Lindblad Calls Out Other Expedition Operators for Discounting

National Geographic Endurance

Sven Lindblad, founder and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, took aim at other expedition cruise lines for pricing practices on Lindblad’s first quarter earnings call on Tuesday.

“As 2023 evolved through the summer and fall, we started seeing more and more dramatic price actions, sometimes even two-for-one offerings for prime seasons in places like Antarctica,” Lindblad said.

“Clearly, the relationship of inventory and demand is out of balance for some of our peers as well as some desperation coming out of Covid,” he continued.

“Rather than joining the fray, given the potential long-term ramifications to the value proposition we deliver, we have remained committed not to buy occupancy and maintain price integrity, which you can see with our net yield up slightly versus a year, versus the first quarter a year ago. There is little to no benefit in adding occupancy if yield decreases proportionately.”

The company reported a first quarter occupancy decline, to 76 percent, compared to 81 percent for the first quarter of 2023.

Lindblad noted that the company could get to 100 percent occupancy “tomorrow if we took on some really bad habits that would have a very negative effect on the business long term. So, ships — small ships, expedition ships cannot function at revenues that are 50%. It’s not sustainable.”

“So let’s drive up occupancy,” he said, “but at the same time, let’s make sure we do not invalidate price integrity, because once you do too much of that, it’s hard to come back.”

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