According to the CFO of Lindblad Expeditions, Craig Felenstein, the demand for future expedition travel with the company “remains very strong.”
“We are well positioned for 2021 and beyond. Bookings for 2021 are still 4 percent ahead of 2019 at the same point in 2018. And while bookings are now behind where they were for 2020 at the same point one year ago, that is predominantly due to individual voyages and cancelations for Q1 of next year. Looking into the last nine months of 2021 … we remain 12 percent ahead of the same point a year ago for 2020,” he said during the Oct. 29 investor call for the company’s third quarter earnings.
Felenstein also highlighted that the company feels encouraged by the fact that the majority of guests of their cancelled and rescheduled voyages – that “include expeditions through the end of December, as well as the upcoming season in Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falklands” – opt for future travel credits as opposed to full refunds.
“This trend has been very, very consistent since March,” Felenstein said.
According to him, Lindblad Expeditions has generated over $44 million in new bookings since Mar. 1 from guests who are not utilizing their future credits.
“Based on the feedback we are getting from guests directly, we believe there is a significant pent-up demand to get out and explore the world’s most amazing geographies, and these efforts will secure additional bookings for 2021 and 2022,” Felenstein said.
Due to the risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company suspended and rescheduled the majority of its cruises from Mar. 16, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020. It has also rescheduled its 2020-2021 Antarctica season.
According to Linbland Experditions’ CEO, Sven-Olaf Lindblad, the company might restart its operations in April 2021.
“We believe that there’s a good chance that April, more or less, onwards, we will be able to operate in a lot of the areas that we traditionally do,” Lindblad said.