- Associated Press - Monday, July 31, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A new cruise ship is set for an eight-day expedition exploring Alaska.

On Saturday, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic launched the Quest - its first ever-new build - from Juneau.

The ship left from Anacortes, Washington, for a shake-out cruise to Alaska, arriving in Juneau on Friday. Its first passengers boarded at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/2uN916n ).

The 100-passenger vessel originally was expected to debut last Wednesday. But the line scrubbed that cruise, citing problems with a launch attempt. A little over a month ago, the vessel was damaged as it slid from the launch ramp.

“We had to overcome some obstacles,” said Marc Cappelletti, the ship’s director of expedition development.

Stops for the ship include Saginaw Bay, the north end of Chichagof Island, Glacier Bay and Sitkoh Bay before the Quest ends the trip in Sitka, said Sue Penn, who coordinates off-ship activities.

The Quest will operate expeditions in Alaska through mid-September. The ship will also sail in Costa Rica, Panama and through the Canal to Belize.

The Quest’s twin expedition craft landing platforms allow passengers to rapidly get on and off the vessel to take advantage of wildlife sightings and maximize their time off the ship exploring, according to Lindblad.

The Quest is outfitted with kayaks, paddle boards and eight Zodiac-style landing craft for outdoors adventures. A mudroom has rows of lockers where passengers can store boots, snorkeling equipment and other gear.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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