alaska, National Geographic Quest will reposition down the west coast of North America in December 2017 to sail in Costa Rica, Panama and embark on a series of new voyages in Belize and Guatemala.