Lindblad Expeditions CEO Sven Lindblad said the company's
new polar ship will do several unprecedented itineraries when it enters service
First up for the National Geographic Endurance will be a
cruise to Svalbard in the spring. The ship will be built to PC-5 ice class
standards, meaning it can cruise in polar waters with first-year ice throughout
the year, not just in the late summer and fall months.
In the summer, the 126-passenger ship will take on the
Northeast Passage from Norway across the top of Russia to Alaska, a route only
a few non-Russian vessels have ventured.
The Endurance will also go to northeast Greenland, site of
what Lindblad said is the world's largest national park. He said it is
typically ice-bound for all but a small window in September.
Guests will be able to spot walruses and other Arctic wildlife on a Lindblad Expeditions polar cruise.
"We will take you where others couldn't go,"
Lindblad said in a videoconference to unveil details of the Endurance.
The ship will have a range of 15,000 nautical miles, meaning
it can do cruises of up to 30 days without refueling. Each cabin will have a "command
center" equipped with a HDTV screen, a set of weather and time
instruments, an iPad, a desk and a National Geographic World Atlas.
There will be 40 balcony suites and 12 solo cabins.
Public rooms include the 270 Room, designed for panoramic
views, two saunas with different temperatures, a yoga room with
floor-to-ceiling windows and Sea Green's, a bistro with a chef's table.
The Endurance borrows its name from the sailing ship
commanded by Ernest Shackleton that was frozen in the ice in Antarctica in
1914, leading to an epic escape.
Lindblad said one of the menus in the bistro will take its
inspiration from food eaten by Shackleton and his crew and the venue will be
named for Shackleton's cook, Charlie Green.