National Geographic Quest is a new expedition vessel being built for the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Alliance. Formed in 2004, the alliance aims to provide guests with the opportunity to explore some of the most remote and exciting locations across the world while providing all the latest tools for exploration.
The new ship is the first of two vessels announced by the alliance and is scheduled for delivery in June 2017, while the second ship is scheduled for delivery in 2018.
Both ships are being built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders under a $94.6m contract awarded in December 2015. National Geographic Quest is contracted at $48m, while the second ship is contracted at $46.8m.
National Geographic Quest will initially sail in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
National Geographic Quest is designed with a shallow draft enabling it to explore places where larger ships cannot reach, such as shallow waters and fast-moving streams. It features a twin expedition craft landing platform, which enables guests to quickly get on and off the vessel to explore the surrounding places.
It also includes a unique bow observation area that can accommodate all the guests onboard to enjoy wildlife sightings.
The new exploration ship has four decks namely main, upper, lounge and observation. All decks are connected by a common elevator.
Five categories of cabins are provided on the main, upper and observations decks. The main deck includes six category 1 cabins and eight category 2 cabins, a treatment room and a mud room. The upper deck includes six category 3 cabins and 22 category 4 cabins.
Dining facilities, lounge area, viewing platform, a gym and a spa are part of the lounge deck. The observation deck features eight category 5 suites and a sundeck.
Cabins aboard the ship range from 136ft² to 185ft² in size. Category 1 and 2 cabins include two single beds, a writing desk, and two portholes, while Category 3 cabins are equipped with two single beds, a writing desk, and a viewing window.
Category 4 cabins are also equipped with two single beds and a writing desk along with a sliding glass door and a private balcony. Category 5 suites feature two single beds, a writing desk, a convertible sofa, a large bathroom and bigger viewing windows.
All cabins are equipped with individual climate controls, Wi-Fi access, USB outlets and luggage storage. All bathrooms are stocked with hair dryers, shampoo, soaps and shower gel.
Fresh and locally sourced food will be served in the dining room of the ship, which can accommodate all the guests at once. Light snacks are served on the observation deck depending upon the weather. The ship’s bar will serve a variety of wines, cocktails, specialty drinks, and spirits.
Lounge facilities onboard include public spaces on the observation deck for guests to gather for drinks and explore wildlife sightings. The sun deck will feature tables and chairs, and lounge chairs for guests to relax.
The lounge area on the lounge deck is where cocktail hour, presentations and discussions can be held. The wrap-around windows of the lounge provide views of the surroundings. The lounge will also be equipped with a number of high-definition screens for presentations and videos. Guests can also access the reference library or play board games in the lounge.
A global gallery is part of the lounge deck where guests can find a collection of items made by local artisans, for purchase.
The ship’s spa, named LEXspa, will offer a range of wellness treatments, including massages, body treatments, facials and, hand and foot treatments.
The fitness centre located on the lounge deck will be equipped with treadmills, exercise bikes, elliptical machines and hand weights.
National Geographic Quest offers guests a range of facilities for exploration. The ship’s expedition craft include eight small boats and two landing stations from where guests can quickly get on and off the ship to explore the surroundings.
A large fleet of 24 two-person kayaks will enable guests to explore surrounding locations on their own. A remotely operated vehicle, capable of reaching 1,000ft-deep, will enable guests to view parts of the undersea.
The vessel will also be equipped an underwater camera, video microscope and hydrophone to view and listen to the underwater marine environment. Snorkeling gear and wetsuits will also be available for guests.
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