For more than 50 years, Lindblad Expeditions has been the global leader in adventure travel, providing immersive and authentic ship-based expeditions and unique land-based travel experiences to the world's most remote and wild destinations.
The safety of our guests and crew, our fleet, and the delicate regions where we operate is of paramount importance. Since leading the first civilian expedition to Antarctica in 1966, we have been at the forefront of defining safety protocols and the creation of programs and policies that protect this delicate region, developing tools and processes that make it safer for not just our fleet, but all operators. These include:
1. Serving as founding members of two governing bodies promoting the safe and responsible exploration of polar regions – the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) – helping to develop and define polar operation procedures for vessel personnel and guidelines for visitors to this fragile place.
2. Creating the first Dynamic Voyage Risk Assessment Tool for polar water operations, which actively monitors and assesses the ever-changing ocean and ice conditions.
3. Improving the POLARIS (Polar Operational Limit Assessment Risk Indexing System) assessment tool – a decision support system that can be used for ship design, voyage planning, and in real time on the ship’s bridge – applying a conservative interpolation for risk in partial glacier ice and thin, second year or multi-year ice.
4. Collecting hydrographic data to map fragile regions of the Antarctic peninsula using OLEX, a major multiplier in risk mitigation in the remotely surveyed areas that we share with other operators to create safer passage for all vessels in the region.
5. Pioneering the use of MUD mapping and crowd-sourced sounding of remote areas to map safe channels for polar navigation, improving speed and safety of navigation for all polar travelers.
Safety starts and ends with understanding and mitigating risks, and our onboard teams do so better than any other in the industry. From our Captains, who are the most experienced expedition and ice masters in the world, to our intimately knowledgeable Expedition Leaders, Naturalists, Undersea Specialists, and dedicated hospitality experts, each member is responsible for commanding the world's most advanced expedition fleet.
Our ships are world-class vessels designed for exploration in the unpredictable region. They include state-of-the-art safety features like forward scanning sonar, ice radar and an emergency response system developed by our Chief Ice Master Captain Leif Skog. These vessels are expertly tailored to explore some of the planet’s most challenging environments in extreme comfort. Each ship is equipped with best-in-class tools for discovery and elements for guest comfort, including two cutting-edge Category A (PC5) ice class polar vessels, which bring adventurous guests closer, deeper, and further into the White Continent due to this industry-leading ice class certification and innovative X-Bow design.
Our pioneering heritage and more than 50 years of experience operating responsibly in these regions have informed our robust safety protocols, emergency response training, and incident preparedness plans. Our Captains at the helm of our fleet in Antarctica have safely and successfully led more than 600 combined voyages to the continent.
With all that we have developed, we still recognize and respect the importance of supporting the talent, technologies, training, and mindset that are the foundations of safe and secure operations in the wild. As we continue to explore and adapt, we remain dedicated to sharing new lessons and learnings effectively across our fleet and developing new benchmark protocols for other operators to promote safer exploration of this beautiful, yet unpredictable, geography for years to come.