NBBB Delivers for Linblad Expeditions

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

November 13, 2018

The M/V National Geographic Quest (CREDIT NBBB)

The M/V National Geographic Quest (CREDIT NBBB)

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) was contracted by Lindblad Expeditions in December 2015, to construct two (2) new 100 guest passenger cruise vessels for exploratory cruising in Alaska; Baja, California; Pacific Northwest; Costa Rica & Panama, and Belize. Both vessels have joined the Lindblad Expeditions fleet.


The first vessel, National Geographic Quest, was delivered in July 2017 and has voyaged to Alaska, Costa Rica and Panama. The National Geographic Venture was delivered on November 1, 2018 and will be embarking on its maiden voyage in December down the Pacific coast, before she begins her season in Baja.


National Geographic Venture, a 238’-6” x 44’ x 10’ Jones Act coastal cruise vessel is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built expedition cruise vessel made for exploring coastal waters, shallow coves, and fast-moving channels where wildlife congregates; while sailing with the luxury of supreme comfort. Spacious cabins, open decks for wildlife viewing, and specialty tools for exploration make it the ideal platform for sailing in remote areas.

National Geographic Venture is a US flagged, USCG Subchapter K, SOLAS compliant cruise vessel fully classed with Bureau Veritas. The ship is powered by (2) MTU diesel engines developing 1,600 HP ea., driving Wärtsilä propellers through Reintjes reduction gears. The ship’s power is provided by (2) Volvo Penta generators providing 477 kW each, backed-up by a 230 kW emergency generator. Additionally, a 300 kW Schottel bow thruster is installed to assist mooring evolutions. Additionally, Quantum Maglift stabilizers were added to this second vessel.

The precise requirements were that the vessel include accommodations for 108 passengers and 50 crewmembers, while also maintaining a maximum scantling length of 200-feet, tonnage below 100 US GRT/3,000 ITC and SOLAS compliance. Additionally, the vessel was designed to accommodate a fitness room and spa, an outdoor companionway around the entire sun deck, and features dining and entertainment facilities and state-of-the-art expedition technology.

To meet specific design requirements set forth by Lindblad Expeditions to meet operational needs and passenger comfort, NBBB contracted with Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle, WA for functional engineering, and BMT Nigel Gee of the United Kingdom for production engineering for modifications on the sun and lounge decks of the National Geographic Venture, and a contract with Jamestown Metal Marine Services (JMMS) of Boca Raton, Florida for interior systems design and material services.

On National Geographic Venture, JMMS provided and installed high-end architectural finishes throughout the vessel. Furnishings for public space areas, passenger and crew cabins were custom-made to suit Lindblad Expeditions’ design selections and regulatory requirements. Custom pre-fabricated toilet modules were developed for both crew and passenger cabins. The galley and food service areas were designed, constructed and inspected to the latest USPHS CDC standards for the cruise vessel industry.

NBBB contracted design and material services for the various ship systems, including fire prevention and detection, alarm and monitoring, communications, power management and water treatment services.

JMMS worked hand-in-hand with NBBB to coordinate these engineering systems for production installation ship-wide, seamlessly integrating mechanical and electrical with architectural systems to result in a ship exhibiting highly-functional expeditionary voyage capabilities, remarkable visual appeal and luxurious comfort for both passengers and crew.

Gavin Higgins, CEO of NBBB says “it has been a great experience to work with the Lindblad team to build these two expedition cruise vessels. Sven Lindblad is a pioneer in the market, and he and his team have been great to work with.” Project Manager, George Capacci commented “The entire team at Nichols along with our large number of specialized subcontractors have worked diligently to produce a quality ship, National Geographic Venture, that will serve our customer and ultimately their cruising passengers safely and securely for many, many years.” Project Engineer Rob Zavatsky also included “This has been an exciting, and ultimately very rewarding project to have been a part of. Lindblad Expeditions has a vessel they can be proud of and the team at Nichols has performed incredibly to provide them with this.”

Proudly the National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture have been selected in the top ten significant boats of the year. Congratulations Lindblad Expeditions, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and all involved in this extraordinary project.

“This is another important milestone for us, and many people have worked tirelessly in the making of one of the most sophisticated ships built in the US,” said Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. “We are extremely grateful for their collective efforts, and are excited to share this spectacular vessel with our guests and crew.”

NBBB is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere custom boat builder with over 50 years’ experience in vessel construction, repair and conversion. NBBB has an extensive portfolio of Cruise Boat construction which can be found amongst their diverse company portfolio on the web at www.nicholsboats.com.

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