Chief Executive Officer
Sven-Olof Lindblad was born in Switzerland and traveled extensively with his father, renowned adventure-travel pioneer Lars-Eric Lindblad, who led some of the first non-scientific groups of travelers to Galápagos (1967), Antarctica (1966), and many other regions of the world.
For six years, Sven lived in East Africa photographing elephants and wildlife in Kenya and assisting filmmakers on a documentary about the destruction of African rain forests. His early exposure to nature and wildlife taught him the importance of maintaining natural resources and understanding the cultural background of remote regions of the world.
In 1979, Sven launched Special Expeditions (now Lindblad Expeditions), an innovative travel company offering marine-focused expeditions aboard small ships. Lindblad has built his company around a core tenet: to provide travelers the opportunity to discover for themselves the natural, cultural and historic regions of the world and to provide thoughtful approaches that make such travels enriching, responsible, safe, fun and memorable.
In 2004, Lindblad formed a multifaceted strategic alliance with National Geographic that combines the strengths of these two pioneers in global exploration with the goal of further inspiring the world through expedition travel. This mission, coupled with the company’s longstanding commitment to conservation, has positioned Lindblad Expeditions at the forefront of environmentally sensitive expedition travel and resulted in numerous travel and environmental awards.
In May 2006, Lindblad received international recognition for his distinctive and successful model of tourism in a ceremony hosted by HRH, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg at the Grand-Ducal Palace. He also had a newly discovered endemic species of moth in the Galápagos Islands, Undulambia lindbladi, named in honor of his conservation work in the archipelago. The United Nations Environment Programme also recognized Lindblad’s accomplishments, naming him to their Global 500 roll of honor.
Lindblad is a member of the General Assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands; serves on the Board of The Safina Center, on the National Geographic Council of Advisors, and on the Board of Trustees of RARE; was named commissioner of the Aspen Institute’s Commission on Arctic Climate Change in 2008, is a founding Ocean Elder of the non-profit organization, Ocean Elders, which brings together global leaders to pursue the protection of the ocean’s habitat and wildlife, and serves on the Board of Advisors for Pristine Seas.
An avid photographer, Lindblad’s photography has appeared in Smithsonian and National Geographic magazines, and he has produced photography books on Alaska, Baja California and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park published by Rizzoli.