Celebrating its 50th anniversary last night at the Explorers’ Club in New York, Sven-Olof Lindblad, president and CEO of Lindblad Expedition Holdings, said that that the company will build a new blue-water expedition vessel for delivery in 2019. He did not share any further details.
The new expedition vessel will follow two 100-passenger American-flagged coastal vessels being built for introductions in 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, the company has also bought the Via Australis, which will be refurbished, before replacing the National Geographic Endeavour in the Galapagos.
The expedition market is segmented and is attracting participants on different levels and niches, including Silversea, which has become a major player, and newcomers to the segment, Crystal Cruises and Scenic Cruises with newbuildings. In addition, Ponant is beefing up its presence with the construction of four more ships. With new ownership, Hurtigruten is also expected to expand its role.
Lindblad is able to distinguish itself with its unique association with National Geographic and 50 years of service.