National Geographic Endeavour II

As this newsletter goes to press, National Geographic is christening their latest cruise ship, the Endeavour II. I have not been on this boat and maybe you want to wait until after the maiden voyage (hello Titanic), but our guide thinks they have the best (seafarer) offering in the business. The on board naturalists are some of the best around the islands, and the boat is capable of exploring a wider area then you will explore by staying at the Pikaia Lodge. This is largely a function of their ability to navigate at night while you sleep, whereas the range of the M/S Albatross is a couple of hours from the various ports. Therefore, you will be able to explore some of the more subtle distinctions between the species on the various islands. According to the Website, it accommodates 96 guests in 52 outside cabins, including seven sets of connecting cabins, which are ideal for families and friends. Each cabin is outfitted with a window, private facilities, and climate controls. Public areas also include a library, a fitness center, a spa, and a global gallery. A full-time doctor and video chronicler accompany every voyage; and Internet access, laundry service, and a wellness program are also available. Don't picture the luxury of the Regent Seven Seas, but it's new and practical. Bon Voyage!