Mary Jo Viederman Lindblad Expeditions (413) 549- 3950 [email protected]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY (November 24, 2007) – In the early hours of the morning following the Thanksgiving holiday, the captain and crew of the National Geographic Endeavour, Lindblad Expeditions’ flagship that explores the Antarctic, the Arctic and other remote regions around the world, heard the distress call of the M.V. Explorer. Immediately, Endeavour Captain Oliver Kruess turned the ship around and headed toward the distressed vessel known to many as ‘the little red ship’, the GAP Adventure’s expedition ship that hit ice and began to take in water. Together with the Norwegian cruise ship that loaded passengers to safety, the National Geographic Endeavour lifted zodiac boats and drivers, stayed on to assist and remembered happier days of the first expedition travel ship built to explore the icy waters of the Arctic and Antarctic.
“It’s a sad day for all of us who knew and traveled aboard the Explorer”, said Sven Lindblad, whose late father commissioned the ship in 1969 for Arctic and Antarctic exploration. The ship was sold by Lindblad in 1982 and has had several owners since. GAP Adventures, a Canadian company, owned her most recently. While the ship remained listing in Antarctic waters yesterday, Lindblad spoke by phone to many of his top expedition leaders, staff and crew who knew and had remembered happier times aboard the little red ship. “In some ways”, he said, “ending her illustrious career in Antarctic waters, where she began, is fitting for a ship of her great stature. Certainly, her legacy will continue through the stories and memories she gave to all who knew her.”
Commissioned in 1969 by expedition travel pioneer, Lars-Eric Lindblad, the M.V. Explorer was the first of her kind – an ice class expedition ship designed to take non-scientific travelers to the ends of the earth. Lars-Eric Lindblad, known to many as the father of “eco-tourism”, pioneered expedition travel in Antarctica in the 1960s. In fact, Lars-Eric’s legacy in Antarctica was so well-known that the US Geological Survey mapped a cove in his name (Lindblad Cove) on Trinity Peninsula to mark his contributions to the region. With a passion to discover unknown places and a pioneering spirit, Lars-Eric opened the world to tourism and wrote about it in his book, Passport to Anywhere.
Sven-Olof Lindblad, Lars’ son, traveled extensively with his father, learning early on the joy and wonder of exploring the pristine corners of the globe. Today, Sven continues the Lindblad tradition of exploration through his company – Lindblad Expeditions (LEX). With its hallmark staff and carefully researched and planned itineraries, Lindblad Expeditions owns and operates six vessels and the company is lauded for it innovative exploration and conservation efforts. Most recently, the company forged a multifaceted strategic alliance with the National Geographic Society (NGS) in which the two organizations collaborate in the areas of exploration, technology and conservation.
From Lindblad’s earliest days, the company set out to proactively protect the world's wild places. Sven Lindblad continues to run his business with the approach that respectful adventure tourism can be a key factor in helping to sustain a region and, in some cases, even repair it. With that philosophy in mind, Lindblad Expeditions has built robust travel philanthropy programs in the Galapagos, Antarctica, Baja and Alaska. To date, the company has raised over $5 million to support local efforts in the destinations where it travels. Earlier this year, Lindblad Expeditions received the 2007 Tourism for Tomorrow Global Tourism Business Award, presented annually by the World Travel & Tourism Council. The coveted award recognized Lindblad Expeditions for “outstanding leadership as a global model for environmental stewardship.”
About Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad Expeditions is an expedition travel company providing voyages in Galápagos, Antarctica, Baja California, Alaska, the Arctic, and beyond. Sven Lindblad has received international recognition including the 2007 Global Tourism Business Award, 2007 Seafood Champion Award, U.N. Programme Global 500 Award and recognition from HRH, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg for his dedication to the conservation and environmental stewardship of the Galápagos archipelago. The company has also been named #1 Small-Ship Cruise Line (Travel + Leisure's World's Best Value Awards 2006); "The Best Ships in the World" and "The Best Itineraries" (Condé Nast Traveler: Truth in Travel Awards 2006).