Now Extended: End-of-Year Savings: 25% Off All 2023 Departures
Book August 14 - September 29, 2023. Save 25% on the cabin fare when booking any Category 1 cabin, including solo cabins, or Category SU on National Geographic Islander II, for departures in 2023 when you pay in full at time of booking. Valid for new bookings only, based on availability at time of booking, cannot be combined with other offers, and is not applicable on airfare or extensions. To qualify for the discount, non-refundable payment in full is due at the time of booking. Call for details.
We're a winner of Conde Nast Traveler's 2022 Readers Choice Awards
Best Cruise Line in the Galápagos (Expedition Category)
Sail the iconic archipelago with the pioneers of modern expedition travel
Lindblad Expeditions pioneered expedition travel to the remarkable Galápagos Islands more than 50 years ago. Today, we lead expeditions year-round to this magical archipelago famed for its vibrant wildlife. Encounter giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, playful penguins, and charismatic sea lions in their natural habitats, unfazed by your presence. Enjoy multiple adventures each day on land and undersea, including walks and hikes, kayaking, paddleboarding, and snorkeling, in the company of local expert guides.
In Galápagos, one thing is certain: expect the unexpected! Surrounded by wildlife on land and at sea, you never know what might happen. And that’s been the draw since Darwin landed in 1835.
New 7-Day Wild Galapagos Escape
Lindblad Expeditions is delighted to offer a new option to see the Galapagos in 7-days, departing on Tuesdays. Our active exploration of the legendary archipelago offers multiple adventures daily on the latest addition to our Galapagos fleet, National Geographic Islander ll.
Dive in and experience Galápagos with all your senses. Choose how you want to explore—hike, paddleboard, kayak, snorkel, or arrange to dive (on select departures). Take a long hike or just relax on the beach. Our generous staff-to-guest ratio means you can always find a naturalist whose interests and approach you share whether you want to focus on birding, human history, photography, the undersea, or more. Since the first international tourist expedition cruise to the Galápagos Islands in July 1967 with Lars-Eric Lindblad, we’ve introduced generations of guests to these strange and wonderful islands, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage site.
Henry David Thoreau called it the “tonic of wildness.” It’s what a cruise to Galápagos, with its beauty and wildness, gives you—a spirit lift. To compound this healthful effect, we provide a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit.
National Geographic Global Explorers Program
One of the most rewarding sights on an expedition is witnessing the gleam of discovery in a child’s eyes, whether they’re walking alongside a grazing giant tortoise or watching blue-footed boobies perform an elaborate courtship dance. Moments like these are abundant in the Galápagos—and they’re especially meaningful when complemented with the learning opportunities offered through our exclusive National Geographic Global Explorers Program for kids and teens 18 and under.
See, do and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades.
Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Our naturalists, passionate about the islands where most of them were raised, illuminate each facet of natural and human history here through their enthusiasm and knowledge. Our guests consistently cite the expertise and engaging company of our staff as key reasons to repeatedly travel with us.
See what lies beneath the waves—even if you choose to stay dry with the help of your undersea specialist. These pros snorkel or dive to shoot footage of sea life and share it in the lounge. They lead snorkeling outings and glass-bottom boat excursions, offering voiceover on all you see.
Every expedition aboard a ship in our National Geographic-flagged fleet offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings and the basics of composition, and to help you become a better, more confident photographer.
Wild places like the Galápagos hold infinite learnings for young travelers who are nurturing new relationships with the natural world. The certified field educators at the helm of the National Geographic Global Explorers program are experts at interpreting the fascinating stories of species and their habitats so that kids and teens can return home inspired by the planet and primed to protect it.
Visit itinerary dates to view additional staff and guests
Award-winning photographer and filmmaker Rich Reid has specialized in environmental and adventure photography for over two decades. North American Nature Photography Association elected Rich as a Fellow for his significant contributions to the nature photography industry, and he was a finalist for the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his time-lapse video documenting forest fire ecology.
Underwater photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes are married partners who work together as a team to produce National Geographic stories from equatorial coral reefs to beneath the polar ice. David estimates he has spent nearly half his life in the sea since taking his first underwater photograph at the age of 12 with a Brownie Hawkeye camera sealed in a bag.
Lucas Bustamante is a biologist and conservation photojournalist. He co-founded Tropical Herping and Savia Fund, an Ecuadorian nonprofit that works in the legal defense of nature, environmental and cultural conservation, and visual storytelling. His photographic work has been featured in National Geographic, Audubon, BBC Wildlife, GEO, Smithsonian, and many other magazines, books, photo exhibitions, and articles.
Krista Rossow began her career as a photography editor at National Geographic Traveler magazine. She has shot feature stories as a contributing photographer for Traveler in Japan, South Africa, Morocco, Costa Rica, New Zealand, and various U.S. cities. She regularly judges Instagram contests for @NatGeogTravel and edits photos for National Geographic Books.
National Geographic Islander II: Take a Virtual Tour
Take a virtual tour of the newest member of our Galápagos Fleet, the all-suite National Geographic Islander ll.
National Geographic Islander II's Maiden Voyage
Enjoy this glimpse of the new, all-suite National Geographic Islander ll welcoming the first guests aboard the August 18, 2022, maiden voyage sailing the Galápagos. She is purposely outfitted to reduce impact, build community on board, and foster authentic connection to the people and culture of Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands.
Embark on a sweeping adventure that encapsulates all the wildness of Galápagos balanced with the cultural and historic experiences of Machu Picchu & Peru's Land of the Inca. Explore Galápagos in depth aboard either of our ships, then discover the culture and history of Peru and the iconic ruins of Machu Picchu.
National Geographic Islander II: A Truly Ecuadorian Ship
Our new ship for the Galápagos Islands, the National Geographic Islander II, celebrates the cultures of Ecuador and the islands themselves. Join Vice President of Hotel Operations Ana Esteves as she finds inspiration around the country—meeting acclaimed local artisans, chefs, and artists who showcase the beauty and wonder of Ecuador.
‘Good Morning America’ Reports Live from National Geographic Endeavour II
In February 2022, Good Morning America's Amy Robach joined Lindblad Expeditions in the Galápagos, where GMA became the first U.S. television show to broadcast live from the islands. View clips from the show, see our daily photo diaries, and explore even more.
A true gem in the crown of conservation and sustainability, the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) has worked for six decades to protect the Galápagos and ensure that its pristine ecosystems and incredible biodiversity will continue to thrive for generations to come.
Lindblad Expeditions supports stewardship efforts in the places we explore, and one way we do that is through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. Traveler contributions to the LEX-NG Fund in Galápagos currently support our regional partners—the Charles Darwin Foundation, Galápagos National Park Directorate, Island Conservation, and the Scalesia Foundation—in their efforts to research and conserve the unique wildlife of the islands and promote education in the region.
This morning, we explored the northern side of Santa Cruz Island, and our first outing took us to see the Galapagos dragons. This land iguana inhabits the palo santo dry forest. As soon as we disembarked, marine iguanas greeted us as they sunbathed on the Sesuvium carpetweed found along the shoreline. We walked along the trail and found a brackish water lagoon that is usually visited by birds like white-cheeked pintail ducks, black-necked stilts, and sometimes flamingos. Later, we passed through the dry forest of palo santo and breathed in its fragrant aroma as we headed to observe the eroded volcanic ash on the trail. Land iguanas are endemic to this archipelago and can be found nesting in the area or just relaxing under a prickly pear cactus tree. We saw a spectacular number of iguanas, counting twenty during our walk. The bright colors of the iguanas make them a very exciting sight, which our guests enjoyed very much. Later in the afternoon, our younger explorers took Zodiac driving lessons in the company of their parents and a naturalist guide. It was the highlight of the day for them. The rest of our guests opted between getting some exercise while kayaking along the shoreline of Borrero Bay or simply took it slower and joined a Zodiac tour in the area. During the afternoon, we observed big flocks of blue-footed boobies, which are not often seen in high numbers. We also observed brown pelicans, striated herons, baby blacktip sharks, a small eagle ray, and lava gulls. We ended our day by enjoying a glass of wine while circumnavigating Daphne Major and observing the stunning sunset.
Today we woke up in Academy Bay, the main port of Santa Cruz Island. We came all the way to this island to see one of the most amazing creatures found in the Galapagos: giant tortoises. We also came to immerse ourselves in the culture of the Galapagos. After a delicious breakfast, we got ready for our adventure. First, we headed to the Charles Darwin Research Station to visit Fausto Llerena, the breeding center. We observed the saddleback morphotype and saw baby tortoises less than a year old. We learned so many interesting things about these wonderful creatures and about the efforts of the National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Station to preserve the pristine Galapagos Islands. The Galápagos Islands became a National Park over sixty years ago. When this happened, people realized that the giant tortoise population was in critical danger with only around 10,000 remaining. After time spent on breeding and recovering the tortoises’ ecosystems in the wild, those numbers have almost tripled. Next, we headed to different destinations in the highlands, including a hydroponic farm and a sugarcane farm combined with a lava tunnel. At these sites, we were received in the homes of local families. We ended our visit with the best experience on the island, a visit to see our giants (the tortoises) in their natural environment. We went to Rancho El Manzanillo and enjoyed a great lunch where we were surrounded by the tortoises! When we came back on board, guests had the opportunity to meet local artisans, take in a cultural show, and enjoy a delicious dinner. Everyone was thrilled after a day full of cultural and environmental experiences. What a great day!
Our adventure on Floreana Island started early in the morning, at Punta Cormorant. We had a wet landing on a beach with “green sand” — its color is due to the presence of olivine crystals, volcanically derived silicates of magnesium and iron. The trail led us to a brackish lagoon, where we found Galapagos flamingos, giving us the perfect moment for pictures. Next we followed a trail surrounded mostly by palo santo trees; at this time of the year they are dry and leafless, but they are just waiting for the rainy season to blossom. At the end of the trail a white sandy beach was waiting for us. Later in the morning we snorkeled around Champion. It was an amazing experience to play with Galapagos sea lions while taking in the beautiful underwater landscape. We finished our visit to this island with the historical site of Post Office Bay. This is one of the islands’ most famous sites due to its frequent visitations by pirates and whalers during the 17th and 18th centuries. The crew of visiting ships would leave mail inside a barrel; in turn, they would pick up any mail that was destined for their own part of the world. Of course our guests left their own postcards there, hoping they will be delivered soon. We finished the day with kayaking at sunset — a beautiful end to a beautiful day.
Morning’s golden embrace gave way as National Geographic Endeavour II anchored off the serene coast of Española Island. The promise of the day ahead was palpable. We were excited to visit two awe-inspiring locations: Gardner Bay in the morning, and Punta Suárez in the afternoon. Gardner Bay, with its pristine stretch of white-sand beach, was a sight to behold. Here, sea lions played the hosts. Older ones sunned themselves nonchalantly while younger pups gamboled about, their eyes brimming with playful energy. However, the ocean beckoned with its mysteries beneath. Snorkeling in these crystalline waters was like stepping into another realm. Vibrant fish flitted about, their brilliant scales refracting sunlight into transient rainbows. Some of us had the heart-stopping pleasure of encountering tranquil sea turtles and the silhouettes of sharks, as their majestic forms moved gracefully through the depths. After a morning full of oceanic wonder, we returned to the ship and anticipated the day’s next chapter: Punta Suárez. With its contrasting terrains and dramatic cliff views, the rugged beauty of this locale was captivating. Marine iguanas, with their prehistoric appearance, lounged everywhere, occasionally grumbling and spitting salt. The sky played canvas to the elegant albatrosses, their expansive wings cutting through the air with grace. Nevertheless, it was the sea lions, in their playful abandon on the rocks and shores, that captured the true essence of Punta Suárez. As the afternoon wore on and we began our journey back to National Geographic Endeavour II, nature had one more spectacle in store. A thin drizzle began to fall, casting a gossamer veil over the landscape. The light rain added an ethereal quality, making the vistas of Punta Suárez even more dramatic. It was as if the island itself was bidding us a misty, enchanting farewell. Back on board, the drizzle painted the ship's deck with tiny pearls, and we gathered to reminisce. The conversations flowed, stories of the day’s adventures intermingling, laughter echoing against the backdrop of the setting sun. The day had been transformative, each moment a testament to the wild beauty of Española Island. As night embraced the ship, the shared sentiment was clear: profound happiness, and a connection with nature that would be cherished for a lifetime. The raw beauty of Española, combined with its capricious weather and incredible wildlife, had imprinted its memories onto each heart.
Today is our last day in paradise. Even though we are from different backgrounds, today we are bonded as one by our magical experience in the Galapagos Islands. We traveled from Fernandina to San Cristobal Island; from the youngest to one of the oldest in the archipelago. Today at San Cristobal we landed on a green olivine beach. The volcanic scenery that we observed during our intense hike was spectacular. The peaks of tuff high in the sky make this site very different from what we have already observed. To have such profound feelings while enjoying the present created a moment that will live in our hearts forever. Punta Pitt also has impressive scenery from up above; we saw clear sky with some clouds, and occasionally felt the inversion layer keeping us comfortable for this walk. We listened closely, focusing on our surroundings while we searched for red-footed boobies. Today we were lucky to see them very close. Afterward, we enjoyed time on the beach. We had fun with baby sea lions and observed them playing together. We witnessed a particular female who was rather aggressive; she was very protective of her baby, who arrived just a few weeks ago. Later we repositioned to Cerro Brujo; we had our last walk together, enjoying the white sandy beach and turquoise ocean with sea lions nearby. What a wonderful way to say goodbye to the Galapagos. Then we boarded and passed by Kicker Rock, a massive tuff formation, as the sun was setting far on the horizon. We relaxed together in the lounge to celebrate our journey; a frigatebird flew very near to us, like it was saying goodbye. Only a small fraction of travelers have made the trip to Galapagos, and today we were delighted to complete this journey with our guests. We were honored to be part of their unforgettable experience and hope one day they have the will and power to bring positive change to this wonderful world of ours. “We must rethink our indoctrinated knowledge, the methodical saying ‘don’t humanize the animals’ and instead ‘animalize the human’ by perceiving our surrounding with all our senses; embracing nature with our true spirit by coexistence and respect for one another, so we can become one with nature as we once were.” - Celso Montalvo. Farewell amigos.
It will never leave you if you go to the Galápagos islands. You will have stories for the rest of your life—I can promise you.