ANNOUNCING NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ENDURANCE

Lindblad Expeditions celebrated the keel laying of their first polar new build at the CRIST shipyard in Gdynia, Poland on March 17th.  The occasion marked a major milestone in the construction of the world’s most sophisticated expedition ship, and served as the official naming ceremony of the line’s latest addition to the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet.  

“We are thrilled to announce the name of our new polar ship: National Geographic Endurance, due for delivery in the first quarter of 2020,” announced Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions.  “She is named in honor of Ernest Shackleton, Lindblad Expeditions’ most revered explorer and will incorporate technical advances and create opportunities for guests beyond the reach of any contemporary ship.”

“A Polar Class 5 rating gives us the ability to operate the ship freely at any time of year in polar environments vastly expanding our polar range, “Lindblad continued. “This means we can explore deeper into the pack ice, or further north to the unexplored reaches of the Arctic.  For instance, northern Ellesmere Island, where only a relative handful of people have ever been.  Or some of the completely off-the-beaten-path Arctic islands that are remote, pristine and teeming with wildlife.”

The state-of-the-art 126-guest polar vessel has been designed as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on safety and comfort, as well as incorporating innovative sustainability solutions to reduce its environmental impact.  A core feature is Ulstein’s signature X-BOW®, a distinctive bow that provides fuel efficiency while significantly improving guest comfort in rough seas; and a very high ice class for access deep into polar regions. The ship’s expanded fuel and water tanks provide for extended operations in remote areas; while the zero-speed stabilizers will ensure stability, whether at zero speed or full steam ahead.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURE SET FOR DELIVERY

Lindblad’s second new build, National Geographic Ventureis scheduled for delivery in November 2018. The 100-guest ship will feature 50 cabins, 22 with balconies, eight that can be configured into four adjoining cabins for families; all category 5 cabins can accommodate a third guest. All public spaces were designed for a seamless viewing experience – including floor to ceiling wraparound windows in the dining room and lounge -- with quick access to decks with multiple viewing levels for phenomenal wildlife sighting. An outdoor walkway around the entire sun deck features an al fresco bar and grill, in addition to the restaurant and a lounge with bar and facilities for presentations. The ship is outfitted with a fleet of 24 sea kayaks, paddleboards, snorkeling equipment, and 8 Zodiacs; state-of-the-art expedition technology, including a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), un 

WILD GALÁPAGOS ESCAPE: ALL THE MAGIC OF GALAPAGOS IN ONE SHORT WEEK

Now for the first time in Lindblad Expeditions’ 50+ years of bringing citizen explorers there, we are offering brand-new, shorter itineraries. Set aboard the newly refurbished 48-guest National Geographic Islander with departures on Saturday and Thursday, the new Wild Galápagos Escape packs a ton of activities into one exhilarating week to discover the wonders and wildlife of this magical place.  With multiple adventures each day on land and undersea—including options for walks and hikes, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkeling—guests will enjoy the full Lindblad-National Geographic Galápagos experience on these shorter expeditions with five days exploring the archipelago.  

The expeditions will be led by Lindblad’s renowned expedition team - an expedition leader; three naturalists, including a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for the islands will amplify the once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Wild Galápagos Escape departures are set for November 24, 29, 2018; and April 27; May 2, 11, 16; August 31; September 5, 14, 19, and October 31, 2019.  Rates begin at $5,450 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.

Guests can also experience the best of Galápagos, and Machu Picchu too, in nine action-packed days on Lindblad’s new Wild Galápagos & Peru Escape. Starting in Lima on a Saturday night, stay two nights in the Sacred Valley, enjoy fabled Machu Picchu and see Cusco, imperial capital of the Inca. Journey to Galápagos for a five-day voyage, with multiple adventures every day on land and undersea—returning home on Sunday. Departs December 1, 2018; May 4 & 18, September 7 & 14, November 2, 2019. Rates begin at $6,250 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.  

ALSO NEW FOR GALAPAGOS

  • Hotel del Parque:  Guests booked on National Geographic Islander will stay at the Hotel del Parque in Guayaquil, an elegant boutique hotel set along the banks of the Río Daule.  Housed in a lovingly
    restored 19th-century building nestled within the secluded haven of Parque Histórico’s lush botanical gardens, it is a fitting retreat to an expedition aboard the yacht-scaled National Geographic Islander. Guests can enjoy after-hours access to the Parque’s botanical and zoological exhibits; the Museo del Cacao y del Chocolate; the cobble streets lined with colorful, historic buildings; and the verdant grounds, where the chatter of macaws and spider monkeys replace the sounds of a busy port city. With just 44 beautifully appointed rooms, two courtyards, a 19th-century chapel, and a gourmet café facing the river, this serene tropical refuge will elevate guests’ Galápagos experience.
  • Free Round Trip Air:  Free roundtrip air from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador for guests traveling aboard National Geographic Islander and National Geographic Endeavour II on select departures on the longer 10-day expeditions through Dec. 2018.  Guests can also opt for an upgrade to Business Class for $500 on Miami/Guayaquil flights on select departures. Both offers are subject to availability and must be ticketed by Lindblad Expeditions. 
  • Complimentary Bar Tab and WiFi time: New for 2019 aboard any Lindblad voyage in Galápagos, guests will receive complimentary bar (excluding certain premium brands) and an hour of free Wifi a day per person. 

PASSAGE THROUGH EGYPT

Lindblad returns to Egypt in 2018 with a remarkable 13-day journey: Passage Through Egypt. The epic adventurecombines explorations of Cairo and stays at the exclusive Nile Ritz-Carlton and the historic Mena House, with a six-night cruise on the Nile aboard the elegant and intimately-sized, 42-guest Oberoi Philae. From a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, to the sites along the Nile including Abu Simbel and Giza, guests will witness the astonishingly vivid monuments, art and objects the ancient Egyptians created, and learn about life in both ancient and modern Egypt.  Traveling via private aircraft for all internal flights, and accompanied by an outstanding team of Egyptologist guides versed in the fields of culture, art, history, and archaeology—many who have worked with Lindblad for years—guests will experience a journey of the highest standards. Departures are October 28, November 25, and December 9, 2018; and January 20, February 3, and March 17, 2019. Rates begin at $8,480 per person in a category 1 cabin based on double occupancy.  Guests can also choose to enhance their experience with an optional 5-day post-voyage extension to Jordan.  

NEW ITINERARY ABOARD THE SEA CLOUD:

Mediterranean Gems: From Dubrovnik to Naples: Beginning in the enchanting Croatian city of Dubrovnik, sail across the Adriatic down the southern part of Italy’s “boot” calling on vibrant and welcoming places steeped in ancient history. Marvel at ornate cathedrals and remarkable baroque buildings, explore great sites of antiquity—from renowned Pompeii to the less-visited Greek temples of Paestum—and meander through unspoiled clifftop towns, soaking up breathtaking views, and with a little luck witness the orange glow of eruptions from the Stromboli volcano. 12 days, departs June 10, 2019 and June 20, 2019. Rates begin at $12,940 per person based on double occupancy.

RUSSIAN HIGH ARCTIC

Lindblad will venture into the Russian Arctic in 2019, one of the most rugged and wildlife-rich regions on the planet.  Set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, the three itineraries will give a different glimpse into life in the remote Russian Far East & Bering Sea, where spectacular wildlife, an intriguing native culture, arresting mysteries, and world-class exploration history abound.   Itineraries include: 

  • Across the Bering Sea: From Katmai to Kamchatka:  Covering more than 3,800 nautical miles, and nearly circumnavigating the Bering Sea, this is a wide-ranging voyage. Spot coastal brown bears from Katmai National Park to the Kamchatka Peninsula, search for Steller’s sea eagles along the scenically stunning Zhupanova River.  Be awed by the abundance and variety of marine mammals: Pacific walrus; northern fur seals; gray, sperm, and humpback whales, sea otters and Steller sea lions; and seabirds from the Aleutians to the Commander Islands including horned and tufted puffins, murres and rare whiskered auklets. Visit a Koryak village in northern Kamchatka, and Vitus Bering’s gravesite in the Commander Islands. 22 days/21 nights, departs June 18 & July 21, 2019. Rates begin at $25,850 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
  • Bering Sea Wilderness: Pribilofs, Katmai & Kodiak: Traverse the depth and breadth of the iconic Bering Strait and venture deep into the two distinct worlds it joins. Encounter the remote culture of Provideniya, “the Gateway to the Arctic,” before exploring the Pribilof Islands, a naturalist’s paradise sometimes referred to as "the Galápagos of the North” - with the largest breeding rookery of northern fur seals, comprising about half the world’s population.  From those lively breeding grounds continue on to explore the dynamic history, culture, and natural wonders of the remote islands along Alaska’s rugged coast, including Kodiak Island with the native culture and Alutiiq people.  Explore Katmai National Park, one of the premier brown bear viewing areas in the world – with opportunities to witness them digging for clams at low tide and fishing for salmon, and a unique petrified forest to round out this immersive expedition. 13 days/12 nights, departs July 9 & September 4, 2019.  Rates begin at $16,230 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.  
  • Exploring Russia’s Far East & Wrangel IslandThis fascinating exploration of the remote Siberian coastline promises rich culture and an astounding wealth of wildlife.  See gray whales in their northern feeding grounds in the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Meet indigenous artists known for their intricate walrus ivory carvings, take in dramatic bird cliffs teeming with puffins and guillemots, then forge farther north, well above the Arctic Circle to Wrangel Island Reserve. Spend several days in this pristine landscape that’s home to the highest density of ancestral polar bear dens, the world’s largest population of Pacific walrus, and an astonishing variety of plant life. And before this expedition comes to an end witness one more site few get to see—an ancient, mysterious display of whale bones and skulls erected on Yttygran Island.  Experience meaningful cultural exchanges across the entire breadth of Beringia.  13 days/12 nights, departs August 11 & 23, 2019.  Rates begin at $16,230 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin. 

THE YEAR OF THE BIRD

2018 has been designated the Year of the Bird by National Geographic, in partnership with a broad range of conservation organizations, in celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918.  Lindblad will celebrate the Year of the Bird on select departures that will be enriched by the presence of Year of the Bird Ambassadors -  veteran naturalists from the Lindblad staff who can answer questions, provide guidance, and illuminate your experiences with insight gained from their scientific training and years of experience encountering various species.  

  • On the October 22, 2018 South Georgia & the Falklands expedition, enjoy the birding experience of a lifetime—share the adventure with renowned international bird expert, David Allen Sibley. The author and illustrator of one of the world’s most popular series nature guides, including the definitive The Sibley Guide to Birds, David has appreciated the species of these Southern Ocean islands, but has not yet encountered them in person – and will share his excitement to be exploring these spectacular bird colonies.

GALÁPAGOS PHOTO EXPEDITIONS

  • Rainforest, Andes & Islands Photo Expedition: Ecuador & Peru: This combo is available on the May 11, 2018 Galápagos departure only.
  • Ralph Lee Hopkins will be leading our first-ever, three-part photo odyssey in 2018
  • Quito & Mashpi Ecuador; Galápagos; and Machu Picchu & Peru’s Land of the Inca. May 7 (Mashpi Pre); May 11 (Galápagos); May 19 (Peru Post).
  • Lucas Bustamante, wildlife photographer and biologist, will be joining the Masphi portion of the expedition.  
  • Jay Dickman, Pulitzer-prize winning photographer, veteran National Geographic magazine contributor, and diver, will be aboard NG Endeavour II on the Nov. 23 & 30, 2018 departures
  • First ever video expedition with Planet Earth II filmmaker Sandesh Kadur aboard National Geographic Endeavour II on the Jun. 1 & 8, 2018 departures

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GLOBAL EXPLORERS FAMILY PROGRAM LAUNCHES IN ALASKA

  • Global Explorers officially launched June 2017 in the Galápagos, and will roll out to Alaska on all three ships in 2018.
  • A unique exploration based family program that provides an unforgettable “smart fun” experience.  Designed in conjunction with National Geographic Education to inspire the next generation of explorers, kids and teens will join in activities – science, exploring and storytelling – adapted to their age for maximum enjoyment and engagement. 
  • From earning their Zodiac “driver’s license” to “In the Field Spot It” activities to locate and observe wildlife, and storytelling challenges where children learn how to create slow-motion and time-lapse videos with a National Geographic certified photo instructor, activities have been planned to develop the skills, attitudes and knowledge of explorers under 18. 

GLACIER HELI-HIKING POST-VOYAGE EXTENSION

Experience Iceland’s magnificent landscapes from a unique viewpoint.  Take a scenic helicopter tour to different glaciers where you’ll have the rare opportunity to go on a glacier hike.  Plus, explore the world’s only manmade ice cave and go deep underground to see the brilliant blue ice that’s been forming over centuries.  The extension is 3 days/2 nights, rates begin at $6,950 per person based on double occupancy and includes accommodations at Hotel Husafell, meals as indicated, transfers, sightseeing, helicopter excursions as listed in itinerary, equipment for glacier hike.  Available on the 17-day Svalbard, Iceland & Greenland’s East Coast voyage and the 11-day Circumnavigation of Iceland voyage in 2018.

B&H PHOTO GEAR LOANER PROGRAM

Lindblad has extended their onboard photo gear loaner program, where guests can try the latest lenses, camera bodies and binoculars aboard ship. In addition to the National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion, the program will now be available aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird, National Geographic Sea Lion, National Geographic Quest and National Geographic Venture, launching in 2018.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube,  Pinterest and LinkedIn.

 

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