Atop four hydraulic jacks on the port side and four on the starboard side, the vessel was slowly pushed toward the water on a gradual decline. National Geographic Venture rested there until the tide came in, with a barge alongside to hold it in place. A tug then took the ship to nearby Everett on the mainland for final outfitting.
'It's a very exciting day for Lindblad Expeditions ... a big milestone,' said Reed Ameel, on-site manager, newbuilds.
November debut in San Francisco
The ship is on schedule to embark its first passengers in November in San Francisco, where inaugural festivities will take place. Two Pacific coast cruises will be followed by seasons in Mexico's Baja California, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.
The 50-cabin, 100-passenger ship will be served by 50 crew.
A video of the launch is here.