Lindblad Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions

Fodor’s Expert Review

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 cruise experience by including experts and photographers on board to lead discussions and hold workshops and help balance “must-see” destinations and less-traveled spots.Read More

Beginning in 2008, National Geographic Expeditions began working exclusively with Lindblad Expeditions. 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 ships of Lindblad Expeditions spend time looking for wildlife, exploring out-of-the-way inlets, and making Zodiac landings at isolated beaches. Itineraries are flexible, so as to take maximum advantage of reported wildlife sightings and weather conditions. 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. An “open bridge” policy provides passengers the opportunity to meet the captain and his officers and learn the intricacies of navigation or simply observe.

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. Guests always have the freedom to pick and choose activities as the day unfolds. A video chronicler makes a DVD of the entire cruise that you may purchase.

Top Reasons to Cruise

1
Exotic Destinations.Expedition “soft adventure” cruising to destinations like Antarctica, the Arctic, Alaska, and other inaccessible areas of the world.
2
National Geographic.Partnered with National Geographic, cruises feature expedition experts, trained naturalists, and guest lecturers in various scientific fields depending on the destination.
3
Premium Pricing.Expensive all-inclusive fares include first-class travel accommodations and facilities.
4
Hands-on Family-Friendly Adventures.The educational emphasis of these cruises and customizable off-boat excursions are ideal for families with children.
5
Video Galore.Underwater and land videotaping to chronicle destinations and natural wildlife with regular topical presentations and discussions.

Is This Line Right for You?

Choose this Line If
Don’t Choose this Line If
You want to be an ecologically responsible traveler.
You consider travel a learning experience.
What you see from the ship and landings are more important than the vessel itself.
You are mobility-impaired; the ships are not accessible, and Zodiacs are used to reach shore for certain explorations.
Your happiness depends on being entertained; other than enrichment programs, there is no formal entertainment.
You consider TV essential; there are none in the staterooms.

What to Expect on Board

Food
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Food

Appetizers are often served on deck as you sail from port, while regional specialties are served in the dining room.

Lindblad prides itself on serving fresh Alaska seafood, including Dungeness crab, halibut, and Alaska king salmon, but there are also plenty of meat and vegetarian options. The “Seafood for Thought” program is meant to ensure that sustainable seafood is being served.

Entertainment

Lindblad clientele should not expect shuffleboard and glitzy Broadway shows or a casino, but it’s more likely they prefer reflective moments gazing at constellations, speaking about maritime navigation with the ship’s captain, or watching a video slide show about biodiversity anyway.

Expect to have the most fun boarding a Zodiac for remote shore visits or snorkeling surrounded by spectacular marine wildlife.

Fitness & Recreation

Ships carry exercise equipment on deck and offer a holistic Tonic of Wellness program that might include activities such as kayaking and hiking, fitness activities like yoga and Pilates, or massage therapy and other body treatments.

The fitness staff provides expertise in massage therapy and relaxation, water sports and aerobic hikes, stretching classes, and personalized guidance with the fitness equipment.

Key cruising tips

Although fares are rather expensive, wine and cocktails are not included; nonalcoholic beverages are.
All shore excursions except flightseeing are included, as are transfers to and from airports.
Extensive pre-trip information, including recommended reading, photography guidelines, and what to pack, will arrive with your documents.
There is no elevator on board, nor are there accessible features for the mobility impaired.
Don’t expect round-the-clock availability of food; room service is only available if you are sick and confined to your cabin.

Your Shipmates

Lindblad attracts active, adventurous, well-traveled over-forties, and quite a few singles, as the line charges one of the industry’s lowest single supplements. However, the line has made a successful push to be more family-friendly by adding cruises aimed specifically at families and children. To that end, staff members have undergone extensive training designed by several of Lindblad’s family travel experts with years of experience in childhood and environmental education to tailor activities toward children. Some family expeditions are offered during the Alaska season, which follow the same itinerary as Lindblad’s other trips but include a crew member dedicated to running educational programs for school-age kids. All Lindblad cruises offer substantial discounts for young people up to 21 traveling with their parents.

Dress Code

Casual and comfortable attire is always appropriate. Recommendations are based on practicality and the likely weather conditions in the region you’re exploring. Good walking shoes are essential.

Junior Cruisers

Although there are no dedicated children’s facilities on board, families are welcome on all Lindblad itineraries. In fact, the number of families traveling with the company has grown substantially, so much so that the line will have dedicated staff on some designed “family” cruises that know how to inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Lindblad emphasizes shared experiences, and while there are always some activities just for children or adults, most are done together.

Service

Service is friendly and helpful, if not overly polished.

Tipping

Although gratuities are at your discretion, tips of $12–$15 per person per day are suggested; these are pooled among the crew at journey’s end. Tip the massage therapist individually following a treatment.

CRUISE LINE INFO
212/765–7740 or 800/397–3348

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