Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic officially launched the newest addition to its fleet, National Geographic Venture, at a dockside christening ceremony in San Francisco Bay on Friday.

It marked a major milestone for the line. The Venture is only the second newbuild in the company’s history.

The National Geographic Venture and its sistership National Geographic Quest were named one of WorkBoat's 10 Significant Boats of 2018 and received an award at last week's International WorkBoat Show. The first 50-cabin coastal vessel, National Geographic Quest, joined the Lindblad fleet in July 2017. The boats were built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants.

The 238’x44’x10′, 100-passenger cruise vessels get their main propulsion from twin MTU 12V4000 Tier 3 diesel engines, producing 1,600 hp at 1,800 rpm each. The mains connect to Wartsila 70″x80″, 5-bladed Nibral props through Reintjes WAF 332 marine gear, with 5.571:1 reduction ratios. The Venture and the Quest are fitted with a Schottel 170 thruster for added maneuverability. The propulsion package gives the new boats a running speed of 12 knots.

Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, presided over the christening ceremony, joined by Gary Knell, chairman of National Geographic Partners, and the ship’s captain, Andrew Cook. During the ceremony, Lindblad gave a special thank you to the ship’s crew lined up aboard the National Geographic Venture’s bow.

“I am very, very, proud. It is a great expedition ship," said Knell. "It’s comfortable, nimble, and with massive amounts of glass, our guests will constantly be connected to the outside world. We are delighted with the way she came out.”

For 15 years Lindblad and National Geographic have worked together taking travelers around the world to some of the most amazing places, Knell said. “We could not be happier than we are seeing this beautiful new Venture head out to sea.”

Capt. Cook expressed his excitement about the meticulous planning of the ship’s features. “What we have learned over time has provided us the best way to experience the environment. For me personally, this is as fine a ship as I could have asked for.”

The lounge is a moving window on the world outside, the bow the perfect place for photography with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor. The ship also features the B&H photo gear loaner program, where guests can try the latest lenses, camera bodies and binoculars aboard ship.