Ulstein Verft and Lindblad Expeditions firmed up an agreement for a second ocean-going expedition ship last week for a third quarter 2021 delivery, with an estimated 10 to 12 percent increase in the price tag despite being a sister ship to the National Geographic Endurance.
While Lindblad CFO Craig Felenstein pointed to currency as impacting the price, he also said the primary driver for the price increase was cost of materials and labor, as well as expertise.
“And the cost of materials at the yard, the cost of labor at the yard and the understanding what it takes to build a vessel of this size, type and intricacy, as we are negotiating with the yard. They were looking for a certain kind of return on the vessel and this was the ultimate price that they felt they had to have to build the next vessel,” said Felenstein, on the company’s year-end and fourth quarter earnings call.
The National Geographic Endurance, the first ship in the series, will enter service next April at an estimated cost of $135 million following her delivery in Norway.
The second 126-guest vessel could cost as much as $150 million.
“When you do look at the return on this vessel given the yields that we are able to achieve and we are already seeing that with the — I would say massive bookings that we’re seeing on the Endurance and the really high yield that she is attracting already well over a year before she even travels,” said Felenstein.
“It has been encouraging. So the ability to continue to generate a return on this vessel somewhere in the high teens made it a very attractive investment opportunity.”