National Geographic Endurance is a new polar expedition cruise ship being built for Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic.

The ice-class ship can navigate polar passages throughout the year, explore unchartered waters and offer a comfortable cruising experience for its passengers.

The vessel is being constructed by Ulstein Group at its CRIST shipyard in Gdynia, Poland. It is expected to be the world’s most sophisticated expedition vessel when it becomes operational in 2020.

An agreement was signed by Lindblad Expeditions and Ulstein for the construction of a new expedition vessel in November 2017.

First steel was cut for the ship in January 2018 and a ceremony for the keel-laying of the vessel was held in March 2018. Delivery is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.

National Geographic Endurance design and feature

The vessel will comply with the highest ice-class PC5 Category A and will be equipped with zero-speed stabilisers for improved passenger experience. It will feature luxurious interiors with fire and ice themes across the ship.

Ulstein’s signature X-BOW will be the ship’s core feature, offering fuel efficiency and improved comfort when sailing through rough seas. It will also reduce noise and vibrations on board the vessel.

The vessel will have dry decks to ensure passenger safety, as the X-BOW lines split the wave energy without spraying water on the decks. It will also enhance the experience of observing wildlife by providing optimal forward and straight down-the-side views.

Deck plan of the expedition vessel

National Geographic Endurance will have a total of six passenger decks and more than 10,000ft² of glass windows and doors to create optimal viewing and photography conditions.

The expedition deck of the vessel will have zodiac boarding, staff office, zodiac / kayak storage, and a mudroom. The main deck will have a restaurant, galley, and reception, while the doctor’s office will be on the fore deck.

The bridge deck will feature a gym, accommodation units, and a bridge platform. The lounge deck will house a bow observation deck and a lounge area.

The observation deck will be the uppermost deck featuring a bistro, bar, treatment room, sauna, and twin infinity whirlpool baths.

Accommodation details

National Geographic Endurance will be able to accommodate 126 guests in its 69 outside-facing cabins and suites. The cabins will be categorised into 13 extra-large balcony suites and 56 standard cabins, including 12 solo cabins with a small balcony.

“It will sail on a 17-day journey to Iceland, East Greenland and Norway, followed by a 17-day voyage across Norway, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland.”

Each solo cabin will be 40ft², while the biggest stateroom on board, Category 7 suite, will measure 430ft².

All cabins will be equipped with a seating area, barometer, a digital tablet, and a light-up vanity mirror. Bathrooms will be furnished with cosmetic products and a hairdryer.

Dining and entertainment facilities

The expedition vessel will feature a range of restaurants, including Two Seven Zero and C Green’s, offering early breakfast, fresh salads, and customised grilled selections for lunch and dinner.

Passengers can enjoy private dining at The Chef’s Table, while the ship will also offer daily high tea, hors d’oeuvres at Recap, and outdoor barbecues.

National Geographic Endurance will also offer a wide range of entertainment facilities, including a fleet of zodiacs, kayaks, snowshoes, cross-country skis, a remotely-operated vehicle, as well as an underwater video camera and hydrophone for observing the polar marine world.

It will feature aerial remote-controlled camera and video microscope, televisions and Wi-Fi connection. Snorkeling gear and wetsuits will also be available for guests.

Passengers will have access to a full-time doctor, an undersea specialist, National Geographic photographer, certified photo instructor, and a video chronicler.

National Geographic Endurance itineraries

The polar expedition vessel will embark on a series of inaugural Arctic itineraries in 2020. It will sail on a 17-day journey to Iceland, East Greenland and Norway, followed by another 17-day voyage across the coastal wonders of Norway, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland.

The ship will also sail on a short nine-day voyage covering the Norwegian Fjords and Scottish Isles.