Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has revealed it will operate the former Crystal Cruises yacht Crystal Esprit.
The expedition line has renamed the ship National Geographic Islander ll. It will sail its inaugural voyage in the Galápagos Islands on 18 August 2022, for year-round expeditions.
National Geographic Islander ll will undergo a “top-to-bottom” refurbishment, the line said, and will carry 48 passengers.
The ship was available following the winding up of Crystal Cruises.
Lindblad Expeditions president and CEO Dolf Berle said: “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.
“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.”
National Geographic Islander II will operate a fleet of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, a custom-built glass bottom zodiac and flotilla of versatile Mark V zodiacs.
On board, the Cove lounge will be the “gathering spot for pre-dinner recaps, crafted cocktails and enriching presentations”, Lindblad said.
The new Science Hub, to be outfitted with an interactive video display, lab benches and seating, will focus on conservation and research.