National Geographic Endurance

A state-of-the-art polar expedition cruise ship. The ship’s expanded fuel and water tanks provide for extended operations in remote areas. The ship has the highest comfort class for guests to ensure a quiet and peaceful environment onboard. ​Due to Polar Code 5, the ship can operate year-round in polar environments.

Vessel type




Built by

Ulstein Verft AS



Owned by

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc.

Yard number


Designed by

Ulstein Design & Solutions AS

Ordered by

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc.

Operated by

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc.

IMO Number


Principal dimensions

124.4 m
21 m
Dead weight:
Approx 1,250 tonnes
Draught (max):
Approx 5.3 m
Speed (max):
17.3 kn
260 POB

Note: Subject to selected variant configuration




  • 1A✠, Passenger Ship, ECO, NAUT(AW), PC(5), Clean Design, BWM(T), Recyclable, COMF-V(1), COMF-C(1), VIBR, Silent(E), BIS, LCS(DC). Polar code Category A

Featured solutions

The vessel is named in honour of Ernest Shackleton, Lindblad Expeditions’ most revered explorer.

A core feature is Ulstein’s signature X-BOW® that provides fuel efficiency while significantly improving guest comfort in rough seas; and a very high ice class for access deep into polar regions.

The ship has been designed to access the outside environment from anywhere on the ship. With 77% of the cabins featuring balconies for private viewing; multiple observation decks inside and outside, and observation wings forward on deck 5 the surrounding environs will always be accessible. Off-ship exploring will be greatly enhanced with an innovative expedition boat boarding system aft and mid ship on both sides which will allow everyone to get ashore quickly and safely, ensuring quick access to every destination.

The 69 for spacious guest cabins and suites will include 12 cabins for solo travellers and 57 double cabins. The spa and fitness area will include treatment rooms, saunas, a fitness room, a relaxation area and yoga room; and there will be two infinity hot tubs for the utmost relaxation in pristine environments. Dining offerings include a main restaurant with outstanding views to the surroundings, and an outdoor barbeque and bistro area.

The vessel complies to the CLEAN DESIGN DNV notation and requirements for operations in US waters and polar waters. The diesel-electric solution is designed to reduce consumption and emissions.

Ship history

November 2017: Ulstein Verft contract announcement

5 January 2018: Steel cutting
17 March 2018: Keel-laying
23 April 2019: Project start-up at Ulstein Verft
7 December 2019: Launch from the dock hall at Ulstein Verft
February 2020: Sea trial completion
16 March 2020: Delivery

According to Lindblad Expeditions, the 'National Geographic Endurance' is a:
"Next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code PC5 (Category A) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore unchartered waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities."

July 2021: Inaugural voyage: The National Geographic Endurance makes her inaugural voyage, embarking in Reykjavik and returning there 17 days later. She will explore Iceland, where her walls of gleaming glass and expansive decks will provide optimal viewing of spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife. Then National Geographic Endurance will follow the ice edge off the east coast of Greenland, an Arctic “savannah” for polar bears, walruses, and whales. Read more: National Geographic Endurance (

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