15 minutes with…Sven Lindblad

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Lindblad Expeditions is one of the oldest names in adventure cruising. Recently, the line took the unusual step of merging and listing to create a pool of capital to expand. Sven Lindblad talked to ASEAN Cruise News about the line’s plans.

 

What does the merger and listing mean to Lindblad? The merger [with public investment vehicle Capitol Acquisition Corp. II]and public offering brings considerable capital to the enterprise for growth and a partnership that broadens our reach.

 

The company’s statement mentions a “new age of travel”. What does that mean? There is a marked shift in values away from the accumulation of things to the accumulation of experiences that enrich people’s lives and make them more valuable to friends, colleagues and family. Guests are looking for more physical activity, and forums to discuss subjects that interest them. Conversations about the role of conservation are also more pertinent to guests. I see an increase in interest about how people can engage in better stewardship of our planet.

 

You mentions the company’s intention to “grow the universe of people who explore our world and communicate about it to others”. What will this mean to adventure travel? If part of the experience of traveling with us results in a better understanding of the world and how we might become better stewards of our mutual and cultural capital, then broadening our audience would expand that goal.

 

Is Lindblad planning more ship launches? We are planning to build and/or acquire several ships. Currently in our plan, three are planned for delivery in 2017, 2018, 2019.

 

Are new destinations planned? Yes. However we are not prepared to reveal them at this time.

 

And new kinds of cruises? Lindblad Expeditions is always looking to provide expedition content geared to diverse audiences, whether it’s a focus on photography, activity, family, etc. However, our intent is to use small ships as a primary platform to do so.

 

With competitors taking luxury ships into expedition areas, will Lindblad remain an adventure-ship company? Our focus has always been, and will continue to be, expedition/adventure.

 

Will Lindblad vessels return to Australia and the Pacific? Our move in 2016 away from Australia and the Pacific region with the NG Orion is based on guest demand for new geography. We will most likely return at some point if we believe our guests find value in us doing so. The NG Orion is scheduled for 22 voyages in the Med and Western Europe in 2016. Her plans for 2017, beyond Antarctica, have not been planned as yet.

 

Are Asia and China areas on the horizon for Lindblad? As far as Asia and China go, we will assess this geography like any other. If we perceive that there is demand, we will develop expeditions in the region.