National Geographic Sea Lion

Why cruise on this ship?

Expedition ship sailing to Alaska, Costa Rica & Panama, and Pacific Northwest year round.

Find your perfect cruise!


Sea Lion's dining room is where all meals are served. Organised in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling, meals become a great time to make new friends a strike conversation with naturalists and experts.

Dining Room

Food served aboard is fresh, local and delicious, and sourced from suppliers who share Lindblad's values of sustainable use whenever possible. Meals aboard are almost always served in the dining room, located aft of the main deck. When weather conditions allow, some meals are served on the Sundeck. There is no assigned seating; the dining room accommodates the entire expedition community in a single seating. During meals your expedition leader, naturalists, and any guest speakers aboard will join you.


  • Experience: Complimentary
  • Food type: Regional


Sea Lion has a small yet adequate range of entertainment facilities. With everything focused on expedition and discovery, these public areas are there for you to take a break between the excitement of exploring.

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You’re invited to the ship’s bridge to see the calm business of navigation unfold. Ask the watch officer questions about navigation. Or, help yourself to the ever-ready binoculars to scan the horizon for whale spouts. There may occasionally be times when the bridge must be restricted to shipboard personnel only.


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The lounge, located forward on the main deck, is the heart of Lindblad's expedition community, where cocktail hour and Recap are held each evening. It’s also where you’ll gather for lectures, photography talks, and guest speaker presentations. There’s a small reference library and board games and cards are also available.


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The bar is typically open from 11am until one hour after lunch begins and from 5pm until closing. A variety of beverages are available for purchase including wine by the glass or bottle, cocktails, speciality drinks, and spirits. There is also a 24-hour self-service beverage station with coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, water, ice, and snacks.



After the morning stretch class, the deck is set with tables and chairs, and lounge chairs.


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The bow observation area accommodates the entire expedition community at once for a shared wildlife viewing experience. A raised platform in the centre is a favourite perch for photographers.



As an expedition ship, Sea Lion boasts an expansive range of exploration equipment, including: bow camera, hydrophone, kayaks, snorkelling gear, splash cam, underwater video camera, and video microscope. These allow guests to discover the destinations visited in more depth and in a more exciting way than a regular cruise would.

Whilst onboard, experts on destinations and naturalists are available to talk to and also give lectures on a wide range of topics associated with destinations visited.

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Taking place in the Lounge, Recap is when naturalists share stories and answer questions about the day’s events, and the expedition leader presents the plan for the following day—as guests enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.


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Exploration Tools

Kayaks: A fleet of one- and two-person kayaks allow you to explore intimate bays and paddle along scenic shorelines. Our naturalists will help novices with technique, while experts have the opportunity to explore further afield.

Expedition Landing Craft: Key to the operation is a fleet of expedition landing craft, which the crew uses to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With several of these boats used every time passengers disembark, the crew is able to transfer everyone off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. These sturdy inflatable craft are the same time-tested brand Jacques Cousteau used in his expeditions for over 30 years. They are widely recognised as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.

Hydrophones: Hear the vocalisations of whales swimming beneath the bow in Alaska and Baja California when your naturalist lowers a hydrophone overboard. The sounds are played over the ship’s loudspeaker so everyone can hear the songs of whales while we watch them feed, fluke, and dive near our ship.

Underwater Camera: Undersea specialist will dive many days of your expedition, even in Antarctica, with almost 200 pounds of gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colourful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment.

Snorkelling Gear & Wetsuits: If you’re exploring Baja California you’ll be fitted with a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit. These are yours to use for the expedition—so there’s no need to pack and tote your own gear. The 3mm shorty wetsuits allow you to stay in the water comfortably for longer and protect your skin from the sun. Guests who own masks with prescription lenses, or prefer to use thicker, full-length wetsuits are invited to bring their own gear. Guests in Alaska are also invited to get in the water…sans wetsuit during the weekly polar plunge.

Splash Cam: The ship is equipped with a Splash-Cam for easy deployment by our naturalists to investigate life just below the water's surface in Alaska or Baja California.

Bow Cam: An underwater camera is mounted to the ship's bow, feeding live video to the monitors in the lounge, offering a glimpse of what passes beneath the bow.


Health and fitness

Sea Lion offers a traditional range of health & fitness facilities, including a fitness area and a spa.

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Fitness Area

A variety of exercise equipment is located in the open air of the Sundeck. Simply ask the wellness specialist if you’d like a yoga mat, exercise bands, or sets of small hand weights to use as well.



Morning stretch classes are held in the open air of the Sundeck, located aft on the bridge deck.


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Making daily discoveries and exploring the wild world is naturally uplifting. Add to that a variety of wellness treatments available aboard, as well as outings led by your wellness specialist, and you’ll find your expedition relaxing as well as revitalising. Massages, body treatments, natural facial treatments, and hand and foot treatments are all available. You will have the opportunity to sign up for a treatment once onboard.


Kids and teens

Though National Geographic Sea Lion does not have any facilities specially catered to children, she offers a range of daily activities and enrichment programs bounds to interest under-18s.

Daily kids activities may include snorkelling and swimming with playful sea lions, hiking among colonies of birds, and sitting together as the community collectively recounts the day at Recap. These are the things you’ll remember together. Aboard ship, kids can never get too far away, but they’re also able to exercise their own independence. Often “kids’ tables” spontaneously form, giving kids the chance to create their own friendships. In other cases, families allow kids to freely join different activities groups by day, then enjoy dinner together every night.

Photo workshops with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor using smart phones or point-and-shoots. Hands-on science using the video microscope and learning about conservation projects, plus hands-on nature lessons with our naturalists who are trained to work with kids and are excellent role models. Journals and journaling time. Scavenger hunts. And “certificates of achievement” for various accomplishments. The kids’ program is learning disguised as fun. You’ll see kids discover hidden talents and gain confidence while having the time of their lives. Kid-friendly menus and movie night with pizza are always a hit, too.


Sea Lion's 31 outside cabins feature ocean views, private facilities and climate controls. Designed with expedition in mind, each offers ample drawer space in the desk and beneath the bed(s) so you can store any luggage you may have.

Category 1

Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two single beds, a writing desk and a large view window. All cabins benefit from private facilities and climate controls.

Category 2

These well located cabins include two lower single beds and a view window. All cabins also benefit from private facilities and climate controls.

Category 3

These cabins feature a seating unit with table and two large view windows. Upper Deck cabins inlude two lower singled beds which can convert to a double bed and a pull-out single bed for a third person. Bridge Deck cabins include two lower beds only. All cabins also benefit from private facilities and climate controls.

Deck plans

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Main Deck

  • Dining Room
  • Bar
  • Lounge
  • Category 1 Cabins
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Upper Deck

  • Observation Deck
  • Category 2 Cabins
  • Category 3 Cabins
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Bridge Deck

  • Sundeck
  • Gym Equipment
  • LEXspa
  • Bridge
  • Category 2 Cabins
  • Category 3 Cabins
Ship facts
Last refit
Wheelchair cabins