The Linblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet is set to expand in 2020 with the launching of a new polar vessel, marking the 50th anniversary of the Lindblad Explorer, the first-ever purpose-built expedition ship.

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. announced that it signed an agreement with the Ulstein Group, which will design and build the ship in Norway. Delivery of the ship is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020 with an option for two additional ships to be delivered in subsequent years.

Keeping in line with the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic philosophy of connecting guests with the environment, the new polar vessel will include multiple observation decks inside and outside, new “observation wings,” and 75 percent of cabins will feature balconies for private viewing. The ship will also come equipped with expedition tools for exploration such as kayaks, cross-country skis, a remotely operated vehicle, underwater video cameras, a helicopter landing platform, and more.

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