Rebuilt from a rugged circa-1982 Norwegian coastal passenger and cargo ship, Lindblad Expedition's National Geographic Explorer is an expedition ship outfitted with high-tech equipment (hydrophones, video microscopes, remotely operated vehicles) to study and photograph the surrounding waters. In the spirit of exploration, up to 148 passengers review the results during daily pre-dinner recaps. Itineraries concentrate on the Arctic and Antarctic, and in between seasons, National Geographic Explorer can be found in the Mediterranean, Egypt and Africa, Northern Europe, Iceland, Greenland, and South America, specifically Patagonia.
The ship’s eight Category 6 and 7 suites were refurbished in 2023 with a sleek Scandinavian-inspired design, but the rest of the staterooms retain the décor from the 2028 rebuild and a 2016 refresh. National Geographic Explorer also features fewer “luxury” amenities than its newer expedition siblings, National Geographic Endurance and National Geographic Resolution. Notably, there’s no pool or hot tub.