In anticipation of the launch of our brand-new expedition ship National Geographic Quest, we're talking with staffers involved in the build give you a behind-the-scenes look and exciting new details. Read on to see how Lynn Cutter, Executive Vice President of National Geographic Travel, is helping bring the National Geographic Quest to life.
How is the National Geographic Quest supporting the shared mission of National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions?
National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions share a dedication to hands-on exploration and discovering and preserving the wonders of our diverse planet. The new National Geographic Quest—the seventh ship in our fleet—allows us to bring our travelers to remote and incredible places to explore close up, places like the deepest reaches of Alaska’s Inside Passage, or the pristine cayes off the coast of Belize. With a full spectrum of cameras and a hydrophone, fleets of kayaks and paddleboards, and an open bridge policy that allows guests to learn firsthand about satellite technology and navigation, the ship is ideal for in-depth exploration. It also exceeds international environmental standards—another top priority for both National Geographic and Lindblad.
What does it mean for National Geographic to have a ship built from scratch for the purposes of exploration?
The Quest is the first vessel of its kind built entirely in the U.S. Lindblad oversaw every element of its design, and it was built for state-of-the-art expeditionary travel through and through. Guests will notice this in the spacious decks and bows that are tiered so that everyone gets a great view. They’ll get immersed in their surroundings through cutting-edge imaging and audio equipment that reveals the creatures and sounds of the ocean deep. But much thought was also put into the finer details, such as carefully chosen glass that allows for an exceptionally clear view from the ship’s ample windows. This ship was built to make for the best possible expedition cruising experience, and we’re thrilled to see it take to the seas.
Which National Geographic photographers and experts will be traveling aboard the National Geographic Quest?
Some of our favorites! Flip Nicklin, the world’s premier photographer of humpbacks, will join us on the Quest’s maiden voyage to Alaska’s Inside Passage in July, and National Geographic photographer Jeff Mauritzen will accompany both Exploring British Columbia and the San Juan Islands and Reefs and Ruins: Belize to Tikal, Guatemala. On the February 28 departure of our Belize voyage, we’ll be joined by anthropologist Richard Hansen, who directs the National Geographic-funded Mirador Basin Project in northern Guatemala. We’ll have photojournalist Kike Calvo on board for several Costa Rica and the Panama Canal expeditions, and on the September 15 departure of Exploring British Columbia and the San Juan Islands, guests will travel with Phil Schermeister, a photographer who specializes in nature and wild places, and has been featured in numerous National Geographic publications.