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National Geographic Explorer

Former names: MS Lyngen, MS Midnatsol 2, MS Midnatsol

National Geographic Explorer Review and Specifications

Specifications of National Geographic Explorer

Year built1982  /  Age : 38
Flag state Bahamas
BuilderUlstein Verft AS (Ulsteinvik, Norway)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
OwnerLindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc
OperatorLindblad National Geographic Cruises
Speed18 kn / 33 kph / 21 mph
Length (LOA)112 m / 367 ft
Beam (width)16 m / 52 ft
Gross Tonnage6471 gt
Passengers148 - 162
Passengers-to-space ratio41
Decks with cabins3
Last Refurbishment2017
Former namesMS Lyngen, MS Midnatsol 2, MS Midnatsol

Review of National Geographic Explorer

National Geographic Explorer cruise ship was built in 1982 and launched under the name ms Midnatsol for Hurtigruten.

History - construction & ownership

The 6,471-ton, 162-passenger flagship of NatGeo fleet - National Geographic Explorer is an expedition cruise vessel able to reach the most remote shores of our planet while offering a first-rate onboard experience. The ship is outfitted with various tools for marine exploration.

Lindblad National Geographic Explorer cruise ship

The National Geographic Explorer ship is owned and operated by Lindblad Expeditions in cooperation with the National Geographic Society (aka NatGeo - a US non-profit institution for science and education). The partnership that Nat Geo has with the Lindblad Expeditions line enables passengers to enjoy an expedition style small ship cruise vacation as active explorers. Lindblad cruise ships sail unique destinations to explore out-of-the-way inlets, making Zodiac landings and looking for wildlife.

Cruise itinerary program

National Geographic Explorer itinerary program is based on expedition cruises in Antarctica during winter and in the Arctic during summer months. The ship also cruises along the Atlantic coast and explores the Baltic Sea region, Norway, Northwest Passage, Iceland, Canadian coastal and South America (Patagonia) itineraries leaving form various ports.


National Geographic Explorer has 6 passenger decks and 81 cabins, all of which Outside with portholes or windows. The cabin grades number is 9.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Nat Geo Explorer has one Main Dining Room which offers single seating with unassigned tables and a Bistro. The selection of dining options offers regional cuisine using local ingredients.Lindblad National Geographic Explorer cruise ship

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

National Geographic Explorer carries a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks, as well as HD cameras, hydrophones and video equipment allowing access to the amazing underwater world. In the lounge, passengers can view images from the ocean’s depths, projected from a remotely operated vehicle. A full-time doctor, photo instructor, video chronicler, wellness and undersea specialists accompany every voyage. Internet access is also available. The officers and captain welcome travelers to the bridge according to the “Open Bridge” policy.Lindblad National Geographic Explorer cruise ship

Public areas on board include a Chart Room (facilities for films and presentations), Global Gallery (shop), Internet Cafe (Internet access), Observation Lounge with full-service bar, sauna, LEX spa, and a fitness center. The Explorer also features a well-stocked library which is a quiet refuge. The Sun Deck offers observation spaces for viewing the sculpted icebergs of Antarctica or the steep-walled fjords of Norway.

National Geographic Explorer - user reviews and comments

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National Geographic Explorer Wiki

Lindblad's flagship National Geographic Explorer cruises from pole to pole (Arctic and Antarctica), and also in Europe - to Iceland, Greenland, and the Norwegian Fjords. The vessel was originally built as MS Midnatsol (link to the Hurtigruten ship). Today, Nat Geo Explorer is an expedition cruise ship designed to easily navigate in remote areas, specifically in the polar regions. It has extra hull plating to withstand high icebreaking tolerances.

As a true expedition cruising ship, National Geographic Explorer is staffed with a full-time doctor and a wellness specialist, a photo instructor, and a video chronicler, and also an undersea specialist. Another feature is the specific expedition equipment on board, including a remotely operated vehicle (diving to 1000 ft depth), a fleet of 36 2-person kayaks and 15 Zodiacs, wet suits and snorkeling gear, also a glass-bottom boat. Onboard educational and entertainment facilities are the observation lounge and the library. There is a mudroom with lockers providing storage for boots, thus saving space in cabins.

MS Explorer (aka "Nat Geo Explorer") is an expedition vessel designed especially for operations in the remote polar regions. The ship is perfectly suited for cruising expeditions, carrying wet suits, snorkeling gear, underwater cameras, kayaks, glass-bottom boat and a fleet of Zodiacs. The ship's ROV (remotely operated vehicle) can dive to 1000 ft / 305 m sea depth.

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