Lindblad: Eyeing Ship Acquisitions and Newbuilds

Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, said the company is waiting to see the full impact of its new deal with National Geographic and Disney before it makes moves on either acquiring or building new ships.

“The single most valuable thing we can do as a company is maximizing the inventory we have,” said Lindblad, speaking on the company’s fourth quarter and year-end earnings call on Wednesday.

“Getting the occupancies (back) and making sure the yields are maintained is the primary and key element of growth internally,” he continued.

“This year we will learn more about this triangle, which is Disney, National Geographic and Lindblad, and what the power of that is. As soon as we understand that somewhat better, that will accelerate, in all likelihood, the commitment to acquire new vessels.”

Lindblad noted that may include acquiring vessels that exist but are no longer available in their current companies, as well as building new ships.

“Going forward we will be looking at these two avenues. Are there existing ships that are suitable to us that need a happy home or should we building new ships. We will begin looking closely at that in the not-too-distant future.”

Lindblad said that before 2015, the company had not built new ships but instead had acquired ships from other operators. Since then, the company has built four new ships, including two smaller U.S.-flagged coastal vessels and two expedition ships. It has also acquired a new-to-Lindblad vessel for the Galapagos, buying the former Crystal Esprit.


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