About This Line
Founded in 1979 as Special Expeditions by Sven-Olof Lindblad, the son of Lars-Eric Lindblad, the company changed its name in 1984 to Lindblad Expeditions. Every cruise is educational, focusing on soft adventure and environmentally conscientious travel. Since 2004 the line has partnered with National Geographic to enhance the experience by including National Geographic experts and photographers on board to lead discussions and hold workshops.
National Geographic experts have an intimate relationship with their specialty destinations that give each cruise a unique perspective. Every voyage balances the "must-see" destinations and sights with the lesser-traveled, something easier to do with a small expedition ship, which can visit smaller islands and more out-of-the-way ports than its mainstream cousins.
Beginning in 2008, National Geographic Expeditions began working solely with Lindblad Expeditions on marine itineraries to create and deliver exceptional expedition voyages that feature National Geographic Society experts and educational programs. This is an alliance of two exploration pioneers in an innovative program to remote and pristine destinations around the globe. On board, guests interact with world-renowned scientists, naturalists, and researchers and uncover stunning natural environments alongside skilled specialists utilizing state-of-the-art exploration tools.
The multifaceted strategic partnership that Lindblad Expeditions has with the National Geographic Society enables Lindblad travelers to participate in the world of natural and cultural history as engaged, active explorers who care about the planet.
The focus of Lindblad cruises can be historical, cultural, and archaeological in places like Europe, or the emphasis can be much more on natural wonders in places like Alaska. Regardless, Lindblad Expeditions ensures that their Expedition Team includes a handful of naturalists who will incorporate the ever-important natural history. In fact, they'll illustrate how the natural world has helped determine the course of history
The ships of Lindblad Expeditions spend time looking for wildlife, exploring out-of-the-way inlets, and making Zodiac landings at isolated beaches. Each ship has a fleet of kayaks as well as a video-microphone: a hydrophone (underwater microphone) is combined with an underwater camera so passengers can listen to whale songs and watch live video of what's going on beneath the waves. In the evening the ship's naturalist recaps the day's sights and adventures over cocktails in the lounge. A video chronicler makes a DVD of the entire cruise that is available for purchase.
Arrivals and departures are strategically calculated to take advantage of timing and lighting and to allow the use of onboard Zodiacs whenever the ship can't pull up to a dock. Rather than a necessary burden, entering the ports is an event unto itself, unlike on a more traditional cruise when the ship usually sails and ties up in port while everyone is asleep.
All activities and shore excursions, from guided walks and hikes to museum entrance fees to water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, are included in the cost of every Lindblad Expedition. You won't be locked in to a pre-booked excursion. Instead, you will always have the freedom to pick and choose activities as the day unfolds.
Evenings onboard include a gathering in the ship's lounge for a Lindblad tradition called "recap," where the expedition staff members talk about what you experienced that day and what to anticipate the next.
Every Lindblad itinerary has flexibility built into the schedule. In fact, entire days are left open for exploring on some itineraries. So, for example, if a blue whale or a school of dolphins are encountered, there will be time to stop and watch rather than having to rush to get to the next port of call.
None of Lindblad's ships have elevators. There is a doctor on board international voyages whose services are provided free of charge. The doctor is available at any time in case of emergency. Smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor areas. Lindblad Expeditions, 96 Morton St., New York, NY, 10014. 212/765-7740 or 800/397-3348. www.expeditions.com.
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