Also known as the world’s ultimate expedition ship, National Geographic Explorer was originally built for service along Norway’s coasts, but has been completely redesigned and rebuilt to take guests closer to nature than most ships.
Uniquely equipped with an ice-strengthened hull and a roster of tools for exploration, including advanced navigation equipment for polar expeditions, National Geographic Explorer provides a thrilling experience on every trip. The interior is spacious and elegant, with comfortable cabins and suites, some with private balconies. The Explorer’s public spaces, in particular the striking window-lined library and observation deck at the very top of the ship, have been designed to make the most of the dramatic views.
It’s easy to explore those views close up, as the Explorer’s fleet of zodiacs make disembarkation easy in remote and generally inacessible places. Back onboard, informative presentations and lively cocktail hours in the welcoming lounge ensure that evenings are as enriching as days on an Explorer cruise.
Food and Drink
1 Restaurant and 1 Bistro Bar
Wellness centre, LEXSpa, Swedish Sauna
Dining is an important part of the Explorer experience, with fine wine and classic fare, as well as dishes influenced by the destinations visited. An extensive menu is served up in the elegant dining room and in the adjacent, cosy bistro bar. Seating is open, so choose a table for two or join a table of twelve – meal times provide the chance to engage with the naturalists and guest speakers sharing the expedition, as well as the ships officers and fellow guests.
Breakfast and lunch are served buffet-style in both the restaurant and the bistro, and when weather permits, a light-lunch option is held outdoors on the aft sundeck. In addition, each evening, a ship’s officer or a naturalist hosts small tables in the chart room.
Regular lectures by guest speakers and naturalists, screened documentaries and photography talks offer the chance to learn more about the destinations and their wildlife, as does the convivial evening Recap, when guests enjoy cocktails and canapés as naturalists share stories and answer questions about the day’s events; and the expedition leader presents the plan for the next day. The Global Gallery showcases handicrafts and artwork from many regions, some available for sale.
Relaxing massages and treatments are available in the LEXSpa, next to a soothing Swedish Sauna. More energetic options can be enjoyed in the Fitness Centre, which offers exercise bikes and treadmills and a fabulous view through floor to ceiling windows. Wellness specialists are on hand for yoga sessions on deck.
The National Geographic Explorer has a full fleet – 15 – of Zodiac landing craft for shore excursions. Alternatively, the inflatable kayaks allow guests to paddle their way through some amazing locations – a floating platform allows the Explorer to deploy kayaks anywhere, including the middle of the sea.