Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society in 2013 with a pair of special expeditions that combine spectacular destinations and an array of world-renowned special guests. This time Lindblad sets its legendary sights on the northern and southern hemispheres with Epic South America and The Canadian Maritimes set aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer.

Epic South America: Jungle Rivers, Rainforests and the Colonial Coast will feature a 38-day natural history, cultural and historical immersion in the rich and fascinating puzzle that is South America. The journey departs September 18, 2013 and will cover eight countries in all, showcasing wildly diverse ecosystems, rarely-seen wildlife, and a variety of cultural treasures.

Highlights will include six UNESCO sites, including the rarely-visited Fernando de Noronha. Guests will enjoy unique access to this idyllic and fiercely protected 21-island archipelago, which includes one of the world’s most pristine marine parks, and is home to the largest concentration of tropical seabirds in the western Atlantic. The expedition will also offer a rare chance to experience  three of the world’s most important rivers (Amazon, Orinoco and Essquibo), and will put guests in the heart of the Atlantic rain forest  (considered one of the world’s ultimate diversity hotspots, and featuring 20,000 species of plants and 1,361 species of animals).

A trio of South America’s most fascinating cities will be on display with stops in Brazil’s storied and iconic Rio de Janeiro, the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo (complete with an authentic barbecue at a private estancia or ranch) and Buenos Aires, with visits to the colonial towns of Ilhéus and Parati.

Guests will travel in the company of an equally epic roster of world-renowned experts including Cesar Gaviria, the former President of Colombia, who will discuss the political and economic climate of South America and his extraordinary efforts to protect the world’s oceans;  National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence ethobotanist Wade Davis, and Johan Reinhard, who uncovered Incan human sacrificial sites;  National Geographic Fellow Thomas Lovejoy;  ethnomusicologist Jacob Edgar, a world tastemaker and global explorer who will put together performances by some of the continent’s most talented artists; Priscilla Ann Goslin, New York Times bestselling author of “How to Be a Carioca;” and National Geographic photographers Tyrone Turner, Cotton Coulson, and David Wright.  

Rates begin at $34,730 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.

Guests can also celebrate this historic milestone by returning to the roots of exploration with Celebrating 125 Years of National Geographic: The Canadian Maritimes expedition. This 8-day journey through eastern Canada and around the island of Newfoundland departs September 7, 2013 and will retrace the routes of the Vikings and European explorers, and features an insider’s look at the home of one of the world’s most famous inventors.

The expedition will feature its own roster of internationally-acclaimed experts, led by National Geographic Chairman Emeritus of the Board Gil Grosvenor (who will host a private lunch on the grounds of his family’s historic home, which once belonged to great-grandfather Alexander Graham Bell, who was also the second president of the National Geographic Society), National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis and Sven Lindblad, founder of Lindblad Expeditions.

Guests will get a rare, up-close view of the region’s maritime history as they sail through The Narrows of St. John’s, Newfoundland and soak in ageless maritime traditions, historic lighthouses, tiny fishing hamlets, ruins of ancient Viking civilizations and the relics of WWII defenses. As they hike the trails of Gros Morne National Park, guests will get a unique view of rare geological features studied by NASA for their similarity to the surface of Mars. Wildlife seekers can walk the beach or head out on Zodiac and kayak adventures as expedition experts keep a keen eye out for whales beginning their southerly migration. Finally, the region’s trademark cultural melting pot will be on display, from the seaside cafes and shops of the French outposts of Miquelon and Saint Pierre to the distinctly Scottish flavor of the settlement of Cape Breton Island.

Rates begin at $6,970 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.