Lindblad Expeditions canceled the inaugural voyage of the
National Geographic Quest, saying the ship has a technical problem that will
require more time to fix.
The Quest is being built at the Nichols Brothers shipyard in
Freeland, Wash. In a statement, Lindblad said the ship had issues as it was
being launched into the water.
"During our launch, the shipyard team encountered
circumstances in which the vessel began moving out of alignment, forcing the
operation to halt," Lindblad said. "The ship remains poised to
launch, but the nature of tide cycles, and the need to realign her entry in the
water, caused delays that will affect the yard's ability to deliver the vessel
to us in a timely manner."
The Quest was to have departed Seattle on June 26 for a
cruise to British Columbia and Alaska.
Guests were cautioned late last month that the schedule
could slip. They can receive a refund and a $2,000 credit towards a future
cruise. They can also switch to several upcoming cruises on different ships at
a 50% discount.
Also, they can rebook for the same itinerary in the fall or
on any other Lindblad itinerary in 2017 or 2018, and Lindblad will provide a
50% reduction of the cost and will refund guests the difference between what
they have paid and whatever the amount is for the new plan.
Lindblad said it expects the next departure of National
Geographic Quest on July 8 to proceed as scheduled.