Written by 10:23 am Celebrity, News, South America

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic acquiring two ships for Galápagos

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic announced they will acquire two purpose-built Galápagos expedition vessels from Celebrity Cruises. The first of the two new ships (formerly Celebrity Xpedition) is a 48-guest configuration and features two unique dining venues and 24 outward-facing cabins, including 13 balcony suites. Even more intimate, the second vessel (formerly Celebrity Xploration) is a 16-guest, eight-cabin catamaran perfect for family vacations, affinity groups, and private charters.

National Geographic Expeditions – Galapagos Voyage
Image courtesy National Geographic Expeditions

“We recognize and appreciate the immense privilege our company has to operate and grow our expedition cruise offerings in the Galápagos Islands,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, Founder and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions. “By sourcing well-appointed vessels and onboarding the most experienced crew and staff who meet our exacting standards of responsible exploration, we’re able to transport guests from around the world to the iconic archipelago and help them understand the importance of protecting and preserving its wonders and wildlife, as a consequence of their personal experience.”

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Ship
Image courtesy Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic

He continued: “When my father, Lars-Eric Lindblad, led the first international citizen expedition to the Galápagos nearly 60 years ago, I don’t think he ever could have dreamed it would serve as the foundation for ecotourism in the archipelago and would be the catalyst for meaningful, positively impactful connections. We look forward to not only bringing more Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests to the islands with the growth of our fleet, but also to having a greater positive social impact supporting conservation, education and the creation of livelihoods.”

Galapagos tortoise
Image courtesy National Geographic Expeditions

Later this summer, bookings will open for sale and the names of the two ships will be revealed. Following the closing of the transaction in January 2025, the ships will undergo multi-million-dollar revitalizations. Once complete, the ships will embody the spirit of adventure and extreme comfort, both synonymous with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, and will celebrate the Company’s deep connection to the islands, Ecuador, and its people.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Ship
Image courtesy Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic

“For decades, Lindblad Expeditions has set the standards for sustainable tourism in Galápagos and been an extraordinary friend and supporter to the Charles Darwin Foundation and the greater conservation community in the islands,” said Rakan Zahawi, Executive Director of the Charles Darwin Foundation. “Together with community leaders, farmers, scientists and researchers, as well as Ecuadorians from Galápagos and the continent, Lindblad Expeditions has helped to uplift local communities and safeguard the archipelago’s precious species and habitats. We are grateful for their continued commitment to protecting, promoting, and preserving our home, while showcasing its beauty to responsible travelers.”

National Geographic Expeditions – Galapagos Voyage
Image courtesy National Geographic Expeditions

Lindblad Expeditions has been the global leader and pioneer of modern expedition cruising in the Galápagos since leading the first-ever non-scientific international civilian expedition to the region in 1967. For years, the Company has operated two ships in the region, the state-of-the-art 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour II and the 48-guest former mega-yacht turned expedition vessel National Geographic Islander II, and offers six immersive itineraries across more than 100 departures year-round. The addition of the newly added 48-guest and 16-guest ships will double the size of the company’s Galápagos fleet.

To book your expedition to the Galápagos, we recommend MEI Travel for a free, no obligation quote and free help throughout your trip.

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