The newbuild National Geographic Resolution has the highest comfort class for passengers to ensure a quiet and peaceful environment onboard. The ship is named to honour the legendary explorer who was the first to circumnavigate Antarctica and cross the Antarctic Circle, and the first European to reach Hawaii, Captain James Cook. While Captain Cook served as the expert in several ships in his career, his favourite was the ‘MS Resolution’. To seal the name, a rare, vintage, commemorative silver coin owned by Sven Lindblad depicting Capt. Cook on one side and a Hawaiian chieftain on the other, is welded into the ship. It is a Hawaii Sesquicentennial half dollar, struck in 1928 by the United States Bureau of the Mint in honour of the 150th anniversary of Cook’s landing in Hawaii.
The second polar expedition to enter service for Lindblad Expeditions, following the 2020 debut of National Geographic Endurance, National Geographic Resolution is a fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Class 5 (PC5) vessel. Like its predecessor, the ship is aimed to navigate and safely explore uncharted waters while providing exceptional comfort in polar passages year-round, vastly expanding the range of exploration in Antarctica and the Arctic. Designed and built by the Norwegian ship builders Ulstein Group, National Geographic Resolution is leading a new age of polar travel focused on sustainability, efficiency, safety, and stability in mind. After months out of sight in the dock hall and the completion of hull outfitting work at Ulstein Verft in Norway, this 126-meter-long polar vessel was docked out on 8th June 2021. After its launch, the vessel will undergo finalizing work at the shipyard, where especially the interior part will be the most comprehensive before its sea trial period commences.
The ship ventures deeper paired with state-of-the-art educational equipment and highly qualified guides, create an in-depth intellectual and truly exploratory experience. The Ulstein’s innovative, signature bow—the X-BOW®—creates a vessel with increased agility, security, performance, and convenience and incorporates conservation-minded solutions to reduce the ship’s environmental impact increasing the ability to explore hard-to-reach destinations and making new expeditions possible. This hull design also allows for excellent forward and downward viewing from numerous observation decks, including observation wings that extend out from its sides. The vessel’s larger volume displacement in the front of the ship, upturned bow and slender hull design offers higher fuel efficiency, improved performance in waves, increased stability in rough waters, softer entry into waves, reduced acceleration levels, less spray, less slamming and bow impact, and lower vibration. The vessel’s zero-steam stabilizers increase stability while anchored/not moving, and its expanded fuel and water tanks allow for longer expeditions to explore farther.
Across the six guest decks, the National Geographic Resolution boasts more than 10,000 square feet of glass for prime enclosed viewing. The interior is fitted with Scandinavian design that is both enjoyable and contemporary. Fire and ice are the motif throughout the ship, reflecting the external surroundings that National Geographic Resolution cruises through. Photographers may enjoy the purpose-designed space for editing and collaboration, as well as access to a photo gear locker filled with photography equipment for guests’ use. This expedition ship takes relaxation and fitness seriously with spa treatments, saunas featuring amazing views, gym equipment, a yoga studio and two infinity-pool Jacuzzis. The ship also features multiple dining options to ensure guests are nourished well between adventures. From various dining options, polar travellers can enjoy excellent views, early breakfast, private dining, al fresco BBQs (weather permitting), and daily high tea and hors d’oeuvres. Large menus offer an array of options including fresh and lighter fare; custom grilled items; and regionally inspired, sustainable and creative food.
Each of the 69 cabins aboard National Geographic Resolution offers ocean views, and 53 — including all 12 single-occupancy cabins — will feature private balconies with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Ocean-view cabins either have two portholes or a picture window, and all cabins are equipped with modern bathrooms and stocked with botanically inspired toiletries. Cabins are equipped with in-room tablets and USB docking stations, flat-panel television sets, Wi-Fi internet access, and hair dryers. Cabin sizes range from 140 square feet (the 12 solo-occupancy cabins) to the ship’s 430-square-foot suites. Most cabins onboard measure a generous 205 square feet and include a private balcony.
The National Geographic Resolution features fast, painless, and secure loading and unloading from its new-patented Zodiac loading system. The innovative Zodiac system allows quick and safe transportation to shore destinations inaccessible for the cruise ship. These boats have length 6 m (19 ft), each powered by 4-stroke diesel engines, and with max capacity 12 people. Onboard expedition tools include cross-country skis, kayaks, hydrophones, underwater video cameras, a remotely operated vehicle operated by a dedicated undersea specialist, a video microscope, helipad (top-deck helicopter landing platform on Helideck), and remote-control helicopter with camera. The ROV can reach depths of 305 m (1000 ft) and allows passengers to view undersea areas not accessible even to the most experienced scuba divers. The underwater microphone listens to marine mammals and provides sound transmissions broadcasted in real-time (through the PA system) or recorded for later playback. The ship’s custom-designed floating marina platform is used to deploy sea kayaks at any location. A dedicated undersea specialist operates the underwater camera and dive often during the cruise. He uses cold-water gear to show HD quality real-time images of deep-water marine life and environment. The NatGeo naturalists on the ship use its video microscope (80x magnification) to explain to passengers all elements of the marine ecosystems. The spellbinding real-time images are displayed on the HDTV in the Main Lounge. At the Lounge, there is also an electronic chart displaying the current ship position, course, and cruising speed.
Snorkelling is offered in warm waters with snorkelling gear (masks, snorkels, fins, wetsuits) complimentary provided to all passengers for the duration of the voyage. The cruise ship also has Library (reading lounge), Internet Cafe, Main Lounge (with full-service Bar), 24-hour beverage station (coffee, tea, water, juices), advanced conference facilities (for travel-themed documentary films, port talks, slideshows, media presentations), photo workshop, laundry rooms, mudroom (expedition base with expedition gear lockers). The “open bridge” policy allows 24-hour access (depending on weather conditions) to the Wheelhouse and the Captain or the officers on duty. The ship has Infirmary (with a full-time doctor) and dedicated expedition staff, including undersea specialist, NatGeo photographer, NatGeo certified photo instructor, and a video chronicler.
National Geographic Resolution’s cruise itinerary program will be deployed seasonally just like the fleet mate and sistership Endurance in the European (Norway, Iceland, Greenland) and the Canadian Arctic regions, USA (Alaska) and Antarctica (Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, and the sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand).