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National Geographic Endurance leaves building dock

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, a global player in expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, celebrated the float out of National Geographic Endurance in Ulstein Verft, Norway, on December 7.

The National Geographic Endurance is the first of two polar vessels of the CX104 design from Ulstein. The hull was built in Poland by CRIST Wodowa Ship Yard and towed to Norway for final completion including mechanical installations and interior layouts.

The 124m long ship will comfortably accommodate 126 guests in 69 outside-facing cabins. Most cabins will feature small balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that bring in the spectacular views and ample natural light.

The vessel’s patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides a smooth ride in adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. Ulstein claim the ship will be more fuel efficient because of their patented design. As no details have been given on the ship’s propulsion system, it is safe to assume it is conventional(low sulphur )diesel.

Named in honour of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s favourite ship, the Endurance is designed to navigate polar passages year-round while providing exceptional comfort. With a fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code Category A hull, the luxurious ship is designed to safely explore unchartered waters and new latitudes, including Northeast Greenland, remote Jan Mayen Island, the Northeast Passage, and more.The ship’s expanded fuel and water tanks provide for extended operations in remote areas. ?

The interior was conceived by Partnership Design in Hamburg. With a total of six guest decks and over 10,000 square feet of glass, the ship will afford gracious comfort and an unparalleled level of service, with the highest comfort class for guests to ensure a quiet and peaceful Scandinavian environment onboard.

But it won’t be cheap. The Northeast Passage cruise, to be offered in July and August of 2020, is a 26-day odyssey with rates ranging from $45,775 to $181,200, according to the Lindblad Expeditions website.

The 112-crew vessel will undergo finalizing work and sea trials prior to her delivery in 2020. Images: Ulstein

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