During the launching of the newest US flagged cruise ship, the National Geographic Quest went too far into the water and may have some damage to her prop and rudder.
The event occurred last week at the Nichols Brothers shipyard in Washington state. The ship is among the largest ships that the yard has constructed as they mostly build tugs and small catamaran ferries.
Small US shipyards can’t afford the large drydocks or the building halls that the European yards have so they normally go with the traditional launching method; sliding the entire ship down a ramp and into the water. At Nichols Brothers yard, they have to go one step even further. They must trailer it across a road and then down the ramp.
When the National Geographic Quest was in the process of that last part, she veered off course a bit and one of the propellers and rudders hit the seabed. As a result, divers were sent out to survey the damage. A conclusive analysis couldn’t be achieved so she must be taken out of the water for further examinations of the shaft, prop and rudder.
As a result Lindblad just announced that her first two cruises this summer to Alaska will have to be cancelled.
The new schedule has her set to launch in late July.