National Geographic Endurance Floats Out

National Geographic Endurance

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings celebrated the float out of National Geographic Endurance in Ulstein Verft, Norway on Saturday, December 7, 2019.

National Geographic Endurance

The first polar newbuild for the line, the 126-guest vessel is fully stabilized with the highest ice class (PC5 Category A) of any purpose-built passenger vessel, according to a press release.

The vessel is scheduled for delivery in January 2020.

Lindblad acquiring expedition ship for Galapagos cruises

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings has agreed to spend $18 million to acquire the Via Australis, an expedition ship that Lindblad will use for Galapagos Islands cruises, replacing the National Geographic Endeavour.

The company expects to take possession of the ship in the second quarter of 2016 and deploy the ship in the third quarter following a $10 million refurbishment. The ship will bear the National Geographic name.

“The Via Australis will be the ideal platform for our Galapagos expeditions far into the future. Opportunities to acquire high-quality expedition ships on attractive terms are infrequent so we seized this one,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. “The Via Australis will provide us with increased profitability on the same route through more operating days, revenue enhancement opportunities, operating efficiencies and cost savings compared to the National Geographic Endeavour. Additionally, it will require significantly lower capital expenditures for the foreseeable future.”

The Via Australis is one of two ships that currently sails for Australis, a Chile-based expedition line specializing in Patagonia cruises. According to Australis’ website, the ship was built in 2005 and can accommodate up to 136 passengers in 64 cabins.

After the refurbishment, the ship will have 50 cabins (46 doubles and four singles) for a maximum capacity of 96 guests, Lindblad Expeditions said.

Lindblad said the ship is a great fit for Galapagos cruising because it is “quiet and maneuverable, a great asset when approaching marine life.” Also, the ship offers “great viewing from all public spaces,” he said.

The ship will be equipped with Zodiacs and sea kayaks. The Zodiac platform can deploy two landing crafts at the same time, Lindblad Expeditions said.

The expedition ship will also have a fitness room and a wellness spa.

Lindblad’s National Geographic Orion to cruise Europe

The National Geographic Orion.

Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Orion vessel will spend the spring, summer and fall on a series of one-week cruises in Europe.

Itineraries include exploring Portugal, Spain, France, England, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, the Baltic republics and Scandinavia.

“A ship like National Geographic Orion depends heavily on past guests, and a vast majority of her past guests have been to the Kimberley and the South Pacific,” said Sven Lindblad, founder and president of Lindblad Expeditions. “We are committed to providing them the most compelling opportunities available on the Orion and have listened to their feedback for new destinations.”

Lindblad said the 22 voyages on the 102-guest ship will be led by a team with a a diverse scope of expertise about history, political science, art, viniculture and music of the destinations, and will include active options like hiking, biking and kayaking.