Nichols Brothers working on next generation of boutique cruise vessels


The following is text from a news release from Nichols Brothers Boat Builders:

(WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash.) — Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) has a long history as a builder of cruise/passenger vessels in North America. In 1970 it launched and delivered its first overnight cruise boat, M/V Christian, a timely refined vessel cruising the San Juan Islands of Washington state and up to southeast Alaska. Now, in 2018, NBBB continues to build cruise ships amid developing futuristic concepts and integrating new design requirements into the build process.

NBBB has grown simultaneously with the cruise and passenger vessel industries. As regulatory requirements progressed, and vessel designs advanced, the yard has worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to develop requirements, and adopted new construction methods and strategies. The yard has integrated innovative technologies into ship designs and shipyard infrastructure. NBBB is led by entrepreneurs who learn from each project and build upon it.

The most recent cruise boat delivery, M/V National Geographic Quest, delivered in July 2017, is the most luxurious cruise vessel delivered by the yard to date, and it will be followed by its sister ship M/V National Geographic Venture, currently under construction at NBBB with delivery scheduled in fall 2018.

National Geographic Quest and Venture are state-of-the-art in every aspect. The 238-by-44-foot cruise boats were designed to carry 100 passengers and 50 crew exploring coastal waters, shallow coves, and fast-moving channels where wildlife congregate. Accommodation design includes 50 spacious guest cabins with private balconies, open decks for wildlife viewing, a partially covered sun deck, an expansive lounge, a dining room, floor to ceiling windows throughout, a gift shop, mud and exploration equipment room, gym and spa. Two cranes launch eight service Zodiac boats that can either take guests on tours to explore the waters around them or ferry the guests to shore for landside exploration.

The cruise boat of the future

Nichols Brothers Boat Builders is continuing its leading role in cruise vessel construction in North America and is working on plans for the next generation of boutique cruise vessels. The cruise ship of the future will be contemporary and luxurious. The yard is developing new vessels with advanced propulsion systems, further motion-compensated hulls and refined interior/exterior arrangements to continue to enhance the passenger experience.

With passenger comfort and the environment in focus, these vessels will be powered by diesel-electric propulsion systems combined with battery units for quiet operation, optimized fuel economy and reduced environmental impact. This concept will allow the vessel to run variable-speed diesel generators while en route to the destination, and then navigate and idle silently within the destination on electric battery power with little or no impact to the surrounding environment.

NBBB is working with renowed naval architects and interior designers on the new vessels. Through innovative hull designs, passenger comfort will be improved through the use of motion-compensated hull and stabilizing technologies, reducing the movement of the ship and reducing noise through less pitch and roll of the ship in waves.

The vessels will accommodate 50 to 100 passengers. Larger crew spaces will allow more crew to serve guests, from dining attendants to room services, spa professionals, fitness coaches, wildlife and nature specialists, and land and sea exploration guides. There will be spacious exploration equipment rooms with personal guest lockers, and spa and fitness centers featuring infinity jacuzzies. High-tech camera equipment will include drones and Nauticam underwater cameras.

By Professional Mariner Staff