Pacific Northwest FAQs
Check here first for Q & As about our Columbia & Snake Rivers expedition
We have departures throughout September and October.
Our twin sister ships feature a library; global market; lounge with full-service bar and facilities for films, slide shows and presentations; observation deck; partially covered sun deck with chairs and tables. And our open bridge policy offers the opportunity to learn about navigation and share the captain’s view.
Heating & air conditioning
The ships are air conditioned and heated throughout.
There are large view windows in the dining room and lounge.
Both ships feature a library with a selection of books pertaining to your destination.
For those interested in downloading digital photos aboard any of our ships, there is a digital photo kiosk where you can download your photos to various types of digital media and CD-ROMs/DVDs. Recordable CD-ROMs/DVDs and thumb drives may be purchased aboard.
Email and internet access are available on all our ships. Your personal e-mail and internet may be accessed from your own personal laptop or at the Internet Kiosk onboard. Charges apply.
No, we do not offer laundry services on board.
Telephone & fax
Telephone calls and fax transmissions are available at an additional charge.
The National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion are not equipped with elevators.
Open bridge policy
We have an open bridge policy that provides guests with an opportunity to learn about navigation and share the captain’s view.
For the comfort of all our guests, smoking is permitted only in designated outdoor areas.
Each cabin has its own thermostat, allowing you to control the temperature level in your cabin.
Some cabin windows can be opened, although most are secured for safety reasons. Some portholes may be covered during portions of voyages if the sea becomes rough.
We supply 100% conditioning shampoo, body wash and body lotion. If you choose to bring your own shampoo and/or conditioner, we recommend that you bring biodegradable products.
Hair dryers are available in each cabin.
Each cabin is equipped with at least one 110v (American) electrical outlet which can be used for electric razors, laptop computers, and other small devices.
While our ships are not equipped with safety deposit boxes in the cabins, most have small locking drawers with a key where you can keep your valuables. As our vessel safes are quite small, our normal policy is that the ships cannot accept custody or responsibility for guests' valuables while on board.
Meals are served in one open seating, with an informal atmosphere and tables unassigned to encourage meeting new guests. The meal hours will be posted in the Daily Program you receive in your cabin each day. Full buffet breakfasts, casual lunches, and leisurely dinners with plenty of choices are served in our comfortable dining rooms, or on deck or even ashore on a remote beach. If you have special dietary restrictions, please let us know in advance and we will accommodate you.
Every destination has a “flavor” and we believe our guests should have every opportunity to “taste” the destination. A great deal of thought goes into what we serve. We make an effort to bring regional flavors to your table with fresh, local fruits, vegetables and spices. And we serve sustainable, locally caught or harvested fresh seafood whenever possible, including king salmon, local halibut and Dungeness crab.
Expedition Landing Craft
Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land on remote islands that would otherwise be inaccessible. These sturdy inflatable rubber boats are the same craft that Jacques Cousteau used in his expeditions for over 30 years. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by outboard engines, and are capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.
Kayaking provides one of the best means for personal exploration in the areas we travel. Therefore, we’ve outfitted our ships with a fleet of them; enough for everyone who wants to participate. They are very stable and easy to master for novices and experts alike. There is something special about being alone in a single kayak, or with your travel companion in our double kayaks, paddling along a remote coastline. Lindblad pioneered kayaking from expedition ships in both the Arctic and Antarctic, and Lindblad is the first company of its kind to be awarded unique permits for kayaking in the fragile Galápagos environment.
The quality of our expedition teams has long been the hallmark of Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Each 62-guest ship hosts an expedition leader, naturalist/geologist, historian and a wellness specialist—one expert per 15 guests. Our naturalists have a wide variety of expertise—from history and geology to photo instruction—and each one is a not only an expert in their field, but passionate about sharing their knowledge and dedicated to seeing that you get the most out of your experience.
The National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion carry exercise equipment on the covered portion of the sun deck, including an exercise bike, elliptical, stretch bands, and yoga mats. In addition, and as part of our wellness program, our wellness specialist leads stretch classes inspired by yoga and Pilates each morning on the sun deck before breakfast. Other elements range from kayaking and hiking, to massage therapy and body treatments. There is a menu of spa treatments onboard, available for an additional fee.
Yes, our ships are equipped with satellite communications for e-mail and internet access, and telephone and fax, for which charges apply. E-mail access is available 24 hours a day through the purchase of pre-paid internet access cards onboard, however, since it is satellite access and we explore remote locations, sometimes we are without a signal to connect. Once purchased, the internet cards can be used to access the internet on your personal laptop at select wireless access points onboard, or at the internet kiosks. Internet cards are available in the following increments:
a. Internet Gold Card, 250 minutes, $100.00
b. Internet Silver Card, 100 minutes, $55.00
c. Internet White Card, 50 minutes, $22.50
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a passport.
All services and products purchased on board the ship may be paid for by cash, check or charge (American Express, VISA, MasterCard and Discover Card).
Gratuities to the crew aboard the ship are at your own discretion. All gratuities ashore are included in your expedition cost.
Each ship is equipped with four expedition landing craft and 20 kayaks (tandem and solo) so that everyone who chooses can get out and explore with a naturalist, travel companion or solo in search of more personal discoveries. Both expedition landing craft and kayaks give our guests the opportunity for personal, "eye-level" encounters with beauty and wildness in all the pristine places we explore.
Often, the most memorable events are those that are unplanned. That’s why every itinerary has flexibility built into the schedule.
To get a sense of what these adventurous, open-ended days are like, spend some time reading our Daily Expedition Reports, which are reports from our staff on the highlights of each day. These are archived on our website for your reference.
No, this is a very tranquil and easygoing expedition. There are options to bike, hike and kayak, but they can be enjoyed at a pace that is comfortable for you. You do need to be able to get in and out of an expedition landing craft.
Yes. We will always have a few varieties of hikes, from leisurely paced to medium to fast. Options will be outlined and described by the expedition leader before your excursions begin. We will also offer expedition landing craft cruises if none of the hiking options appeal to you.
When you disembark the expedition landing craft into shallow water, however, all expedition landing craft landings are dry on this expedition.
We include just about everything you have the opportunity to do as part of your expedition aboard the ship and ashore. The only items not included are those of a personal nature-alcohol, internet usage, tips to the crew, wellness treatments and specialized arrangements.
- All ship accommodations
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages aboard the ship
- Tips, taxes, port charges and service charges (gratuities to ship’s crew at your own discretion)
- All shore excursions, entrance fees, special access permits
- Transfers to and from group flights
- Use of kayaks and expedition landing craft excursions
- Morning stretch classes with our wellness specialist
- The expertise of our expedition team, including talks and presentations
- Hors d’oeuvres & snacks during nightly Recap in Lounge
- 24-hour coffee, tea & soda on demand
- Complete pre-journey information, including what to bring and a reading list
We don't want you to miss out on anything. With Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, all activities and sightseeing are included-from guided walks to museum entrance fees to water activities like kayaking and you won't be locked-in to a pre-booked excursion. You'll always have the freedom to pick and choose activities as your day unfolds. After all, these are not scheduled tours, these are expeditions. Everyone is different-every day is different.
Yes, Pacific Standard Time in the US (-8:00 GMT). When it’s 9:00 a.m. on the Columbia & Snake Rivers, it’s 11:00 a.m. in Chicago and noon in New York.
Yes, there are two options: a city tour of Portland, Oregon and a tour of boutique Willamette Valley wineries. Please call for details.
Our style is always informal. The relaxed atmosphere of every journey, a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic hallmark, is something our travelers tell us they particularly enjoy. There is never a need for fancy clothing, so our recommendations on your travel wardrobe are all about comfort, practicality and likely conditions in the region you're exploring. A full packing list will be provided in your expedition documents. In the meantime, our suggested packing list includes:
- Short and long-sleeved T-shirts
- Jacket or fleece
- Waterproof jacket
- Pants—jeans, etc.
- Comfortable walking shoes with rubber soles and good support e.g. tennis shoes or sneakers Ship to shore is our online store, which specializes in the kind of clothing, footwear and accessory items suited to expedition travel
Your expedition team is key to your experience. They not only accompany all your explorations off the ship, they also give engaging talks and informal presentations on board. The lounge is equipped with facilities for films, slideshows, and presentations. Naturalists will share their knowledge and add insight to all you see and do. Each evening at cocktail hour the entire expedition community gathers in the lounge for an expedition ritual we call Recap. As you enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the house, various naturalists give talks, and your expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule.
On every expedition, we offer an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, and to help you become a better, more confident photographer and you'll go home with the best shots ever. The photo instructor is there to help every level of photographer, so remember to pack your camera.
Also designed to accommodate all levels of photographers from beginners to pros, our photo expeditions offer 360º photo ops, the instruction of a robust photo team giving you the tips you need when you need them, and all the time you need to get your shots right. They feature outings timed to take advantage of the best light—aboard expedition landing craft for up close encounters with marine mammals, or on trail hikes. Plus, unique “share and learn” opportunities like onboard photo clinics, one-to-one critiques and inclusive “Laptop gallery” events to see each other's shots. You’ll have the opportunity to shoot with and learn from the best in the world – a National Geographic Photographer joins every Photo Expedition, in addition to two Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors. They're engaging presenters and interesting travel companions, too—with good stories to share about their assignments, from the podium and over drinks or dinner.