US-based expedition cruise company Lindblad Expeditions Holdings has signed an agreement with Norwegian shipbuilder and ship designer Ulstein for the construction of a new polar expedition ship.
The vessel will be the first polar newbuild in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet. The ship will be built in Ulsteinvik, Norway and is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2020, with an option for two additional ships to be delivered in subsequent years.
Designed by Ulstein, the polar vessel was envisaged as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on safety and comfort, as well as incorporating innovative sustainability solutions to reduce its environmental impact, the company informed.
A core feature is Ulstein’s X-BOW®, a bow that provides fuel efficiency, and a very high ice class for access deep into polar regions. The ship’s expanded fuel and water tanks provide for extended operations in remote areas; while the zero-speed stabilizers will ensure stability underway, whether at zero speed when stopped for wildlife observation, or embarking/disembarking the ship.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with Ulstein and their brilliant team of engineers and designers on this state-of-the-art vessel as we continue expansion of our fleet. It is the next step in the long-term growth of the company, and will be the most extraordinary global expedition ship in the world on a multitude of levels,” Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad, said.
Image Courtesy: Ulstein