Lindblad Expeditions / National Geographic
EXPLORATIONS – A Lindblad Expeditions Blog


Ethnomusicologist Jacob Edgar Profiled in Afar Magazine


The host of the PBS travel series Music Voyager and founder of the record label Cumbancha, Jacob Edgar was profiled in the latest Afar magazine. Jacob travels the globe, seeking out unique, moving music to sign to his label and share with the world. Last year he traveled up the entire coast of West Africa with us aboard National Geographic Explorer, visiting the dazzling markets of the coastal cities always on the hunt for the new, intriguing music. Our video chronicler joined him as he visited the market in Dakar to see what locals were listening to, buying, and selling.

And next year, Jacob will join us again aboard National Geographic Explorer lending his unique expertise to our guests on two epic voyages: Exploring Africa’s West Coast in March, and again on our Epic South America expedition in September 2013.

News from the Ocean in Focus Photo Contest Winner in Galápagos

SeaWeb’s Marine Photobank seeks to inspire people to care for and conserve our oceans in a unique way—by getting photographers to share their undersea photos.

As part of the effort to get photographers to donate their work to the Photobank, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic offers the top prize in SeaWeb’s annual Ocean in Focus Photo Contest: A Galápagos expedition aboard National Geographic Endeavour.

The grand prize winner of last year’s contest was Terry Goss. Last week he sailed aboard Endeavour, and he made the most of it by taking some great shots, including some excellent undersea photos. And it’s certain to be a trip he’ll never forget, especially since he and his fiancée decided to get married at sunset on the ship’s bow by the captain.

This year’s Ocean in Focus Photo Contest is still open. Photographers are asked to donate up to 10 photos by January 31, 2013 for a chance to win this year’s grand prize.

A Rift Grows in the Antarctic Ice

A year ago NASA researches flying over Antarctica’s Pine Island Glacier noticed a massive rift in the ice running for 18 miles across part of the glacier’s floating tongue. On a more recent flyover, they’ve recorded a second rift and noted that the original open further. When the rift finally reaches all the way across the ice, the glacier will calve and fall into the sea creating an enormous iceberg in Pine Island Bay. In the past, large icebergs have calved off Pine Island Glacier, but this will be the largest in decades and will leave the front of the glacier farther back than any other time in the recent past.

NASA has an animation of the rift forming over the past year online. And if you’d like to explore Antarctica for yourself, join us there aboard National Geographic Explorer.

Google Maps Adds Reefs, Sea Life & Undersea Imagery

Get a glimpse of the undersea without leaving your desk. A new addition to Google Maps lets you explore stunning panoramics of six reef ecosystems in Australia, the Philippines, and Hawaii.

Google Maps Street View has long allowed users to zoom down to street-level to see close-ups of city storefronts and suburban homes. The images are shot by car-mounted cameras that Google employees have driven over millions of miles of roads across the U.S.  Together with The Catlin Seaview Survey, Google developed an undersea Street View camera capable of offering an intimate look at these ecosystems—as if one’s swimming above and among them while snorkeling or Scuba diving.

While this is the first time undersea images have been made available on Google Maps, it’s not the first time Google has let us glimpse beneath the sea. A couple years ago they added an Ocean layer to Google Earth. That project was spearheaded by National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle, and created using many photos and videos from Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic.

Google Maps ‘Reef View’ offers an easy way for armchair adventurers to explore the planet’s beautiful, remote places. And hopefully as more people see these delicate reefs, more of them will advocate for their preservation and protection.

Massive Iceberg Breaks Free from Greenland

A massive iceberg roughly twice the size of Manhattan broke loose from Peterman Glacier in Greenland. The Associated Press reports: “Many of Greenland’s southern glaciers have been melting at an unusually rapid pace. The Petermann break brings large ice loss much farther north than in the past, said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.”

The southern glaciers of Greenland are a bellwether. Just two years ago another colossal berg broke free from the same glacier, and scientists say that in data collected over 150 years they’ve never seen anything like it.

See this region of Greenland with us in July or August of 2013, and join the climate change conversation with firsthand knowledge.

Lonesome George, Last Pinta Tortoise in Galápagos has Died

The staff at the Galápagos National Park has announced that the tortoise Lonesome George has died. George had become an emblem of the Galápagos Islands and a symbol of wildlife conservation worldwide. He was the last known survivor of Pinta Island in Galápagos, and his passing marks the extinction of the subspecies. In the decades we’ve been sharing the wonder of Galápagos with our guests, thousands of them have seen and photographed George on Santa Cruz Island, learning of his plight. His death is a sad day for our staff, especially those who have worked in Galápagos for years. The important work and tremendous successes of the Galápagos National Park Service in repopulating other islands continues.

Upcoming Baja California Webinar

Find out why Baja California & the Sea of Cortez need to go on your must-visit list during our free webinar on Wednesday, June 27 at 7pm ET. Register here—it’s free!

Join National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins, and naturalist Alberto Montaudon, and learn all about the place Jacques Cousteau called a “living aquarium.” Its islands are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to an impressive variety of marine mammals and birds. Our 30 years of experience exploring this “best-kept-secret” region guarantees you intoxicating encounters-leaping dolphins, gray whale mothers nurturing their calves, seabirds en masse, and snorkeling with sea lions.

And find out about our brand new expedition, Baja California Land & Sea Photography Retreat, coming up in January 2013.

Did You Know the Heads on Easter Island Also Have Bodies?

It may sound like a startling discovery, but it turns out that researches have known since 1914 that the mysterious moai sculptures on Easter Island rest on torsos. Many of the heads are buried up to their necks—especially in many iconic photos of the island—so a common misconception is that the statues are only gigantic heads.  More recent excavations have shown the underground many of moai torsos are carved with petroglyphs.

Is Easter Island on your life list? Come with us and walk among the strange and beautiful moai. Easter Island is offered as a 4-day extension on our Antarctica expeditions.

Sighting of a Very Rare Glacier Bear in Alaska

Guests aboard National Geographic Sea Lion in Southeast Alaska had an extremely rare sighting yesterday—a glacier bear. These bluish-grey bears are a morph of the black bear and are usually only found in the northern potion of Northeast Alaska. These bears are so uncommon that our Tlingit cultural interpreter, a native of this area and on board for this portion of the journey, said it was only the second she’d ever seen in her life.

Live Chat with Alaska’s Native Voices of Glacier Bay Wed, May 23 at 3pm on Facebook

Join us on our Facebook page for a live chat with our Tlingit cultural interpreter on Wed., May 23 at 3pm ET (12pm PT). No need to sign up or register, simply visit us at our Facebook page to join in.

Our Tlingit Cultural Heritage Guide, Bertha from Alaska’s Native Voices of Glacier Bay sails aboard our twin expedition ships National Geographic Sea Lion and National Geographic Sea Bird when they enter her ancestral homeland at Glacier Bay National Park. We’ve asked her to join us on Facebook to answer a few questions about her intriguing cultural history. We hope you bring your own questions!