National Geographic Resolution Review

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Editor Rating
Colleen McDaniel

National Geographic Resolution is the culmination of adventure and luxury for Lindblad Expeditions. The 138-passenger ship, with its Polar Class 5 icebreaking bow, was designed for the Arctic and Antarctica, and it delivers guests there in comfort.

The ship is decked out with smart public spaces designed to ensure guests never miss the scenery or wildlife, thanks to abundant outdoor observation decks and floor-to-ceiling windows everywhere. And its main lounge doubles as a high-tech lecture space, with ample TV screens so that no one misses anything from the many presentations that will take place there during a cruise. There is no doubt every detail National Geographic Resolution was created with expedition in mind.

Programming, likewise, is all about bringing the guest closer to incredible destinations, and in some cases, in a challenging, exhilarating way. (It’s on cruisers to know their limits.) Guides are expert at educating about a particular destination and keeping passengers interested in topics from wildlife to sea ice and rocks. The addition of a cultural guide is a real bonus that other expedition lines generally don’t invest in. Resident and guest photographers make this the perfect cruise for amateur shutterbugs who want to learn more about shooting in an environment rife with subjects.

The ship is ideal for passengers who want deep understanding of a region, naturally ask questions and want to push themselves from time to time. It’s done so against a mostly inclusive backdrop of a luxury ship that offers an excellent culinary program, comfortable cabins, and amenities like a hot tubs and saunas.

It’s also a good fit for people who have a flexible travel style: You might have a starting and finishing port on your itinerary, but what happens between is often a thrilling mystery that relies on weather and sea conditions.

National Geographic Resolution Deck Plan Offers Excellent Viewing Space

The National Geographic Resolution deck plan offers a design that passengers will quickly learn, as it’s virtually the same from deck to deck: All cabins are located forward, with the public spaces aft. (Deck 7 is an exception, with cabins at both ends.)

The top of the ship, Deck 8, is the hub of the action for wildlife spotting, with a promenade that fully encircles the ship. It also houses the ship’s two igloos and two hot tubs. Inside on Deck 8, you’ll find a comfortable library and large sitting space that doubles as a restaurant at breakfast and lunch. On the other end is a large (for an expedition ship) spa complex that includes a yoga room, sanctuary, two saunas and two treatment rooms.

A fitness center and the bridge are found on Deck 7, notable as National Geographic Resolution has an open bridge, 24 hours a day. Many passengers quickly discover the bridge and spend their time there to watch for wildlife or simply talk with the captain and his officers.

Deck 6 includes a large lounge – the spot for lectures and cocktail hours – as well as a well-stocked souvenir store. A deck below, you’ll find the main restaurant.

On Deck 3 is the ship’s mudroom, where guests get ready for the day’s shore adventures. Here, they can store equipment like muck boots and rain pants, too. Called Base Camp, this space also serves as the launching point for the ship’s Zodiacs, which get guests from ship to shore in virtually every port.

There is plenty of outdoor viewing space no matter the deck, both indoors and out, which helps the guest feel a connection to the destination and makes sure no one will have FOMO.

National Geographic Resolution Cabins Are Designed for Expedition

Cabins on National Geographic Resolution are comfortable but not over the top. The ship offers two-room suites, balcony cabins, solo staterooms and outside cabins that just have windows. All categories include a good amount of storage space, large bathrooms and good space for hanging wet items (this is a necessity on an expedition cruise!)

Most guests will book a standard balcony cabin – ideal on an expedition cruise as it gets you outside quickly to see what the ship is passing at any time. But the most notable cabins are likely the solo cabins, an unusual and much-appreciated option on an expedition ship. National Geographic Resolution offers 14 solo staterooms, and they’re all balcony cabins. These rooms have slightly less space than other categories, with a twin bed instead of a queen, but are quite comfortable and offer a more-affordable option for passengers traveling alone. We sailed an Arctic itinerary and with many solo guests who said they loved the cabin – and the fact they didn’t have to pay a single supplement.

Cabins to avoid on National Geographic Resolution might include those on higher decks, as the ship sails in some rough waters, and lower staterooms are less prone to movement than those closer to the top.

Food on National Geographic Resolution is Imaginative

Food on National Geographic Resolution is an indulgent surprise that is as imaginative as it is delicious. We were impressed by the variety onboard as well as the way the menu leaned into international dishes, offering guests items that were familiar as well as those that might stretch the palate a bit.

Also worth noting: The ship is the most keyed-into allergies and dietary restrictions we’ve ever sailed. The staff onboard understands each potential allergy and offers great alternatives to dishes to accommodate. The culinary team approached gluten-free dining, for example, by ensuring no cross-contamination: French fries were cooked in a separate fryer, and a toaster was used only for gluten-free items.

We also liked the ship’s approach to eliminating food waste, offering half portions and asking guests to pre-select their dinners at breakfast so chefs could adequately plan for the right dishes. This sustainability practice applied even to the ship’s popular chef’s table dinner, which used kitchen scraps to prepare an excellent, multicourse feast.


Small ship loaded with activities and strong photo program, thanks to National Geographic partnership.


You’ll pay for little things – like boots or rain pant rentals – that are included in the costs with other expedition lines.

Bottom Line

National Geographic Resolution offers a strong mix of luxury and challenging expedition options on a beautiful icebreaker ship.


Included with your cruise fare:

  • All restaurants and dining

  • All alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

  • 1 Hour of Wi-Fi

  • Gratuities

  • Lectures

  • Landings and Zodiac excursions

  • Excursions in ports

  • Polar jacket (to bring home)

  • Water bottles (to bring home)

  • Laundry bag (to bring home)

  • Limited binoculars to use onboard

  • Daily stretching or yoga classes

  • Kayaking

  • Use of relaxation area, saunas

  • Stay in onboard igloo (space permitting)

  • Chef’s table (space permitting)

  • Transfers, pre-cruise hotel stay

  • Charter flight to polar embarkation ports, if necessary

  • Camera equipment borrowing program

  • Wooden walking sticks

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Spa treatments

  • Laundry

  • Wi-Fi after first hour

  • Shop offerings

  • Visas (if needed)

  • Boot rental

  • Rainpant rental

  • Telescoping hiking stick rental

Fellow Passengers

Who Is On Board National Geographic Resolution?

Passengers on National Geographic Resolution are generally exceptionally well traveled and are loyal to Lindblad. On our sailing, most guests had visited places that others only dream of, like Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands. They had sailed with Lindblad many times – in double-digits in some cases. Guests are older – at least 65-plus, on average – and often retirees. But they are mostly fit and eager to get out and explore.

The ship offers no formal get-togethers for groups like solo or LGBTQIA+ cruisers, but the ship is so small that most passengers get pretty friendly quickly.

National Geographic Resolution visits some of the most remote regions of the world, including the Arctic, Antarctic and Northwest Passage. This is not a cruise that would be easy for someone with mobility concerns to take on, as many destinations lack any kind of infrastructure and are accessible only by wet beach landings from an unstable Zodiac. The ship has elevators but no cabins or accommodations for travelers with disabilities.

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National Geographic Resolution Cruiser Reviews

The Experience of a Lifetime

I cannot say enough good things about our trip to Antarctica on the National Geographic Resolution. A top notch ship with a top notch crew and staff.Read More
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Queen Mayberry

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 66s

Best over all expedition cruise

This has been my third cruise with Lindblad National Geographic Expeditions and I highly recommend it for anyone interested in exploring the polar regions.Read More
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Polar explorer

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 53s

Bucket Trip to Antactica does not dissapoint

I expecially apprecaited having a National Geographic photographer on board to shadow, and the photo instructors on board were very helpful.Read More
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few6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

The trip of a lifetime

Alas that it is so expensive, but if you have the means, Lindblad/National Geographic and the Resolution in particular will give you a trip to remember forever — for only good reasons!Read More
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oneFirst Time Cruiser

Age 54s

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