NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Sept. 27, 2007)–Building on the success of its three-year-old strategic alliance with National Geographic, Lindblad Expeditions (LEX) today announced an expansion of that relationship. This includes relaunching the remainder of the Lindblad fleet — beyond the National Geographic Endeavour, christened in 2005 — to incorporate the National Geographic name, as well as the creation of a philanthropic fund aimed at supporting education and conservation efforts in the areas in which Lindblad travels.
On Friday, Sept. 28, the newly christened National Geographic Islander and the National Geographic Polaris will welcome their first guests in the Galápagos in a celebratory ceremony. Sven Olof Lindblad, president and founder of Lindblad Expeditions, will be on hand to greet the travelers as well as address the local community. The remainder of the Lindblad ships will be relaunched under the National Geographic name in coming months.
An expanding roster of world-renowned National Geographic researchers, scientists, explorers and photographers will work and travel with the Lindblad team of experts from a wide range of fields to ensure that guests experience the very best in active, engaged exploration, enhanced by the latest in innovative science and exploration technology. At the same time, the fleet affords National Geographic an expanded base for editorial and scientific endeavors.
“Given the enthusiastic reception that our initial partnership received from our guests, local communities that we visit and the world of scientific research, an expansion and deepening of this relationship made enormous sense,” said Lindblad. “Clearly, we’re natural allies, and we’re especially enthused about the potential of our new fund to positively impact the special places we’ve come to appreciate through exploration. With our partners at National Geographic and the passionate guests who travel with us, our individual and collective efforts can be substantially leveraged,” he added.
The newly created Lindblad/National Geographic Fund will support conservation, education and sustainable development initiatives including geotourism around the world, with special focus on the destinations Lindblad serves. Geotourism is defined as “tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents.”
In addition to support from both National Geographic and Lindblad, the fund will accept contributions from guests on board the fleet and others who are committed to funding such initiatives. An advisory board will review grant proposals annually. Existing Lindblad projects such as the Galápagos Conservation Fund and the Baja Forever campaign will be eligible to receive support through this new program.
Under this funding framework, both organizations will work together to identify and support research and conservation projects. This program will also complement National Geographic’s other grant-making programs, which have funded research and exploration around the world for more than a century.
“Our alliance has been a tremendous success to date,” said John Fahey, president and CEO of National Geographic. “Our organizations share the goal of inspiring people to care about the planet. The chance to make a difference through educational travel, outreach and giving back in a significant way really distinguishes this initiative.”
About Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions is an expedition travel company providing voyages in Galápagos, Antarctica, Baja California, Alaska, the Arctic, and beyond. Sven Lindblad has received international recognition including the 2007 Global Tourism Business Award, 2007 Seafood Champion Award, U.N. Programme Global 500 Award and recognition from HRH, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg for his dedication to the conservation and environmental stewardship of the Galápagos archipelago. The company has also been named #1 Small-Ship Cruise Line (Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Value Awards 2006); “The Best Ships in the World” and “The Best Itineraries” (Condé Nast Traveler: Truth in Travel Awards 2006).
About National Geographic
The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to “increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,” the Society works to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 300 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 8,000 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. National Geographic’s travel products and services include National Geographic Traveler and Adventure magazines, travel guide books, maps, and National Geographic Expeditions, the Society’s travel program that offers more than 200 trips each year to destinations around the globe. For more information, visit nationalgeographic.com.