Lindblad Expeditions is to acquire the Via Australis, in the second half of 2016, as a replacement for National Geographic Endeavour, which is leaving the fleet.
The ship, which will sail the Galapagos Islands, was purchased for $18 million and will undergo a significant refurbishment, which is planned to cost $10 million.
Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, said:
“The Via Australis will provide us with increased profitability on the same route through more operating days, revenue enhancement opportunities, operating efficiencies and cost savings compared to the National Geographic Endeavour. Additionally, it will require significantly lower capital expenditures for the foreseeable future.
“The most important elements of a Galapagos experience are the islands, the animals and the sea that surrounds them, so the ship that provides access to these things matters greatly.
“The Via Australis is ultra-efficient to operate and was built with the same sensibility that matters so much to us, with a focus on the world outside. To that end, she has great viewing from all public spaces. Her ability to launch and deploy landing craft is fast and seamless. She is exceptionally quiet and maneuverable, a great asset when approaching marine life. And I’m particularly pleased that this ship will be well received by our crew who work very hard and are critical to expedition success.”
With a maximum capacity of just 96 guests, the Via Australis is an intimate vessel, prefect for expedition voyages. All public spaces have quick access to the open decks for wildlife spotting. Highlights onboard include two comfortable lounges, a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks, plus a gym and spa.