Rendering courtesy of AdventureSmith Explorations
Remarkably, one of next year’s new cruise ships is not a mega one carrying thousands of passengers but rather only one hundred. Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations is excited to welcome Lindblad Expeditions’ new National Geographic Quest to its offerings in Alaska come June 2017.
In fact based on popularity, the company recommends that anyone interested in a summer 2017 Alaskan cruise aboard an expedition ship like the Quest should lock it in by early December 2016. Todd Smith, founder and director of AdventureSmith Explorations said, “Last year the most popular high-season trips were sold out earlier than we had ever experienced. By January more than half of the summer departures were fully booked or had very limited availability.”
For instance, the National Geographic Quest will first embark on June 26, 2017 on a 15-day cruise from Seattle, Washington to Sitka, Alaska by way of British Columbia’s scenic coastline and the legendary Inside Passage. Once in the region, the Quest will head out on Lindblad’s 8-day Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness itinerary during the summer months, visiting the landscapes and seascapes among Sitka, Glacier Bay National Park, Juneau and Petersburg.
As for the ship itself, the National Geographic Quest will feature outside-view staterooms sized between 135 and 185 square feet, 22 of which will include balconies. Eight family-friendly cabins will be able to be linked as four connecting rooms, and some will be capable of accommodating thirds. Other public spaces will encompass a lounge and bar arranged for film and slideshow screenings and presentations, dining room, observation deck, sun deck with chairs and tables, an al fresco grill, global gallery and spa facility.
For remote exploration, the Quest will be equipped with a minimum of 24 kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling equipment and obligatory zodiacs. The ship will also come equipped with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), video microscope, a hydrophone and bow-cam, all to more minutely witness the likes of humpback whales and dolphins in their natural habitats. In true National Geographic fashion, there will also be cameras available onboard, and a photo instructor, video chronicler, undersea specialist and wellness specialist will accompany every cruise.
Beyond its first season in Alaska, the National Geographic Quest will remain on in the Pacific Northwest between Seattle and Vancouver, calling on the San Juan Islands, Victoria, Alert Bay and some of British Columbia’s more remote channels and fjords. Then in December 2017, the ship will deploy to the warmer waters of Costa Rica and Panama before heading to Belize and Guatemala by February 2018.