Cruise line Lindblad Expeditions said its new vessel would soon be exploring the polar waters of Antarctica
Posting on its social media channels, expedition cruise operator Lindblad said National Geographic Expedition had undergone a full weekend of trials.
"After a successful weekend of sea trials, #NatGeoResolution has reached one of its final milestones before delivery, where it will first be exploring the polar waters of Antarctica," the company said.
A video from the sea trials, narrated by Lindblad newbuilding site manager Reed Ameel, featured the vessel’s trademarked design feature X-Bow, which helps the vessel to cut through heavy seas, saving on emissions and protecting passengers on deck from sea spray.
The vessel also features an open bridge and National Geographic Expedition captain Martin Graser discussed the "innovative" equipment on board including a "military-grade", infra-red video camera for wildlife spotting or ice avoidance.
The two sister vessels are the first two expedition cruise ships to have been built to the highest ice classification, PC5.
Capt Graser cited his time on manoeuvres on the vessel’s sister ship National Geographic Endurance, saying the vessel would handle "spectacularly" and that he was excited to take the vessel to Antarctica.
After a successful weekend of sea trials, #NatGeoResolution has reached one of her final milestones before delivery, where she will first be exploring the polar waters of #Antarctica.— Lindblad Expeditions (@LindbladExp) September 7, 2021
Take a peek further into what makes #NatGeoResolution so special: https://t.co/eGNv7n2w7s pic.twitter.com/1U1sMH9ffH
Both ships are built by Norway’s Ulstein Verft shipyard, measure 124 m x 21 m and can accommodate 126 guests.
“Ulstein entered into the expedition cruise vessel market to introduce the Ulstein X-Bow in cruise vessels. This feature has been used for more than 10 years on many offshore vessels operating in rough weather and sea conditions. Therefore, we found the X-Bow very suitable for passenger vessels crossing rough stretches of sea such as the Drake Passage or operating in the Norwegian Sea. In a head sea, the hull shape leads to reduced motions and accelerations which in turn leads to increased comfort and safety,” Ulstein said.
The Ulstein X-Bow’s reduction of spray from the bow also reduces the risk of icing on board in cold seas and climates.
The main difference between an Ulstein X-Bow and a conventional bow is the part of the hull above the waterline. Another advantage of the X-Bow is its unobstructed views for passengers, according to Ulstein.
Construction of National Geographic Resolution was completed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, and Ulstein Verft told Riviera Maritime Media they had managed to combat any challenges posed by the pandemic.