NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Oct. 7, 2004)—National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions have formed a multifaceted strategic alliance that combines the strengths of two pioneers in exploration and travel, making it possible for more individuals to become active, engaged explorers. Lindblad’s flagship, M.S.Endeavour, will relaunch as the National Geographic Endeavour beginning in April 2005, signifying the beginning of a partnership that brings together the scientific innovation and expedition leadership that defines the two organizations.
Announced today by John Fahey, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, and Sven Lindblad, president and founder of Lindblad Expeditions, the alliance includes the following key elements:
1) An education platform that will both enhance the expedition experience and bring its findings to an audience far beyond expedition participants;
2) Technological innovations across the Lindblad fleet, with particular focus on the National Geographic Endeavour; where new, state-of-the-art equipment will allow for more extensive underwater exploration; and
3) An expert advisory panel of world-renowned researchers, scientists and explorers, including oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle and National Geographic Contributing Photographer-in-Residence Emory Kristof, which will help shape conservation, research and education initiatives.
“For more than a century National Geographic has been introducing people to the world’s most remote and pristine locales, educating people about diverse cultures and places, and instilling a sense of appreciation of what makes our planet unique,” said Fahey. “Together with Lindblad, we are able to extend our platform for research and discovery to their fleet of ships, enhancing opportunities for scientific discovery and research for our scientists, for expedition travelers and for all National Geographic members.”
“When my father first ventured to untouched corners of the planet in 1958 with his first groups of travelers, he would have only dreamed about joining forces with National Geographic,” said Lindblad.” Together, we can bring the best scientific and technological innovation to all aspects of our expeditions — from underwater cameras and on-board technology, to engaging our guests as active participants in scientific research, to enhancing our local conservation efforts — this is clearly a case of one plus one equaling as much as we can both imagine.”
The new advisory panel, made up of more than a dozen National Geographic experts, will join Lindblad’s team to generate new initiatives regarding research on board ship, local conservation efforts, scientific data collection, educational programming and many other topics. A major focus will be in the area of marine exploration, including supporting scientists on the shipboard platform; launching National Geographic Crittercam and rope cam (video and data-logging systems) projects from the ship; providing opportunities for guest interaction with National Geographic grantees and scientists on board the ships; and collaborating on providing enhanced underwater experiences to travelers through new, state-of-the-art equipment.
Expedition travelers will have opportunities to interact at sea and on shore with National Geographic explorers, researchers, photographers and filmmakers along with Lindblad’s expedition leaders and naturalists.
The inaugural voyage of the National Geographic Endeavour, from Valparaiso, Chile, to the Panama Canal, departs April 1, 2005. Joining the voyage will be Lindblad, Fahey and a team from National Geographic, including high-altitude archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Johan Reinhard, best known for his discovery of the Inca ice maiden in Peru; archaeologist Guillermo Cock, whose excavation of ancient Inca mummies was featured in National Geographic magazine and funded by National Geographic grants; and National Geographic photographer Pablo Corral.
About National Geographic
The 116-year-old National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. It reaches more than 270 million people each month through its five magazines, the National Geographic Channel, books, films, videos, maps and interactive media. The Society has funded more than 7,500 scientific research projects and supports an education program combating geographic illiteracy. National Geographic’s travel products and services include National Geographic Traveler and Adventure magazines, travel guide books, maps and National Geographic Expeditions, the Society’s travel program that operates more than 100 trips each year to destinations around the globe.
About Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions was founded in 1979, originally as a division of Lindblad Travel, which was founded in 1958 by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the pioneer of expedition travel. Lindblad operates a fleet of six ships in regions such as Galapagos, Antarctica, Arctic Norway, Alaska and Baja California, to name a few. The company is known for its commitment to sustainable tourism and is the recipient of many environmental awards, including the Conde Nast Traveler Ecotourism Award (2002) and the ASTA/Smithsonian Magazine Environmental Award (1993). Sven Lindblad is a member of the General Assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands. He serves on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and the board of directors of the Mexican Fund for the Conservation for Nature. He is a founding member of the Galapagos Conservation Fund and is a recipient of the United Nations Environmental Programme Global 500 Award (2001).