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Various Expedition Cruise Brands Plan Quick Restarts

As the cruise industry gears up for a global comeback, the booming expedition market is also getting back into service with many brands and ships quickly returning to sailing.

First sailing: June 4, 2021
Ships: National Geographic Endeavour II, National Geographic Venture, National Geographic Quest, National Geographic Sea Lion, National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Explorer
Regions: Galapagos, Alaska and Iceland  

Lindblad Expeditions is resuming service in June with cruises to the Galapagos and Alaska.

The first ship to welcome the guests back will be the 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour II, which will offer expeditions to the Galapagos starting on June 4.  

Starting on June 5, the company is also restarting service in Alaska, using its entire fleet of U.S.-flagged small ships.

In July, Lindblad is returning to Iceland with the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer.

First sailing: June 23, 2021
Ships: Le Boreal, Le Bellot, Le Lyrial, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville  
Regions: Iceland, Mediterranean and Brittany

Ponant is currently planning to restart its cruise operations in June, offering itineraries in several regions.

According to its website, the company will focus on the Mediterranean, with sailings to the Greek Islands, Croatia and the Aegean Sea. Iceland and Brittany are also on the schedule between June and July.

The company will require all passengers over 16 years old to be vaccinated before the cruise as part of an extended health protocol.

First sailing: October 23, 2021
Ships: Plancius, Ortelius, Hondius and Janssonius
Region: Antarctica

According to its website, Oceanwide Expeditions is ready to restart service in Antarctica in October.

With four ships in service, the company will operate a full 2021-2022 season in the region. The highlight is the new Janssonius, which is currently under construction in Croatia

Coral Expeditions
First sailing: In service
Ships: Coral Discoverer, Coral Adventurer and Coral Geographer
Region: Australia

Based in Australia, Coral Expeditions restarted sailing in October, offering domestic expeditions.

The 75-guest Coral Discoverer was the first ship to reenter service, followed by two other vessels, including the newbuild Coral Geographer.

Quark Expeditions
First sailing: July 10, 2021
Ships: Ultramarine and Ocean Adventurer
Region: Arctic

Quark Expeditions is planning a service resumption in the Arctic, featuring its first newbuild, the 199-guest Ultramarine. According to its website, the new vessel is set to enter service on July 10.

The Ocean Adventurer is also poised to resume sailings in July, with cruises to Franz Josef Land, Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland

First sailing: July 17, 2021
Ship: Crystal Endeavor
Region: Iceland and Norway

Crystal’s first expedition ship, the Crystal Endeavor is set to enter service in July with a series of ten-night immersive voyages circumnavigating Iceland. Starting in September, the vessel will add a expedition to the Norwegian Fjords to its schedule.

First sailing: In service
Ships: Isabela I and La Pinta
Region: South America – The Galapagos

In August, Metropolitan Touring became one of the first cruise lines to welcome the guests back in the Galapagos.

The Ecuadorian brand offers expedition cruises in the archipelago with a three-ship fleet that includes the 40-guest Isabella I.

First sailing: July 9, 2021
Ships: Sea Spirit and 50 Years of Victory
Region: Arctic and North Pole

Poseidon Expeditions is planning a July restart, with cruises in the Arctic on its main vessel, the Sea Spirit.

The 50 Years of Victory icebreaker is also scheduled to sail to the North Pole for the brand in July.

First sailing: September 25, 2021
Ships: Ventus Australis and Stella Australis
Region: South America – Patagonia

Australis is currently planning to restart service sailing a full 2021-2022 season in Patagonia.

“We didn’t have a season between September 2020 and April 2021. But now we have confirmed our schedule with our two main vessels”, Australis Sales Director for North America Felipe Castro Toovey told Cruise Industry News.

The first cruise is scheduled for September 25 with the Ventus Australis. The Stella Australis follows nearly a month later on October 23.

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