National Geographic Sea Lion small ship with dark blue hull & white upper decks sits on anchor as Zodiac cruises by at dusk.
Guests stand & raise arms during morning stretch class atop purple yoga mats on deck of Nat Geo Sea Lion small ship.
Tables and chairs near bar in window-lined lounge aboard National Geographic Sea Bird expedition ship.
National Geographic Sea Lion dining room set for a meal with round tables and chairs and picture windows.
Large bed, desk, chair, large windows and door opening to outside on Nat Geo Sea Bird & Sea Lion expedition ships.
View Photos

National Geographic Sea Lion

year built
164 feet
33 feet
6 feet
cruising speed
10 knots
United States

The National Geographic Sea Lion is the sister ship to the National Geographic Sea Bird, and they are virtually identical, accommodating 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. Her specialized educational features and highly trained guides and photo instructors offer a unique, in-depth educational experience.

National Geographic Sea Lion Review

National Geographic Sea Lion is a tried and true expedition ship, offering itineraries primarily sailing in North America and Mexico. AdventureSmith Explorations’ National Geographic Sea Lion review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Please read our National Geographic Sea Lion review below then contact experts to compare the National Geographic Sea Lion with other small cruise ships and yachts offering Alaska small ship cruises and Pacific Northwest cruises.

Choose the National Geographic Sea Lion for an active and inquisitive travel experience immersed in nature and wildlife. The experts and equipment on board provide the finest intellectual and educational experience of any small ship cruise. With a shallow draft and small size, she can easily reach places inaccessible to larger ships. Her inviting public spaces foster a sense of shipboard life where everyone is integral to the adventure, engendering a sense of expedition community. The expedition staff likes nothing better than to surprise and delight guests by directing their attention to breaching whales, bow-riding dolphins and alluring coves. The probable presence of National Geographic explorers, photographers, writers, scientists and other experts offers educational opportunities. Their energy, enthusiasm and field expertise are sure to enhance the experience.

Common Areas & Amenities Aboard Nat Geo Sea Lion

The bow on the Upper Deck is open as an observation area and can accommodate all guests at once for wildlife viewing. The raised platform in the center offers an excellent perch for photographers. The sun deck, located on the Bridge Deck, is partially shaded with chairs, tables, a variety of exercise equipment and the ship’s spa. The bridge is open, providing a chance to observe and chat with the officers and crew. The open lounge features a full bar and space for films, slide shows and lectures; a reference library and bar.

The talent of local artisans is highlighted in the ship’s global market. This event includes a collection of items made by local residents and is hosted in the ship’s lounge during each expedition. Silver jewelry crafted in Alaska, paintings and books by the naturalist staff, plus expedition clothing and other essentials are displayed. Every item purchased in the Global Market contributes to an Artisan Fund, which supports artisans in communities around the world to develop their potential more successfully.

National Geographic Sea Lion offers internet access (one device at a time) via three tiers: time-limited complimentary “basic” internet, for app messaging, email and simple social media; time-limited “enhanced” internet, adding general web browsing and video conferencing capabilities; and “premium” internet, for unlimited access to all features under the “enhanced” plan. WiFi is satellite based and may not always be accessible in poor weather or extremely remote areas.

Dining Aboard National Geographic Sea Lion

Onboard chefs prepare fresh, delicious dishes from local ingredients. Meals are served in the dining room with open seating. Breakfast is a buffet offering a wide selection of options, lunch is often served family style and dinners are typically plated.

The bar is open mid-morning and in the evening. A variety of beverages are available for purchase including wine by the glass or bottle, cocktails, specialty drinks and spirits. There is also a 24-hour self-service beverage station with coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, water, ice and snacks.

Activities Aboard National Geographic Sea Lion

Stand-up paddleboards and one- and two-person kayaks are available for exploration. Expedition landing crafts allow for safe, versatile and rapid transitions to off-ship adventures.

Nat Geo Sea Lion contains a bow camera, video microscope, hydrophone and an underwater camera that streams footage to TVs in the lounge and staterooms, all offering multiple ways to interact with the wildlife. When whales are present, sounds of their vocalizations are heard over the loud speaker with the hydrophone. The ship is also equipped with a Splash-Cam for easy deployment by the naturalists to show the spectacular world beneath the surface of the sea. An iMac station is available in the ship’s lounge for editing and sorting photos; equipped with a digital media reader and USB outlets. A full-time certified photo instructor and video chronicler are on board. Undersea specialists are also on Alaska sailings.

A variety of wellness treatments are available on board, as well as activities led by the wellness specialist. Morning stretch classes are held in the open air of the sun deck, with yoga mats available. Exercise bands and sets of small handweights are also available for use. Massages, body treatments, natural facial treatments and hand and foot treatments are all available at the spa. Signup opportunities for treatments occur once on board.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard National Geographic Sea Lion

National Geographic Sea Lion’s 31 cabins are outside facing with one or two windows, private facilities and two lower beds (some configurable). Every cabin has Wi-Fi access for purchase; temperature controls (including air conditioning); organic cotton duvets and crisp cotton sheeting; botanically-inspired hair products, soap, shower gel and a hairdryer. Beneath every bed is space to store luggage and each cabin has one or two closets plus drawers under the beds. A speaker in each cabin is tuned to the microphone in the ship’s lounge and can be turned on or off individually. Laundry service is available for an additional fee.

2 twin beds, nightstand & large window in cabin aboard National Geographic Sea Bird & Sea Lion expedition ships.
Category 1

Main Deck #300-305. Conveniently located between the dining room and lounge, these cabins include a writing desk and a window. Cabin doors open to an interior hallway.

2 twin beds by view window & wooden bedside table in Category 2 cabin of Nat Geo Sea Bird & Sea Lion expedition ships.
Category 2

Upper Deck #200-212, 215; Bridge Deck #100-104. These well-located cabins include a window. Cabin doors open to the outside.

Large bed, desk, chair, large windows and door opening to outside on Nat Geo Sea Bird & Sea Lion expedition ships.
Category 3

Upper Deck #214, 216, 217, 219; Bridge Deck #105, 106. Some cabins convert to a double bed, and Upper Deck cabins can accommodate three travelers with a pullout single bed. They include a small table, two chairs and two windows. Cabin doors open to the outside.

Deck plan showing Main Deck, Upper Deck and Bridge Deck of National Geographic Sea Bird & Nat Geo Sea Lion expedition ships.
Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

test message
View Wishlist