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National Geographic Quest

National Geographic Quest Review and Specifications

Specifications of National Geographic Quest

Year built2017  /  Age : 2
Flag state USA
BuilderNichols Brothers Boat Builders (Freeland, Whidbey Island WA)
Classice-strengthened expedition ship
Building costUSD 55 million
OwnerLindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc
OperatorLindblad National Geographic Cruises
Speed12 kn / 22 kph / 14 mph
Length (LOA)73 m / 240 ft
Beam (width)14 m / 46 ft
Gross Tonnage2906 gt
Passengers50 - 100
Decks with cabins3
Sister-shipsNational Geographic Venture
Christened bytba

Current position of National Geographic Quest

Review of National Geographic Quest

National Geographic Quest is one of the new Lindblad-National Geographic cruise vessels, together with the sister-ship National Geographic Venture (launched in 2018).

History - construction & ownership

The 1,800-ton, 100-passenger National Geographic Quest is a polar expedition vessel with an ice-strengthened hull, fully-stabilized and with relatively shallow draft (9 ft / 2,7 m) which allows safe navigation regardless of the itinerary region. This is also the first expedition cruise ship built entirely in the USA.

Lindblad National Geographic Quest cruise ship

Constructed at Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Lindblad Quest is the company's 3rd larger expedition ship. This new fleet of 3 same-design vessels is by the same shipbuilder as Lindblad's long-serving 62-passenger ships Sea Lion and Sea Bird. In comparison, the newbuilds have an extra deck, modern design, new stateroom categories, new facilities and expanded amenities (including mudroom with rows of lockers, snorkeling equipment, and other gear). The ship's ROV (remotely operated vehicle) can dive up to 1000 ft / 305 m depths.

The National Geographic Quest 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

MS Quest itinerary program is based on Alaskan cruises and coastal Pacific Northwest voyages to ports in USA and Canada (British Columbia) during summer. During winter, the ship operates on cruises to Baja California, Sea of Cortez, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala.

In Pacific North America, the ship cruises to Inside Passage: Alaska and British Columbia, also visiting San Juan Islands (USA) and Gulf Islands (Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada). The Alaskan cruise program includes itineraries with departures from Seattle WA and Vancouver BC.


National Geographic Quest has 4 passenger decks with all 50 staterooms. Of all cabins, 22 are with small private balconies (with floor-ceiling sliding doors) and 12 cabins (6 pairs) are connecting (via internal doorway access) allowing families to combine 2 adjacent rooms. All category 5 suites accommodate a 3rd person on a convertible sofabed.

Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks

Nat Geo Quest has one Main Dining Room which offers single seating with unassigned tables. Food served aboard is local, fresh and sustainably sourced when possible. When weather conditions allow, light fare is served outside on ship's observation deck. The captain and officers welcome passengers to the bridge in accordance with line's “Open Bridge” policy.

Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport

Ideally suited for sea expeditions, the Lindblad Quest ship carries wet suits, snorkeling gear, underwater cameras, hydrophone, a glass-bottom boat, 24 sea kayaks, paddle boards, a fleet of Mark V Zodiacs and even a video microscope. The ship is also equipped with a bow-cam for bow deployment to listen and record marine animals, for example, humpback whale vocalizations and dolphins.  Every voyage is accompanied by a full-time doctor, photo instructor, video chronicler, wellness and undersea specialists. Internet access is available shipwide.

Lindblad National Geographic Quest cruise ship

Nat Geo Quest public areas include an intimate covered deck with chairs, tables, and hammocks; a fitness center; spa; global gallery; library; doctor’s office; lounge with bar and facilities for slide shows, presentations, and films.

National Geographic Quest - user reviews and comments

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National Geographic Quest Wiki

Ship's Inaugural Alaskan season 2017 included several 7-day "Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness" themed cruises (departures on Saturdays) between July 8 and August 26. After Alaska, the ship operated in the Pacific Northwest on itineraries between Seattle WA and Vancouver BC.

In December 2017, Lindblad Quest ship was repositioned for cruises to Costa Rica and Panama. Since February 2018, the ship started a new set of itineraries visiting ports in Belize and Guatemala.

NAT GEO Quest has installed Fleet Xpress - fast Internet connectivity provided by Inmarsat (owner and operator of a global satellite network). Fleet Xpress is fully integrated with the boat's phone system (PABX) and comm platforms.

Inaugural itineraries 2017

The ship's Inaugural Cruise (maiden voyage) was scheduled for June 26, 2017 - a 13-day Alaskan itinerary (themed "Treasures of the Inside Passage: Alaska and British Columbia"). The ship was supposed to spend a day in the San Juan Islands (located between mainland USA and Vancouver Island / BC Canada) and another day in the Gulf Islands (located in Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada) before heading north to Alaska. Early booking cruise rates started from USD 9,390 per person (double-occupancy category 1 cabin rates).

However, due to a launch accident, the maiden voyage and the following 2 cruises were canceled. The vessel was grounded during its launch at Nichols Brothers shipbuilding yard (Freeland, Whidbey Island, Washington). Lindblad's official statement was that the vessel slid off the launch ramp improperly, resulting in damaged propeller and rudder, and needing drydock for full repairs.

The canceled departure dates were June 26 (inaugural), July 8 and July 15. Passengers booked on the maiden voyage were notified and offered an alternative switch to another date (with 50% reduction on the cost of the rescheduled cruise) or the option to cancel the booking (with a full refund, plus USD 2,000 pp onboard credit towards future cruise). The following tables show the 3 canceled itineraries.

12 nights / 13 days, one-way from Seattle to Sitka (prices from USD 10840 pp)

27 JunDeparting from Seattle, Washington
28 JunFriday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
29 JunAt Sea (Gulf Islands)
30 JunAlert Bay, Cormorant Island, BC Canada
01 JulInside Passage, Alaska
02 JulInside Passage, Alaska
03 JulMisty Fjords, Alaska
04 JulPetersburg, Mitkof Island, Alaska
05 JulTracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
06 JulGlacier Bay, Alaska
07 JulIcy Strait Point, Hoonah, Alaska
08 JulChichagof Island, Alaska
09 JulArriving in Sitka, Baranof Island, Alaska

7-day one-way from Sitka to Seattle (prices from USD 7600 pp)

09 JulDeparting from Sitka (flight)
09 JulDeparting from Sitka, Baranof Island, Alaska
10 JulAdmiralty Island, Alaska (Exploring)
11 JulChichagof Island, Alaska
12 JulGlacier Bay, Alaska
13 JulFrederick Sound, Alaska
13 JulChatham Strait, Alaska
14 JulPetersburg, Mitkof Island, Alaska
15 JulTracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
16 JulJuneau, Alaska
16 JulArriving in Seattle (flight)

7-day one-way from Seattle to Sitka (prices from USD 7600 pp)

16 JulDeparting from Seattle (flight)
16 JulDeparting from Juneau, Alaska
17 JulTracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
18 JulPetersburg, Mitkof Island, Alaska
19 JulFrederick Sound, Alaska
19 JulChatham Strait, Alaska
20 JulGlacier Bay, Alaska
21 JulChichagof Island, Alaska
22 JulAdmiralty Island, Alaska (Exploring)
23 JulSitka, Baranof Island, Alaska
23 JulArriving in Sitka (flight)

Nat Geo Quest officially started operations with the inaugural cruise on July 29, 2017 (Saturday departure from Juneau AK). The 8-day voyage (themed "Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness") was part of ship's Southeast Alaska program (through August 26, 2017). Following the Alaskan season, the boat started Pacific Northwest itineraries between Seattle WA and Vancouver BC, visiting San Juan Islands (Washington. USA), Alert Bay (Cormorant Island, BC Canada), Victoria BC.

During the drydock in January 2019, the ship received an equipment package including FURUNO VOYAGER (IBS / Integrated Bridge System), new radars (models FAR3210 and FAR3220), two FMD-3200 ECDIS (multifunction consoles), GPS and AIS, GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System), VDR (Voyage Data Recorder), DOPPLER SPEED LOG DS-80 system.

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