MJ Viederman Lindblad Expeditions (413) 549-3950 [email protected]
** B Roll available upon request
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY (November 8, 2005) – When Emma Ridley called her company’s NYC home base last week from the Galapagos islands, she reported two firsts – one for her, and one for her company. For her, she was able to witness – up close – her first volcanic eruption of Sierra Negra, which was captured on film by one of the company’s videographers. Lindblad guests were some of the first to hike up the volcano and witness this historic event. Ridley, having lived in Galapagos for years, had missed prior eruptions. In addition to the volcano, the company was the first of its kind to be awarded unique permits for kayaking in the fragile environment of this National Park beginning in January, 2006.
“This is what we call expecting the unexpected,” exclaimed Ridley. “There is no island group on the planet as pristine and alive as the Galapagos islands, where we can witness rare animals not found in any other place, and volcanoes that are active and continuing to shape the islands,” she added. The eruption began on Saturday, October 22, on Sierra Negra, one of the southern volcanoes of Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago. Ridley and a small group received special photographic permits to get close to and camp on the rim – close enough to smell the fumes, feel the heat and watch the rivers of lava cascading down into the caldera below. “I consider myself very lucky to be able to witness a sight like this,” she added.
Lindblad guests on the Islander and Polaris were able to view the spewing volcano from the ship, particularly at night, and by day hike up the volcano with permits from the National Park to view from a closer perspective. Beginning in January 2006, these guests will be able to kayak in the islands, witnessing playful sea lions, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and other marquis species of the Galapagos from the perspective of a sea kayak. After years of working with the Galapagos National Park, Lindblad Expeditions received a unique permit to use kayaks on both of their ships, Polaris and Islander, stationed in the islands year-round. A leader in responsible tourism around the world, Lindblad created the Galapagos Conservation Fund in 1997, which has raised nearly $3 million for on the ground conservation projects in the archipelago.
About Lindblad’s Field Staff
Emma Ridley is part of Lindblad Expeditions’ 175 core field staff whose skills range from marine biology to geology to botany. The company’s Naturalists, Undersea Specialists, Historians and Expedition Leaders share their expertise with travelers in destinations around the globe. Having lived in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Scotland and Ecuador, Ridley is fluent in four languages. She has worked as Naturalist and Expedition Leader for Lindblad since 1997, when the company’s ship Polaris was stationed in Galapagos on a full-time basis.
About Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions was founded in 1979 and operates a fleet of six ships in regions such as Galapagos, Antarctica, Arctic Norway, Alaska and Baja California, to name a few, with a focus on responsible tourism. The company has been the recipient of many environmental awards including the United Nations Environmental Programme Global 500 Award. For more information, visit: www.expeditions.com.