Key to our operation is our fleet of 8 Zodiacs, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With two loading stations, we are able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, and not idly waiting. The Zodiacs are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small inflatable boats afloat.
Remotely Operated Vehicle
Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colorful undersea life is in these unlikely places. This rarely seen vantage point may fundamentally change the way you view the ocean.
National Geographic Venture is equipped with 24 two-person kayaks—a fleet large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity. Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch.
Our undersea specialist will occasionally dive during your expedition to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colorful swimming nudibranchs, 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.
Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures.
This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system.
An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is usually on display in the lounge.
Snorkeling gear & wetsuits
You’ll select a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit that remain yours for the duration of the expedition. There’s no need to pack and tote your own gear, although guests who prefer to do so are welcome to bring their own.