The Lindblad Expeditions story starts with a family that has long had a sense of wanderlust imbued with a passion for the environment.
Lars-Eric Lindblad started Lindblad Travel in 1958 and is widely known as the “Father of Eco-Tourism.” His son Sven-Olof Lindblad traveled extensively as a youngster with his dad and later as a wildlife photographer in Africa for six years.
In 1979, Sven Lindblad started the company that is now Lindblad Expeditions, with a focus on marine adventures. He insists he had never set out to be a businessman but became interested when he realized it was possible to create a successful business venture out of a passion to explore while still having a caring approach to conserving nature.
Lars-Eric Lindblad died in 1994, but his legacy is recognized in his son’s work and the family name that adorns more than a dozen ships that carry people on journeys in some of the most special places on Earth.
Lindblad Expeditions is infused with a culture that puts the environment at the forefront and aims to operate in a way that delivers once-in-a-lifetime trips for passengers while spreading the word about the precious resources we share with animals and those who call exotic and remote destinations their homes.
Lindblad Expeditions welcomed its newest ship, National Geographic Venture to the fleet with a christening ceremony November 30 in San Francisco. In true Lindblad Expeditions style, CEO Sven Lindblad kept his remarks brief and to the point. The festivities were unpretentious, with many passengers and attendees wearing jeans and other casual apparel and the master of the ship, Capt. Andrew Cook, mingling with guests. Senior Vice President Pamela Fingleton did the honors breaking the Champagne bottle on the hull of the sleek new vessel, and we all set off for the inaugural two-day sailing in San Francisco Bay for a mini city expedition.
The next day, Sven Lindblad, 67, joined us for on a hike to the peak of Mount Livermore on Angel Island. The 100-passenger NatGeo Venture now officially joins the line and will sail to places like Alaska, Baja California, the Sea of Cortez, Panama and Costa Rica.
Here is what you need to know about Lindblad Expeditions:
National Geographic Partnership
Lindblad Expeditions has had an alliance with National Geographic since 2004, with Lindblad operating nine of NatGeo’s ships (Venture, Quest, Endurance, Explorer, Orion, Sea Bird, Sea Lion, Endeavour II and Islander) that carry between 48 and 148 people. Some of the vessels are specifically designed with strengthened hulls to sail in icy polar passages year-round.
Lindblad Expeditions ventures into the most stunning locations for full immersion while traveling in comfort onboard its ships. The line sails voyages to the Galapagos, Caribbean, Amazon, Antarctica, Mediterranean, British Isles, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Arctic, South Pacific, Peru and several other exotic locales.
Open-seating dining rooms offer gourmet meals loaded with healthy choices and reflecting regional tastes — with a buffet-style breakfast and lunch and plated dinners.
Lounges have a coffee station and fridge with included sodas and snacks, as well as a bar serving cocktails, wines and regional craft beers. Cabins are built for function, with open shelving to store all your gear and personal items, and well as comfortable beds, small desks and large closets with dressers and drawer space.
Ships also feature a marine sports deck (fantail) from which the water activities and skiff tours are launched. On the new NatGeo Venture, the ship offers an impressive Mud Room with lockers where passengers get geared up for their activities and drop off their life vests, boots and other items after their excursions so mud, dirt and wet clothes aren’t dragged back into the ship.
NatGeo Venture has a spa for massages and other treatments, as well as a large, well-equipped fitness center. Ships offer boutiques where you can buy souvenirs and Lindblad logo wear. A Sun Deck and bow space a great outdoors spots for enjoying wildlife during scenic sailing. The Sun Deck is also the spot for daily stretch class each morning to get your body prepared for adventures.
Cruisers are provided with metal water bottles to use during the trip, and they can fill them at water stations. Ours were in the Mud Room and the gym on National Geographic Venture.
Ships feature a library with books and magazines, and Wi-Fi access is available.
What You’ll Do
The line offers a mix of light and moderate activities each day. All excursions are included in your fare.
Expert expedition guides lead the itineraries, taking passengers out for daily adventures such as hiking, kayaking, Zodiac tours, snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding. Onboard, field staff and naturalists give talks about the regions you are visiting and the activities you are about to undertake. They also might give recaps of what you have just seen.
The focus could be on history, animals, geology or other topics of interest during your voyage. Guides also conduct photography classes, as these cruises offer amazing photo opportunities. National Geographic Venture even has a locker filled with top-notch equipment like lenses and cameras available for loan to use on your sailing.
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