National Geographic Sea Bird
Extensively refitted in 2015, National Geographic Sea Bird is a small, no-frills charmer of a ship that carries 62 guests in low-key comfort to off-the-beaten-track ports in Alaska, the Sea of Cortez, and along the Columbia and Snake rivers. The Lindblad Expeditions ship is for true explorers looking to delve deeply into ports, with a top-notch expedition team and trekking and kayaking galore.
What We Love
Open Bridge: Curious about how the ship operates? The National Geographic Sea Bird has an open bridge policy, so guests can visit whenever navigation conditions allow.
Photography Tips: Nature can be tricky to capture on camera — which is a good reason why there's a dedicated photographer on board. He or she provides how-to lectures and tailored advice throughout the voyage.
Best Known For
Strong Enrichment Programs: Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic are known for their knowledgeable naturalists and onboard experts, whose lectures are nothing like your boring high school science class.
Flexible Itineraries: Unlike a large ship with rigid port schedules, itineraries on National Geographic Sea Bird can be altered to accommodate weather conditions and to maximize wildlife sightings.
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Who It's Best For
Nature Lovers: The rugged outdoors and educational talks are the focus of these cruises versus lounging by the pool, indulging in specialty restaurants, and dancing into the night (the comforts and distractions of mainstream cruise ships).
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Days Are Packed: The fast pace of these cruises can get a bit exhausting. Wake-up calls are early, and active excursions are scheduled on most days.
Peter Knego is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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National Geographic Sea Bird at a Glance
- Line: Lindblad Expeditions
- Class: Sea Lion
- Number of Passengers: 62
- Ship Size: Small
- Launch Date: 1982
- Refurbish Date: 2015