• Photo by Sven Lindblad

  • Gentoo penguins greet the National Geographic Explorer. Photo by Ralph Lee Hopkins

  • Category 6 cabins aboard National Geographic Explorer are spacious with separate living areas.

  • A Category 6 cabin bathroom

  • A Category 6 cabin shower

  • The window-lined Observation Lounge

  • The chart room where guests can map out their polar voyages.

  • The Chart Room also features a special dining table where guests take turns dining with the captain.

  • National Geographic Explorer Captain Oliver Kruess in the bridge. Photo by Stewart Cohen

  • The National Geographic Explorer carries kayaks for off-vessel exploration.

National Geographic Explorer

148 guests
Year Built: 1982
Refurbished: 2008
Length: 367 feet
Beam: 52 feet
Draft: 16 feet
Cruising Speed: 18 knots
Flag: Nassau, Bahamas
Ice Class: 1A

The National Geographic Explorer is an ice-class polar expedition vessel that holds 148 guests in 81 outside cabins. National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship, and the crown jewel of the National Geographic fleet. It is a fully stabilized, ice-class vessel, enabling it to navigate polar passages while providing exceptional comfort. It carries kayaks and a fleet of Zodiac landing craft. An Undersea Specialist operates a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and sophisticated video equipment, extending access to the underwater world.

National Geographic Explorer Review

The National Geographic explorer is one of the finest expedition ships in the world. She is equipped for true expeditions to the farthest reaches of our planet is safety and comfort. At 148 guests and 356 feet she is larger than many other expeditions ships but her size ads stability and endurance for longer voyages. She is still small enough to access remote locations favored by small ship expeditions. 

Choose the National Geogrpahic Endeavour if you are an active and inquisitive traveler seeking the one of the finest ships combined with the best on board experts from National Geographic.The experts and equipment on board this next generation expedition ship provide the finest intellectual and educational experience of any expedition cruise. If you are seeking an upscale expedition ship, with the best guides in the industry, and you are willing to pay the premium of such an experience, the National Geographic Explorer is the right expedition ship for you.

Common Areas Aboard National Geographic Explorer

Guests aboard the Explorer enjoy a Bistro Bar; Chart Room; Restaurant; Global Gallery; Library, Lounge with full-service bar and state-of-the-art facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; Mud Room with lockers for expedition gear; and an Observation Lounge. An "Open Bridge" provides guests an opportunity to meet Explorer's Officers and Captain and learn about navigation.

A full-time doctor, Undersea Specialist, LEX Photo Specialist and Video Chronicler, Internet cafe and laundry are also available. The vessel is staffed by two Wellness Specialists and features a glass enclosed Fitness Center, outdoor stretching area, two LEXspa treatment rooms and Sauna. 

Zodiac landing craft, kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, SplashCam, underwater video camera, Crow’s Nest remote controlled camera, video microscope and snorkeling gear put activity at the forefront aboard Explorer.  

Dining Aboard National Geographic Explorer

Meals are served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Menu is international with local flair.  

Cabins Aboard National Geographic Explorer

All National Geographic Explorer accommodations are outside, and all but eight cabins feature oversized picture windows that connect you with the passing views. Double occupancy cabins come in a variety of configurations, including two single beds, two beds that can be converted to a queen-sized bed, and queen-sized beds.

Soothingly decorated in quiet earth tones, National Geographic Explorer’s spacious cabins offer a large desk, with ample drawer space. Most offer a comfortable armchair for reading. Cabins designed for solo travelers are only slightly smaller than double occupancy cabins, and feature the same amenities.

Individual climate control is available in every cabin. Reading lamps above the bed allow for a focused beam of light to ensure your neighbor sleeps undisturbed.

Thirteen of Explorer’s cabins feature a private balcony with chairs, and a large sliding glass door that provides easy access and exceptional views. Her suites are radiant spaces with expansive windows as well as some with balconies; several also offer a living room-style area appointed with couch that converts to accommodate a third person.

Each cabin has a flat panel TV with several channels: for movies; for National Geographic documentaries; and one for displaying the ship’s electronic chart system with the ship’s current position. Another channel allows you to listen to lounge lectures or presentations from the comfort of your cabin. A public address system keeps you alerted to the daily activities, including any wildlife sightings such as an early morning polar bear.

Bathrooms are also generously sized with a roomy glass-walled shower stall, and suites feature twin sinks. They are stocked with environmentally-inspired bath products and shower gel, hair dryers, and cozy white robes. Beds are cossetted in signature feather duvets and crisp cotton sheeting.

The National Geographic Atlas in your cabin is one indicator that you’re on an expedition. Ample room to hang your parkas and plenty of drawers and hooks for the amount of clothing you might need on a longer voyage are others. In addition, there is abundant under-bed storage space for luggage. There is, however, no need to store your rain gear or boots in your cabin—a mudroom adjacent to the ship’s Zodiac loading bay provides you with a locker for outdoor gear. The generous desk space can handle camera equipment, your laptop, and peripherals. And Ethernet jacks are available for in-cabin Internet access.

Category 1

Main Deck with one or two Portholes #301-308. Shared accommodations available.

Category 2

Main Deck with Window #317-320, 335-336. Shared accommodations available.

Category 3

Main Deck with Window #313-316, 321-328, 337-340, 342, 344, 346, 348, 350. Triples: Main Deck with Window #341, 343

Category 4

Upper and Veranda Decks with Window #103-104, 107-108, 201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228

Category 5

Upper Deck with Balcony #209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224

Category 6

Veranda Deck–Suite #101-102; Upper Deck-Suite with Balcony #213. Triples: #101-102

Category 7

Upper Deck–Suite with Balcony #215, 219, 230. All cabins are available as triples.  

Category Solo A

Main Deck with Window #309-312, 329-334

Category Solo B

Upper and Veranda Decks with Window #105-106, 203, 208


Cabins #209, 211, 214, 216-218, 220, 222, 224, 226, 228, 303-306 — These cabins have one queen sized bed. All other double cabins have two lower single beds; some can convert to a queen-sized bed.

National Geographic Explorer Deck Plan

Bridge Deck

Wellness Deck

Veranda Deck

Upper Deck

Main Deck

B Deck