Check here first for Q & As about our expedition to Costa Rica & Panama.
Travel aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion which accommodates 62 guests in 31 outside cabins with windows, private facilities and climate controls.
A choice of public areas is available for all guests. Our ship features a library; global market, lounge with full-service bar and facilities for films, slideshows and presentations; observation deck; partially covered sun deck with chairs and tables; and spa. Even the bridge is open to guests, giving you the opportunity to meet the captain and officers, and to learn about navigation.
Heating & air-conditioning
The ship is fully climate controlled, either heated or air conditioned, depending on the outside temperature.
There are grand view windows in the dining room and lounge connecting you to the outdoors.
National Geographic Sea Lion features an on-board library with a selection of books pertaining to the regions we visit.
For those interested in downloading digital photos aboard any of our ships, there is a digital photo kiosk where you can download your photos to various types of digital media.
Email and Internet access are available onboard. Your personal email and Internet may be accessed from your own device in your cabin or in one of Wi-Fi areas aboard. Charges apply. Please note that when the vessel is remote areas, satellite email access may not be possible.
No, we do not offer laundry service on board.
Telephone & fax
Satellite telephone calls and fax transmissions are available at an additional charge.
There is no elevator on the National Geographic Sea Lion.
For the comfort of all our guests, smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor areas.
Each cabin has its own thermostat, allowing you to control the temperature (heating or air conditioning) in your cabin.
All cabins face outside with either windows or portholes. Some portholes may be covered periodically during rough seas.
We supply botanically inspired conditioning shampoo, body wash, and body lotion. If you choose to bring your own shampoo and/or conditioner, we recommend that you bring biodegradable products.
Hair dryers are available in each cabin.
Each cabin is equipped with at least one 110v (American) electrical outlet which can be used for electric razors, laptops, and other small devices.
The ship is not equipped with safety deposit boxes. Guests are asked to see the Purser if they have something that must be kept in the ship's safe, although we recommend leaving valuables at home. All passports are kept throughout the duration of the voyage by the Purser.
A great deal of thought goes into what we serve, bringing the regional flavors to your table with local fruits, vegetables, and spices. Meals are served in one open seating in the dining room. Some meals may be served on deck or even ashore on a remote beach. Tables in the dining room are always unassigned to encourage mingling and to ensure you dine with a variety of fellow guests and expedition team members.
Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style, with an array of healthy options from fruits, vegetables, freshly squeezed juices, homemade breads—choices range from simple to indulgent to satisfy any yearnings. Dinner is served with varied meat, fish, or vegetarian options at every meal. Our sustainable seafood program aims to serve locally caught or harvested fresh seafood. And our baker presents fresh breads and desserts daily to surprise and delight.
If you have special dietary requirements, please let us know in advance and we will gladly accommodate you. Unfortunately, we cannot provide kosher meals but can provide vegan meals. Meal hours will be posted in your Daily Program.
Expedition Landing Craft
Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, the amphibious landing craft we use to land on remote islands and shorelines that would otherwise be inaccessible. These sturdy inflatable rubber boats are the same craft that Jacques Cousteau used in his expeditions for over 30 years. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by outboard engines, and are capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.
Kayaking provides one of the best means for personal exploration. National Geographic Sea Lion is outfitted with a fleet of kayaks for everyone who wants to participate. They are very stable and easy to master for novices and experts alike. Lessons and assistance will be offered for newcomers to the sport, so all interested parties may join in this activity. There is something special about being alone, or with a partner in our double kayak, paddling along a remote coastline.
Undersea tools for exploring
National Geographic Sea Lion is equipped with panoply of underwater exploration equipment, including underwater cameras which bring up images to view on LCD screens in the comfort of the lounge. Splash cams and hydrophones bring to life the sights and sounds beneath the sea, and our Undersea Specialist may also dive for a look at marine life. These tools allow us to go further and get closer to nature’s wonders. For more information see Tools for Exploration.
Our goal is to ease packing restrictions and provide added comfort in the water, and we provide snorkels, masks, fins, shorty wetsuits, and beach towels on board. To ensure a perfect fit, you may want to bring your own mask and snorkel. In you require a prescription mask, please bring that along. The shorty wetsuits are available in a range of adult sizes: XS, S, M, ML, L, XL, and XXL. Unfortunately, due to storage constraints, we are unable to provide children’s wetsuits, as they often require special fitting and to provide a sufficient range of sizes is beyond our capacity. We advocate the buddy system for everyone at all times. It is highly recommended that children 14 years of age and under be accompanied by an adult and wear an inflatable snorkel vest while snorkeling.
The 62-guest National Geographic Sea Lion hosts five naturalists plus an Expedition Leader—one expert per 10 guests. One of the most important aspects of every expedition is the knowledge of our terrific staff of naturalists, biologists, undersea specialists, photo instructors, and other specialists who provide talks, guidance ashore and daily camaraderie. The staff will greatly enhance your experience, sharing special insights into areas of the world they know intimately.
This is a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic tradition, as much a part of the expedition as riding in the expedition landing craft. Recaps are generally held each evening in the Lounge prior to dinner and include informal presentations by the staff and a lively review of the day’s events involving both staff and guests. At the conclusion of Recap, your expedition leader will review the activity options for the next day.
The National Geographic Sea Lion carries exercise equipment on the covered portion of the sun deck, including an exercise bike, elliptical, stretch bands, and yoga mats. In addition, as part of our wellness program, our wellness specialist leads stretch classes inspired by yoga and Pilates each morning on the sun deck before breakfast. Kayaking, hiking, and swimming offer a connection to the outdoors.
Exploring the world can be a powerful restorative tonic. To that end, we offer you options to tap into your own personal wellness goals and help you rejuvenate as best we can. A Wellness Specialist is available for wellness elements ranging from massages and body treatments to activities with more fitness in mind, such as aerobic hikes, water sports, and personalized guidance with the fitness equipment. Our goal is not a one model fits all, but rather a multi-tiered approach to exploration and rejuvenation. There is a spa treatment room on the National Geographic Sea Lion where wellness treatments are offered from our specialist for an additional fee.
Yes, there is a doctor on board National Geographic Sea Lion voyages in Costa Rica and Panama; and his/her services are free of charge. The doctor is available at any time in case of emergency. Please inquire about the doctor for your individual expedition.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you will not need a passport for this voyage.
No visa is necessary for U.S. and Canadian citizens. You will also need a passport that is valid for at least six months after the end of your expedition.
The weather is generally warm, with daytime temperatures in the 60-70s°F (15-25°C). Springtime temperatures can reach the high 80s°F (29-31°C). In winter, winds and cold fronts can cause temperatures to drop into the 50s°F (10-14°C). At night, temperatures can drop into the 50 °F (10-14°C), so sweaters and jackets will be necessary.
When you board a expedition landing craft to make a landing, at times there is shallow water to walk through after you disembark the expedition landing craft and walk ashore.
On every expedition, we offer an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, and to help you become a better, more confident photographer and you'll go home with the best shots ever. The photo instructor is there to help every level of photographer, so remember to pack your camera.
Also designed to accommodate all levels of photographers from beginners to pros, our photo expeditions offer 360º photo ops, the instruction of a robust photo team giving you the tips you need when you need them, and all the time you need to get your shots right. They feature outings timed to take advantage of the best light—aboard expedition landing craft for up close encounters with marine mammals, or on trail hikes. Plus, unique share and learn opportunities like onboard photo clinics, one-to-one critiques and inclusive laptop gallery events to see each other's shots.
Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to shoot with and learn from the best in the world—a National Geographic photographer joins every photo expedition, in addition to two Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors. They're engaging presenters and interesting travel companions, too—with good stories to share about their assignments, from the podium and over drinks or dinner.
Expedition costs are all-inclusive:
There are never hidden charges, like port charges. Of course, you’ll want to check carefully the inclusions for the journey you’ve selected, but you can rest assured there will be nothing hidden. Activities and shore excursions are included in the cost of every Lindblad Expedition. We don't want you to miss out on anything. Many cruise lines charge you extra, often hundreds of dollars, to see the sites that prompted you to book in the first place. With Lindblad, all activities and sightseeing are included-from guided hikes to kayaking. You'll always have the freedom to pick and choose activities as your day unfolds: a long hike, a shorter walk, kayaking, a expedition landing craft excursion, or relaxing aboard ship. After all, these are not scheduled tours, these are expeditions. Everyone is different—every day is different.
By using the gangway when docked at port, or a expedition landing craft when we land at empty beaches.
No, National Geographic Sea Lion does not have a pool.
Argentina and Chile are two hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and fourteen hours behind Sydney, AUS (AEDT).
Our style is always informal. The relaxed atmosphere of every journey, a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic hallmark, is something our travelers tell us they particularly enjoy. There is never a need for fancy clothing, so our recommendations on your travel wardrobe are all about comfort, practicality, and the conditions in the region you're exploring. Ship to shore is our online store, which specializes in the kind of clothing, footwear and accessory items suited to expedition travel. Some items on our suggested Costa Rica & Panama packing list includes: