Newly reconfigured as a 48-passenger ship (down from 62 as Crystal Esprit), it is scheduled to debut in the Galápagos Aug. 18 for year-round expeditions there.
Lindblad said a top-to-bottom refit will elevate the guest experience on its new vessel, including teak decks that connect the indoor and outdoor spaces, a well-outfitted observation deck, indoor-outdoor dining options, 26 light and airy suites and new expedition amenities including a marina and Science Hub.
The 280-foot ship's refit includes key environmental and fuel-efficient upgrades like reduced outdoor lighting, special paint and recycled water from new air conditioning systems.
Three new suites, dedicated solo and triple options
Each of the 26 suites features large windows, convertible king/twin beds, sofa, marble double-sink bathrooms, stocked mini-bar, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV and ample closets. The four Islander Suites, three of them brand new, have four windows, separate living rooms and bathrooms with a tub and rain shower.
Connecting suites are available, along with four dedicated solo suites and triple options. The Santa Cruz Islander Suite can be reserved as a family suite with a connecting double suite.
The reimagined Cove lounge will be the gathering spot for pre-dinner recaps, crafted cocktails and presentations. Dining will be offered in the newly expanded al fresco Patio Café and the Yacht Club Restaurant.
Other features include a carefully considered food and beverage program that highlights the four regions of Ecuador with locally sourced ingredients and artwork and decor created by local artists and artisans.
National Geographic Islander II will carry a fleet of kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, a custom-built glass bottom Zodiac and flotilla of versatile Mark V Zodiacs so that all passengers can get out to explore at once.
New Science Hub, two Conservation Suites
The new Science Hub — outfitted with an interactive video display, lab benches and seating — will connect travelers to the Lindblad-National Geographic legacy of supporting conservation and research. Two cabins for Conservation Suites are designated exclusively for Galápagos community members, local and international researchers, educators, storytellers and other experts to provide travelers a deeper connection to people and place.
National Geographic Islander II will have a 1:1 passenger to crew ratio. The expedition team consists of a leader and four naturalists, including an undersea specialist, certified photo instructor and trained field educators who run the National Geographic Global Explorers family program.