Artist rendering of National Geographic Endurance

(12 noon EDT) -- Lindblad Expeditions has ordered an additional polar expedition ship, to be delivered in 2021. It will be the fourth polar ship in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, but only the second built specifically for Lindblad.

"We are extremely excited to announce the further expansion of our expedition fleet," said Sven-Olof Lindblad, president and CEO of Lindblad. "This is the next step of our long-term growth strategy to capitalize on the expanding demand for high quality adventure travel. By marrying additional capacity with a dedicated and growing loyal customer base and fifty years of experience, we will be able to build upon our proven track record of delivering unparalleled expeditions to the world's most remarkable destinations."

Lindblad is in the midst of a fleet expansion, having taken delivery of National Geographic Quest in 2017 and taking delivery of National Geographic Venture in December 2018. Its first polar newbuild, the 126-passenger National Geographic Endurance, is due the first quarter of 2020. That ship will have a Polar Class 5 ice rating; it will have 69 cabins, of which 75 percent will have a balcony. It will feature a unique X-bow design that allows it to move through the water more smoothly and with more fuel efficiency.

--By Dori Saltzman, Senior Editor