Lindblad and National Geographic Expand, Extend Deal Through 2040

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Lindblad Expeditions Holdings announced today the long-term extension and expansion of the Lindblad Expeditions brand’s strategic relationship with renowned exploration and scientific discovery brand National Geographic, according to a press release.

Under the new agreement, the two companies have extended their industry-defining 20-year relationship for 17 additional years, with a commitment through 2040 that will allow the brand to reach new worldwide audiences through three compelling new market opportunities including: global rights to the National Geographic brand for expedition cruises, which will enable Lindblad Expeditions to increase its fleet capacity of 17 exploration ships and expand into additional market segments; leverage of The Walt Disney Company as an affiliate of National Geographic Partners to distribute product through Disney’s powerful sales channels and support robust joint marketing campaigns; and enhancements to the onboard guest experience with more immersive storytelling and experiences connected to the National Geographic brand.

The company said in a press release that the  expanded relationship will elevate the brand’s position as the leader in expedition cruise, the breakout travel trend of the decade. It will increase the earnings potential of the company by opening larger addressable markets and potential expansion into additional market segments through: a global license to use the National Geographic Expeditions brand to market, sell and operate co-branded trips on expedition ships; exclusivity on trips marketed in the United States and Canada for ships up to 295 passengers, with the ability to expand that exclusive license globally and to ships with guest capacity of up to 530 passengers; and a global license to market co-branded river cruises.

“The extension—and, most importantly, the expansion—of our strategic relationship with National Geographic will enable us to significantly grow our business and each of our brands on an international scale and reach more citizen explorers than ever before,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lindblad Expeditions. “As we globalize our operations, the power of worldwide branding rights, uplifted by the marketing and sales engine of National Geographic and The Walt Disney Company, is incredibly exciting and will be key to our continued growth. Building on our company’s half-century of safe and responsible exploration and long list of industry innovations, together, we will continue to craft world-opening expeditions for curious explorers, develop more meaningful guest programs on land and on board our growing fleet, and expose new audiences to the beauty and wonder of our shared planet. Over the past two decades, our intuitive connection and shared ethos has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of guests, and I look forward to our next two decades of industry-leading growth.”

“Lindblad Expeditions’ expertise, history of responsible and safe exploration and outstanding guest experience makes them the right organization to help bring the National Geographic Expeditions brand to life,” said Stephanie Young, President, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures & Expeditions and Disney Institute. “We are proud to associate our iconic travel brand with an operator with such a rich pioneering heritage that is committed to operating inspiring and meaningful travel experiences to the world’s most compelling destinations to grow the National Geographic Expeditions brand on a global scale, while bringing high-quality hospitality, customer service standards and marketing and sales expertise.”

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