Lindblad Expeditions has officially named its next generation, all-suite National Geographic Islander II in the Galápagos Islands. The ship has already operated a number of sailings in the Galápagos since mid-August in the lead-up to the event late last month.
Honouring his visionary work, godmother Angela Flaim – wife of the late longtime Lindblad leader and passionate Galápagos conservation advocate, Juan Flaim – presided over the intimate ceremony that reflected the ship’s spirit and soul as a vessel designed for deep discovery and supreme comfort.
The ceremony took place in Black Turtle Cove, Santa Cruz Island, the center of the Galápagos archipelago. VIP guests, local dignitaries, company leaders and media surrounded the bow in zodiacs during the ceremony.
Flaim and Lindblad Expeditions Founder, Sven-Olof Lindblad, symbolically smashed an environmentally friendly champagne bottle from the bow of the elegant 48-passenger National Geographic Islander ll, as guests cheered and raised a glass of champagne to toast to the occasion.
The occasion was also an opportunity to highlight the pillars and legacy that distinguish Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, from its commitment to conserve the globe’s most critical and breathtaking regions, to its assurance of carbon neutrality, from supporting local communities to preserving culture.
“This incredible ship is our mission in motion, exciting guests to what we know about this wild place and even more importantly, to what is yet to be discovered,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, Founder and Co-Chair of the Board.
“As the pioneers in Galápagos tourism, our expertise and commitment to genuine engagement with this region’s natural wonders provides our guests with extraordinary, life-changing experiences, and a lifelong passion to protect these incredible and fragile environments.”
Making it easy for guests to connect to the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic legacy of conservation and research, National Geographic Islander ll features a Science Hub outfitted with the capacity for underway oceanographic sensoring, an interactive video display, lab benches and seating for guests to observe this important work.
Two suites are dedicated to Conservation and Community, and are designated for Galápagos
community members, local and international researchers, educators, storytellers, and other experts on each voyage, providing guests with a deeper connection to people and place.
Named to honor the much beloved National Geographic Islander that she replaced and the islands where she sails, the all-suite National Geographic Islander ll expedition ship elevates the guest experience with teak decks that gracefully connect the indoor and outdoor spaces, a well-outfitted observation deck, indoor-outdoor dining options, 26 large and airy suites, and purpose-built expedition amenities including a marina for snorkeling gear storage and easy Zodiac embarkation.
Designed for active exploration, National Geographic Islander II carries a fleet of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, a custom-built glass bottom Zodiac and flotilla of Mark V Zodiacs to provide the adventures that are at the heart of every Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyage.
National Geographic Islander II was formerly operated by Crystal Cruises as Crystal Esprit before it was acquired late last year.
View additional images aboard National Geographic Islander II captured by Marco Ricca Studio on Lindblad Expeditions’ Facebook page.