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National Geographic Venture (Image: Lindblad Expeditions)
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Loreto
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
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  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Loreto

National Geographic Venture

National Geographic Venture - Lindblad Expeditions

Pros

New facilities, high-end technology add to enrichment experience onboard and ashore

Cons

Amenities and challenging itineraries might not appeal to fans of big, traditional ships

Bottom Line

The ship combines expedition with comfortable, luxurious onboard features


Cruise Reviews

We had previously sailed with Lindblad in the Galapagos Islands with our granddaughters and had a wonderful experience. They wanted to go on another expedition, so we chose Lindblad again, this time to Alaska. The trip was great. Our ... Read More
We had previously sailed with Lindblad in the Galapagos Islands with our granddaughters and had a wonderful experience. They wanted to go on another expedition, so we chose Lindblad again, this time to Alaska. The trip was great. Our granddaughters particularly enjoyed the Explorers program and the naturalist, Jared, who ran the program. The staff and naturalists on board accommodated us beyond our expectations. Of particular interest were the sea mammals - bubble net feeding Humpback whales, sea lions, seals, sea otters and Orca whales. The American Bald Eagles were a pleasure to watch as well. The scenery was magnificent. Large glaciers caving and wonderful sunrises and sunsets, framed against soaring mountains. Truly an environment which is overpowering. The nature walks with the naturalists educated all of us with respect to the ecosystems of southeast Alaska. We learned about the forests and the muskeg. Now our granddaughters want to travel with Lindblad to the Antarctic. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I in our 70s, moderately fit, had a terrific time on this new ship. This adventure expedition fully met my expectations from advertising and reviews. Venture was nearly brand new and well designed for conveniently and safely ... Read More
My wife and I in our 70s, moderately fit, had a terrific time on this new ship. This adventure expedition fully met my expectations from advertising and reviews. Venture was nearly brand new and well designed for conveniently and safely getting us off the ship in zodiacs and small groups nearly every day. The food was tasty and plentiful, always with healthy options. Hotel service was excellent. The other 93 guests were all agreeable fellow adventurers. They included some grandparents, parents, and grandkids. The staff devoted lots of thought and attention to keeping-safe, educating, and amusing the kids, who bonded with new friends and eventually ate meals together. Expedition leader Sheri Bluestein and Captain Johnson did a great job. She announced her "Plan A" for the next day every evening, making the point that they would adapt plans as nature required and opportunities presented themselves. This happened several times and I had no complaints. We got to hike in near-wilderness conditions, to observe wildlife fairly closely. They turned the ship around and followed humpbacks backwards for an hour one evening to give us another look. Each excursion offered activities ranging from mild to strenuous. A team of some 10 Lindblad naturalists was always on deck spotting for wildlife, they led each zodiac cruise and hike, and were friendly and full of interesting information. I learned so much, they were easily available to me individually many times, and I miss Celso, Linda, and the others now. The emphasis on photography was a main draw for me. Five or so naturalists were certified by NatGeo. David Spiegel gave two briefings on board, one aimed more at DSLR users and one aimed at smartphone users. I learned useful stuff from both. On two photo hikes he gave us photographers an assignment to concentrate on. He loaned me an expensive zoom lens and set of binoculars, which I used the rest of the voyage. At the end of the cruise he showed a slide show of photos captured by guests, some of them stunning. Carlos Navarro is also a diver and one evening showed video he had shot underwater to show us what we were missing. James Biscardi produced a professional customized video chronicle of us on this particular voyage and we are glad I bought a copy. We saw humpback whales breaching, blowing, and even bubble-net feeding. A talk by the engaging Dr. Chris Szabo, who lives in the wilderness to study humpbacks and joined the ship for a day, was a fascinating major highlight for me. I also enjoyed author, storyteller, and folksinger Kim Heacox and Kari Ames, Tlingit cultural interpreter. She told me all the others are mispronouncing the tribal name as CLINK-IT. They say TH-LING-GIT. We got close to Stellar sea lions and sea otters by zodiac. They found brown bears feeding on a distant shore but I did not get a good look at any bears this time. Seabirds but not many land birds besides eagles. My top objective was to see tidewater Alaskan glaciers in person before they all melt. I'm glad we didn't wait another year. We saw several from a quarter-mile away. In Glacier Bay the National Park ranger pointed out that Margerie Glacier now ends on land on its right side, and that in a couple of years it might not be a tidewater glacier any more. The ranger and the entire team managed subtly to remind us what our carbon pollution is destroying without stirring up any arguments from climate change skeptics (if there were any). We were told that Lindblad is buying offsets to compensate for the ship's own emissions. On our last day, South Sawyer Glacier produced a dramatic large calving event for us, which was both exciting and a bit sad. Two guests with disabilities paid to come along with friends knowing they would not be able to board the zodiacs and participate in the most engaging parts of the voyage. Yet to their great credit, on the last day Sheri and her team noticed, reserved a zodiac just for these two, and went to extra trouble to help them get off the ship to visit South Sawyer Glacier from the water like everyone else. This year Alaska has been extremely dry and warm. We got drizzle on only one day in Petersburg. We did not need all the duplicate garments we brought in case of soaking, but we had followed their packing advice and would do so in the future. We used insect repellant and were never bothered by mosquitos. This expedition was expensive but fully worth the cost to me. I also admire Lindblad and NatGeo for respecting nature as they go. I'd love to go again with this warm, expert team. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were a little last-minute signing up for this trip but our expedition specialist facilitated everything so smoothly, we just packed and took off. So many passengers opted to take an earlier flight than the recommended flight to ... Read More
We were a little last-minute signing up for this trip but our expedition specialist facilitated everything so smoothly, we just packed and took off. So many passengers opted to take an earlier flight than the recommended flight to Sitka that Nat Geo scrambled and the expedition director met us at the airport with a special bus and tours - that was an impressive start! My husband and I had made plans to go to The Fortress of the Bear (GO!! A must see!) so we met up with them later for a private tour of the Raptor Center, another must-do in Sitka. That flexibility marked the rest of our trip, which you can only do with a small group like we had for this cruise. We loved the size of the ship - and what a beautiful ship it is. The lounge at the bow and the dining room at the stern were both surrounded by windows. The bow outside had a unique configuration allowing everyone a front row view of wildlife and scenery - a well thought-out design. And of course, breath taking photos by Nat Geo Photographers adorned the walls. Our room was lovely with plenty of storage space. With a ship this size we were able to go to areas that the big cruise ships could not. As a matter of fact the only time we even saw one of the bigger cruise ships was in the port at Juneau. The single most impactful aspect of the trip? The people - the naturalists, photographers and staff. They were such a pleasure to be around because they exuded enthusiasm about what they were doing and where they were, and they wanted to share it with you. I am an early riser and that was accommodated by coffee and light fare at around 6:30, and a yoga/stretch class at 7:00. I made one class but kept getting distracted by happenings on the bow - and no matter how early I was up, there was already a Naturalist out on the bow looking for wildlife! Our excursions were varied and always entertaining, active and educational. There were hikes geared to various levels from exploring tide pools at low tide to bushwhacking (well, we didn’t really whack any bush) through the rainforest, and climbing to a WW II military gun emplacement. Some people wanted a quicker pace, so they organized aerobic hikes as well. There were kayak opportunities and zodiac explorations to find wildlife and get up close to impressive icebergs and to the base of an immense glacier. The smaller ship size and the open seating at meals allowed us to meet and get to know a lot of our fellow passengers. They were all like minded travelers that included several individuals who traveled by themselves. Everyone took those singles under their wings and made sure they felt a part of everything. It was that kind of group. There were various sizes of tables and if you sat at one of the larger tables, you might have the pleasure of having one of the naturalists or photographers join you, and they always had great stories to tell. On two occasions, a Nat Geo photographer and a Naturalist donned scuba gear and dove the frigid waters with underwater camera equipment. Then that evening we would see their video production of what was going on underneath our boat. That was a real treat and quite a surprise to see all the marine life and beauty below. Cocktail hour in the lounge was at 6:00 and at 6:30 there would be a recap of the day and presentations by naturalists and photographers. These were often interrupted by the appearance of Humpback Whales breaching off the bow or an Orca mama bringing her calf to see the people. I always had my camera with me. And the food! I expected it to be good but was impressed with the gourmet fare and the presentation. There would always be an option for meat, fish or vegan fare. And no matter if it was a table for 4 or 10, they managed to have all courses delivered at the same time. I looked at the types of cruises listed below to check as applicable (Luxury, Gourmet, Entertainment, Family, Singles, etc.) but did not see one for “Adventure!” So this cruise was all those things plus the adventure!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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