Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. may delay the June 26 inaugural cruise of its National Geographic Quest being built by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Whidbey Island, Wash.
After CEO Sven-Olof Lindblad recently visited the yard, the line said that “based on some developments” the cruise to Alaska and British Columbia may be cancelled. It did not specify the issues.
A final decision on the sailing will be made by June 12, the company said.
The 238’6″×48’×9’6″, 100-passenger Quest is one of two U.S.-flagged coastal cruise vessels Nichols is building for Lindblad in a $95 million deal. Sistership National Geographic Venture is expected to enter service the second quarter of 2018. Nichols built Lindblad’s U.S.-flagged National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird.
Lindblad earlier told analysts that the Quest was “virtually sold out for the summer of 2017.”
In a letter alerting passengers to the possible delay he said he was “extremely sorry, as are all of us, that this is even an issue. Our team in Whidbey — from welders to pipe fitters, to supervisors, to our crew — are doing everything they can to avoid disruption.”
Passengers were offered a variety of options including staying booked for June 26, switching to another date for a 50% discount, or cancelling and getting a full refund and a $2,000-per-person credit for another cruise.
Lindblad has been posting Quest updates and construction videos on its blog as part of a countdown to launch.