Lindblad is extending its 11-year partnership with National Geographic through the end of 2025. Lindblad has an exclusive partnership with National Geographic for all ocean-going, ship-based voyages, which includes all Lindblad-owned vessels carrying the National Geographic name. Lindblad and National Geographic will align marketing efforts to promote the expedition product, and expeditions will continue to feature National Geographic photographers, writers, field researchers and film crews.
Lindblad plans to order at least two new expedition ships, one for delivery in 2017 and one for delivery in 2018, though the company has not yet specified where those ships will sail. And with what Lindblad sees as considerable growth and opportunity in the expedition cruising market, there could be more vessels to come.
“This is a compelling market opportunity, because we all know as individuals accumulate wealth and free time they seek unique experiences, which has led the expedition sector to some of the highest growth rates in the travel industry.”
The two new vessels Lindblad will order will be similar in size and feel to the expedition ships in the existing Lindblad fleet, which consists of six National Geographic-branded vessels, ranging from the 47-passenger National Geographic Islander to the 148-passenger National Geographic Explorer.
Lindblad said he didn’t want to build too many ships, and he didn’t want to build large cruise ships. Instead, he wants to focus on the small-ship expedition-cruising model that enables the line to take guests to more unique and harder-to-get-to destinations.
He noted that the company’s ethos of research-driven, environmentally conscious travel would continue to guide its actions.