US-based Lindblad Expeditions Holdings has contracted Norwegian shipbuilder Ulstein to build its new polar expedition vessel, which will be a part of the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet.
The contract also includes an option to build two additional ships to be delivered by 2021 and 2022.
Lindblad’s new vessel will be built at the Ulstein’s Ulsteinvik site in Norway, and is due to be delivered in Q1 2020.
Lindblad president and CEO Sven Lindblad said: “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, and will set another important milestone in the company’s commitment to deliver expedition travel at its best.”
The ship will be equipped with Ulstein’s X-BOW, which is designed to provide fuel efficiency and improve guest comfort in rough seas.
It will also feature a very high ice class for travelling through polar regions and expanded fuel and water tanks for prolonged operation in remote areas.
Zero-speed stabilisers will also be installed to ensure stability when stopped for wildlife observations or disembarking.
The ship’s 69 guest cabins and suites will accommodate 12 cabins for solo travellers.
Of the cabins, 75% will have balconies, multiple observation decks, and new observation wings.
There will also be a spa and fitness area, which will feature treatment rooms, saunas, two Jacuzzis, a fitness room, a relaxation area, and a yoga room.
Various other amenities including a dining area, an outdoor barbeque, and a bistro will also be featured.