Expedition Cruise Pioneer Announces 17-Year Relationship Extension to Include Global Branding Rights That Enable Expansion to New Market Segments, Increased Worldwide Sales and Marketing, and Enhanced Onboard Guest Experiences to Drive Growth  

NEW YORK, NYNOV. 15, 2023 Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND), the recognized global leader and a pioneer in the expedition cruises and adventure travel industry, announced today the long-term extension and expansion of the Lindblad Expeditions brand’s strategic relationship with renowned exploration and scientific discovery brand National Geographic.

Under the new agreement, the two companies have extended their industry-defining 20-year relationship for 17 additional years, with a commitment through 2040 that will allow the brand to reach new worldwide audiences through three compelling new market opportunities including:

  1. global rights to the National Geographic brand for expedition cruises, which will enable Lindblad Expeditions to increase its fleet capacity of 17 intimately scaled exploration ships and expand into additional market segments;
  2. leverage of The Walt Disney Company as an affiliate of National Geographic Partners to distribute product through Disney’s powerful sales channels and support robust joint marketing campaigns; and
  3. enhancements to the onboard guest experience with more immersive storytelling and experiences connected to the National Geographic brand.

A milestone in Lindblad Expeditions’ global growth strategy, this expanded relationship will elevate the brand’s position as the leader in expedition cruise, the breakout travel trend of the decade. It will increase the earnings potential of the company by opening larger addressable markets and potential expansion into additional market segments through: a global license to use the National Geographic Expeditions brand to market, sell and operate co-branded trips on expedition ships; exclusivity on trips marketed in the United States and Canada for ships up to 295 passengers, with the ability to expand that exclusive license globally and to ships with guest capacity of up to 530 passengers; and a global license to market co-branded river cruises.

One of the most impactful elements of this new agreement is the distribution of the company’s products through The Walt Disney Company’s powerful sales channels. This distribution will be instrumental in reaching key new-to-expedition and new-to-brand travelers around the world, thereby growing the company’s consumer base to drive additional capacity and earnings growth in the years ahead. The combination of the educational travel expertise of National Geographic, the marketing and sales expertise of The Walt Disney Company, and the expedition cruise operations history of Lindblad Expeditions will inspire generations of new explorers across the globe and fuel record growth.

“The extension—and, most importantly, the expansion—of our strategic relationship with National Geographic will enable us to significantly grow our business and each of our brands on an international scale and reach more citizen explorers than ever before,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lindblad Expeditions. “As we globalize our operations, the power of worldwide branding rights, uplifted by the marketing and sales engine of National Geographic and The Walt Disney Company, is incredibly exciting and will be key to our continued growth. Building on our company’s half-century of safe and responsible exploration and long list of industry innovations, together, we will continue to craft world-opening expeditions for curious explorers, develop more meaningful guest programs on land and on board our growing fleet, and expose new audiences to the beauty and wonder of our shared planet. Over the past two decades, our intuitive connection and shared ethos has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of guests, and I look forward to our next two decades of industry-leading growth.”

Today, National Geographic touchpoints are found throughout each awe-inspiring expedition, which are expertly crafted to educate, inspire, and transform, based on the belief there is always more to be discovered. Every expedition is accompanied by a certified photography instructor, with National Geographic training to help guests hone their skills. Under the new agreement, guests will enjoy more National Geographic content throughout each step of their expedition, from the moment they book until after they return home; as well as enhanced in-field interactions with National Geographic Experts—renowned individuals from the worlds of science, exploration, conservation, and education.

“Lindblad Expeditions’ expertise, history of responsible and safe exploration and outstanding guest experience makes them the right organization to help bring the National Geographic Expeditions brand to life,” said Stephanie Young, President, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures & Expeditions and Disney Institute.  “We are proud to associate our iconic travel brand with an operator with such a rich pioneering heritage that is committed to operating inspiring and meaningful travel experiences to the world’s most compelling destinations to grow the National Geographic Expeditions brand on a global scale, while bringing high-quality hospitality, customer service standards and marketing and sales expertise.”

With its pioneering history in expedition cruising, Lindblad Expeditions has carried citizen explorers on journeys of deep discovery to the farthest reaches of the planet for more than half a century. For the past two decades, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic have collaborated through a shared mission: To foster a spirit of discovery and community by blending science, nature, and purpose-driven travel. The brands and their guests have progressed important conservation priorities, educational opportunities and supported environmental scientific research at local, regional, and global levels, during thousands of expeditions designed for discovery to highlight the wonder of our shared world and our collective role in protecting it. Through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund, the company and its guests have raised $20 million to support numerous conservation, education and science initiatives around the globe. Together with the National Geographic Society, Lindblad Expeditions has brought more than 365 educators into the world through the Grosvenors Teacher Fellowship to experience expeditions, and those educators in return pass that knowledge on to their students.

Lindblad Expeditions will host an investor call this morning at 8:30 a.m. eastern time to discuss the expanded relationship with National Geographic. The conference call can be accessed by dialing 1-833-470-1428 (United States), 1-404-975-4839 (International). The Access Code is 549242. The release and a live audio webcast of the call will be available in the investor relations section of the Company's website at investors.expeditions.com. A replay of the call, along with a transcript, will be available on the website within 48 hours of its completion.

To learn more about the strategic relationship between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic, click here.

About Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic:

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic reveals the beauty and wonder of the world by leading high quality, authentic and immersive travel to the world’s most remarkable and wild places. The brand offers expeditions in 120+ destinations across all seven continents for curious and discerning travelers seeking to experience the world from a new perspective. For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages to some of the most beautiful, remote, and fascinating places on Earth, visit www.expeditions.com, call (855) 734-3271 to speak to an Expedition Specialist, or contact a travel advisor. Connect with Lindblad Expeditions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.

About Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc.:

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND) is a global provider of small ship expeditions and adventure travel experiences recognized as the category leader for its pioneering, cutting edge programming and conservation commitment. Lindblad focuses on ship-based voyages through its Lindblad Expeditions brand and on land-based travel through its subsidiaries, Natural Habitat, Inc.Off the Beaten Path LLCDuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., and Classic Journeys, LLC.

Together with National Geographic, Lindblad Expeditions offers immersive travel experiences to inspire people to explore and care about the planet. The organizations work in tandem to produce innovative marine expedition programs and to promote conservation and sustainable tourism around the world. Guests interact with and learn from leading scientists, naturalists and researchers while discovering stunning natural environments, above and below the sea, through state-of-the-art exploration tools.

Media Contacts:  

Bradley Norman, Lindblad Expeditions: [email protected]