Lindblad Expeditions is a pioneer in small ship expedition cruises and one of the biggest names in small ship cruising today. The company is synonymous with exploration, education and conservation. Operating under the idea that a cruise is passive but an expedition is active, Lindblad delivers an authentic and exhilarating travel experience through all-five-senses engagement with the world’s most exotic locations, from the Galapagos Islands to Australia to the Arctic. Learn about the history, expedition cruises and reasons to cruise with Lindblad on this page, then contact AdventureSmith to book and compare Lindblad with other travel operators and expedition cruise lines worldwide.
Lindblad Expeditions History
Lindblad Expeditions was founded in 1958 under the name of Lindblad Travel by Lars-Eric Lindblad. Lars-Eric had channeled his passion to be an explorer into the travel business, but organized tourism proved to be a bit tame for him. So he planned trips to some of the most exotic parts of the globe, including the first tourist expedition to Antarctica in 1966, Easter Island and the Galápagos Islands in 1967, and along the coast of China and Bhutan in 1978. By believing that educated people who saw things with their own eyes would be a potent force for the preservation of the places they visited, Lars-Eric made his notions a powerful force for the good of conservation and restoration projects worldwide.
Since 1979, Lars-Eric’s son, Sven-Olof Lindblad, has expanded the Lindblad legacy by providing transformative travel experiences in the world’s most remarkable places. And, continuing a significant element of his father’s ideals, Sven-Olof has increased the company’s commitment to conservation and field science, most notably through the Lindblad’s partnership with National Geographic starting in 2004. In 2012, the company purchased Australia-based Orion Expedition Cruises, furthering its reach across the globe.
Lindblad Expeditions is on our list of the best small Alaskan cruise lines and best Antarctica cruise lines. And their reputation for being at the top of the expedition market is well deserved. A cruise aboard any one of Linblad’s small ships is marked by a top-notch expedition team with some of the best service in the industry.
Despite Lindblad’s luxury price tag, the onboard atmosphere is casual and practical in an expedition style. The true value is in the naturalists, historians, undersea specialists, guest lecturers, highly trained guides and a Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor aboard each departure, and National Geographic Photographers aboard each departure of the National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Orion and National Geographic Endurance, and on select photo expeditions fleet-wide. Food on board is fresh and sustainable but not gourmet.
Due to the company’s pioneering history and acts of conservation, Lindblad Expeditions has longstanding relationships with local park authorities, in many cases as a result of its efforts to create a park or preserve. This affords Lindblad guests access to extraordinary naturalist sites such as Magdalena Bay in the Sea of Cortez, Glacier Bay in Alaska or the Coiba National Park in Panama, often not accessible to other operators.
Why Choose Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad cruises attract guests who are well educated, well traveled and committed to the environment. With top names in photography and science as your shipmates on a Lindblad cruise, these truly are expeditions for the intellectually minded. Choose Lindblad if you want the best expedition experience possible, with the best guides in the industry, and you are willing to pay the premium of such an experience. The company is also at the forefront of sustainability initiatives in the expedition cruise industry, including becoming a carbon-neutral company in 2019; eliminating single-use plastics fleet-wide in 2018; launching a sustainable seafood program; making crew uniforms from recycled plastic; and launching a fleet-wide sustainable Premium Purity cleaning system to reduce water usage by 1.1 million gallons per year, eliminate thousands of plastic bottles used for cleaning products and increase passenger health and purified air.
If you are seeking a Galapagos family cruise or Alaska family cruise, Lindblad is a top choice thanks to their National Geographic Global Explorers program in these two destinations. The Lindblad Global Explorers program is designed to help children under 18 develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge of a National Geographic explorer. Onboard naturalists, called National Geographic field educators, optimize daily learning opportunities. Through photos, videos, music, poetry, drawing and more, kids and teens are encouraged to think outside the box and use their creativity to tell stories about the unique things they’ll do and see along the way. One example: create slow motion and time lapse videos with a National Geographic certified photo instructor. Daily “In the Field” activities prompt kids to watch out for a particular item, like a creature with scales, plankton during snorkel outings or a giant coral head on land, then record their observations in their Field Notebook.
“My father, Lars-Eric Lindblad, was a lifelong explorer and involved me at a very young age,” said Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. “Those experiences made an indelible impression on me, and informed the person I am today. Children love to explore, and our goal for this program is to help inspire our next generation of global explorers to make a positive impact on their world.”
Lindblad Expeditions & AdventureSmith
When AdventureSmith Explorations founder and president Todd Smith was a young guide working in Alaska for Glacier Bay Tours & Cruises, everyone compared themselves to Lindblad.
“It’s been exciting to watch Lindblad’s evolution in small ship cruising, while at the same time having AdventureSmith Explorations mature, expand and grow alongside them.” – Todd Smith
Ever since, Todd has known and respected Lindblad, as well as many of the captains, crew and mates he’d worked with back in the day. “It’s been exciting to watch Lindblad’s evolution in small ship cruising, including their partnership with National Geographic and the expansion of their fleet, while at the same time having AdventureSmith Explorations mature, expand and grow alongside them,” Todd says.