Former Crystal Esprit Yacht Now Lindblad's New Expedition Ship
Renamed the National Geographic Islander II, she will debut in the Galapagos in August.
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has unveiled the newest addition to their award-winning fleet, National Geographic Islander ll. With just 48 guests, and the spirit and soul of a private yacht, the all-suite ship will make her inaugural voyage in the Galápagos on August 18, 2022 for year-round expeditions in the islands.
"I had the pleasure of being in Galápagos for the first-time last week and you could feel the Lindblad- National Geographic legacy in these iconic islands—from the second-generation
Galápagos crew aboard, to the locally grown food on the table to stories of the role we have played in supporting conservation in the archipelago," stated Dolf Berle, President and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. "With the new National Geographic Islander II, we will be able to build on that legacy and offer an even greater connection to Galápagos and its people for just 48 guests.
Formerly the Crystal Esprit, the sleek and elegant National Geographic Islander ll's top-to-bottom refit will elevate the guest experience to an entirely new level. Travelers will find encircling teak decks that gracefully connect the indoor and outdoor spaces, a well-outfitted observation deck, indoor-outdoor dining options, 26 light and airy suites, and new expedition amenities including a marina and Science Hub.
Elegantly appointed, each of the 26 suites feature large windows, convertible king/twin beds, sofa, marble double-sink bathrooms, stocked mini-bar, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV and ample closets. The four Islander Suites, three of them brand new, have four windows, separate living rooms and bathrooms outfitted with a tub and rain shower. Connecting suites are available, plus four dedicated solo suites and triple options. The Santa Cruz Islander Suite can be reserved as a family suite with a connecting double suite.
The reimagined Cove lounge will be the gathering spot for pre-dinner recaps, crafted cocktails and enriching presentations. Dining will be offered in the newly expanded al fresco Patio Café and sophisticated Yacht Club Restaurant.
The ship will celebrate Lindblad's deep connection to the islands, Ecuador, and its people. From the carefully considered food and beverage program that highlights the four regions of Ecuador with locally sourced ingredients, to artwork and decor created by local artists and artisans, on National Geographic Islander II, guests will experience the beauty and wonder of Ecuador on and off the ship.
Guests can expect the same best-in-class expedition experiences and adventures that are at the heart of every Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyage. 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 versatile Mark V Zodiacs — so that everyone can be out exploring at once.
The new Science Hub — outfitted with an interactive video display, lab benches and seating — will connect guests to the Lindblad-National Geographic legacy of supporting conservation and research. Two Cabins for Conservation Suites, designated exclusively for Galápagos community members, local and international researchers, educators, storytellers, and other experts, will provide guests a deeper connection to people and place.
Named to honor the much-beloved National Geographic Islander that she will replace, the best-in-class expedition ship will offer a 1-1 guest-to-crew ratio, expanding on Lindblad's renowned shipboard services. Her celebrated expedition team will include an expedition leader and four Naturalists, including an undersea specialist, certified photo instructor and trained field educators who run the acclaimed National Geographic Global Explorers family program.
The National Geographic Islander II is a true ocean-going vessel, 280 feet long, 46 feet wide, and is equipped with stabilizers for smooth sailing. The refit of the ship for Galápagos includes key environmental and fuel-efficient upgrades like reduced outdoor lighting, special paint, and recycled water from new air conditioning systems.