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NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC
EXPLORER
PHOTO TOUR
AND
COMMENTARY
BEYONDSHIPS HOME

CRUISE SHIP CENTRAL

CRUISE SHIP PROFILES

CRUISE LINKS

NG EXPLORER PROFILE
Lindblad
Expeditions
NATIONAL
GEOGRAPHIC
Overview............................................................Page One

Outdoor Facilities...............................................
Page Two

Lounges...............................................................Page Three

Other Public Area...............................................Page Four

Dining..................................................................Page Five

Accommodations ................................................Page Six
Outdoor Facilities is next.

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THE BRIDGE

The bridge reflects the fact that the ship's itineraries are designed to
take her to out of the way places.  Captain Leif Skog points out: "In
the Arctic and Antarctic, we often go into quite uncharted waters.  
We have equipment here to deal with it.  We have sonar, radar, ice
radar, and an electronic chart system."

"And she is an extremely maneuverable ship. When she was
operating for Hurtigruten, she had 11 day cruise and they had 60
port calls.  Some of them were only 20 minutes.  So they had to
maneuver a lot.  She is designed to be extremely maneuverable.  
And quiet because there were a lot of people sleeping.  She is quiet,
no vibration"

National Geographic Explorer maintains an open bridge policy that
allows passengers to visit the bridge during the voyage.

Above right:  The central control panel.  Above left:  A radar display.
Left:  The chart table with an electronic chart on the computer display screen in the
center.  Lower left:  The ship's wheel.  Below:  The bridge wing controls used when the
officer who is steering needs a view of the side of the ship (e.g. When docking or
leaving a pier)..
Above:  Sven-Olof Lindblad, President of
Linblad Expeditions.

Left:  The reception desk.
Artwork on the ship is mostly nature photographs,
reflecting both the purpose of the ship.
OVERVIEW

National Geographic Explorer is a small but very comfortable expedition ship that specializes
in voyages to the polar regions.  It also does voyages to the less-traveled areas of places like
the British Isles, Eastern Canada, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Africa and the Indian Ocean.

For most of its life, this ship did cruises up and down the Norwegian coast for Hurtigruten.  
In that incarnation, she carried approximately 300 passengers and 40 automobiles.  In 2008,
however, the ship was transformed into a 148-passenger luxury expedition ship.  "What we
did was take our entire history of exploration and [input from] our field staff and people
from every possible department in the organization [to determine] what an ideal ship
[should] to be," explains Sven Lindblad, President of Lindblad Expeditions.

The interior of the ship was essentially gutted and in place of the coastal ferry
accommodations, large, well-appointed staterooms and suites were constructed.  To
complement them a sophisticated fitness center, spa, library, Internet center, lounges,
restaurants and bars were added.  

Stabilizers were added to make the ride more comfortable.  And since the ship's itineraries
were to include the polar regions, a steel-reinforced ice belt was constructed around the hull,
making NG Explorer an Ice Class IA Expedition ship.  "I reckon personally that this is the
finest expedition ship afloat at the moment from the perspective of her strength, what she
can do, her comfort, her ability to interact in a positive and effective manner with our
guests," says Mr. Lindblad.

The focus of this ship, however, is not on creature comforts but on education about the
natural world.  The line seeks to share with its guests its enthusiasm about the environment
and the pristine remote places that the ship visits.  To this end, the ship's staff includes
naturalists, historians, underwater specialists and other scientists who interact with the
passengers.  The ship has been wired so that guests can see video on high definition
televisions of the places that the ship is visiting as well as pictures from under the sea.  It has
also been modified so as to facilitate getting on and off the ship to go ashore and experience
these undeveloped places.

In addition, there is scientific work being done.  Visiting scientists use the Lindblad vessels as
platforms for doing research from time to time.  In addition, the line films the areas it visits.  
"The films that Lindblad has been accumulating over the years - - repeatedly in some places
like Baja and Galapagos, the Arctic and the Antarctic - - are priceless records of change all in
their own right.  And the naturalists who go onboard are scientists in their own right and they
communicate that science. . . . . This is really important in terms of documenting the nature
of the living world at this critical point in history and the information that [Linblad] has been
gathering is just priceless,” comments Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer-in-
Residence.

This is the se
venth ship in a partnership between Linblad Expeditions and the National
Geographic Society.  "What is happening with this marriage is to be able to take an incredible
experience that Linblad has created throughout its history and take it to a new dimension,"
adds Robert Ballard who is also a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. "You are
going to see more and more technology coming into the Linblad fleet as we are able to take
advantage of those of us who love going into the third dimension - - into the sea.  [This
technology includes] both the manned-vehicle systems that Sylvia has developed and my
systems that can take you to [depths of] 20,000 feet.  You're seeing that take place right
now on the National Geographic Explorer. Think of the unique experience that this marriage
can offer."