Lindblad Expeditions has locked in a long-term extension and expansion of the brand’s strategic relationship with National Geographic.
Under the new deal, the two companies have extended their 20-year relationship for 17 additional years, with a commitment through 2040. The extended partnership will allow the brand to reach new worldwide audiences through three compelling new market opportunities including:
- global rights to the National Geographic brand for expedition cruises, which will enable Lindblad Expeditions to increase its fleet capacity of 17 intimately scaled 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 powerful sales channels and support robust joint marketing campaigns; and
- enhancements to the onboard guest experience with more immersive storytelling and experiences connected to the National Geographic brand.
The expanded relationship will elevate the brand’s position as the leader in expedition cruise, the breakout travel trend of the decade. It 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 United States and Canada for ships up to 295 passengers, with the ability to expand that exclusive license globally and to ships with guest capacity of up to 530 passengers; and a global license to market co-branded river cruises.
The distribution of the company’s products through The Walt Disney Company’s sales channels “will be instrumental in reaching key new-to-expedition and new-to-brand travellers around the world, thereby growing the company’s consumer base to drive additional capacity and earnings growth in the years ahead,” the companies said.
The Walt Disney Company has a majority stage in National Geographic.
“The 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.”
Sven-Olof Lindblad, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Lindblad Expeditions said: “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 programs on land and on board our growing fleet, and expose new audiences to the beauty and wonder of our shared planet.”
Under the new agreement, guests will enjoy more National Geographic content throughout each step of their expedition, from the moment they book until after they return home; as well as enhanced in-field interactions with National Geographic Experts—renowned individuals from the worlds of science, exploration, conservation, and education.