Review of National Geographic Endurance deck 3 (Expedition-Zodiacs)
- Zodiac Boarding areas
- Zodiacs (fleet of 8 large-capacity motorized speedboats / landing craft)
- Kayak Storage - expedition equipment is complimentary provided on landings and includes snowshoes, cross-country skis, seakayaks.
- Staff Office - the cruise ship has dedicated expedition staff, including naturalists, undersea specialist, NatGeo photographer, NatGeo certified photo instructor, video chronicler.
- Mudroom (base for shore landings with expedition gear lockers)
- The ship has an innovative Zodiac launching system (2 loading stations serving the ship's landing craft), hydrophone, underwater video camera, 2 remotely operated vehicles (ROVs operated by a dedicated undersea specialist), video microscope, remote control helicopter with camera.
- The custom-designed floating marina platform (aft location) is used to deploy seakayaks at any location. In warm waters is offered snorkeling, with snorkeling gear (masks, snorkels, fins, wetsuits) complimentary provided to all passengers for the duration of the voyage.
- All decks are connected via 2 elevators (passenger lifts) and 3 staircases and have public restrooms.
The innovative Zodiac system allows quick and safe transportation to shore destinations inaccessible for the cruise ship. These boats have length 6 m (19 ft), each powered by 4-stroke diesel engines, and with max capacity 12 people.
The ROV can reach depths of 305 m (1000 ft) and allows passengers to view undersea areas not accessible even to the most experienced scuba divers. A dedicated undersea specialist operates the underwater camera and dive often during the cruise. He uses cold-water gear to show HD quality real-time images of deep-water marine life and environment.
The NatGeo naturalists on the ship use its video microscope (80x magnification) to explain to passengers all elements of the marine ecosystems. The spellbinding real-time images are displayed on the HDTV in the Main Lounge (Deck 6). At the Lounge there is also an electronic chart displaying current ship position, course and cruising speed.
The underwater microphone listens to marine mammals and provides sound transmissions broadcasted real-time (through the PA system) or recorded for later playback.