Lindblad’s First Polar New Build.
By Anne Kalosh.
Scandinavian-style interiors, vast expanses of glass, plenty of perches for wildlife-viewing and a bundle of exploration tools characterize Lindblad Expeditions‘ first polar-class new build, National Geographic Endurance.
The ship is scheduled to enter service in early 2020 with eight Arctic itineraries, including a rare and adventurous Northeast Passage trek.
With a high ice class rating (PC5 Category A), National Geographic Endurance will be able to explore remote polar areas and has the capacity for long-range itineraries. It sports the novel X-BOW (pronounced “crossbow”) design, with an inverted bow that cuts through the waves more efficiently and provides a smoother ride in rough seas.
The X-BOW also significantly increases the ability to observe wildlife by enabling optimal forward and straight down-the-sides viewing — no leaning out over the deck rail required. There will be multiple walk-out areas from the bridge and Observation Lounge and glass rails on the top deck to create superb conditions for viewing and photography.
The ship will carry Lindblad’s signature exploration tools: a fleet of Zodiacs, kayaks, snowshoes, cross-country skis, an ROV, hydrophones, video microscope and underwater video technology. Hyper-efficient Zodiac loading will ensure passengers are able to “get out there” more swiftly and safely.
Carrying just 126 passengers, National Geographic Endurance will have mostly balcony staterooms. Thirteen extra-large balcony suites — each named for a famous polar explorer — will be done up in warm creams, oatmeal and coral, with soft textures, round corners, art and Lindblad’s signature feather duvets, plus a walk-in closet and roomy, stone-clad baths.
Of the 56 standard cabins, 40 have a balcony, including the 12 rooms for solo travelers.
All accommodations come with the new “Command Center,” a desk with National Geographic Atlas, barometer, analog clock, digital tablet with daily programming and an array of USB and universal electrical ports for cameras and devices, plus a retractable lighted vanity mirror.
The interior design plays on fire and ice themes, reflected in the color schemes and ambience of the spaces. The Ice Lounge will have a “chill” cool, while the Observation Deck’s The Den will provide the cozy, conversation-kindling warmth of a (faux) fireplace.
Restaurant Two Seven Zeroº surrounds superb dining with stellar views. C. Green’s, named for explorer Ernest Shackleton’s cook, offers an early riser breakfast, fresh salads and lighter fare, plus custom-grilled selections at lunch and dinner. Over the course of each voyage, every passenger will be hosted at an intimate Chef’s Table dinner. Daily tea, hors d’oeuvres at expedition recap sessions and barbecues in the heated outdoor Winter Garden round out the new level of dining for Lindblad Expeditions.
Spa treatments and therapies will be offered in The Sanctuary, with its stunning twin infinity Jacuzzis, saunas with million-dollar views and a glass-walled yoga studio.
National Geographic Endurance will venture to Svalbard in spring 2020, before sailing a Northeast Passage voyage from Norway to Alaska. This High Arctic route includes Franz Josef Land; Severnaya Zemlya, an archipelago with massive glaciers; the barely explored Siberian coast; and Wrangel Island, famous for polar bears, walruses and great flocks of migratory birds.
East Greenland, flanked by thousands of bergs calved from the massive ice sheet, is where National Geographic Endurance will enter the largest national park in the world, Northeast Greenland National Park. Highlights there include crevasse-laced glaciers, mountains, coastal villages, polar bears, seals and walruses.
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