Lindblad Expeditions President and CEO Sven-Olof Lindblad

Looking forward during Tuesday’s first quarter earnings call, Lindblad Expeditions President and CEO Sven-Olof Lindblad, painted a positive view of the niche line’s future.

“Booking momentum we generated at the end of 2016 has accelerated into this year,” Lindblad said. “We are seeing significant growth across every one of our destinations.”

He said bookings were up year-over-year.

“We are generating significantly more demand for itineraries in 2018,” Lindblad continued. “Overall interest in our offerings continues to grow.”

The new National Geographic Quest launches into the Alaska market in June and ups the company’s capacity in Alaska.

Lindblad said the new ship was essentially sold out for the Alaska season, and the existing vessel in the market was “doing well despite the extra inventory.”

Q1 earnings were dragged down with two mechanical issues.

The winter season on the Orion was cancelled following an engine failure and two cruises on the Sea Lion were cancelled due to air conditioning issues. The company said it lost some $11 million in ticket revenue on the cancellations.

Craig Felenstein, CFO, said the company was well positioned to invest in future growth opportunities.

He also noted the average booking window was nine months, and that 2018 bookings were tracking well ahead of 2017 bookings.

“We are seeing significant bookings for 2018,” Felenstein commented.