Former Crystal Ship to Sail in the Galápagos Islands For Lindblad Expeditions

The former Crystal Esprit is currently in the process of being transformed into the latest addition to Lindblad Expedition’s fleet — National Geographic Islander II.

Carrying just 48 guests, the all-suite ship will make her inaugural voyage in the Galápagos Islands on August 18, 2022. She will sail there year-round.

national geographic islander II rendering
(Rendering courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions)

The vessel’s top-to-bottom renovation will include indoor-outdoor dining options, a well-outfitted observation deck, and teak decking that connects the indoor and outdoor spaces. New expedition amenities will include a marina and Science Hub.


Each of National Geographic Islander II‘s 26 suites will feature large windows, convertible king/twin beds, a sofa, marble double-sink bathrooms, a flat-screen TV, and ample closet space.

national geographic islander II suite rendering
(Rendering courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions)

The four Islander Suites will each have four windows, separate living rooms, and bathrooms with tubs and rain showers.

Connecting suites are available, plus four dedicated solo suites and triple options as well.

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Public Areas & Amenities

The vessel’s reimagined Cove lounge will be the gathering spot for pre-dinner conversation, crafted cocktails, and informative presentations.

Dining will be offered in the expanded al fresco Patio Café and Yacht Club Restaurant.

national geographic islander II rendering
Patio Café (Rendering courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions)

Designed for active exploration, National Geographic Islander II will carry a fleet of kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, a custom-built glass-bottom Zodiac, and flotilla of Mark V Zodiacs.

The new Science Hub — outfitted with an interactive video display, lab benches, and seating — will connect passengers to Lindblad and National Geographic’s legacy of supporting conservation and research.

Two Cabins for Conservation Suites will also be on board, designed exclusively for Galápagos community members, local and international researchers, educators, storytellers, and other experts who are sharing their experiences and expertise with guests.

The ship will celebrate Lindblad’s connection to the islands, Ecuador, and its people. The food and beverage program will highlight the four regions of Ecuador with locally-sourced ingredients, and much of the artwork and décor onboard will be created by local artists and artisans.

national geographic islander II
(Rendering courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions)

More Information

Named to honor the National Geographic Islander that she will replace, the expedition ship will offer a 1:1 guest to crew ratio. The onboard expedition team will include an expedition leader and four Naturalists, including an undersea specialist, certified photo instructor, and trained field educators who run the National Geographic Global Explorers family program.

National Geographic Islander II is 280 feet long, 46 feet wide, and has stabilizers for smooth sailing.

The refit to better equip the vessel for the Galápagos includes key environmental and fuel-efficient upgrades like reduced outdoor lighting, special paint, and recycled water from new air conditioning systems.

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