When the discussion turns to expedition cruising, the name 'Lindblad' is almost immediately recalled. Roderick Eime explains how over 50 years of history has shaped a collection of the most life-enriching travel experiences, and paints a picture of what you can expect in a day with Lindblad Expeditions.
The Lindblad family companies began their truly ground-breaking adventure travel activities when the Swedish-American patriarch, Lars-Eric Lindblad, set out to take inquisitive and intrepid travellers to some of the most remote and seldom visited locations on the planet.
The stage was set for ground-breaking expedition cruises in the 1960s when Lindblad pioneered ship travel to unheard-of destinations like Antarctica, the Galapagos and Easter Island. Now his son, Sven-Olof Lindblad, along with his own son Jeremy, owns and runs Lindblad Expeditions in league with the National Geographic Society, with voyages around the planet that set the benchmark other operators seek to emulate.
Any day aboard a Lindblad vessel is jam-packed with activity. Whether it’s cruising the majestic Polar ice fields, vast Pacific Ocean, otherworldly islands of the Galapagos, or cavorting with friendly whales in the Gulf of California, Lindblad's team of lecturers, naturalists, photo instructors, wellness practitioners and destination specialists ensure an immersive experience that is guaranteed to leave guests with a whole new view on our beautiful and delicate planet.
Early risers can stretch out on the deck, bathing in glorious early morning light while the yoga instructors prepare your mind and body for a full day of adventure and exploration.
Where scuba diving is offered, bold aquanauts will launch well before the breakfast coffee is cold for a glimpse of the undersea world in places few regular divers will ever experience. In the remote Pacific for example, divers often spend up to an hour surrounded by curious but harmless reef sharks on reefs almost untouched by the destructive hand of mankind.
In warmer locations, a squad of snorkellers will set off soon after with an experienced guide to investigate bright corals and reef fish or commune with playful sea lions in the waters around the Galapagos.
Back aboard your vessel, a program of lectures and demonstrations that fully explain the ecology, culture and customs of your chosen region will help you make sense of the sensory deluge. The native peoples, their customs, rites and rituals along with the flora and fauna peculiar to your destination will be fully explained so you can enthrall your jealous dinner guests at home.
Guests often have the choice to vary the experience according to individual interests. Photo instructors will lead groups to the best vantage points at optimum times to gather images that could almost come from the pages of National Geographic. Bird or plant lovers will attach themselves to the ornithologist or botanist and often find species unique to that location. A rare orchid or tropical palm may set your pulse racing or that elusive bird found only in the deep foliage of a Costa Rican jungle may have you in raptures. It’s always your call.
And at the end of every day, as you relax in the lounge with a crisp lager or steaming hot chocolate, the ‘recap’ and specialist interpretation will ensure the significance of your observations will not be lost. Information sheets are supplied to assist you digest the day’s experience and the ship’s photographers and videographers will share highlights of their stunning material gathered during the day.
In truth, any Lindblad Expeditions adventure is a life-changing enrichment that will either change or reinforce your love for nature and our wonderful world.