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Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic is making a number of moves, all in keeping with the company’s mission to inspire the world with innovative and educational travel expeditions. In addition to its first newbuilds — the 100-passenger National Geographic Quest (which debuts this month) and National Geographic Venture (which arrives in June 2018) — the company, whose resources increased dramatically when it went public two years ago, is taking its key partnerships further.
Recent announcements include the acquisition of 80.1 percent of the outstanding common stock of Natural Habitat, Inc., which offers eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia and stops in between. Since 2003, Natural Habitat has partnered with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to offer sustainable travel that directly protects nature. As part of the transaction with Lindblad, WWF extended the end date of this agreement from Dec. 31, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2023.
“Knowing our travel audience has diverse interests beyond seagoing expeditions, Natural Habitat offers a perfect complement on land to what we do with ships,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, president and CEO of Lindblad. “They are a focused, quality-oriented enterprise while, at the same time, they understand the imperative for supporting important conservation work in areas visited from both a moral and business objective. We look forward to a productive partnership to broaden our offerings and our impact in the world’s wild places.”
National Geographic's acquisition of Global Adrenaline has resulted in a similar shift after more than a decade of partnership. This provides National Geographic, which joined forces with Lindblad in 2004, with a platform for developing its own call center and significantly expanding its land-based exploration. Future growth plans will capitalize on existing partnerships with Lindblad in small ships, TCS World Travel in private jets and other relationships in key travel segments.
"Global Adrenaline has delivered extraordinary experiences to our guests over the past 13 years," said Declan Moore, CEO of National Geographic Partners. "We're excited to welcome them into the National Geographic family and to leverage their tour operator platform to expand our offerings. This acquisition enables us to become a tour operator and to more directly control all aspects of the unique travel experiences we provide guests."
Throughout its recent dramatic expansion, Lindblad has kept its focus on what the company defines as “authentic and sustainable travel experiences that support local economies and inspire people to protect and preserve the places we visit."
One of those places is the Peruvian Amazon, where the company has 10-day weekly cruises onboard the 28-guest Delfin II from February to December. In a recent press conference, Eliana Elias, co-founder of Minga Peru — a nonprofit that promotes social justice and the dignity of women in rural communities in the Peruvian Amazon — read stirring letters from indigenous women in the destination. The women wrote that they are deeply moved by the interest that Lindblad’s passengers show on the weekly visits to the communities, as well as by the company’s support for their efforts to improve locals’ lives through sustainable industry and communication of their needs with government ministries.
Sven-Olof Lindblad’s accomplishments have earned him a place on the United Nations Environment Programme Global 500 Roll of Honour. He joins the ranks of iconic conservationists such as Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Jane Goodall.