The ships will be outfitted with modern expedition technology, including a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and video microscope.
Lindblad Expedition Holdings said it signed a contract to build two new ships for delivery in 2017 and 2018.
The contract calls for Nichols Brothers Boat Builders to construct two 100-passenger coastal cruisers at its shipyard on Whidbey Island in Washington state.
The first ship is contracted at $48 million and the second at $46.8 million, Lindblad said.
The ships will be U.S. flagged. Nichols Brothers also built two of Lindblad’s current vessels, the National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird.
Of the 50 cabins, 22 will have balconies and eight can be configured into four adjoining cabins for families, Lindblad said.
Lindblad said the two ships will be outfitted with modern expedition technology, including a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), video microscope, and a hydrophone and bow cam designed for immediate bow deployment to hear and film humpback whale vocalizations and see bow-riding dolphins.