By Lindblad Expeditions · February 2021
What better reason is there to travel than to help make the world a better place by leaving a positive mark everywhere you go? Lindblad Expeditions does exactly that, so we chatted with Amy Berquist, VP, Conservation, Education and Sustainability, to learn more about all their company offers.
Q: Tell us a bit about Lindblad Expeditions and the type of cruising the company offers.
The Lindblad family started the very first, small ship expedition company, voyaging to Antarctica in 1966 and Galapagos in 1967. Today, Lindblad Expeditions offers a fleet of exceptional, well-appointed ships that intimately accommodate 28-148 guests with 40+ programs on seven continents ranging from five to 36 nights. We explore the most remote and remarkable places on this planet, from Antarctica to the Arctic, Alaska, Galápagos, Baja California, the South Pacific, Costa Rica/Panama, the Northwest Passage and Northeast Passage, the Russian Far East, Japan and beyond. Our expeditions are centered on bringing travelers up close and personal with the natural and cultural wonders of our world. With our nimble, state-of-the-art ships, we go where few are able to go, and we provide unparalleled natural history and cultural experiences with our team of knowledgeable Expedition Leaders, Naturalists, undersea specialists, photographers, wellness specialists, and so much more.
Q: What makes expedition cruising so unique?
Expedition cruising allows a flexibility and a sense of discovery that few types of travel can provide. We always have a rough itinerary to follow, but we are able to seek out the best that the natural world has to offer at any given moment. If the whales are breaching, we can linger longer. If the ice is captivating, we can stay with it before moving on to the next location. No two journeys are alike, as we never know what wildlife and natural wonders will appear.
Q: Tell us more about the company’s sustainability efforts.
Lindblad Expeditions is 100% committed to sustainability. It’s a mindset that does not just live in one department of the company – it permeates all departments in our home offices and aboard our 10 owned and operated ships. We design our travel experiences and make decisions with sustainability in mind. Some of our most important commitments include:
Q: How does Lindblad Expeditions make a positive impact on the destinations it visits?
Everywhere we go, we look for ways to support the local people, wildlife, and habitats we encounter. Our guests are the most enthusiastic champions for these efforts and have donated more than $18.8 Million to support locally led conservation, research, and education initiatives in the destinations we visit since 1997, when we started tracking our financial impact.
This philosophy – caring for the places we visit – has been part of the Lindblad family’s DNA since the 1950s when Lars-Eric Lindblad, known the “father of ecotourism”, first brought lay travelers to places like Antarctica and the Galápagos Islands. He paid the salaries of the first two park rangers in Galápagos and helped shape the guidelines that are still in use today to protect this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To make a positive impact in the places we visit, we firmly stand behind four tenets: remaining committed to our green business practices, protecting wildlife, preserving cultural heritage, and supporting the local communities we meet along the way, many of which have been part of our programs and extended family for multiple decades.
Q: What type of traveler does Lindblad Expeditions cater to?
Our travelers are curious, active, and eager to see and learn as much as possible about the world. We cater to couples, multi-generational families, solo travelers, friends, and groups across all ages and backgrounds. Our guests have an expedition spirit and also desire creature comforts, such as good food and wine, an opportunity to learn more about what they experienced out in the wild, wellness treatments, photography lessons, and a chance to enjoy the camaraderie of shipboard life.
Our National Geographic Global Explorers program provides families with remarkable opportunities in Galápagos, Baja California, and Alaska and was designed in conjunction with National Geographic Education. The program is designed for kids and teens to choose cool activities all designed to help them develop what National Geographic Education defines as the attitudes, skills and knowledge of an explorer.
Q: How have the company’s voyages and offerings changed in response to the pandemic?
This is an ever-changing landscape we currently live in. To support our guests and their travel advisors, we have set up a Health & Safety Protocols page on our website which is updated regularly to share our most recent changes. https://www.expeditions.com/covid-protocol/
Q: What is Lindblad Expeditions’ ‘why’?
The remote and pristine corners of our planet need impassioned champions to help advocate for their protection. We hope that by bringing people to these places in the company of knowledgeable naturalists and storytellers, we will be doing our part to leave the world better than we found it for future generations.
Q: BONUS: If you could recommend just one Lindblad Expeditions voyage, which would it be?
That is such a hard question – it is like making us choose among our children. Each destination is so very different, from the wildlife we encounter to the scenery viewed. It might be best if I suggest a wonderful First Expedition. For guests looking to experience a small ship expedition, the Galápagos Islands is, without a doubt, a life-changing experience for all ages. The breadth of endemic species, the proximity to wildlife, the varying geographies of each island, the underwater experiences, and its accessibility from our small ships makes it a wonderful foray into this remarkable style of travel.
Image Credit: Lindblad Expeditions