A major milestone in the construction of the most sophisticated expedition ship in the world was marked on Saturday, March 17, via the keel laying at CRIST shipyard in Gdynia, which served as the official naming of the latest addition to the fleet of Lindblad-National Geographic.
Sven Lindblad, President & CEO of Lindblad Expeditions announced the name of the new vessel - National Geographic Endurance, scheduled for delivery on January 21, 2020 ("accelerated" delivery on November 18, 2019). The ship is named in honor of Lindblad Expeditions’ most revered explorer, Ernest Shackleton.
The ceremony continued with traditional laying of coins. First welded was a commemorative silver coin etched with the ship's name, flanked by a penguin and polar bear signifying the poles Endurance will be exploring, and etched with "To Explore and Understand the World." To signify the commitment of Lindblad to their expedition team and crew, Sven Lindblad laid the lucky coin of Lindblad naturalist, Tom Ritchie, 1780 Austro-Hungarian thaler with Marie Theresa on one side and double-headed eagle on the other.
The 126-passenger polar ship has been designed as an ultimate expedition platform with a focus on comfort and safety, as well as incorporating sustainability solutions to reduce environmental impact. A core feature is the signature X-BOW of Ulstein, a distinctive bow providing fuel efficiency while improving passenger comfort in rough seas; along with a very high ice class to access deep into polar regions. The expanded fuel and water tanks ensure extended operations in the most remote areas; while ship's zero-speed stabilizers provide stability.