Lindblad Expedition started the year off with the biggest booking day in company history, said Noah Brodsky, chief commercial officer.
“We always expect a bump in Wave Season,” he said, “But there is pent up demand to get out there.”
The booking trends are interesting, Brodsky continued, noting significant close-in bookings.
Typically (our guests) are thinking a year or two years ahead, but there is tons of demand for this summer and coming winter,” he told Cruise Industry News. “And it’s across the board, all departures and all (sales) channels.”
Sales are up double-digits in the company’s three core operating regions: Alaska, the Galapagos and Antarctica, while secondary regions are also seeing big numbers with ships in Costa Rica and the Arctic.
With over four decades of experience combined with its partnership with National Geographic, the company has the experience and quality of staff that delivers.
“Experience has driven us to excellence,” Brodsky said.
The marketing strategy has changed, Brodsky continued. The company has shifted from talking about why guests should travel to the Antarctica and Galapagos and instead moved to talking about Lindblad and what makes the experience unique.
“We are fully expecting this to be a record-breaking year. We started the year way ahead of where we were in 2019 and 2020, pre-pandemic. We just had day after day of record-breaking volume. We are geared up for a banner year and we’ve got the deployment to match it.”
Lindblad Expeditions’ current deployment covers 15 ships and 171 unique departures, according Brodsky
The company sees its core deployment regions as Antarctica, Alaska and the Galapagos, but covers the rest of the word too.
Among the highlights this year is the debut of a long-await program in Asia.
“The National Geographic Resolution is making it to Japan this year,” Brodsky said, as the 126-guest ship will visit Japan follow its reopening for four sailings.
“In addition, the National Geographic Orion is going back to the Kimberley, which is somewhere she hasn’t been in eight years.”
In Greenland and the Arctic, new PC5 ships allow the company to push further north thanks to ice-strengthened hulls, allowing transits of the Northwest Passage earlier than ever before.
The vast majority of new guests, however, start with Lindblad in Antarctica, Alaska or the Galapagos, Brodsky noted.
“If you loved the whales in Alaska, we start talking about Baja California where the whales are in the summer.”
Repositioning ships allows for some unique programs, such as National Geographic Resolution visiting Normandy on her way to the Arctic.
Excerpt from the Cruise Industry News Quarterly Magazine Spring 2023