Our new expedition ship, intimate in scale, far-reaching in ambition
Purpose-built to deliver the best possible expedition cruising experience, the National Geographic Quest recently wrapped up her inaugural voyages, spending the summer and early fall exploring the northern reaches of Alaska's Inside Passage and the remote islands and charming towns of the Pacific Northwest. With that noteworthy milestone under her belt, Quest will soon venture south to the tropical coasts of Costa Rica, Panama, and through the Canal to Belize. And as spring arrives she'll return north to make her maiden journey on the Columbia & Snake Rivers.
To build her we turned to Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, the company that built the beloved National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion—vessels that, with our regular maintenance schedule and recent refurbishment, have been operating successfully for decades. We are proud she was built entirely in the USA.
Additionally, the Quest cruise ship achieves some other notable firsts. She is the first ship in our fleet voyaging in these geographies with step-out balconies (available in 22 of the 50 spacious cabins), plus 6 sets of connecting cabins perfect for families and groups; and a designated mudroom for expedition gear.
Equipped for comfort and active exploration
Quest comfortably accommodates 100 guests, making her larger than the 62-guest Sea Bird and Sea Lion, but she has the same shallow draft depth, allowing us to navigate the same inner reaches and provide the same intimate experiences of the charismatic regions we explore. Her twin expedition craft landing platforms allow us to rapidly get on and off the ship to take advantage of wildlife sightings and to ensure we maximize our time off the ship exploring. Designed with decades of expedition experience in the region, the vessel also features open decks, generous windows, and specialty tools for exploration—all which bring you closer in to these pristine wilds.
A commanding view
A common constraint with wildlife viewing on a ship’s bow is that the anchoring gear takes up space and a single level allows only one row of guests to enjoy clean sightlines. Quest’s bow has been uniquely designed with the anchoring gear separated from guest space by a tiered viewing system—this enables multiple rows of guests to line the bow with unobstructed views so you won’t miss a thing. Two stairways on either side of the bow lead to an expansive observation deck one level up for a unique perspective. Or pull up a settee on the Bridge’s designated forward standing area and linger comfortably while wildlife-watching with your naturalists as you enjoy the vantage point that a ship’s bridge provides.