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Lindblad Expeditions

Plan Your Lindblad Expeditions Vacation

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.

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.

Key Lindblad Expeditions Tips

Are you a first-time cruiser? View our helpful hints and tips on Your Shipmates, Dress Code, Junior Cruisers, and much more! See Tips

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

  • 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.

Don't Choose This Line If

  • 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

Ships of the Line

Lindblad Expeditions currently sails 10 vessels for adventure cruising to spectacular regions throughout the world. Ships are comfortable, outfitted with modern amenities, offer top-notch cuisine, and afford privileged travelers both quiet refuge and social interaction.

National

Geographic Sea Bird & National Geographic Sea Lion. These identical triple-deck expedition ships each carry 62 guests in 31 outside cabins. Ideally suited for exploring Alaskan waters, the small, shallow-draft sister ships can tuck into nooks and crannies that bigger ships can't reach. Artwork on both includes a collection of photographs by expedition staff naturalists as well as whale and dolphin sculptures. An open-top sundeck, a forward observation lounge, and a viewing deck at the bow offer plenty of room to take in the scenery. The ships are also equipped with bowcams (underwater cameras that monitor activity), and you can navigate the camera using a joystick to observe sea life. Additional expedition equipment includes a hydrophone for eavesdropping on marine mammals, an underwater video "splash" camera to record the passing undersea scenery, and a video microscope for use during naturalists’ lectures. The ship's Internet kiosk provides email access. Fitness equipment is set up on the bridge deck, and the LEXspa Wellness room offers massages, body treatments, and a morning stretching program on deck.

All meals are served open seating during scheduled times in a single dining room. Breakfast is buffet-style, although you may order eggs and omelets from the kitchen, and lunch is served family-style. Afternoon tea includes sandwiches and sweets; hors d’oeuvres are served during the nightly cocktail hour. The open seating dinner typically consists of two entrées—meat or fish—as well as several always-available items such as steak and chicken. Special dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advance notice. Room service is restricted to ill passengers confined to cabins.

These ships are comfortable, but cabins are proportionately small and basic in decor (there are no TVs, for example). All staterooms are outside, and upper-category cabins have picture windows that open; the lowest-category cabins on main deck have portholes that admit light, but do not open or afford much of a view. Most cabins have single beds that can convert to a double, and a few on the upper deck have pull-out beds to accommodate a third person. No accommodations are designated accessible and the ships have no elevators.

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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.

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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.

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Fitness and 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.

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Lindblad Expeditions

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.

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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.

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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.

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