Lindblad Expeditions has announced a long-term extension and expansion of its brand’s relationship with exploration and scientific discovery brand National Geographic.
Under the new agreement, the two companies have extended their 20-year relationship for another 17 years, with a commitment through 2040.
This will allow the brand to reach new worldwide audiences through three new market opportunities, Lindblad said, including:
- Global rights to the National Geographic brand for expedition cruises, which will enable Lindblad Expeditions to increase its fleet capacity of 17 exploration ships and expand into additional market segments.
- Leverage of The Walt Disney Company as an affiliate of National Geographic Partners to distribute product through Disney’s sales channels and support robust joint marketing campaigns.
- Enhancements to the on board guest experience with more immersive storytelling and experiences connected to the National Geographic brand.
The agreement will increase the earnings potential of the company by opening larger addressable markets and potential expansion into additional market segments through: a global license to use the National Geographic Expeditions brand to market, sell and operate co-branded trips on expedition ships; exclusivity on trips marketed in the US and Canada for ships up to 295 pax, with the ability to expand that exclusive license globally and to ships with guest capacity of up to 530 pax; and a global license to market co-branded river cruises.
One of the most significant elements of this new agreement is the distribution of the company’s products through The Walt Disney Company’s sales channels.
This distribution will be instrumental in reaching key new-to-expedition and new-to-brand travellers worldwide, thereby growing the company’s consumer base to drive additional capacity and earnings growth in the years ahead.
A combination of the educational travel expertise of National Geographic, the marketing and sales expertise of The Walt Disney Company, and the expedition cruise operations history of Lindblad Expeditions will inspire generations of new explorers across the globe and fuel record growth, the company claimed.
“The extension—and, most importantly, the expansion—of our strategic relationship with National Geographic will enable us to significantly grow our business and each of our brands on an international scale and reach more citizen explorers than ever before,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad, Founder and CEO, Lindblad Expeditions.
“As we globalise our operations, the power of worldwide branding rights, uplifted by the marketing and sales engine of National Geographic and The Walt Disney Company, is incredibly exciting and will be key to our continued growth.
“Building on our company’s half-century of safe and responsible exploration and long list of industry innovations, together, we will continue to craft world-opening expeditions for curious explorers, develop more meaningful guest programmes on land and on board our growing fleet, and expose new audiences to the beauty and wonder of our shared planet.
“Over the past two decades, our intuitive connection and shared ethos has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of guests, and I look forward to our next two decades of industry-leading growth,” he said.
“Lindblad Expeditions’ expertise, history of responsible and safe exploration and outstanding guest experience makes them the right organisation to help bring the National Geographic Expeditions brand to life,” added Stephanie Young, President, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures & Expeditions and Disney Institute.
“We are proud to associate our iconic travel brand with an operator with such a rich pioneering heritage that is committed to operating inspiring and meaningful travel experiences to the world’s most compelling destinations to grow the National Geographic Expeditions brand on a global scale, while bringing high-quality hospitality, customer service standards and marketing and sales expertise,” she said.