A countdown has been launched at line's blog with behind-the-scenes footage from the ship yard, time-lapse videos of the building process, interviews with the team, and more.
Billed as the first expedition vessel build entirely in the US, the Nat Geo Quest will feature 50 cabins, of which 22 with balconies, and 8 that can be configured into 4 adjoining cabins for families. All category 5 rooms can accommodate a 3rd guest.
The ship will have a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, Zodiacs and snorkeling equipment. Other expedition technology will feature a ROV (remotely operated vehicle), a hydrophone, video microscope and bow-cam designed for bow deployment to hear and film, for example, humpback whale vocalizations and bow-riding dolphins.
The first voyage of the new ship will be a 13-day “Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska & British Columbia.” The expedition will give National Geographic Quest a day in San Juan Islands and a day in Gulf Islands prior to heading north via British Columbia and Alaska. Rates start at US$9,390 per person based on double occupancy in category 1 cabin.
National Geographic Quest will then sail on the “Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness” voyage (Saturday to Saturday schedule) from July 8 through Aug 26, 2017. After the Alaska season, the expedition ship will remain in the Pacific Northwest for new voyages between Seattle and Vancouver. Beginning December 2017, Nat Geo Quest will reposition and operate cruises in Costa Rica and Panama prior to kicking off a series of new sailings in Belize and Guatemala from February 2018.
A sibling ship, National Geographic Venture, joins the fleet in June next year.